No One is Stealing Your Bread

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Hello beautiful people – I hope all has been well! I am writing in response to the current backlash about being “gluten-free”. There are tons of articles being posted around facebook, and other social media, claiming that “gluten sensitive” people are lying to you in attempts to fit in with the “hipsters”. If you want my two cents, and I’m assuming you do since you’re reading my column – I think that is internet-fight is totally silly.

I won’t rehash everything that Jacqui went through in her column about Gluten (you can read it here www.elevenses.ca/what-is-gluten-and-why-you-should-care-about-it/), but the fact that there continues to be no conclusive evidence to support either argument about Gluten really intrigued me. Why, if this is the scientific mis-en-scene, are there so many fights breaking out about this little protein?

The Observation:

I thought about it a lot over the last month or so and eventually came to the conclusion that this is one of the times where the sad but timeless human-sensitivity-for-perceptions-of-scarcity (h.s.f.p.o.s’s as we call them) start rearing it’s ugly head – almost as if there isn’t enough “right” going around, and someone HAS to be wrong.

Let’s look at some examples where freedoms and resources are currently seen as scarce, then I’ll bring it back to eating gluten free!

First Up:

One poignant example of a false perception of scarcity are the assumptions about First Nation’s Treaties – the idea that non-Aboriginal Canadian taxpayers finance treaty rights, as a form of unfair taxation.

A Learned Father emerges: 

“A treaty is not only a nation to nation relationship but a sacred covenant as well – and therefore cannot be simply be dishonoured or broken like a business contract. All the treaties across Canada are peace and friendship treaties – they are created to avoid war and establish good relations. However, the traditional European treaties were usually made as a “surrender treaty” after a prolonged war. These peace and friendship treaties assure rights to sovereignty, ways of life, and sharing in the bounty of the land. Furthermore, it is not a solely moral document – the government not only has a moral and ethical obligation to uphold their treaties, but a fiduciary responsibility as well (as repeatedly upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada). In summation, First Nation Treaties are law”
 

Thanks Dad! For those readers who don’t know who my Dad is, his name is Lewis Cardinal and he’s currently a doctoral candidate at University of Alberta in Indigenous Governance.  

Common Assumptions:

A couple questions pop up when we talk about treaty rights: Why should non-aboriginals have to pay out of their own pocket to support aboriginal people? That debt, when compared with the value of Canada’s resources, is astronomical and unfair to lump on Canadians who weren’t there in the first place!

The Facts:

These assumptions ignore the fact that each year it is estimated that Aboriginal people pay around $14 billion dollars in taxes in one form or another. The federal government, on the other hand, only transfers nine billion dollars to Aboriginal Programs (meant to support Aboriginal people). What most people don’t know is that only 20% of the nine billion dollars reaches front-line services to directly support Aboriginal people. In short, no – the Canadian public is not “paying” for anything, and also Aboriginal taxpayers are getting less for a myriad of reasons.

Let us also keep in mind that Canadians are treaty people as well and are enjoying the full benefits of their treaty rights – and unfortunately Indigenous people have yet to see the complete implementation of their treaty rights. For example: for every dollar that the government gives non-Aboriginal people for their healthcare – First Nations people get 50 cents, First Nation schools are funded anywhere from 25% to 50% less than public schools, the sharing of natural resource revenue created from traditional territories – practically – does not exist, and on average Aboriginal people are paid 25% less than average Canadians. You can start to see how common misunderstanding about treaties obscure the reality of the subject.

What we end up seeing is that Aboriginal people are, in fact, paying their way and more. The federal government, on the other hand, maintains the poverty disparity in direct contradiction and violation of the treaties. The statistics and reality of the situation totally blows the false perception of scarcity out of the water – and illuminates the danger of putting something on a continuum of having and not having (being right or wrong). It’s not about money – and that focus leaves us desperately fighting over the scarce crumbs of the greater issue at hand.

So what? How does this relate?

I know what you’re thinking – “I thought we were talking about Gluten?”. Bear with me here. The reaction to the Gluten-free wave is very much related to current-day views of Treaties is because they both touch on this incredibly sensitive part of human nature.

Where false ideas about Treaties inspire worry about things like fairness and equality – differing dietary choices inspire worry in people about intelligence and “being right”. I think we often forget that what we put in our mouths can be so personal and almost philosophical. We we are what we eat right? 

What makes it more difficult for us is that the science of food is young, and there isn’t very much we know for sure – that goes especially for Gluten. At the end of the day, the choice about whether or not to put Gluten in our mouths is about as scientific as how we choose which political party to vote for. Though it may feel like a personal attack for those who disagree with you, the decision actually has very little to do with anyone else except themselves and perhaps their family.

The unfortunate thing with this is the knee-jerk, false, and reductionist reaction, is that it puts other’s choices on a spectrum of right and wrong and totally obfuscates the greater conversation that is happening about food and health. Whether or not you agree with the Gluten-free people, this Gluten debate is a part of one of the first worldwide conversations we’ve had about the importance of certain foods on our health. It’s a revolution. For anyone who cares about what they eat, isn’t that a huge win in itself?

So, let’s not fight over the crumbs.

Speaking of crumbs – the recipe portion! Here’s what we call Lembas! Yes, I know what you’re thinking – why are you calling it after the Eleven waybread? Well, this bread is so dense with nutrients it can’t be called anything else. Just like the Elves in Lórien said, “one [slice] will keep a traveller on his feet for a day of long labour, even if he be one of the tall Men of Minas Tirith”!

This recipe is from Richard Nikoley, a personal blogging role model of mine – check out the link for the original recipe (http://freetheanimal.com/2012/07/fat-bread-third-times-the-charm-mission-accomplished.html), and also for brilliant commentary on food, health and wellness!

Lembas

Prep Time: 15 Mins Cooking Time: 35 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins
Ingredients:
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup raw whole macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup coconut butter (nuke 20 seconds to get a smooth butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking soda 
Directions:
  1. Grease loaf pan with butter, ghee or coconut oil and set aside and preheat oven to 350 (F).
  2. In a food processor on high speed, process the macadamia nuts until you achieve a chunky nut butter consistency.
  3. With the processor still on, add eggs one at a time, waiting until batter is smooth before each addition, about 20 seconds or so. You should have a very smooth batter at this point.
  4. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides of the (container.)
  5. Turn processor on high once again add the remaining ingredients, except for the lemon juice and baking soda.
  6. Once batter is s smooth and ingredients have been fully incorporated, the last two ingredients will need to be added very quickly.
  7.  In quick succession, add the lemon juice down the chute, then the baking soda. 
  8. Scrape down the sides of the processor once again and mix for a few more seconds to fully incorporate ingredients.
  9. Scoop batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake at 350F (175-180C) for 35 minutes until golden brown and has a bit of “give back” to the touch.
  10. Take out of oven and then flip baking pan on its side to cool (this keeps the bread from sticking too much), then once able to handle - set on an elevated rack to rest for 10 minutes. 

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Hello beautiful people – I hope all has been well! I am writing in response to the current backlash about being “gluten-free”. There are tons of articles being posted around facebook, and other social media, claiming that “gluten sensitive” people are lying to you in attempts to fit in with the “hipsters”. If you want my two cents, and I’m assuming you do since you’re reading my column – I think that is internet-fight is totally silly.

I won’t rehash everything that Jacqui went through in her column about Gluten (you can read it here www.elevenses.ca/what-is-gluten-and-why-you-should-care-about-it/), but the fact that there continues to be no conclusive evidence to support either argument about Gluten really intrigued me. Why, if this is the scientific mis-en-scene, are there so many fights breaking out about this little protein?

The Observation:

I thought about it a lot over the last month or so and eventually came to the conclusion that this is one of the times where the sad but timeless human-sensitivity-for-perceptions-of-scarcity (h.s.f.p.o.s’s as we call them) start rearing it’s ugly head – almost as if there isn’t enough “right” going around, and someone HAS to be wrong.

Let’s look at some examples where freedoms and resources are currently seen as scarce, then I’ll bring it back to eating gluten free!

First Up:

One poignant example of a false perception of scarcity are the assumptions about First Nation’s Treaties – the idea that non-Aboriginal Canadian taxpayers finance treaty rights, as a form of unfair taxation.

A Learned Father emerges: 

“A treaty is not only a nation to nation relationship but a sacred covenant as well – and therefore cannot be simply be dishonoured or broken like a business contract. All the treaties across Canada are peace and friendship treaties – they are created to avoid war and establish good relations. However, the traditional European treaties were usually made as a “surrender treaty” after a prolonged war. These peace and friendship treaties assure rights to sovereignty, ways of life, and sharing in the bounty of the land. Furthermore, it is not a solely moral document – the government not only has a moral and ethical obligation to uphold their treaties, but a fiduciary responsibility as well (as repeatedly upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada). In summation, First Nation Treaties are law”
 

Thanks Dad! For those readers who don’t know who my Dad is, his name is Lewis Cardinal and he’s currently a doctoral candidate at University of Alberta in Indigenous Governance.  

Common Assumptions:

A couple questions pop up when we talk about treaty rights: Why should non-aboriginals have to pay out of their own pocket to support aboriginal people? That debt, when compared with the value of Canada’s resources, is astronomical and unfair to lump on Canadians who weren’t there in the first place!

The Facts:

These assumptions ignore the fact that each year it is estimated that Aboriginal people pay around $14 billion dollars in taxes in one form or another. The federal government, on the other hand, only transfers nine billion dollars to Aboriginal Programs (meant to support Aboriginal people). What most people don’t know is that only 20% of the nine billion dollars reaches front-line services to directly support Aboriginal people. In short, no – the Canadian public is not “paying” for anything, and also Aboriginal taxpayers are getting less for a myriad of reasons.

Let us also keep in mind that Canadians are treaty people as well and are enjoying the full benefits of their treaty rights – and unfortunately Indigenous people have yet to see the complete implementation of their treaty rights. For example: for every dollar that the government gives non-Aboriginal people for their healthcare – First Nations people get 50 cents, First Nation schools are funded anywhere from 25% to 50% less than public schools, the sharing of natural resource revenue created from traditional territories – practically – does not exist, and on average Aboriginal people are paid 25% less than average Canadians. You can start to see how common misunderstanding about treaties obscure the reality of the subject.

What we end up seeing is that Aboriginal people are, in fact, paying their way and more. The federal government, on the other hand, maintains the poverty disparity in direct contradiction and violation of the treaties. The statistics and reality of the situation totally blows the false perception of scarcity out of the water – and illuminates the danger of putting something on a continuum of having and not having (being right or wrong). It’s not about money – and that focus leaves us desperately fighting over the scarce crumbs of the greater issue at hand.

So what? How does this relate?

I know what you’re thinking – “I thought we were talking about Gluten?”. Bear with me here. The reaction to the Gluten-free wave is very much related to current-day views of Treaties is because they both touch on this incredibly sensitive part of human nature.

Where false ideas about Treaties inspire worry about things like fairness and equality – differing dietary choices inspire worry in people about intelligence and “being right”. I think we often forget that what we put in our mouths can be so personal and almost philosophical. We we are what we eat right? 

What makes it more difficult for us is that the science of food is young, and there isn’t very much we know for sure – that goes especially for Gluten. At the end of the day, the choice about whether or not to put Gluten in our mouths is about as scientific as how we choose which political party to vote for. Though it may feel like a personal attack for those who disagree with you, the decision actually has very little to do with anyone else except themselves and perhaps their family.

The unfortunate thing with this is the knee-jerk, false, and reductionist reaction, is that it puts other’s choices on a spectrum of right and wrong and totally obfuscates the greater conversation that is happening about food and health. Whether or not you agree with the Gluten-free people, this Gluten debate is a part of one of the first worldwide conversations we’ve had about the importance of certain foods on our health. It’s a revolution. For anyone who cares about what they eat, isn’t that a huge win in itself?

So, let’s not fight over the crumbs.

Speaking of crumbs – the recipe portion! Here’s what we call Lembas! Yes, I know what you’re thinking – why are you calling it after the Eleven waybread? Well, this bread is so dense with nutrients it can’t be called anything else. Just like the Elves in Lórien said, “one [slice] will keep a traveller on his feet for a day of long labour, even if he be one of the tall Men of Minas Tirith”!

This recipe is from Richard Nikoley, a personal blogging role model of mine – check out the link for the original recipe (http://freetheanimal.com/2012/07/fat-bread-third-times-the-charm-mission-accomplished.html), and also for brilliant commentary on food, health and wellness!

Lembas

Prep Time: 15 Mins Cooking Time: 35 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins
Ingredients:
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup raw whole macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup coconut butter (nuke 20 seconds to get a smooth butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking soda 
Directions:
  1. Grease loaf pan with butter, ghee or coconut oil and set aside and preheat oven to 350 (F).
  2. In a food processor on high speed, process the macadamia nuts until you achieve a chunky nut butter consistency.
  3. With the processor still on, add eggs one at a time, waiting until batter is smooth before each addition, about 20 seconds or so. You should have a very smooth batter at this point.
  4. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides of the (container.)
  5. Turn processor on high once again add the remaining ingredients, except for the lemon juice and baking soda.
  6. Once batter is s smooth and ingredients have been fully incorporated, the last two ingredients will need to be added very quickly.
  7.  In quick succession, add the lemon juice down the chute, then the baking soda. 
  8. Scrape down the sides of the processor once again and mix for a few more seconds to fully incorporate ingredients.
  9. Scoop batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake at 350F (175-180C) for 35 minutes until golden brown and has a bit of “give back” to the touch.
  10. Take out of oven and then flip baking pan on its side to cool (this keeps the bread from sticking too much), then once able to handle - set on an elevated rack to rest for 10 minutes. 

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About the author

Hunter

Hunter Cardinal is a writer and resident food experimenter at the elevenses blog. His column explores the tangible aspects of holistic health, attempting to harmonize it with a busy schedule. When he's not eating or thinking of food (which is rare) you can catch Hunter performing at Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton and finishing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at the University of Alberta.

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