The snacks of political protest
Paschal's fried chicken, Greek yogurt, Argentine pastries, and other food that makes a statement
Hello, Snackers. Sending this one to the whole mailing list. It’s a little round-up of some protest-themed food stories from around the world.
But first, a note (you can guess where this is going). I would love to focus only on snacks and never use this newsletter to talk about politics or horrifying news (or the intersection of those two things). But that’s not the world in which we live, is it?
It’s been a rough week of Supreme Court decisions, especially the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Please consider donating to a local organization supporting reproductive justice in one of the states where abortion rights are under immediate threat or have already been entirely obliterated. Here’s a good list.
You’ve probably read everything you care to read on this subject, but here are a few posts from other newsletters that I’ve found helpful:
“On Control” by Alicia Kennedy, From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy
“This is How We Fight” by Lyz Lenz, Men Yell at Me
“A few questions you can ask yourself on hopeless days” by Garrett Bucks, The White Pages
The snacks of political protest
Black communities have always used food as protest
One food justice activist was Georgia Gilmore, a Black woman who fed civil rights activists and leaders in her Montgomery, Alabama, home. After losing her job as a cafeteria cook because she participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, Gilmore opened her own doors at the suggestion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders. Georgia Gilmore not only fed the leaders, she helped start the Club from Nowhere, a covert baking club that would sell church cakes and use the money to fund protests.
How Argentina’s baked goods reveal its political past
Workers clashed with the police and not only stood up for their rights, gaining a 30-percent wage increase, but cleverly manufactured a permanent political mark in their craft itself: the bakers decided to give blasphemous and anti-state names to bread goods that are still eaten daily across the nation.
Anyone who has dined in a cafe or shopped at a bakery in Argentina will immediately recognize menu items such as bolas de fraile, suspiros de monja, vigilantes, cañones, and bombas. For those who don’t speak Spanish, the pointed political metaphors the bakers cooked up start to make sense in translation: monk balls, nun’s sighs, vigilantes, cannons, and bombs.
Culture of resistance: Protesting Greece’s politics with yogurt
Law 4000 was withdrawn by Andreas Papandreou’s government in 1983 and yogurt was mainly reserved for eating throughout the following decades. However, over the last few years, politicians have been the targets of yogurt throwing once again. The protesters aim (apart from faces) is to shame Greek politicians. Unlike the Teddy Boys, today’s yogurt throwers go beyond rebellious teenage boys. Recently, perpetrators of yaourtoma have been men and women of all ages angered by Greece's politics and austerity measures.
Here's what Extinction Rebellion feed thousands of hungry protesters
The kitchen was being run with military precision and had even reached the point where they had to turn donations away and were able to start planning meals ahead. But soon news came that a kitchen on nearby Victoria Street was being dismantled by the police. Minutes later, the police came for the tents of Trafalgar Square and for the kitchen.
What to eat before a protest
A new generation of activists is paying extra attention to what they eat to avoid physical burnout. Felicia Ruiz, who teaches indigenous cooking classes in Phoenix, sees good food as an integral part of resistance. “If it’s true that you are what you eat, I want to be out there on the front lines with a clear mind and my body feeling good,” she said.
Update: Here's one more!
How ceviche helped stop a mining project in Peru
Doris is working with 12 Peruvian NGOs and local communities on a national campaign challenging the project. The campaign has been extremely effective at galvanizing local support. Festive parades have featured community members in lime costumes carrying signs reading: “Sin Limon, No Hay Ceviche!” (Without limes, there is no ceviche!) Ceviche is Peru’s national dish.