I am taking the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. Each day I will be taking time with the prompts, and I will be sharing my reflections/thoughts. I encourage our audience to take this challenge with me to start your own self-reflection journey, start understanding and building empathy for people who are not like yourself, learn more about racial inequity in our food system, and ultimately learn how we can better support the Black people in our community.
If you feel comfortable, I encourage our audience to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments below. Our social media pages have several thousand followers, and I want to leverage our platforms as a space that encourages learning, that feels safe and inclusive. So here we go, let’s dig in.
After reading the “Decolonize Your Diet: Notes Toward Decolonization” short article, I started thinking about my relationship to Chinese food. I grew up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with parents (who grew up in England and the United States). The staple items in our house were chicken, beef, potatoes, salt, pepper, lemons, and green grapes. I grew up with a colonized diet. The first time I was exposed to Chinese food was definitely Chinese-American fast food. So it was my assumption that all Chinese food was greasy/heavy low mien dishes, fried rice, or sweet and sticky meat dishes. It was a huge shock to me when my family took a trip to tour different parts of China and the cuisine was not what I was used to. I saw veggies that I had never seen before, sometimes the food was more spicy, and some places served animal tongues, organs, and even bones. I think my whole family lost weight on that trip because we were shocked by the different cuisine and weren’t eating our usual portions (and we were constantly sweating in the summer heat).
Once I started cooking for myself I turned to online resources and friends for cooking inspiration. Last week one of my favorite cooking resources, Bon Appétit, had been in the spotlight for their editor in chief appearing in black face, for pay inequity of people of color (POC) staffers that appear in their Youtube videos, and having a “toxic culture of microagressions” (Insider, 2020). And on top of all of that, the recipes they feature are Euro-centric. To say I was disappointed with Bon Appétit is an understatement, but I was also disappointed in myself for not seeking out other resources or at the least demanding for more representation. I appreciate Bon Appétit’s apology and an action plan for equal pay, more representation, and plan to educate their staffers. I hope I see more BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) representation but only time will tell. Actions speak louder than words in my book.
This is the start of decolonizing my diet, and the media I consume. Here are some black-owned media outlets that you can also subscribe to: Essence, Blavity, Black Enterprise, Urban 1, and a list of Black Chefs, Influencers and bloggers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. Click here for more prompts, and click here for more resources. Feel free to share your own reflections and thoughts in the comments below. Please keep in mind that we are all lifelong learners, our experiences are all unique, and this is a safe-inclusive space.