Via Laurel Morales/KJZZ


On an alternative source of calcium…

Daniel Begay, who is Navajo, had always been told growing up that traditional American Indian foods were good for him.

But because most American Indians are lactose intolerant, “they aren’t getting that same source of calcium from dairy products,” Begay says.

Turns out that it’s a traditional cooking method that is key to his bone health. The Navajo burn juniper branches, collect the ash and stir it into traditional dishes. The most popular: blue corn mush.

Begay, a graduate student at Northern Arizona University, analyzed the amount of calcium in 27 samples of juniper from all over the reservation. But first he had to ash the juniper outside his apartment in Flagstaff. Not quite the same as the rural reservation.

Read on at The Salt.

1 Comment

  1. I wonder for people allergic to Juniper, would the ash be a safe source to ingest?