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Why Are People of Color Left Out of the American Food Story?

Michael Twitty on the politics behind what you eat

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This is Eating Out Loud, where Jessica Valenti talks with leading activists about the intersection between politics and food. In this episode, she and food historian Michael Twitty discuss the importance of knowing the history of the food we eat.

Michael Twitty is fascinating. He has taken his love of cooking and its history and made it a lifelong project. His book, The Cooking Gene, tells the often erased story of African-American cooking and how we can’t separate who we are from what we eat.

I had the chance to meet Twitty in Colonial Williamsburg, where he works as a historical interpreter (not a re-enactor — you’ll learn why the difference matters). We ate, we talked about family and race, what we owe one another and how we can use food to bridge the divides that separate us.

Producers: Pelin Keskin and Mariya Pylayev
Special thanks to Shields Tavern in Williamsburg, VA