Saturday night- I had no plans but to make sweet potato breads. Distracted from my dough, I scrolled through headlines. Bold prints that were not meant to be served as an amuse-bouche. I tallied how many times I had to turn away from the news: the muslim ban, DACA, women’s fertility, our HIV/AIDs committee, Puerto Rico, Jerusalem, and so on. And if that wasn’t nausea inducing enough, our food system would take major steps back as well.
I went meat free in the late spring of 2004. After a few attempts to cut meat out of my diet, I finally succeeded when a piece of steak lodged itself into my esophagus. I took my father’s heimlich as a sign from the creator. Being from the south, going vegetarian was radical; therefore, I didn’t have much guidance as to how I should cook for myself. I buried myself in vegan and vegetarian literature and begun to truly understand the corruption that seeps into our FDA and EPA: Monsanto, misguided nutrition, stolen land, tax subsidies, and so much more.
As a mixed queer individual, I feel it is my responsibility to spread the message of progressive food initiatives all around our communities, and to those that are marginalized. When I speak with my fellow queers, and they roll their eyes at my plant based identity, I wonder if they know what they are feeding. The monster that lies in between the cracks of every political discussion, household pantry, and grocery store shelf. The lies that they have been told: the push of protein and it’s toxic masculine connection. The false advertisements about milk, when studies show that osteoporosis is highest in countries that consume the most dairy. The indigenous people that are pushed out of their land so Westerners are able to enjoy the convenience of a boneless, skinless chicken breast.
While Trump and Clinton flooded the screens of every news station, they never once spoke of our food system. We need air, water, and food to survive. We talk about air integrity. We debate about our water systems. But no one is talking about our food. And that is concerning, for we cannot be without it. We have seen an ethical decline with the rise of factory farming and processed food. It is our responsibility as a radical community to fight for the farmers who are underpaid; for the animals that are held captive; for Mother Earth who is being pillaged by the second. It is our responsibility to march in the streets and make conscience purchases. It is our responsibility to say enough is enough.
Gluten Free Sweet Potato Flat Bread
- 1 c flour
- 1 c sweet potato, boiled and mashed
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 TBS oil
- 1 TBS nutritional yeast
- In a bowl, mix all you ingredients.
- With your hands, form a ball of dough and place it on a floured countertop.
- Roll your dough into a snake.
- Rip a small ball from the cylinder like shape (you should get about six or seven pieces).
- With a rolling pin, tear off your individual dough balls.
- While doing so, feel free to heat up a nonstick or cast iron skillet and add enough oil to coat the bottom.
- Cook each side for a few minutes on medium low heat (bubbles are normal).
- Dress up in hummus, veggies, or salad and enjoy!