A lot of protests in the political spotlight use tactics ranging from violence to silent sit-ins, but what happens when a restaurant begins to shed light on important political issues in a unique way? You read that right a restaurant has been making waves on the political scene.
The “Conflict Kitchen” is a small, local restaurant in Pittsburgh that only serves food from the countries the United States is in conflict with. “Six years in, the restaurant has featured eats from North Korea, Afghanistan, and Venezuela. Right now, they are doing something new: Haudenosaunee food from the Iroquois Confederacy, which is comprised of six Native American nations fairly close to Pittsburgh.” Conflict Kitchen’s goal is to inform their customers of the events that are happening on a global scale as well as proving that the culture of these countries is still relevant and accessible in the United States.
This is a powerful and innovative way to help people realize the importance of global politics. Their site boasts that
“Conflict Kitchen uses the social relations of food and economic exchange to engage the general public in discussions about countries, cultures, and people that they might know little about outside of the polarizing rhetoric of governmental politics and the narrow lens of media headlines.
In addition, the restaurant creates a constantly changing site for ethnic diversity in the post-industrial city of Pittsburgh, as it has presented the only Iranian, Afghan, Venezuelan, North Korean, Haudenosaunne and Palestinian restaurants the city has ever seen.” They even use the to-go packaging to inform their customers of the conflicts.
And that could not be more accurate. Their concept works like a chain effect. People come by and eat a meal, learn about the crisis, engage in these issues, and thus our government is forced out of the shadows and demanded to mend global relations.
The food is at Conflict Kitchen is a key aspect of the restaurant, not only being it is tasty, but because the owners and staff take time to learn how to make authentic dishes from people native to the countries they are featuring. Conflict Kitchen is proving that food can be a protest, informative outlet, and binding agent all in one. Food is a bond and identity all in one and America should be aware and tolerant of the melting pot of cultures in this nation.
Featured image credit: https://www.buffalorising.com/2013/11/conflict-kitchen-is-an-eye-opener/