Updated: Jan 2
We published our first blog post last week under the theme of Dedication. This post, picking up where last week’s alliterative round-up left off, presents you with a few more of our recent favourite D-themed reads and resources. We hope you find them as valuable as we do.
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TABLE, a global platform inclusive dialogue on debates about the future of food, recently launched the TABLE community platform, a much-needed space to convene ever-more polarized viewpoints on the future of our food system. It remains to be seen whether a full spectrum of opinions will show up in such a niche academic space but we’re enjoying the discussion on how one should approach the issue of palm oil in the supermarket or how to conceptualize the differences between agroecology, regenerative agriculture, and organic practices. TABLE also does a great podcast and we loved this episode with Jessica Duncan that questions whether consensus, so often the goal of dialogue, is truly always desirable.
While doing research for our upcoming MILK issue, we came across the work of Diana Garvin, a professor of Italian and Mediterranean studies at the University of Oregon who specializes in food and politics. We’re intrigued by her upcoming book on the politics of women’s food work under Italy’s fascist regime, and we enjoyed this recording of a talk, entitled ‘Black Milk: Colonial Foodways and Intimate Imperialism’, that she gave at UCLA Center for the Study of Women in 2017. It uses newsreels, photographs, and bell hook’s seminal theory of ‘eating the Other’ to uncover how breastfeeding was weaponized by colonial powers to become a central element in the social construction of race, racism, and oppression in Italian East Africa.
(FUCK FINE) DINING
The gastronomy world has clued into customers’ relatively newfound distaste for hyper-macho displays of power, anger, and insecurity in the kitchen and so it’s become adept at hiding the fact that the local cows raised and chopped into tartar with love are treated better than most restaurant staff. Fuck Fine Dining, an incisive piece written earlier this year by chef Lewis Bassett, explores the cognitive dissonance of paying for ethical food when the person who cooked for you is on their 16th hour of work without any. We’d like to go one step further and say things were better at one of the hundreds of overtly feminist restaurants and cafés that flourished in the US and Canada from the 1970s to the 1990s, where self-service reigned supreme and the only tips being traded were on how to bring down the patriarchy.
DIVERSIFYING BRUNCH MENUS
Cafés in Taiwan are serving flat whites with miniature pancake tacos and we’re here for the insights on food, culture, and geopolitics offered by Clarissa Wei’s exploration of how the brunch trend has mutated across Asia, picking up on Western (largely Australian) brunch staples and making them unique with local twists. It reminds us of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, where Jennifer 8. Lee uses the case of American Chinese food to dig into the links between dinner and identity, what makes a food belong to a particular culture, and the permeability of these boundaries over time.
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Know of an interesting book, article, video, podcast, tweet, or anything else that we should take a look at? Want to send a suggestion for a resource to include in our next blog post? Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.