According to Social Justice Internet, it’s totally fine to enjoy foods from other cultures — as long as you don’t call the food “authentic,” act like it’s out of the ordinary, or forget to get upset about Islamophobia every time you eat hummus.
Yep. According to “The Feminist Guide to Being a Foodie Without Being Culturally Appropriative,” it’s pretty damned hard for you to eat anything but a cheeseburger without its author, Rachel Kuo, thinking you’re being offensive.
Have you ever gone to another country and tried an “authentic” version of that country’s cuisine?
If you said yes, you’re already a racist. According to Kuo, the word “authentic” should never be used when discussing another culture’s food because “seeking ‘authenticity’ fetishizes the sustenance of another culture.”
“The idea of the “authentic” food experience is separated from reality,” Kuo writes. “It also freezes a culture in a particular place in time.”
‘The idea of the “authentic” food experience is separated from reality.’
— Rachel Kuo
Unfortunately, Kuo had no recommendations for how someone should describe the kind of food he ate on a trip to China versus what he ate on a trip to Panda Express. She simply declared that using the word “authentic” to describe the former to be totally unacceptable.
But don’t worry — she did have a ton of other great tips! For example: If you eat something new like a pig intestine, do not under any circumstances act like it is a strange or interesting experience to you.
“When people think they’re being adventurous for trying food from another culture, it’s the same thing as treating that food as bizarre or weird,” Kuo said.
#share#Kuo, who described herself as “Taiwanese and American,” said that one of her favorite foods is made with pig intestines and congealed pig blood. She explained that although she is totally okay with you eating pig intestines and pig blood even if you’re not Taiwanese, you had better not act like it’s a big deal when you do it.
“By making a big deal out of someone’s culture and food, it reminds them that they’re culture is abnormal and doesn’t quite belong in this world,” Kuo states.
‘Folks might love Mexican food, but not care about different issues such as labor equity and immigration policy.’
So basically, eat all of the pig intestines you want . . . but you had better not act like eating pig intestines isn’t what you do every day. Simply say “Oh, this is very good, very normal food!” or don’t say anything at all — or else Kuo is going to feel as though she literally does not belong on planet Earth.
Seems fair. Why should people have the freedom how they’re feeling about new experiences when they experiencing them?
Oh, and there’s another thing: You cannot eat a culture’s food without thinking about the oppression that the people of that culture have gone through.
#related#“When food gets disconnected from the communities and places its [sic] from, people can easily start forgetting and ignoring historical and ongoing oppression faced by those communities,” she writes.
“America has corporatized “Middle Eastern food” like hummus and falafel, and some people might live by halal food carts, but not understand or address the ongoing Islamophobia in the US,” she continues. “Folks might love Mexican food, but not care about different issues such as labor equity and immigration policy that impact members from that community.”
See, it’s easy! You can totally go ahead and eat that burrito in Mexico! Just don’t call it authentic or think of it as an interesting experience — which you shouldn’t have time to think about anyway, seeing as you’re supposed to be thinking about immigration the whole time.