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01 Feb 2017

Ask a Mexican: Were the Americas Gluten-Free Before 1492?

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Dear Mexican: I’m a wetback myself; actually, in the eyes of a gringo, we are all wetbacks.

I’m sick and tired of the political caca about illegal immigration. The gringo government knows and very well understands the pluses and minuses of our vatos’ economic effect to the U.S. economy. The ones who don’t get it are the blind people who don’t like our drunk culos.

It seems that a lot of people e-mail you about “Mexicans coming over here ruining our system,” or, “They’re putting a burden on our healthcare,” and a whole host of other stuff are like that. Then they follow up with some (pardon my language) stupid, dumb shit like, “The wall will keep them out.” It seems to me that they really don’t understand the real problem (or solution) here.

Peeved in Plano

Dear Pocho: Ya think? As I’ve been saying in this columna for more than a decade, the only thing that will stop Mexican immigration to this country is a fundamental economic change for both sides of la frontera: the end of the free economy in el Norte, and the end of crony socialism in Mexico.

Trump and his Trumpbros know this but don’t dare attack either system, because they’re all in the same swamp—that’s why we’re now getting the wall, which will prove as effective in stopping Mexicans in coming over as a tissue paper is in stopping the flow of the Rio Grande.

But you know what? Let Trump build his wall. It’s going to fail and embarrass him. And even if it succeeds, it’ll create a revolution in Mexico, which means millions of refugees will easily tear down that wall and settle in Aztlán once and for all.

Be careful what you wish for, Trumpbros: It just might marry your daughter.

Dear Mexican: Quisiera saber si las Americas eran gluten free before 1492. No soy foodie; solo un campesino/cocinero curioso.

Viva El Corn

Dear Paisa: You want to know whether the Americas were gluten-free before 1492, and the answer is ahuevo.

Wheat came—along with beef, pork and pestilence—with the wasichus; before that, Mexicans mostly ate fruit, vegetables and whatever game meat they caught, something that most gabachos and even Mexicans don’t realize as they scarf down a carnitas burrito washed down with Bohemia. (What: You thought that lager was named after Cuauhtémoc’s son?) That’s why I’m all for gluten-free hipsters and Mexicans alike going beyond what they consider “Mexican” food and embracing an all-raza diet of nopales, frijoles, squash, corn, purslane and so much more.

And lest the primos think anyone who wants to forsake chicharrones and chorizo in favor of a vegetarian lifestyle is a Prius-driving chavala, get yourself a copy of Decolonize Your Diet: Mexican-American Plant-Based Recipes for Health and Healing. Written by professors Luz Calvo and Catrióna Rueda Esquibel after Profe Calvo was diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s part cookbook, part history, and a magnificent toma, güey to any gabacho who thinks Mexican food’s default setting is Montezuma’s Revenge.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

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