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South Dakota Indians debate 'fattiest' label for beloved fry bread

Health magazine recently put fry bread, South Dakota's official state bread, on list of The 50 Fattiest Foods in the States.

Not everyone was happy with the designation. Ansel Wooden Knife, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, owns a company that makes a fry bread mix.

"If they want to trim Native Americans down, maybe they should work on the rations, commodities that they give out. To try to attack fry bread is wrong," Wooden Knife told The Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

Since it's mainly flour and fat, fry bread doesn't offer much nutritional value. And that poses a problem for many in Indian Country who suffer from diabetes and obesity.

"Fry bread, for those of us who are trying to lose weight, trying to not get on the diabetes train, that's one of the things that we can't be eating," Jace DeCory, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, told the paper.

Mark Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who is president and co-founder of Native American Natural Foods, says fatty foods aren't just an Indian issue. Eating healthy is something everyone should look at, he says.

"I think it's important that we don't look at this issue with fry bread as an 'us vs. them' issue," Tilsen told the paper. "It's really that we together as a community, as the state of South Dakota, together have to find healthier ways of feeding our children. We have to figure out what's become a negative food culture and turn it into a positive food culture."

Get the Story:
Fry bread furor: Standing by a food tradition in a negative light (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 7/25)

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