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Are you a “taco diplomat?”

Do you savor, celebrate and promote the foods we share across the U.S/Mexico border to acknowledge our debts and gratitude to the indigenous and mestizo peoples of the Desert Borderlands for enriching our lives?  Are you ready to support their efforts toward greater food justice, food security, food democracy and food sovereignty?  Then you are a “taco diplomat”!

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Gary Paul Nabhan

Each year Utne Reader puts forward its selection of world visionaries – people who don’t just concoct great ideas but also act on them.

Local and sustainable are on the tips of many tongues as more and more people try to eat food that’s good for them and the planet.  If you’re a part of this important conversation, you can thank Gary Paul Nabhan for helping to get it started…

Gary Nabhan

Gary Paul Nabhan is an internationally celebrated nature writer, seed saver, conservation biologist and sustainable agriculture activist who has been called “the father of the local food movement” by Mother Earth News. Gary spoke at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Oregon on redesigning our local food traditions and deepening out sense sustainable agriculture.


Gary Nabhan

Gary Nabhan, a research social scientist at the University of Arizona’s Southwest Center, has been named the Sustainable Food Systems Endowed Chair following a nearly $1.6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Please click here to read the announcement.

decorative chili peppers

Some of the best known symbols of climate change are belching smokestacks and polar bears adrift on ice floes. A lesser known symbol is the chili pepper. Gary Paul Nabhan set out to change that.

Please click here to read the full article in the Boston Globe

chili peppers

There was a frost expected here two weeks ago, but Gary Nabhan of Taco Diplomacy a conservation biologist and inveterate seed-saver, was out in his hardscrabble garden anyway, planting his favorite food, hot chilies.  Chiltepin, chile de arbol, Tabasco, serrano, pasilla, Chimayo.  These are only a few of the pungent peppers that Mr. Nabhan and two other chili lovers, Kurt Michael Friese, a chef from Iowa City, and Kraig Kraft, an agro-ecologist studying the origin of hot peppers, collected on a journey that began two years ago in northern Mexico, and took them across the hot spots of this country…

Click here to go directly to the New York Times Article

Gary Nabhan

Gary Nabhan of Taco Diplomacy spoke candidly with us about the impact of the 2010 Convening on his work.

“What surprised me is how sophisticated the integration of art and science & public participation are in a lot of the projects here.

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Berries in hands
Folklorist Maribel Alvarez and ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan of Taco Diplomacy are giving a lot of thought to the future of a traditional local food, the beef taco. It’s part of their “Flavors Without Borders/Sabores Sin Fronteras” project, which looks at the shared culinary traditions of the Southwest, including Northern Mexico, Southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Click here to read the full article and view the video: Feeding the Future: Smart Ranching and the Southwest Center | The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.

Taco Diplomacy, a project of Sabores Sin Fronteras, is a 2009 Invoking the Pause Grant Partner.

Within the last decade, tremendous changes have occurred in America’s food production, distribution and consumption. Just take a second to look back to what you ate and what you could not afford to eat at the turn of the millennium, in January of 2000.
Nowhere is this change more evident than in the food- producing landscapes in the Southwestern borderland states of Arizona and New Mexico, where both positive and detrimental changes have occurred. These changes not only affect human health, but the health of land as well.
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