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The Food Chain examines the business, science and cultural significance of food, and what it takes to put food on your plate.
26 Aug 2020 • 32 mins
After decades of racism, persecution and forced assimilation, Native Americans had lost many of their traditional foods and recipes. Award-winning chef Sean Sherman has made it his life’s mission to bring them back from the brink of extinction. He tells Graihagh Jackson about a “feral” childhood spent on a vast reservation in South Dakota, USA, and how his impoverished community was forced to rely on highly processed, government-supplied commodity foods, which he says have had serious and long-term health implications for his people. A successful but highly stressful career running restaurant kitchens pushed him to the point of burnout – he explains how a recuperation mission to Mexico led to an epiphany about his own food heritage and a meticulous effort to revive it and rid it of colonial influences. He’s since written an award-winning cookbook, set up a non-profit to educate others about North America’s native cuisines, plans to open a restaurant next year, and tells us he wants to make his indigenous food movement a global one.(Picture: Sean Sherman. Credit: Heidi Ehalt/BBC)