Groundswell Center was honored to welcome Patrice Lockert Anthony, President of Greenstar Cooperative Market , Owner of A Writer’s Alchemy, and social provocateur to facilitate a two-part discussion on Cultural Appropriation and Food as part of the Farming for Justice Series.
What is the difference between cultural exchange, appreciation, and appropriation? This question comes up when talking about clothing, hairstyles, food, and many other things connected to cultural identity or tradition.
” As Mexicans, we bring our culture and therefore our food anywhere we go. For example, I cook in New England, and my cooking has been adapted to the local ingredients. By using ingredients where we live, the cuisine evolves. We’re creating. But it’s still Oaxacan-inspired food.”
– Neftali Duran (baker/proprietor of El Jardin Bakery in South Deerfield, Mass.)
In the first session, Patrice facilitated discussion of several topics about cultural appropriation in restaurant culture and the phenomenon of culinary colonialism. Watch First Session Video.
For week two, we broke into sessions to discuss what food justice looks like, how we can support farmers of color, and how it is the role of people with the most privilege to face discomfort and vulnerability in food justice work.
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But as Patrice stated, “What gets lost in this struggle is the sense of the work we have to do ourselves to make it right. We don’t achieve justice by reading articles. It is very much a personal journey and it has to be approached quite honestly.”