If you’re wondering why things have been so quiet round these parts, worry not! I’ve had my hands full offline with all sorts of exciting [and one particularly life changing] events, which has required me to take a little brain break from my online activism. Luckily, my whereabouts have been well documented.
Back in September [YIPES! It really has been a long time] I had the privilege of sharing a stage with some pretty neat food folks at Seattle Public Library’s “Food Justice, Food Education, and Food Literacy” panel discussion. Co-hosted and moderated by Readers to Eaters‘ Philip Lee, we spent the hour chatting about increasing access to the many different facets of food. It was a particular pleasure to share space with the magical black chefs, Tarik Abdullah and Eduardo Jordan. If you missed the panel discussion, give the podcast recording a listen. The first six minutes, where keynote speaker Chef Jordan of Salare speaks to his southern black roots in food and how he’s reclaiming power through cooking, are especially inspiring. You’ll also find my voice peppered in there as I talk about the importance of acknowledging how race, gender, and class shape our relationships with food.
If podcasting isn’t your cup tea, but you’re curious how I spend my days at work, check out the latest issue of UW’s alumni magazine Viewpoints. Their article, “Digging the Danny Woo” [see page 5-7]. highlights my work as the Manager of the Danny Woo Community Garden, Chinatown/International District’s largest greenspace that’s served as an organic garden for Asian and Pacific Islander elders for over 40 years.
Last, but certainly not least, my hands [and boobs] have been tied as I welcomed my darling baby to the world in October! Motherhood has been the most rewarding and challenging experience of my life and exclusively breastfeeding has opened up a whole new dimension to food justice that I am excited to explore and document. If you’re eager to dive a little deeper into the wonders of breastmilk, check out my girl Angela Garbes’ piece in The Stranger [which, ahem, is the most read article in the history of the newspaper].
With 2016 winding down and as I still get my bearings as a new parent, I’m not quite ready to jump back into my work with The Foodways Project, but my love and commitment to this struggle is still alive and well. My 2017 resolutions include capturing more stories of local food heroes, building out the team of contributors, and hosting more in-person gatherings for folks to connect offline. Until then, I wish you all a safe, healthy, and nourishing December.
Mei Yook, Founder