Podcast Dispatches from Issue 20.4: Adrienne Bitar

For our third series of podcasts produced in collaboration with Meant to Be Eaten on Heritage Radio Network, we sit down (virtually) with authors who contributed to our final issue of 2020, which continues to feature COVID-19 Dispatches, but also original research articles around the themes of “Working with Ingredients”, “Taste and Technology in East Asia”, “Excursions”, and “Dolce”.

For this episode, Editorial Collective member Lisa Haushofer is joined by Adrienne Bitar to discuss her article, “Decoding Miracle Food Cures for COVID-19”, in which she investigates the many “miracle” food cures for COVID-19 that continue to circulate on social media, such as “Israeli lemon baking soda tea” and “Yoruba pepper stew”, both presented as simple recipes for the complex disease that crippled the planet in 2020. While “miracle” cures are nothing new, the changing roles and perceptions of authority, food and new media are arguably more urgently in need of attention at a time when the pandemic is far from over, and consumers ever more desperate for a quick-fix return to “normal”. As Adrienne importantly underscores, while there’s little danger for most in consuming small daily amounts of lemon juice or pepper stew, there is more at stake in following a recommendation to ingest bleach, or in simply believing that lemon juice can be as protective as any scientifically tested and approved recommendation (also typically subject to peer-review before social media dissemination).

Podcast Dispatches from Issue 20.4: Amy Bentley and Stephanie Borkowsky

For our third series of podcasts produced in collaboration with Meant to Be Eaten on Heritage Radio Network, we sit down (virtually) with authors who contributed to our final issue of 2020, which continues to feature COVID-19 Dispatches, but also original research articles around the themes of “Working with Ingredients”, “Taste and Technology in East Asia”, “Excursions”, and “Dolce”.

For this episode, Editorial Collective member Jaclyn Rohel is joined by Amy Bentley and Stephanie Borkowsky is discuss their article “The Food and COVID-19 NYC Archive: Mapping the Pandemic’s Effect on Food in Real Time”, which describes an initiative that grew out of an NYU class and has become an ongoing archival project dedicated to curating and preserving the food experiences and memories of (mostly) New Yorkers in response to the pandemic.

Amy Bentley
Stephanie Borkowsky

Web Exclusives #7: “Not Quarantine Food”

*For our recently published special issue, “Food in the Time of COVID-19”, we received more submissions than we could accommodate in the print version of the issue, so the following article forms part of a series of submissions which will be published as Web Exclusives which speak to the theme of Gastronomica 20.3.

By Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera

May 13, 2020: Los Angeles, California

On April 1, I texted Becca a photo of roasted pasilla chiles stuffed with quinoa, carrot, onion, and Queso Oaxaca.

Figure 1: Stuffed pasilla. Photograph by Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera © 2020

“That doesn’t look like quarantine food!” she responded. Maybe she thought I was foolin’.

“Why not?” I texted back.

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Web Exclusives #6: “The Same”

*For our recently published special issue, “Food in the Time of COVID-19”, we received more submissions than we could accommodate in the print version of the issue, so the following article forms part of a series of submissions which will be published as Web Exclusives which speak to the theme of Gastronomica 20.3.

By Tess Nissen

March 22, 2020: New York, New York

A smile and a wave from me,

A term of endearment from Diana,

A “Hey, how you doin’?” from Ali.

This is how you know you have arrived in East Village Organic (EVO).

Since March 12, things have been different in the store located on First Avenue between Seventh St. and St. Mark’s Place.

“How are you?” 

“How are you holding up?”

“This must be stressful for you…”

“Are you washing your hands?”

And before we were wearing them, “Why aren’t you wearing gloves? Or a mask? You should be wearing gloves or a mask?”

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Web Exclusives #5: “The Day that We Closed Our English Public House”

*For our recently published special issue, “Food in the Time of COVID-19”, we received more submissions than we could accommodate in the print version of the issue, so the following article forms part of a series of submissions which will be published as Web Exclusives which speak to the theme of Gastronomica 20.3.

By Carina Mansey

March 21, 2020: Bedfordshire, England 

It was a Saturday morning, and, as per the usual, I was on route to the pub. After a sobering walk through the sleepy English market town, I reached the pub and entered via the backdoor. “Hello, team!” I said, waving frantically. My greeting was reciprocated and I took a seat. While Paul was attempting to make me a cuppa, I considered the abnormality of the situation.1 The last time front and back of house congregated like this was for the Christmas party, which had, due to the nature of our work, taken place in February. However, today found us in a very different situation. When we were settled, our manager addressed us, and then we began the deep clean.

While polishing table 3, I looked up at my coworkers. “What is Roger going to do for breakfast?” I asked. Something akin to “He will have to learn to cook” was Paul’s response. “I feel sad for him,” I mumbled. Roger came here every morning, other than on Christmas Day—the only day, up until now, that we closed. While scrubbing the remnants of something that I hoped was ketchup off table 9, I noticed Roger staring through our glass doors. My heart sunk as he read the notices tacked to them. Roger would not find anywhere offering a cooked breakfast because the Prime Minister had closed pubs and restaurants yesterday evening. I then thought of all our regular customers. They were not just my livelihood, they were people, and people I was going to miss. 

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