Patterns of Health and Wellbeing 07: The Medicine of Food
Health issues among American Indians, such as diabetes and substance abuse, are reaching epidemic levels. The majority of governmental and externally driven responses to these health issues have focused on the physical aspects of disease. Much less research has been done on the relationships between culture and health within Native communities. This symposium presents a report on active collaborations between Native community members and researchers that focus on the distinct cultural values about wellbeing held by Native communities in solving serious health issues. Cosponsored by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. In this section, Renee Dufault speaks on The Medicine of Food:The Primary Relation. Renee Dufault served in the Navy as an Industrial Hygiene Officer and in the Public Health Service (PHS) as an Environmental Health Officer. During her PHS career, she worked at the National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, and the Food and Drug Administration where she provided expertise in the areas of toxicology, environmental health, and industrial hygiene. In 2008 she retired early from federal service after 20 years to publish her findings of mercury in high fructose corn syrup and continue her research with collaborators on the role toxic food ingredients play in the development of disease conditions. Her most popular article, published in the Clinical Epigenetics Journal, explores the gene-environment interactions responsible for the autism epidemic in the United States. She was a distinguished keynote speaker at the 2013 Clinical Epigenetics meeting in Germany. Dufault now serves as the executive director of the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute and works as an adjunct professor at United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, North Dakota. Website: http://www.foodingredient.info/ Patterns of Health and Wellbeing: An Intercultural Symposium was webcast from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Rasmuson Theater on April 11, 2014.