Friday, August 30, 2013

The Politicizing of Food



It is my contention that the gathering, preparation and sharing of food is a universal custom, and as such is a tradition capable of bringing together people of all races, creeds, colors, nations, beliefs and other conditions that these same people use to create great divides within the human species.

But no. Every race, creed, color, nation, belief, etc. etc. etc. has its own dogma to which they adhere like crazy glue on pinky fingers, and so certain people – let's use the contemporary term 'haters'- inevitably find a way to use the  entire procedure of meal-making and partaking thereof as a platform to promote their political views.

And sometimes, they bypass the whole food thing and just step into the focal point to make their points heard.

Titli Nihaan is a YouTube renowned cook. She's British. She's Muslim. She's educated and has traveled extensively. And she's a heck of a cook. She posted a video called, "The Great Bubble and Squeak Recipe." For this particular video, she introduces her friend from Israel and her friend narrates the recipe. It's a terrific video. Bubble and Squeak is a traditionally English dish, but also has Irish roots. And it's a great way to use up leftover veggies and mashed potatoes.

But here come the troublemakers. In the comments section of the video, one fool starts talking about Palestine, Israel, Jews, Arabs and some kind of political nonsense about the who, what, where, and how of who should be living where and how they should be doing it.

And so someone else feeds the troll and a whole other discussion erupts, right there in the middle of the discussion about bubble and squeak.

The haters kind of missed the point, though, which surprised me. Titli is a Muslim. Her friend is, I assume, a Jew. The Muslims and Jews are not typically recognized as allies, much less friends. Yet, here we see Titli and her friend Keren gathering, preparing and sharing food.

If every Muslim, Jew, Christian, Pagan, Wiccan, and what-all got together one morning and made Bubble and Squeak, the world would be a better place.   

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