Yet food pantries remain full of the same canned pumpkin and expired boxed meals they always have. Obese people are shamed and told what to eat, while people deemed skinny enough to have an eating disorder are also shamed for not taking care of their “health.” There is a serious disconnect here that should tell anyone who’s paying attention that this is not about justice or health in any form––it is about vanity.
When asking the server how the animal being served was prepared, no one seems to wonder whether that server has basic health insurance or whether that server is affected by the fact that the restaurant industry has one of the highest rates of sexual harassment and lowest rates of pay. When waxing poetic about the “salt of the Earth” farmers from which they buy their unpasteurized milk, no one seems to worry that an estimated 10 percent of American farm workers are children. When pearl-clutching over the things we “don’t know” about GMOs […] no one seems to be concerned about their presence in groceries found at Price Rite––only products sold at Whole Foods.
If you are not as concerned about the people handing you your food in the restaurant as you are about the pigs on the farm where it was grown, your approach is classist. If you are more concerned about the availability of food trucks in the neighboring town than whether its residents actually want them (thanks to my dear friend Tina for setting me straight on this one), or if you buy things like [“Noble Savage” foods] (thanks to Heina for that find), your approach is imperialist. If you start telling someone all about your new trendy diet or asking them about theirs without knowing if they have an eating disorder that may be triggered by your prattle, your approach is ableist. If you tsk-tsk at people who are overweight for what they are eating and claim you’re concerned about their health, yet you’re not actively campaigning to make healthy food more accessible and affordable, your approach is sickening and I don’t want you in my activism.
–Julia Burke knows it’s not about the food.