From the racial defamation and mocking tone of “Mexican” restaurants geared toward the Anglo customer to the high-end Latin-inspired eateries with Anglo chefs who give the impression that the food was something unattended or poorly handled that they “discovered” or “rescued” from actual Latinos, the dilemma of how to make ethical choices in food production and consumption is always as close as the kitchen recipe, coffee pot, or table grape. By interrogating the social inequalities of U.S. and mestizo food chains through the lens of cultural analysis, my work attempts to discern the difference between the fight for ethical eating and the fads and fanfare around products and services that obstruct the pathway to more equitable, healthful and sustainable options.
Paloma Martinez-Cruz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Latinx and Latin American Cultural Studies at The Ohio State University, is the author of Food Fight! Millennial Mestizaje Meets the Culinary Marketplace (University of Arizona Press, 2019), Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica: From East L.A. to Anahuac (University of Arizona Press, 2011) and is the editor of a new performance pedagogy book with Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Saúl García-López titled A Handbook for the Rebel Artist in a Post-Democratic Society (Routledge, forthcoming). She directs and hosts Onda Latina Ohio, a Latina arts initiative showcasing Latinx arts practices and prioritizes radical safety through performance pedagogies and artivist interventions.
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