Chef and author Julia Turshen on the politics of food

Gentl and Hyers

Julia Turshen may be a noted author of cookbooks, but her interests span far beyond the kitchen. Turshen recently published a new cookbook that overlaps with an unlikely subject: activism and politics.  The Hudson Valley resident spoke with City & State’s Jon Lentz about the overlap between food and politics.

C&S: You’ll be speaking at City & State’s Politics of Food event on Nov. 16. What does “the politics of food” mean to you?

JT: This year I put out this book called “Feed the Resistance,” which sort of ties together politics and food, and activism and food. What I was planning to really center everything on is the question I’ve been getting the most, which is what does food have to do with politics and why would you mix those two? To me, they’re inseparable, and they’re completely about people. So to talk about that connection as people who both work in politics and food to combine those conversations and to just help everyday people understand that every decision we make about food, which are daily decisions, there are multiple decisions every day, each of those decisions is a political choice – from what we eat to where we buy the ingredients for what we cook to are we cooking, or are we going out to eat, who’s restaurant are we going to, who’s getting the loan to open that restaurant, etc., etc. So to truly understand our power as consumers, and then collectively as communities.

C&S: A description of your book “Feed the Resistance” refers to the millions who marched in January 2017, when President Donald Trump took office. Is food-related activism a recent phenomenon, or does it go back further?

JT: The answer is a little bit of both. It depends who you’re talking about. For many communities, it is generations old. For anyone whose human or civil rights have been compromised, this is nothing new. After the most recent presidential election, there was absolutely a swell in citizens understanding of injustice and how it faces them and many people in their communities. For me, my understanding of my role in the resistance and the fight against injustice became more clear to me after this election.

C&S: Tell me more about the environment aspect of this.

JT: What’s so amazing about food is that it really touches on so many aspects, and the environment is a huge one. When we talk about a movement toward good food, when we talk about food justice, you can’t separate it from being aware of the environment and conscious of it and invested in things we can do to better the environment and turn some things around. They’re totally tied, especially when it comes to agriculture and farming systems and distribution of food and how it’s packaged, who has access to it.

C&S: Any more specific details about the link between food and politics?

JT: One is the connection between food justice and racial justice, which often ties to economic justice, especially when it comes to job opportunities and business opportunities and business loans and that sort of thing. There’s a huge tie between food justice and immigrants’ rights. When we talk about people in the food workforce, for the most part they tend to be immigrants, and that’s a hugely important thing. And so much of what is in my book, and what is important to me, is the way that food can build and sustain a community – even as simple as inviting neighbors over to eat and getting to know your community better. It’s a really accessible way to get involved, whether it’s volunteering at your local food pantry or soup kitchen or meal program. Food offers us so many ways to connect with people and serve our communities and it’s something I just enjoy so much.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.