Here’s A Reason To Love Disco Again: Stopping Food Waste
Screenshot from Chinese Food The fact that many Chinese restaurants in America serve foods from more than one Asian country will probably be used in a defense of the video, but thats a straw-man argument. Chinese Food is not racist because it depicts pan-Asian cuisine; its racist because it lazily traffics in racial stereotypes and paints over the distinctions between vastly different Asian cultures with the same its all Chinese to me! brush. Its difficult to tell whether Wilson understands that the song he wrote deals in harmful misinformation, but judging by his earnest responses to Rebecca Blacks success, its likely thats not the case. Chinese Food is another example of the kind of cultural tribute thats harmful even when it lacks malicious intent the reason many Americans still dont understand why, for example, the song What Made the Red Man Red from Peter Pan is racist, or why calling Washington D.C.s NFL team the Redskins is not okay. Theyre not explicitly hateful, of course, or even vicious, but they are ignorant and diminishing towards huge swathes of people, reinforcing ideas about them that are vastly overgeneralized and demeaning. A communication breakdown still exists in the space between the celebration of multiculturalism and the commitment of hate crimes, a space where people mean well and certainly dont consider themselves racist, but still obliviously inflict damage and then refuse to acknowledge its existence or impact. Yesterday, Gawkers Cord Jefferson wrote a thoughtful article that explained how racism exists not just in overtly hateful thoughts and comments, but in the framework of plausible deniability that builds up around racism and how insane that plausible deniability can make people feel. Like those terrible Asian schoolgirl jokes on Seth MacFarlanes new sitcom Dads, Chinese Food can attempt to hide behind the post-racial America argument, the one that says that its okay to exploit stereotypes because they cant do us any harm, not anymore but it will fail. Thats the real danger behind the myth of colorblindness, the myth of post-racial America: the potential for the racism embedded in this confectionery video to be denied and enjoyed anyway. The problem, particularly with a viral video like this one, is that everyone sees it, but not everyone sees the damage implicitly wrought by it. Earlier today, a YouTube commenter wrote on the videos page , This is why kids become racist. She could be right; I can hear this song echoing down the halls of my high school as readily as I could The Fox. Viral videos like Chinese Food, when theyre widely viewed, become a part of our shared culture; theyre what millions of people talk about, reference in conversation, share with their friends. When those video depict other groups of people in inaccurate and demeaning ways for entertainment as exotic, monolithic, or otherwise fictionalized they encourage us to internalize those ideas, or at the very least to laugh them off.
There are the obvious reasons for this, like the fact that all humans like to eat and to have enough to eat. But underneath it all, it may well be that this agreement stems from the fact that the very earliest narratives we trust and the most basic assumptions we have about humanity come from gardens and food production. Sunday school 101 goes something like this: God made a man. We started in a garden, not for sentimental reasons but because our creator God wanted us to be well-nourished and experience life at its fullest and best. We were tossed out because we chose malnutrition over nutrition. As a curse, the creator God told the man that nourishing himself with food for a full life would be much tougher in a regular garden. Soon his sons are fighting and killing over food/god issues, and so began a long saga that continues today… a God who loves to feed us, and a malnourished world. That’s the “god” version as I know it, as Christian and Muslim and Jewish traditions have handed down through the years. It sounds like an absurd story, a fairy tale in these modern times. It can sound ridiculous and uneducated in fact, until you listen to the “educated” version.
The organizers collected discarded fruits and vegetables from a market, blasted some disco music and made a huge pot of soup. Two months later, a group in France threw a disco soup party and attracted 100 people. More parties followed, in Australia, South Korea, Ireland and beyond. You can check out an earnest little video of another French disco food event here: The idea eventually caught the attention of Tristram Stuart , a British food waste activist and writer who started Feeding the 5000, a campaign named for an event held in London in 2009 and 2011, where 5,000 members of the public were given a free lunch made with perfectly edible ingredients bound for the rubbish bin. Stuart is adamant that consumers and businesses in the developed world have a moral obligation to reverse “the global scandal” of food waste. In addition to throwing events to cook up blemished but edible produce, his campaign is working to change European Union legislation on feeding food waste to pigs through the Pig Idea project. Wasted Food Around The World Takes Heavy Toll On Environment For World Food Day, Feeding the 5000 is hosting a “flagship” disco soup party in Brussels. And the group says more pots full of disco soup will be bubbling away today in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Greece and Macedonia. The event hub is the Disco Anti Food Waste Day Facebook page. And what if you don’t like disco? Can you still have a disco soup event? “We play anything that gets people dancing as they peel and chop the vegetables and fruit,” Dominika Jarosz, event coordinator for Feeding the 5000, tells The Salt in an email. While there are no disco soup events scheduled for Oct. 16 in the U.S., Feeding the 5000 says disco soup is starting to get traction here. The first U.S.
A World Food Day for All World Views
Even among the 28 percent of fast-food workers who were on the job 40 hours a week, the report said, more than half relied on the federal safety net to get by. These statistics paint a picture of workers not being able to get their fair share of the largest, richest economy in the world, said Sylvia A. Allegretto, lead author of the report by the university economists, which was paid for by Fast Food Forward, a group that supports walkouts by fast-food workers. It is a good thing that we have these work supports, but they should be a last resort. Those workers are left to rely on the public safety net even though the nations seven largest publicly traded fast-food companies netted a combined $7.4billion in profits last year, while paying out $53million in salaries to their top executives and distributing $7.7billion to shareholders, according to the second report, by the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group. Fast-food industry representatives disputed the findings. Their restaurants offer a valuable entry into the workforce for millions of people, they said, including the 40percent who are students. These misleading efforts use a very narrow lens and selective data to attack the industry for their own purposes, and fail to recognize that the majority of lower-wage employees work part-time to supplement a family income, said Scott DeFife, executive vice president of the National Restaurant Association. The inclusion of the earned income tax credit shows just how misleading these efforts are, as it is a tax credit specifically designed for working families, not public assistance, and is used to inflate their numbers. But many others are trying to support households, advocates said. They pointed to the growing activism among fast-food workers, poorly paid employees of federal contractors and other low-wage workers who for the past year have been calling a series of small but growing number of one-day strikes. They are demanding pay raises to $15 an hour and an easier route to forming unions. The job actions are supported by organized labor groups, including the Service Employees International Union and Change to Win, which are lending staff and cash to the effort. The unions aim to increase pressure on lawmakers to raise the $7.25-per-hour federal minium wage while highlighting widening economic inequality. Tionnie Cross, 29, works at a McDonalds in Brooklyn, where she makes $7.35 an hour. Most weeks she is assigned no more than 28 hours, leaving her to rely on food stamps and government-sponsored health care to make ends meet, she said. I have a job, and Im broke, she said.