Racial Imperialism and Food Traditions

In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 333-344 (2018)
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This chapter draws questions of race into food ethics. Appropriating a conception of race articulated by Alain Locke (1885‒1954), it is suggested that racial imperialism and the attending drive to claim proprietary ownership of racialized cultural products is responsible for much of the intercultural strife and race-based injustice in the modern world. Foods and foodways, understood as cultural products, are then discussed against the backdrop of racial partisanship in the exchange and consumption of foods and cuisine. Notions of authenticity and cultural appropriation are discussed in this light. It is argued that there is a place for race in the discussion of food ethics and that racial imperialism and racial partisanship in the exchange and consumption of foods should be repudiated.



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Lee A. McBride III
College of Wooster

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