A Guardian writer is receiving a lot of backlashes online for his “woke” post about apple pie.
The dessert is connected to “a vast and ongoing genocide of Indigenous people,” according to food writer Raj Patel’s article from May titled “Food Injustice Has Deep Roots: Let’s Start With America’s Apple Pie.”
He also mentioned that, in contrast to popular belief, apple pie is not actually an American invention because the fruit was brought to the west from central Asia 4,000 years ago.
He emphasized how English colonists who planted trees as “markers of civilization” brought the apple to the nation.
Patel, a fellow activist who took part in the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization demonstration, pointed out that the gingham cloth that is commonly used to cool pies was culturally taken from Native Americans, while the sugar in the crust has ties to the New Orleans slave trade.
The British-Indian author claimed that Americans were unaware of their eating culture, identity, and connections to colonial roots.
Before disputing the “uniquely American” recipe of the dessert, the author claims that “apples migrated to the western hemisphere with Spanish colonists in the 1500s in what used to be dubbed the Columbian Exchange, but is now better understood as a large and ongoing genocide of Indigenous people.”
He asserted that the preparation is “a variation on an English pumpkin dish” and stated that English settlers employed apple trees as “markers of civilization.” The 49-year-old British Indian journalist continued, “John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, took these markers of colonized property to the frontiers of US expansion where his trees stood as symbols that Indigenous communities had been extirpated.”
Given that sugar is manufactured from sugarcane, which was brought to the US by Jesuits in 1751, Patel also referred to the pie crust as not being “uniquely American.”
“When enslaved workers seized the French colony in 1791, European capitalists sought new sugar cane fields and workers. French merchants of sugar and slavery landed in Louisiana in the late 1700s. Within 50 years, the US produced a quarter of the world’s sugar cane, and New Orleans had become a concomitant hub of the slave trade,” He explained.
Patel’s scathing remarks also attacked the customary towel used to cool an apple pie. He referred to the transatlantic slave trade as “war capitalism,” and claimed that it “enslaved and committed acts of genocide against millions of Indigenous people in North America, and millions of Africans and their descendants through the transatlantic slave trade. In the process, cotton laid the basis of finance, police, and government that made the United States.”
In addition, he attacked the “violence, exploitation, poverty, and profit” associated with the making of chocolate, tuna sandwiches, and chicken nuggets.
The article, which received little attention when it was published in the Guardian last month, has subsequently gone viral on Twitter and sparked yet another discussion on “cancel culture.”
Apple pies have a long history of being linked to American culture, and the idiom “as American as apple pie” is frequently used.
One person’s tweet that started the backlash read, “The “woke” #CancelCulture mob intends to destroy everything that is American and/or good.” pursuing Apple Pie at this time.
One user tweeted, “@_RajPatel is an idiot. The crab apple is native to europe and to which current apples have a closer relationship than the asian species.”
“The very best journalists in Britain are to be found in publications like Autocar, Angling Times and Shooting Weekly. The idiots go to Fleet Street, the complete idiots go to TV and the utter failures land at The Guardian,” the second one commented.
With the third one wrote, “Stupid a** article.”
Some were quick to denounce the attack on their right to indulge in dessert.
“There are still people in this world who are having sleep for dinner tonight, yet we’ve decided that “food justice” means arguing about whether apple pie is racist,” one person wrote.