Wednesday, February 19, 2014

searching for authentic ethnic food

I saw this comic and shouted "yes yes yes!" at the screen.

Shing Yin Khor does a beautiful job of walking the reader through her character's experience of her foodways and how other people view them. She gently and then strongly forces the other character searching for the ability to label something authentic (and the reader), to acknowledge what that means and what it erases.

Her work toes the line of showing and telling. Khor does this with grace, weaving in stories of what people perceive her to eat, want her to eat, and what she does it, and then hits you with strong declarations:

"We're a people, not a cuisine.

Do not deny us our own diversity".

I could gush on how this should be mandatory reading in every food studies, anthropology, and sociology class, and how it every "food blogger" should have to meaningfully engage with the piece and never use the words "ethnic cuisine" again... but just go read it. I promise we can have as hearty a discussion as you like in the comments section.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

gluten free alcohol - new rules

I tried Omission beer and really fell in love with it. Heck it is a gluten-removed beer, so real beer. The problem was, shortly after I was polishing a post about it, I read that the ELISA tests that Omission uses is not sensitive to be less than 20ppm accurate. I decided hold off on blogging and to email Omission directly about their testing policies. One of their reps said they would look into it and get back to me. Well that was in March of 2013... I am still waiting.

So I have chosen not to drink Omission, or Dura, or any of the other gluten-removed beers. It doesn't seem worth the risk, especially with all of the confusion. (Most of the confusion is because in the U.S. alcohol does not have to be labeled the way food does; it is actually a separate governmental agency Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, that deals with labeling, not the FDA.)

Today ATT released a revised policy on gluten in alcoholic beverages and spirits. This is huge because there are now rules about what alcoholic beverages can (and can't) be labeled gluten-free. The gluten-removed beers, they cannot use the term. I hope this helps everyone, but especially the newly diagnosed, better navigate the world of beverages.

Thanks to Gluten Free Fun for sharing the news.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

This is last time I want to ever see the word "glutard"

Hey humans stop using the word "glutard". It is offensive, crude, and inappropriate.

Still not convinced...
"Glutard" is a co-opting of language. It is glutenizing of the word retard.

The word "retard" or "retarded" has been used to systematically take away the rights, power, agency, and humanity from those with different physical appearances and different perceived capabilities. It is used to exclude people. It is used to hurt people as a synonym for "stupid".

"Glutard" is also incredibly reductionist. I am more than my ability to have an autoimmune reaction to gluten. I am not saying we shouldn't discuss important health issues, we should keep doing this, but there is nothing to be gained by invoking hate speech + gluten.

There are plenty of words to describe not being able to eat gluten without invoking terms that ableist and cruel. Let's prevent this term from "catching on". Let's stop using this word forever.