Throughout my life food has been a tool for empowerment, healing, and communication.
At my worst, I used food to mask deep seeded insecurities about my racial identity and physical appearance. At my best, food is a beautiful way for me to celebrate who I am and build relationships with others.
Part of the struggle that food brought me out of was the lack of social and personal acceptance as an ABC: American Born Chinese. I “straddle the hyphen” as my mother likes to say. Spending half my life in a vibrant Chinese American community and the other half in a predominantly white suburb resulted in never quite feeling at home in my own skin or town.
But food has always been the lifeline to my Chinese American identity. No matter how much someone tries to disqualify my ethnic, racial, or national identity, they can never take away the history and relationship I have with food.
As I begin to claim adulthood, I realize how ordinary my experience is. There are millions of people around the world who share the same struggle with racial and ethnic identity that I do and who have used food to overcome it. But nowhere is there a place to share that struggle, celebrate that relationship to food, and build power and community…until now.
Please enjoy my story.
The Foodways Project