And it’s all about the food.
CivilEats reports that the Peterson Garden Project in Chicago, produced in co-operation with Girl Forward a non-profit focused on helping displaced young women, created a new cooking class series called “The Feasts of Resistance” who’s founder LaManda Joy says that “Food shapes culture and conflict shapes food. Resistance doesn’t only take the form of protests and marches—it’s in the food we share, the stories we tell, the gardens we grow.”
The Chicago-based community garden and cooking school program is asking residents to “explore, cook, and eat iconic dishes from around the world—Burma to Ethiopia, Syria to Haiti, and beyond—that were created or affected by social or political unrest.”
Joy says the program was inspired by WWII Victory Gardens. She explains that they “hope quite simply to help people get a small understanding of the refugee experience through the lens of food—our shared common denominator”. The program’s message is that conflict influences food and always has: that there is power in those untold stories of the past and the new food stories that are being written through the conflicts of today.
She hopes the program will help herneighbors understand the refugee experience in a way everyone can understand (food) so they can take action in our communities. Since everything is better sitting at the dinner table, we thought we’d start there and hope that more action, and understanding, follows.
It's a powerful idea that can be extended to every grocerant and even throughout the store shelves with sampling and sharing the heritage of imported foods…and maybe even in Washington DC’s halls of Congress.