The Sistah Vegan Project

Archive for the category “Food”

Finally, a FAIR TRADE Vegan Butter that is ORGANIC and More SUSTAINABLY SOURCED!

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A lot of vegans I know use Earth Balance for their vegan butter. I stopped using Earth Balance awhile ago, after I wrote my dissertation and discovered that, at least for me, they are not as ‘ethical’ as they market themselves to be. The sourcing of their coconut and palm oil was not transparent. I did not know if the human laborers harvesting their ingredients were being treated fairly (actually, I don’t like the word ‘fairly’ so much. I like the words ‘mindfully’, ‘lovingly’ ,and ‘compassionately’ when describing the conditions in which human beings should be entitled to work/exist within.)

At the market, I saw that the company Nutiva is offering a vegan butter spread that is  organic, more sustainably sourced, and “Fair For Life” certified. I have been enjoying Nutiva’s products for years, as they offer healthy, organic, vegan and sustainably sourced items for quite a while. Their hemp products have been consumed by my family, for years. I have blogged about how I grew all my babies on Nutiva brands of hempseed oil, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. I found this new buttery product by Nutiva to be quite good and not nearly as salty as Earth Balance  ( I personally do not like salty butter spreads). I’m also grateful to see that the packaging is non-BPA (however, people are so focused on BPA-free I am wondering about other potentially harmful chemicals in packaging that not only effect the consumer, but also those who must make it in factories and the environment it usually ends up polluting). I’m just hoping that eventually these containers can be compostable. One of my biggest gripes about vegan products that tout themselves to be ‘so ethical’, is that the packaging is obnoxiously wasteful. I know a lot of resources are used to even make compostable packaging, however, I’d argue that this is far less cruel to the environment than the current packaging options used by many companies making food products, vegan or not.

(But, this post isn’t really directly about Nutiva’s buttery spreads, is it Breeze?)

It is safe to say that many of us privileged vegan consumers need to understand that MOSTLY everything we eat( unless otherwise noted via fair labor/trade practices) is mostly likely sourced via CRUEL methods. Yes, a non-human animal may not have been directly harmed in many our favorite snacks, drinks, meals, etc., but what about the human animals? There has been a lot of focus on fair trade and organic cocoa and coffee for years, but one must understand that this is just the tip of the iceberg. We live in a globalized capitalist world economy. By default, capitalism = exploitation of non-human animals, human animals, and what human beings (at least here in the global North) call natural resources (i.e. water, land, minerals, etc). I get a lot of people arguing with me about my definition of capitalism = exploitation as being just plain pessimistic. For the record, I draw my understanding and definitions from Henri Lefebvre, Neil Smith and Angela Davis to name a few; critical thinkers who have written and researched extensively about how capitalism is the anti-thesis of cruelty-free. Capitalism CANNOT exist without exploitation and abuse. Hence, if you are buying vegan certified products, because they are within the globalized system of capitalist economies/commodity chains, there is a very small chance that they are actually ‘cruelty-free’ beyond ‘no non-human animal was directly killed for this product to be in existence.’ I talk about this in my blog post from a few months ago, in which I critique a pro-vegan meme that suggests strawberry harvesting and ‘cruelty-free’ in comparison to watching videos of slaughterhouse animals.

Anyway, I just wanted to leave you with a few of the things that were going through my head while testing this new Nutiva product out. I really have no answers about how to create cruelty-free products that really encompass my definition of ‘fair’.  I perhaps am pessimistic, but it would seem that is is capitalism that is the problem. Even with ‘green capitalism’, it is unclear to me that that is ‘fair’, as there are many communities that are forced to sell their resources even under ‘fair’ and ‘green’ practices when they’d rather just not be part of any economy based on capitalist logic; however, because it may mean poverty or not, many of these communities must become part of ‘green capitalism’ in order to survive versus just doing their own thing outside of capitalist logic.

I would love to hear what people think about this. I know comments may already be heavily biased towards the consumer-privileged end, as it’s rare that I have any posting as the person who harvests vegan resources (because I’d imagine that would be a completely differently embodied knowledge about the commodity chain that is not romanticized through the eyes of neoliberal capitalism).

Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout out to Nutiva brands anyway. They may not be perfect, but I think so far, they are a better example of ethically sourced and produce vegan products. But, unless you are the person working on that plantation in which these ingredients are sourced, you will never know how cruelty-free and ‘fair’ it is. And I think that is what a lot of people on the ‘privileged’ end of vegan consumerism need to ALWAYS REMEMBER. Just because a company’s label claims it is ‘fair’ or ‘cruelty-free’, doesn’t mean you should accept it without thinking more deeply about it. I know I probably won’t be buying this product again, but wanted to check it out and let people know about it. I use local sourced olive oil for our family’s ‘buttery’ needs. What is the likelihood that people working on these plantations have access to using social media to constantly tweet and Facebook about the conditions in which they work and live? Thus far, all the ‘information’ I receive about new ‘ethical’ products come from the consumer/company end and not the end of the actual people harvesting and living there. I do not want to imply that Nutiva is dishonest– I just wanted to put it out there that you just don’t know if you aren’t there where the resources come from.

(IF YOU SEE ANY TYPOS IN THIS POST, FEEL FREE TO POINT THEM OUT. MY COMPUTER SCREEN IS BROKEN. I NEED TO SEE THROUGH PINK AND PURPLES LINES IN ORDER TO TYPE. ) 

 

Foraging in my neighborhood: is it a privilege?

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I like to forage while I walk from home to get the kids from nursery school. I push them back up the hill in our double stroller and it takes 80-90 minutes. On the way, we eat herbs and fruit that grow every where. Plums, Meyer lemons, figs, blackberries, rosemary, and lemon verbena to name a few.

Yesterday I passed by a beautiful bush with clear purple berries. See photo above. Do you know what it is?

Is foraging a privilege or not? I feel like it is for me, for the most part. I live in North Berkeley. Most people who have a house here can afford a little land and have it landscaped professionally. For the renters of apartments and homes, the landlords do the same to the land. They have edible plants planted, but it seems more aesthetic than to eat for these residents. Why do I think this? The fruit usually ends up falling to the ground and rotting. So, this waste bothers me, so I try collect as much as I can, while walking down the sidewalk. If it’s on an apartment building complex, I do the same. I make sure that I’m picking from plants in which it is obvious no one cares to use or harvest it. If residents don’t want passerbys forage, they post signs stating that and I respect those wishes. At the same time, I try to be careful of how I forage and where. I know many may not want to hear this, but as a visibly Black person, I try to make sure when it is appropriate to forage. My area doesn’t have many Black folk and I worry that I may be read as ‘stealing’ or ‘trespassing’ when I forage, vs. when, say, white looking people do. I am acutely aware that whenever someone is arrested in the area for home break ins, I see the cops arresting a Black person 90% of the time. Again, I wonder what this does to the perception of the non Black residents who live there. Just some food for thought…

I also think about whether or not there is a connection to rises or declines in urban foraging to gentrification happening in the SF Bay area. Anyone have a take on that?

Also, do you forage? If so, why or why not? Like how I write? Wanna support more? Check out my 3rd book project about Black male vegan heroes: gofundme

 

 

Pineapple Mint Sorbetto: What is Your Favorite Vegan Ice Cream or Sorbet Place in East Bay/SF Bay California?

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This morning we went to Almare Gelato in downtown Berkeley, CA on Shattuck Ave. They have freshly made gelato and sorbetto every day using natural ingredients. Today Luna (above in the photo, 2.5 years old), Kira (5 months), and Sun (5 years) had Pineapple Mint sorbetto and it was fantastic. They also had kiwi as well as strawberry sorbetto, but our favorite was the pineapple mint combination. There were even fresh mint leaves in the sorbetto, not the fake crap.

Almare Gelato’s sorbetto flavors are very rich and creamy. I have never experienced such creamy soft sorbetto in the USA. We had this type of sorbetto when we were in Italy (of course), so I’m pleasantly surprised that we have

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access to similar experiences here in the East Bay area of California.

Do you live in the SF Bay/East Bay area? If so, what are your favorite vegan frozen dessert places?

Happy Kale Kids: How My Preschoolers Enjoy Their Greens

Luna and Sun devour kale in every form. Today they devoured a bag of Alive and Radiant Foods Quite Cheezy kale flavored snacks. Raw, organic, and yummy snacks at the playground. They were on sale for $3.50 as opposed to $6. I usually like making my own kale chips because of such high cost, but today I treated them. I recommend trying this on finicky little eaters.

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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.

Clif Bar, does your cocoa come from enslaved children?

About 1.7 million children are victims of slavery in West Africa’s chocolate
industry. Please sign the petition asking Clif Bar to disclose where they
get their cocoa beans
change.org/petitions/clif-bar-raise-the-bar-on-child-slavery

Revolution Foods & Feeding Children Organic…But what about the horrible packaging?

 

This is a product review for Revolution Foods. Love the idea that there is a company out there promoting healthier foods in school. Love that they are right here in the bay California area. However, click on the video to hear how and why the packaging gets me thinking about environmental injustices and who is negatively affected by such ‘throw away’ packaging.

No More Auction Block For Me: On The Dangers of Colonized Minds in Capitalist Society

Cee Knowledge of Digable Planets, Sistah Vegan, DJ Cavem Moetavation at Brown Suga Festival in Denver on April 28 2012. Keynote speaker: A. Breeze Harper (aka Sistah Vegan)

Video recording of Breeze Harper’s April 28 2012 keynote address for the Brown Suga Youth Festival in Denver, Colorado. ATTENTION: THERE ARE 3 PARTS. SCROLL DOWN FOR PARTS II & III.

Part I (47 minutes)

This is the keynote lecture I gave for the April 28 2012 Denver, Colorado “Brown Suga Youth Festival”.  I talk about solidarity, decolonizing our minds, being aware of the dangers of capitalism on our minds, veganism, non-human animals suffering, food justice, and health activism. The first 9 minutes are introductions from the husband wife duo Naembe and Ietef, who put the festival together. I start speaking about 9 minutes into the video. There are 3 parts to this. The last is the q & a.

Part II (12 minutes)

Part III (The Question and Answer section: 11 minutes)

I want you to notice that Ietef and Naembe are both carrying babies. This event was something I could attend because they support folk with very young children. Naembe is carrying my infant daughter and Ietef is carrying their infant daughter as well. They made it possible to bring out my whole family, which is important for us because I nurse on demand. It is a true display of honoring “nursing on demand” as a food justice issues.  I thank them for that. I also thank Ashara, Ietef’s mother, who introduces me. I thank her for her spirit and for birthing such a wonderful man who is pro-vegan and pro-green, and just an overall awesome human spirit.The talk is more like a “songversation” . I sing and have a conversation directed towards youth, about the top 5 things I wish someone had told me when I was a youth. I wanted more help to decolonize my mind in regards to food and health, while trying to understand how capitalism has affected all of our minds, here in the USA.

I am inspired by Angela Davis’s Social Justice Teach-in Keynote speech that she gave in February 2012, at the University of California, Davis.

This Brown Suga Youth Festival was awesome. All about hip hop culture fuse with teaching youths about wellness, health, food!! It was pro-vegan and we had poetry slam, a panel discussion, break dance lessons, free vegan food samples (Thanks Lisa Shapiro), awesome art work, and a lot of youths! It was the 9th year of this festival.

Sistah Vegan Product Review: Seasnax, great for toddlers!

In this short video I review the vegan and non-gmo product, Seasnax.


You can purchase it here:

amazon.com/​gp/​product/​B004WZ4EIS/​ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=sistvegawebs-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=B004WZ4EIS

And more about NON GMO project:
nongmoproject.org/​

 

 

Sistah Vegan and “Old McDonald Had a Farm [Sanctuary]”

In this video I talk about my experience at the recent 2011 San Francisco world Veg Festival, Food Empowerment Project , my ideas about a vegan friendly nursery rhyme, updates about my funding for my dissertation , and other stuff going on in my life.

Food Empowerment Project: http://foodispower.org/

The video above talks about my funding project in brief, updating you on my campaign to get enough money to finish my dissertation: Below is the video that I recorded this past summer that talks more about this.

 

 

 

 

 

Why vegan activism can’t be ‘race-neutral': Afua’s race conscious veganism

I speak about how Queen Afua has a black female racialized-sexualized consciousness around veganism. She is “race-conscious” and I speak about how the top 100 selling vegan diet books  on Amazon.com don’t engage in a ‘race-conscious’ approach to veganism, but a ‘post-racial’ non-classed conscious approach. Yet this lack of racial consciousness and class consciousness IMPLIES that it’s for ‘normal’ population. Read ‘normal’ as default white middle class

I also break down the first 40 pages of Afua’s book, “City of Wellness” and analyze it as part of my dissertation work, which looks at revolutionary black female vegan activists who are ‘race-conscious’ with their activism.
The City of Wellness: Restoring Your Health Through the Seven Kitchens of Consciousness


Race, Constructing the Nation, and Some Food For Thought

I am currently reading the book Constructing the Nation: A Race and Nationalism Reader by Ortega and Alcoff. It just came out. It’s a book of critical essays on understanding race and nation, post-9/11.

Below I have an MP3 podcast of me talking about the book and how it relates to food and my food studies research endeavors. I speak about how my parents expressed worry about me because I wanted to expose the harm that corporate capitalist driven food industry does to the people in the USA. Click on this link to listen to the 7 minute long audio of me talking about this: Constructing the Nation

Breeze’s Munich Adventures at the Dinner Table or “Spirulina is gross, wash it down with a beer!”

Sun and I on our way to find gresh ginger and kale

Anyway, I’m in Germany for part of the spring and summer. My mother in law is funny and I just had to share this next story. She knows I’m practicing veganism but I guess she doesn’t quite understand it. She ordered my Sistah Vegan book the other day and was thrilled about it. To prepare for my arrival, she bought some vegan cookies and desserts, some soy milk, etc. This morning, however, she arrived from the grocery store and proudly gave me 2 containers of yogurt and said, “Breeze, I bought them for you.”  It said “lactose free” (In German) and I thought it was maybe non-dairy yogurt like soy or rice or coconut. But then I saw that it’s simply lactose free cow dairy yogurt. I’m guessing for her “lactose free” is comparable to ‘vegan’?

Also, Sun, myself and my father and mother in law had breakfast yesterday. Sun and I had avocado and spirulina. They had cheese, ham, eggs, and bread. My mother in law asked, “Can Sun have egg, or is he too young for it?” She meant, in terms of digestion can a 13 month old have eggs yet. Yet, the other day, she bought him vegan children’s cookies and said to me, “There is no egg or milk in it!”. I’m not sure how to better convey to them that I’m trying to raise him on a vegan diet. I think she may think that vegan means no egg and nor milk.

Anyone else have cute stories like these with family members truly trying to help with your vegan diet but still don’t fully understand what ‘vegan’ means?

Oliver’s (my husband) friend and husband and their 2 kids visited us for dinner today. I fed Sun (my 13 month old) a combination of 1 tbsp of Spirulina, coconut, and mango. It was very green and they were wondering what I was feeding this kid. Oliver told them, “Spirulina. Wanna try! ?” He rushes to the kitchen and comes back with two glasses mixed with water and Spriulina. He gives it to the husband and wife and their son. The little son, who is 5 , takes a sip and absolutely hates it. His father gives him his BEER to wash the taste out of his mouth. LOL. Anyway, they thought it was awful and didn’t understand why Sun was enjoying it and saying , “Yum yum. ” I tried to explain that this is how he gets his vitamins (I don’t buy vitamin pills for him), in combination with other green and colorful foods I eat and he gets in my breastmilk. They seemed grossed out by it.

Isn’t it interesting how one can get used to just about anything? Sun’s palate is used to green raw foods from the get go. It’s all he’s ever known. The little boy who drank part of his father’s beer seemed to like the taste of that OVER Spirulina.

My husbands uncle made us gluten free vegan bake desserts yesterday at his family’s home. Check it out. We took pictures. The desserts were fantastic!

Vegan falafel, Dancing Sun: Chick O Peas Cafe (Berkeley, CA)

Today, my 10 month old son Sun and I went to the new vegetarian place in Berkeley, CA called Chick O Peas http://chickopeas.com/. It’s an organic falafel place with french fries, soups, and fresh salads. I had the falafel in a lavash wrap today and it was  fantastic. Sun enjoyed himself immensely, eating and dancing to the music in his high chair. See movie below:

They also have wifi internet connection and outdoor seating. Best of all, the make vegan baklava! Check them out!

Vegan Valentine Chocolate Idea: Coracao Confections


I went to the Berkeley Farmer’s Market yesterday. For you chocolate lovers, I ‘d recommend http://www.coracaoconfections.com/theingredients.html . They had a new stand there. They are right down the street from me in Emeryville, CA. They had the best raw chocolate fudge I’ve ever tasted. They also had a vegan caramel covered in chocolate .The caramel was made from yacon and it was fantastic.

Caramel Chocolates

(pic source: http://nsxwv.uyjyb.servertrust.com/PhotoGallery.asp?ProductCode=P%2DCM1)

All their ingredients are vegan and organic. I had a coconut cashew yacon blondie dipped in chocolate. It was fantastic!  I thought this would be a great idea to let people know about this– especially if they are looking for Valentine’s day treats that are organic, vegan, and a small business.

hugs
Breeze

No Alligator for Me, Thanks.

I visited with my mother today.

When I arrived, she and a neighbor were sitting on the stoop.

At some point, the conversation went into Chinese people eating cats and dogs, and other cultures eating alligator and monkey; this repulsed the two of them.

They had chicken for dinner.

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