Just the words “apple pie” have me craving it… but according to Raj Patel of The Guardian, apple pie is evil, and we shouldn’t be eating because of something called “food injustice.”
If you’re already scratching your head as you look for ingredients to make a pie crust, you’re not alone. But according to Patel, apple pie has “deep roots” in colonialism and slavery. And from the way he starts his diatribe, apple pie is clearly not as American as it is made out to be. Patel starts by suggesting that apple pie, despite being iconic in America, is actually the product of cultural appropriation.
Patel argues that apple pie is a variant of an English pumpkin recipe, and that apples as we know them today didn’t originate in America. “Apples were first domesticated in central Asia, making the journey along the Silk Road to the Mediterranean four thousand years ago. Apples traveled to the western hemisphere with Spanish colonists in the 1500s in what used to be called the Columbian Exchange, but is now better understood as a vast and ongoing genocide of Indigenous people.”
Oh, and guess what? Sugar isn’t “uniquely American,” either. “Sugar cane was first brought to the US by Jesuits in 1751, but most US sugar remained an import until the Haitian revolution. When enslaved workers seized the French colony in 1791, European capitalists sought new sugar cane fields and workers. French merchants of sugar and slavery landed in Louisiana in the late 1700s.”
So, if you’re Raj Patel, you can’t bite into a slice of apple pie without tasting slavery and the genocide of indigenous people.
Apple pie is certainly not the only food Patel is triggered by. “Scratch the surface of a bar of chocolate, a tuna sandwich, or even a chicken nugget, and you find the horrors of international trade: violence, exploitation, poverty and profit.”
But the apple pie, Patel says, “is as American as stolen land, wealth and labour.”
What must it be like to be so desperate to find evil in everything? How is it possible to enjoy life when you’re willing to suck the joy out of something as delectable and innocent as a slice of apple pie?
Who really wants to go through life looking at the ingredients of everything you eat in order to make sure everything is sufficiently woke?
There’s a reason why conservatives are happier than liberals.