7.18.16: Los Diablos, Native American Food, & Last Night a Superhero Saved My Life

Jul 18, 2016

In 2014, Southeast Asian was the new "it" cuisine. Then it was southern Mediterranean, then Peruvian... Now simple, "back to the land" cooking is decidedly on-trend. So why aren't locavores swarming around Native American cuisine? Today on the show, the challenges of branding America's truly native food.

Then, in some of its darkest hours, America has turned to superhero comics for an escape - so have the nation's citizens. We speak to the editor of an anthology exploring the relationship between writers and the heroes who inspired them.  

Listen to the full show. 

Los Diablos

The 2000-mile border between the US and Mexico zigs and zags through several states and into the heart of American politics. Anxiety about immigration has raised walls in some spots to keep Central American migrants out. Except where the Rio Grande narrows to a pinch in South Texas. There, a team of Mexican firefighters known as Los Diablos, is regularly invited in.

Richie Sinkovitz is an engine captain at Big Bend National Park and crew boss of Los Diablos, Mexican nationals who chase flames across the border. 

You can watch a video about Los Diablos at The Atlantic

Oil Worker

Some people will do anything for a decently paid job, others make proximity to family or nature the priority. Pam Pardy and Blair Ghent left good jobs in Toronto and returned to rural Newfoundland to raise their young son. They soon found work to be sparse. Now, Blair, like thousands of other unemployed Newfoundlanders, commutes 3,000 miles overland to the oil sand fields of Alberta – splitting the family up for months at a time.

Chris Brookes brings us the story as part of the series "Working" a production of Homelands Productions in collaboration with Marketplace Radio. You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Why Isn't Native American Food Hip?

In 2014 Southeast Asian cuisine was the new "it" cuisine. That same year, the southern Mediterranean became "a thing" -- with Turkish, Moroccan, and Iranian dishes showing up on foodie blogs and websites. Then Peruvian restaurants started showing up in cities across America. Missing among these culinary trends is one cuisine that writers - and a few entrepreneurs - have predicted is just about to hit the big time - Native American Food. At a time when simple, "back to the land", local food is decidedly on-trend, why aren't Americans seizing upon the country's truly local cuisine?

Emily Deruy is a senior associate editor covering education for The Atlantic - where she asked "Why Isn't Native American Food Hip?"  

Last Night a Superhero Saved My Life

America got dark in the 1930s. The stock market crash and Great Depression which followed plunged millions into unemployment. Gang violence and crime surged, stretching the limits of law enforcement. But out of the darkness, came a light: a new genre of fictional characters burst onto the scene. The comic book superhero gave fans goodness to cling to when everyday life felt impossible to bear. And that dependability has continued since the first costumed crime fighter knocked out evil with a kapow!

Liesa Mignogna is Vice President and Editorial Director of Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon and Schuster children's books. She edited and contributed to an anthology of essays exploring the love between authors and their chosen fictional heroes called Last Night a Superhero Saved My Life