Yes, Food Is Political
I spent the last few days writing and rewriting this post. It still doesn’t come close to capturing everything, but I hope it’s a start.
In the last week, the Black Lives Matter movement has spurred a great deal of important (and overdue) conversations in food media about the toxic relationship between the (almost all white) individuals in power at some of our biggest outlets and their BIPOC staff. Amidst the incredible outpouring support for big changes - most notably the resignation of Bon Appetit's Adam Rapoport - I’ve seen a fair amount of “I don’t want food to be political” or “food is supposed to be fun” and “all this PC culture is ruining food”. There are also those who don’t work in the food industry, and are unsure if they can or should participate in this ongoing discussion.
I wanted to address this idea that food, politics, and society are somehow able to be siloed, because they simply cannot. Food affects EVERYONE, and not just because we have to eat everyday. Our relationship with food is a core aspect of our identity that cannot be separated from other facets of who we are and how we live. Food is not just a cultural phenomenon (although that’s how we typically like to describe and write about it), but the foundation of how we interact within our community, country, and world.
Additional context about some of the examples I referenced are below: