It’s my first post of 2017! Annnnnnd it’s basically February.
I had allllll of the very best intentions to post new recipes this month. But blogging got away from me a little bit, for a couple of reasons:
One, I’ve been working my butt off behind the scenes to bring you some SERIOUSLY INCREDIBLE new content in 2017. The first announcement will roll out in the next few days (GET EXCITED).
Two, I caught the worst cold ever and it knocked me out for an entire week. UGH.
Three, ummmmmm, AMERICA RIGHT NOW.
And, hey – I know that most of my blog readers aren’t here to see me hop on a political soapbox. This website is a happy place!
It’s a place for food, and pretty pictures, and so-bad-they’re-awesome food puns (obbbbbviously), and ALL OF THE CARBS.
But my “regular” posts aren’t some slick, corporate copy full of ulterior motives.
They’re me, sitting down with you, catching up over a cup of tea at the coffee table.
And THIS is my coffee table talk lately. So it feels natural to share it here, right alongside cupcakes and one-pot pastas and “pesto is the best-o.”
It feels right to talk to you – you wonderful, mysterious internet friend of mine – the same way that I always do: with honesty and love and the occasional smattering of my ALL CAPS VOICE.
And to be honest, I feel like it’s more than “just okay” to talk about these issues here, on a blog about food. It’s supremely IMPORTANT.
Food is community. Food is family.
Food is kindness and grace and warmth and refuge and possibility.
Food brings us together when the world tears us apart. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt pretty torn apart lately.
I’m full of grief as I watch a new administration try to shut Muslims and refugees out of our country.
I’m fearful as big and dangerous changes are made to our National Security Council while we’re busy protesting other big, bad, scary things.
I’m ashamed that my President seems to be more concerned with bullying people on Twitter than he is with, well, anything else.
So I took a break this month from the sprinkles and the bright, happy blog posts and the “OMG YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS FOOD! OMG JOY AND HAPPINESS!” -ing.
Instead, I’ve been calling my representatives. I’ve been working with fellow academics and food security activists and industry partners to build a game plan for the next four years – pieces of which you’ll see on this website in the months to come.
I’ve been protesting when and where I can. I’ve been grieving for the people in this country who are most at risk. I’ve been reading and listening to the voices of activists from marginalized groups in an effort to contribute without co-opting; to collaborate and spur political change without ignoring the obvious privilege that being white has afforded me.
But most of all, I’ve been thinking about what comes next. About where I and my work fit into this new America – one where the administration frightens me but the people inspire me.
An America where yes, anything is possible, but where we also have a lot of fucking work to do.
I’ve been trying – like so many others who work in the sustainable food space – to reconcile my passion for sustainable food systems and my specific skill set in this area with the other big, important issues that we’re facing. It feels almost wrong to keep building food security programs when there are green card holders being detained at airports, or to talk about better resources for farmers when we have a President who has bragged on tape about sexual assault.
But I have to remind myself that this work – this sustainable, accessible food movement that goes so far beyond just recipes on a blog – matters, too. And it’s here that I can help the most right now.
It’s here that I can make the biggest difference.
I will keep using my platform to support the men and women on the front lines of a sustainable food system. I will keep encouraging other food bloggers to do the same.
If you’re feeling this way, too – if you’re feeling a little lost but a lot determined – take a breath.
FEEL YOUR FEELINGS, whatever they are. Feel powerless. Feel angry. Feel motivated. Feel sad.
But then STAND UP.
Use your skills and experience – whatever they may be – to make a difference.
Your fight might look a little different than mine – and that’s okay.
Go where you can make the biggest difference.
YOU are the reason this website exists, and I am over-the-top grateful for your support and readership and general awesome-sauce-ness. A post like this is never easy to publish, but I think we’ll be better for it.
Because we KNOW each other, you and I.
We share a sacred bond of cupcakes and pasta and food puns and internet best-friendship and JOY.
I know that you love food and that you have a good heart. I know that you are not a bystander.
And I have faith that you, like me, believe that PEOPLE MATTER, regardless or race or income or religion or social status or our own personal, institutionalized fear of those who are a little bit different.
I have faith that you’ll be here with me, standing in the face of hatred and hostility and racism and sexism and xenophobia, saying “THIS IS WRONG.”
It is, and will continue to be, an honor to stand beside you.
Jessie Johnson, reporting for duty.
We’re all friends here, so I’ll leave the comments open as long as we pinky-promise to not be jerks to each other. I reserve the right to delete any comments that are written for the sole purpose of being a butthead. We’re having this chat over a cup of tea at my coffee table, remember – and there are no buttheads allowed in my house.