The Sistah Vegan Project

Archive for the category “Food”

Breeze Harper is a Bitch…

Breeze Harper is a Bitch Magazine interviewee, that is! Hey the title made you click :-)

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If you like Bitch Magazine, I just wanted to let you know that I am in the latest Food issue for this month. I have a VERY long interview in the magazine. I talk about Sistah Vegan Project, decolonial food politics, critical whiteness issues, animal compassion and more.

It was a lovely interview with Vera Chang. Her set of questions were one of the best, well-thought out, and critical inquiries into the Sistah Vegan Project that I have ever experienced during an interview. You can go here to check out the latest issue. People can download the digital copy or the paper copy. Also, Bitch Magazine is sold in a lot of stores throughout the USA.

Vegan Pizza Makes Baby Happy

 

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My favorite place to eat pizza is in Fairfax, CA at Good Earth Natural Foods Grocery. With the exception of the Daiya cheese, all their pizza ingredients are organic. I can even get a custom made vegan and gluten-free pizza! The other week, we ordered a mushroom and roasted garlic pizza with Daiya cheese. Yummy! But, I think my 2 year old daughter’s expression really shows how enjoyable it was.

 

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Eva Luna is full and happy, her face freshly cleaned… Thanks Good Earth!

If you’re in the Fairfax, CA area, I highly recommend you check them out, as well as the Fairfax Scoop, my favorite ice cream shoppe offering vegan ice cream and sorbet.

In other Sistah Vegan news, please check out the Sistah Vegan Web Conference happening September 14, 2013, from 10am-6pm PST.

What could make these babies so happy?

What could make my 2 and this 4 year olds so happy!?

Ice cream. Vegan ice cream from Curbside Creamery in Oakland, California. They had a little stand up in Temescal this summer. I became excited to see that they offered non-soy based vegan ice cream. It is based on nuts and it was fantastic! They open up this fall in Oakland. Check it out here: Curbside Creamery

In other news, Sistah Vegan is gearing up for our first annual critical race feminist oriented web conference, “Embodied and Critical Perspectives on Veganism by Black Women and Allies”. It is September 14, 2013. Go here for more details and registration information. 

Vegan Doughnut Burger: Antidote to ‘The Luther’ and ‘The Itis’ from Hella Vegan Eats, Oakland.

Ever watch The Boondocks? Well, here is the healthier vegan version of “The Luther”. LOL. I got it at Hella Vegan Eats. They’re in the East Bay CA area. Kamut beet patty with two toasted donuts. The Donuts were not that sweet at all! Was good! Yummy! And no, I didn’t get “the itis” after eating it.

Vegan Doughnut Burger.

Vegan Doughnut Burger.

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My kids, Sun (4 yrs) and Eva Luna (2 yrs) chomping away on the vegan ice cream pop called paleta.

My kids, Sun (4 yrs) and Eva Luna (2 yrs) chomping away on the vegan ice cream pop called paleta.

Also, check out the Sistah Vegan Web Conference “Embodied and Critical Perspectives on Veganism by Black Women and Allies”, which takes place September 14, 2013.

On Black Folk M.I.A. in National Parks and Yosemite’s Contradictory Food Sourcing

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Breeze Harper and 21 month old daughter, Eva Luna. May 2013.

Hear about my latest adventure at Yosemite and  hear me talk about, once again, Where the hell are all the black folk? 

Oh, and I rant about the contradictory food sourcing of Yosemite National Parking.


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Eva Luna on her hike, taking a break. May 2013.

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Pepsi sponsored ‘beverages’. Oh Yosemite, why do you support such corporations? (sigh)

If you like what you see and want to keep on supporting the Sistah Vegan Project, feel free to donate what you can by clicking below.

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“How do you like Germany so far? I mean, you’re Black”: On [Anti-]Racism and Food Erotica

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Breeze Harper, 2012 New Years Eve at a club in München. Failed afro attempt. Ended looking like a ‘poodle.’ The Afro just wouldn’t stay up. LOL.

On December 30, 2012, I went to one of the few cafes open on Sunday in Germany. The manager tried to speak to me in German, but I failed big time and answered in Spanish. I do this weird thing that when I’m spoken to in German,  I respond in Spanish 50% of the time. Weird, no? Talk to me in Spanish and I will respond in English 50% of the time. Anyway, I digress…

…The manager ended up speaking to me in Spanish and English. After a few minutes of chatting about where I learned Spanish and what I am doing in Germany, he bluntly said, “How do you like Germany so far? I mean, [because] you’re Black.” I replied that I get stared at all the time, but I’m still enjoying myself. He folded his arms and shook his head, “Germany is full of Nazis once you leave the metropolitan [München] area. They are racists.” He shook his head, “I don’t really like it [here in Germany]. I don’t have a problem with anybody, black, white, whatever, but they do.” I have to admit that this is the first time I have encountered someone living in München, during my trip, who  offered to share this particular interpretation of Germany with me. I couldn’t agree with him about Germany being ‘full of Nazis’, as I have only spent most of my time in the metropolitan area. I was wondering how he was even defining the word ‘Nazi’, or was that his way of explaining that he encountered a significant number of white Germans who are ‘xenophobic’?

I told him that I get stared at in the USA all the time, once I leave most cities and enter mostly white areas, so my Germany experience is not a surprise for me. I was unable to read his ethnicity, but he  did not ‘pass’ as white– or, rather, how I have come to define ‘whiteness’, which is in the USA socio-historical context. He had an olive complexion and black hair.

The other day, someone commented on my post about my Tollwood experience, wishing that my in-laws move somewhere in which I would feel ‘at home’ versus a ‘racialized other.’ I appreciated their concern about me not feeling as comfortable or ‘at home’ as I should be in predominantly white spaces, but in my opinion, my in-laws shouldn’t have to move anywhere for me (or anyone else who doesn’t look like the ‘tribe’ of a particular region) to feel ‘at home.’ I would like to see that my in laws ‘stay’ and that Germany’s white collective consciousness continue to ‘move’ more forward, towards a creation of an unconditional love for all people who exist in these [socially constructed] borders of the German nation. Let’s remember: Germany has come a long way since the era of nationalized and institutionalized white supremacist Nazism. The mere fact that I can travel to here, get around the city, and be alive at the end of the day is an indication of a ‘move’ of national consciousness. But I am still really thinking about the cafe manager’s brief conversation with me and his strong use– maybe even inflammatory (?)– of the phrase, “Germany is full of Nazis….” Actually, in tandem with this, I think this about my own homeland: “USA is full of white supremacists who have no problem publicly displaying their enragement about the POTUS being non-white.” Fresh in my mind is the Facebook page that depicts Obama being lynched, with the caption “Rope”, instead of “Hope”with the sentence, “Hang the bastard.”

But, I am hopeful. The other day, while waiting for the S Bahn (subway train) at Rosenheimer platz , I saw an advertisement on one of the many widescreen monitors they have on the subway walls. Portrayed was a ‘brown’ man accidently bumping into someone at a biergarten. He trips and accidently touches the shoulder of a white woman sitting down. The white man across from her becomes very angry and violent that this ‘brown’ man touched her. He grabs the brown man and is about to beat him up. The image freezes and then pans out to show that all of Germany is watching and will NOT tolerate such racialized and violent responses/behaviors to this ‘brown’ man’s sincere mistake. I didn’t know this was going on until the captions were translated for me. Has anyone else seen these ads? I have been trying to search for them on the Internet all morning.

Food Erotica!!!!!

On New Year’s Eve, I visited a shopping center dedicated to edible yumminess. My end goal was the new vegan shoppe called Boonian. Not all the photos below are from Boonian. The first ones are from Boonian. I spoke with the founder and he is from South Dakota, USA. I ended up eating a seitan sandwich and broccoli salad for lunch.

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Sandwich: Seitan yumminess from Boonian.

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And array of vegan wines offered by Boonian….

And wishing these were vegan……

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Tollwood, [Not] Getting Drunk, and More Damn Staring: Sistah Vegan in Europe Part III

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Breeze Harper at Tollwood. December 22, 2012.

Don’t let the picture of me smiling fool you. I’m at Tollwood, the ginormous Christmas Market in München  Germany. I have not had alcohol since 2007, because I am usually pregnant or nursing. And when I did drink, it was once a year on my birthday….

…But here I am, trying to stomach the smell of traditional hot wine drink with spices called Glühwein. The aroma alone was literally making me feel nauseous. Every time I smell it, I quiver with chills. But hey, I’m in the Fatherland, so when in Rome….

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3 German bartenders who cheerfully sold me this “elixir of life!”

Um, this drink does not taste good. I had one cup and I didn’t get drunk. Didn’t even get a buzz…just wanted to vomit. And seriously, don’t take what I say too serious. Once again, remember: You’re talking to someone who hasn’t had a drink since 2007. My concept of ‘drinking’ involves raw kale blended with water and Spirulina. Generally, I’m so sensitive to alcohol that if you said “Nyquil,” I will just pass out drunk….On a slightly different note….

Another “Look, a Negro”! experience!!!

Inside one of the eatery tents, 3 young women stared at me forever and whispered when I passed by. My friend was like, “Wow, that’s weird. Why are they staring at you like that?” He then decided to go back and ask the girls, but they just giggled and pretended to be too shy to respond.

Okay blog followers, next time this happens, I am whipping out my camera and will video record me asking why folk are staring at me. Seriously, we need answers! It’s a mystery I will solve before I head back to Berkeley CA!

“Look, a Negro!” and Vegan Cheese Heaven: Sistah Vegan in Europe Part II

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Okay, when I tasted this cheese, it was from half opened package that was in my mother in law’s refrigerator. It was marked with the label vegan, so I ate it thinking it was vegan.

But it couldn’t be.

It tasted so damn good. Like no other vegan cheese I had ever tasted before.

I was convinced my mother in law had used an old vegan cheese package for her real dairy cheese.

But then I opened a new package of one and tasted it and could not believe it. It was vegan, but it tasted like cow dairy.

Why don’t I have access to this in California. Sorry to you Daiya lovers out there, but Wilmersburger rules! 

On a different, note…. I’m kinda getting sick of being stared at in München these days. Perhaps I am hyper-sensitive (the ‘safe’ term to use when you are a black woman calling out people’s racialized curiosities), but damn. Didn’t yo mama ever teach you not to stare at people! It’s rude and impolite...

…perhaps [white] folk in Germany aren’t taught that? I mean, there is ‘glancing’ at a person that you are curious about for micro second and then there is STARING for 10, 20, 25 seconds. Yea, I got the afro, but that can’t be it. And yea, I’m pushing around my “lighter than me” babies in the stroller and perhaps there is some ‘confusion’ as how it’s possible that these babies could be mine? Just really weird stares that give the vibe of not ‘innocent’ curiosity, but stares that give the energy “you are not one of us, racially or nationally; you seem out of place”. This 9 or 10 year old girl on the train the other day would not stop staring at me FOREVER. I do not remember experiencing this in München when I was here in Summer 2010. I was like, “Yes, I’m a negro!” I am not making this up! (Okay, I am making up the part about telling her, ‘Yes, I’m a negro.’ )

By the way, since it’s hard to read tone here, I am taking these observations lightly. I’m not traumatized, upset and nor is my stay here being ruined by being stared at by grown ass adults and their children. I am attempting to be humorous. Hey, maybe they are like, “Wow, what a drop-dead gorgeous Negro,” instead of the whole Fanonian spin I have given it.

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Plate of vegan cheese during Christmas Eve dinner. A sample has been sent to be analyzed so I can finally accept that I have been duped and that it is real cow dairy cheese…. results will come in next week.

Food Porn or Food Erotica….? Sistah Vegan in Europe Part I

Breeze Harper eating her Vegan Wurst Sandwich from Heart of Joy, coming back from Salzburg, Austria on the train.

Breeze Harper eating her Vegan Wurst Sandwich from Heart of Joy, coming back from Salzburg, Austria on the train.

I have to admit that I am not a fan of the use of ‘porn’ in describing food. But, that is just me. I prefer the word ‘erotica’ instead so….

Today I will be kicking off my Sistah Vegan in Europe series with “Food Erotica” as a way to share my experiences in Europe. Today I share with you Salzburg, Austria.

I am hyperaware of the commodities I saw that obscure the resources and people exploited to make these items possible. For example, so many cocoa products with no indication of how the cocoa was sourced, showered store case displays in Salzburg. I am quite confident that this means that a majority of the cocoa was sourced from child slave labor in West Africa, but the “happy” images of “Holiday cheer” (i.e. hundreds of chocolates Santa Claus items, Xmas trees, ornaments, etc) are strategically used to sell ‘nostalgia’ and ‘pleasure.’ Who wants to see pictures of actual enslaved African Children making ‘our’ holiday cheer and tourist attractions possible!? What a drab! But of course, I know it is a tourist town and myth is what makes a town a successful tourist town. Hence, I can’t be surprised by this and won’t say more…

Oh, and I did end up finding 2 organic cafes with vegan food options. The first was Bio-Burger . I ate a housemade vegan burger and potato chips. The last picture is a vegan apple cake that I ate at Heart of Joy. As a main meal I ended up eating a vegan wurst sandwich (first picture above).

And lastly, saw 4 other black folk there in the entire tourist packed town, but that is not surprising. I did see representations of “blackness” in the city, via a place called Afro Coffee. Apparently Black people are really cool to look at while drinking coffee and eating food from Africa– especially images of Black folk with ‘retro’ fashions from the 1960s with very large afros. Seriously, check it out! I want to know the meaning behind this and would love to do an ethnography of the cafe. But come on, how can you have an Afro Cafe and there ain’t any black people there as patrons! ha ha (well, there weren’t any there at the moment I passed by, so who knows!?). Anyway, seems to be food “from Africa” that was sold there and I really did dig the images of afro wearing Black folk that decorated the place.

Here are the photos of food I took at various shoppes and cafes.

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Bio-Burger's Vegan patty.

Bio-Burger’s Vegan patty.

Vegan organic yumminess.

Vegan organic yumminess from Heart of Joy.

Suck Less: A Snarky New Year’s Resolution

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I have a New Year’s resolution suggestion for vegans of the status quo in the USA:

SUCK LESS.

What does this entail? Well, this has a very long and broad answer, but for the sake of this blog I’m going to try to keep it short and simple:

(1) Please do not approach non-white people as if eating vegetables is a new idea you would like to share with us. Seriously, we really do know what broccoli and tomatoes are. As a matter of fact, it is non-white people you can thank for harvesting most of the produce that comes to you. :-)

(2) Being “discriminated” against because you are vegan is not the SAME- and never will be- as racism. Please do not tell me that you understand racism because the barista at Starbucks decided to put steamed cow dairy milk into your cappuciano instead of the soy milk you requested.

(3) Please refrain from having a tantrum after realizing that the supposed vegan chocolate candy you are eating, was made with sugar using bone-char refinement. It’s hard to take you seriously when you either don’t care or don’t realize that the main ingredient of cocoa was harvested by African slave children in the Ivory Coast and that cane sugar came from indentured Haitians in the Dominican Republic.

(4) Telling me you fight to release animals from cages as priority and have no interest in seeking solidarity against the prison industrial complex, “Because animals can’t chose to be imprisoned, but people can make the choice about being in prison by simply not committing crimes”, leaves me speechless.

(5) And lastly, please stop showing me photos of a starving African child with quotes at the bottom like, “End hunger now: Go vegan” or “She starved because you ate a hamburger: Go vegan.”  Practicing veganism in the USA, as a ‘consumer-citizen’ is contingent upon a world economy that is based on globalized capitalism (i.e. neoliberalism, resource wars, hyperconsumerism of the global North) that make vegan commodities possible… I can’t really say that the hungry children and adults enslaved to harvest vegan cotton in Uzbekistan, vegan cocoa in West Africa, or vegan palm oil in Malaysia would agree that your vegan consumerism has made their bellies more full.

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