Navajo Terminology for Foods and Nutrients: Kindness, Caring, and Blessings through our Food

Feb 25th, 2013 | By | Category: 24-3: The Science of Place, Media Reviews

The Navajo Nation (2011)

Review by Michael W. Simpson

Food sovereignty has become vital as processed mainstream foods give many Americans—Native and non-Native—diabetes and other health problems that sap our strength and even kill us. In his book, Frank Morgan brilliantly reveals the relationship between strong Indigenous languages and strong health through good nutrition— or, as translated from the Navajo, “good and proper foods that keep the body healthy, that take one to old age.” This book has colorful photographs and a typeface that is especially pleasing to the reader’s eye. It also includes an audio CD. Twelve chapters cover a range of foods, nutritional guides, and cooking and preparation instructions. The bibliography and recommended websites add value to the book as a resource. The connection of language to health is reinforced in the last pages, where the author provides the Navajo alphabet. This book would be a great resource for Navajo language and culture teachers, dieticians and nutritionists, medical doctors, and anyone interested in food and health.

Michael W. Simpson, J.D., M.Ed., is currently teaching Navajo eighth graders at Sanders Middle School in Sanders, AZ.

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