“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” Now might be a good time to remember that those lines, first made famous by Ecclesiastes and later by Pete Seeger, are mostly about food.
We are entering a long winter in this country and though these things have come to pass, not to stay, for those of us who eat and who care, the question we might ask ourselves is whether this love and passion we have for food can be bent toward protest in the meantime. Or should restaurants and recipes, like Broadway shows at least according to our newly inaugurated President, remain apolitical, sweet pleasure for the picking. One need only to open one’s eyes to see that food, of course, is as powerful an avenue for protest as the National Mall or the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
- How to Take a Post-election Vacation Like Hillary Clinton
- After Election Day, Why Travel Is More Important Than Ever
- Can Food Sales Predict the Election?
What we eat, who gets to eat what, who eats and where they eat it have long been some of the most bloodily contested topics in this country. One of the sparks that set the Civil Rights movement aflame took place at a lunch counter, when four black students in Greensboro, North Carolina, demanded service at Woolworth’s on February 1st, 1960. And let’s not forget that it was cakes and pies baked by Georgia Gilmore’s Club from Nowhere and sold to the sympathetic or just plain hungry in Montgomery, AL that paid for the gas that made the bus boycott feasible. (John T. Edge is in fine form here on the topic.) Food as protest isn’t just throwing tomatoes but harnessing the power food has on our daily lives to bring about change.