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« Slow Food Nation & Where I'll Be. | Main | Slow Food Nation. Volunteering at Slow On The Go with Scott Peacock and Heritage Foods. »

29 August 2008

Comments

Shuna,

As always, you wrote a thoughtful and important piece that goes much deeper than the usual response to questions about our complicated, far from perfect world. Thank you so much for tackling this in such a fair and, yes, challenging way.

I hear what you're saying about trying to engage and educate those who exclude or misunderstand you. But as someone who has worked in restaurants, magazines, newspapers and -- yes -- nonprofit org's dedicated to sustainable food, I am worn down and cynical about well-meaning yet completely clueless people.

I have truly tried to be an agent of constructive, positive change -- in my writing, in my cooking, in my nonprofit work, in my professional memberships, in my volunteer and pro bono work, and as a director on various nonprofit boards.

Girl, I'm tired.

I'm frustrated with being expected to do the heavy lifting rather than simply sit back to savor some multicultural learning and good food. During those rare occasions when I'm surrounding by people who actually understand my experiences, I physically relax and am happy not to EXPLAIN and EDUCATE and ORGANIZE for the benefit of others.

Recently, at the end of an especially long period trying to help three different organizations in SF become more "diverse" I made the mistake of swearing off food events where I felt significantly under-represented. I defined that generously as less than 30 percent women, less than 10 percent people of color. (Don't even get me started on how I tried to account for affluence.)

I did almost nothing for six months and then realized, sadly, that I was destined to carry around that mantle of educating others forever.

Personally, I'm taking a vacation this weekend to get away from all of that awareness raising.

Shuna,
I am a recent convert to your site, and again your have produced an extremely thoughful and inspiring piece on a vital topic.

Viewing all this from a piece of land that is in the process of becoming a bio-dynamic market farm on the other side of the world (or Pacific Ocean to be precise - on Australia's eastern coast) is great, and I'm really keen to connect with any like minded chefs in Australia.

And although we've only been at this project for a year, I can relate to what you and Thy are saying.

I'll leave you with this -
'Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.'

Cheers

I'm going to do some Slow-Food inspired eating right here in New York this weekend. Thanks, Shuna!

Thanks for your point of view and your open mind, refreshing, as always. As for me, I'm happy to say I'm having a ball at Slow Food Nation, eating good food, discovering new producers, hearing inspiring speakers and photographing all the glorious colors.

My good friends, the Massa's will be there this weekend. Go by and say Hello for me! Massa's Organic Rice...

(we met, briefly at Blogher- you admired my sister on ichat... ;0)

me trying to be radical and infectious along with the best of them!

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