Interest in grits is rising because of heirloom corn varieties and the backing of master chefs. But the Southern staple has deep roots that wind through economics, race, politics — and nostalgia.
When harvests are bad, Native Americans in the region may go without rice for the year. And there have been a lot of bad years lately, as climate change causes more frequent and severe rainstorms.
The USDA has long given canned, shelf-stable food aid to tribes, with devastating health effects.
Gathering the flowers of the greenthread plant for tea connects this Navajo schoolteacher to her grandmother. Drinking the tea helps her avoid sugary sodas.