Food Fight! Millennial Mestizaje Meets the Culinary Marketplace

From the racial defamation and mocking tone of “Mexican” restaurants geared toward the Anglo customer to the high-end Latin-inspired eateries with Anglo chefs who give the impression that the food was something unattended or poorly handled that they “discovered” or “rescued” from actual Latinos, the dilemma of how to make ethical choices in food production and consumption is always as close as the kitchen recipe, coffee pot, or table grape.

In Food Fight! author Paloma Martinez-Cruz takes us on a Chicanx gastronomic journey that is powerful and humorous. Martinez-Cruz tackles head on the real-world politics of food production from the exploitation of farmworkers to the appropriation of Latinx bodies and culture, and takes us right into transformative eateries that offer a homegrown, mestiza consciousness.

The hard-hitting essays in Food Fight! bring a mestiza critique to today’s pressing discussions of labeling, identity, and imaging in marketing and dining. Not just about food, restaurants, and coffee, this volume employs a decolonial approach and engaging voice to interrogate ways that mestizo, Indigenous, and Latinx peoples are objectified in mainstream ideology and imaginary.

Praise for Food Fight!

Food Fight! is well written and thought provoking. No other book has the same take, particularly on the human-rights aspect of food production, distribution, and marketing. It is also a bracing call for action on the individual and community levels.”

—María Acosta Cruz, Department of Language, Literature, and Culture, Clark University

“This book is indispensable for the times—a millennial mestiza outlook on the cultural contact zones where Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x people challenge, reimagine, and create a sense of self in their everyday lives.”

—Julia E. Curry, Chicana and Chicano Studies Department, San José State University

About the Author

Paloma Martinez-Cruz is an associate professor of Latinx cultural studies at The Ohio State University. She is the author of Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica: From East L.A. to Anahuac.