The Case for Our Recipe for Unity℠ : Sharing a Meal Can Be Transformative
The underlying idea of Our Recipe for Unity℠ is that food is a universal language and a unifier. It's about connecting with others through food. What proof do we have? Here are several of the most compelling examples:
Derek Black is the son of one of America’s most prominent white nationalists. He held these views up until college, where a Jewish classmate invited him to Shabbat dinners. At these dinners, Black learned that the people he was taught to despise were people, just like him. He then left the White Nationalist movement. Read more about Derek’s story, or watch an interview with him.
In 2013, a far-right street protest movement in the UK called the English Defence League was protesting a mosque; the mosque’s worshippers invited the demonstrators in for tea, biscuits and football. In one afternoon, everyone involved found, through the experience of sharing food and sport, that many of them actually held similar beliefs. Read more on The Guardian and BBC.
Based on the notion that “the easiest way to win hearts and minds is through the stomach,” the U.S. government launched a program called Culinary Diplomacy. The program, in which well-known chefs like Jose Andres and Ming Tsai were part of the “American Chef Corps,” leveraged the power of food to form bonds with other countries. Efforts included sending members of the Chef Corps abroad to teach about American cuisine. Learn more on Wikipedia and from Sam Chapple-Sokol’s publication on Culinary Diplomacy.
These are big, dramatic examples. But most of us have experienced our own everyday stories about connecting with others around food. Share your Recipes and Food Connection Stories here to help grow a community of like-minded people, and to add your voice to this chorus of openness, compassion, and civil discourse.