Is apple pie 'racist'? Guardian writer Raj Patel claims it's born of 'colonialism and slavery'

'@_RajPatel is an idiot. The crab apple is native to europe and to which current apples have a closer relationship than the asian species,' a user tweeted


                            Is apple pie 'racist'? Guardian writer Raj Patel claims it's born of 'colonialism and slavery'
Raj Patel said apple trees were used as symbols of property by US settlers and forced indigenous people off their lands (Getty Images/ Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times and Natalya Danko / EyeEm)

A writer for The Guardian is facing a lot of criticism on the internet for his “woke” article on apple pie. Food writer Raj Patel wrote the article, titled ‘Food injustice has deep roots: let’s start with America’s apple pie’, in May, which stated that the dessert is related to “a vast and ongoing genocide of Indigenous people.” In his feature, he also mentioned that contrary to the belief of Americans, apple pie is not actually theirs as the fruit first came to the west from central Asia 4,000 years ago.

Patel, also an activist who participated in the World Trade Organization protest in Seattle in 1999, noted, “Apples traveled to the western hemisphere with Spanish colonists in the 1500s in what used to be called the Columbian Exchange, but is now better understood as a vast and ongoing genocide of Indigenous people,” before questioning the “uniquely American” recipe of the dessert. He claimed the cooking process is “a variant on an English pumpkin recipe” and said English colonizers had used apple trees as “markers of civilization”. “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,” the 49-year-old British Indian journalist added.

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Not just that, Patel also called pie's crust not “uniquely American’, given the fact that sugar is made of sugarcane, which was brought by Jesuits to the US in 1751. He then explained, “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.”

Patel’s hard-hitting words also slammed the traditional cloth on which an apple pie is kept to cool down. Calling  British Empire's cotton trade “war capitalism”, he said 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.”

But social media users did not seem to agree with Patel’s piece as 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 second one commented, “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.” “Stupid a** article,” the third wrote and the fourth added: “Just read and article in the Guardian about apple pie. I wonder if @_RajPatel knows that Geoffrey Chaucer invented apple pie in 1381. That predates colonialism and the slave trade. #ApplePie.” 



 



 



 

“The 'woke' #CancelCulture mob seeks to destroy everything that is American and/or good. Now going after 'Apple Pie.' The Guardian, 'Food injustice has deep roots: let’s start with America’s apple pie.' It's so absurd it sounds like a parody of #CancelCulture. No such luck…” a user shared in May days after the story was published.



 



 

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