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Pieces on Food & Consumption

Foreword:

Sweet. Sour. Salt. Bitter. Umami. The five fundamental tastes. One of the most faceted and unique experiences an individual could have with other people’s cultures— as well as their own— is through food. Given that flavor is 80% aroma and 20% taste, the joys of new or familiar dishes are a multi-sensory journey from instant ramen noodles to slow-cooked curries. However, it can be even more salivating to tuck into the different tastes of conversations, ideas, and opinions that permeate modern consumption. How people make connections with others or alone, contemporary activism, corporate greed, tradition and revision – all of this can be found in five pieces written from and by the Asian perspective with each one corresponding with a specific taste. What will be your favorite flavor? – Hannah Govan


[SWEET]

Mukbang Culture

By Josie Chou


An opinion piece detailing the definition, audience, controversies, and appeal of mukbangs in a digital age of content creation and seeking out comfort in the least likely of places.

 

“For some, mukbang videos elevate hunger and cravings. Others find that there is something incredibly satisfying about the crunch and the gooey textures that seem to melt in their own mouths. And for those eating a meal by themselves, watching mukbangers can make their dining experience livelier. “


[SOUR]

Whole Foods Is a Hoax (And So Is White Activism)

By Isabelle “Billy” Agustin


An opinion piece intrigued by Whole Foods as a key study for the increasing phenomenon of businesses exploiting movements, such as environmental activism, for profit and treating it like a trend rather than a sincere strive for change.

 

“There was a clean aesthetic to [Whole Foods], all Mason jars and vegan diets. Saving the earth has turned trendy, with nature-themed slogans plastered onto T-shirts you can buy at your local Target or Forever 21. The irony astounds me.”


[SALT]

food

By Sarah Mathai


A poem about the magic of cooking in Indian culture, especially for women, and how not being able to participate can be an isolating experience.

 

“I am kicked out the trailer / everytime the kitchen is used. / because I have fire in / my fingers, my mother reasons, / and red hot flames / in brown man's skin / is called terrorism / in a country like / this.”


[BITTER]

Food Apartheid in the Pacific

By Olivia Stark


An opinion piece about the global history of oppression in the Pacific islands' contemporary foods, and why it’s important to learn the historic background of food in modern day.

 

“We have extensively explored the ways in which cultural foods are an expression of love, a tool of communication, and a tie back to our roots. So, what do you think happens when these foods are actively erased by an oppressive power?”


[UMAMI]

I tried Hoisin Duck wraps from (almost) every UK supermarket

By Hannah Govan


An opinion piece exploring British supermarket’s fascination for the Meal Deal hoisin duck wrap, the components and history behind ‘hoisin duck’, and why these supermarkets cherry-pick Asian flavors despite the minimal shelving dedicated to Asian foods and businesses.

 

“If I were to sample (almost) all hoisin duck varieties in supermarkets, which one is the top bird? What are supermarkets inspired by and possibly aiming for? In other words, I wanted to know how low the bar has been set. Based on historic tradition in contrast to modern practice, how far has the bar sunken - modestly or devastatingly?”





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