Stop AAPI Hate // 6 Must-Try Asian-Owned Food Brands
As a brand proudly sourcing ingredients long-utilized by Asian communities (turmeric! reishi! ashwagandha! matcha!), we CANNOT just take the ingredients, ‘whitewash’ their history, call them “new” and never look back. Omsom, a women- led Asian sauce brand, asked this question last week:
“Do you ride for our communities as hard as you ride for our food?”
Food is culture. One of the beauties of America is that we’re diverse—there will be mixing of cultures and sharing of ideas, but with that should come equal seats at the table. America is not living up to this dream yet. We want to be a part of the future of food, where “ethnic” foods are not strange cuisines put into an ethnic aisle. A diverse table—both food AND people—is the new mainstream.
The people behind these many cuisines all deserve a seat at the table. Right now they’re not getting it, starting with the devastating hate towards the AAPI community.
What can we do?
Through the rest of the month of March 2021, we’re donating 10% of our website sales to Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Chicago. There are many other groups you can check out: AAPI Community Fund, AAPI Women Lead, and Stop AAPI Hate are some. If you work at a larger corporation, you can even ask if your company is willing to match money you raise for one of these organizations!
The tastiest way to do good: supporting women-led Asian brands disrupting the way Western nations think about Asian cuisine. Follow and try these brands to start:
OMSOM Asian Sauces
Diaspora Co. – ethically sourced Indian spices (we use their turmeric in Clusterbucks, but really all their spices are life-changing kitchen essentials)
Tea Drops – sustainable loose leaf tea (in the cutest package – follow to see!)
Crave Natural Food – Chicago brand bringing Asian brekky mainstream
Fly By Jing – their Sichuan Chili Crisp. No words.
- One Stripe Chai Co. – the best chai you’ll have. No question.
One of the biggest things we can do to honor a cuisine’s/ingredient’s origin is to LEARN THE ORIGINAL NAMES. Like Golden Milk for example = Haldi Doodh. Learn the history of where your favorite Thai dish came from, and try to notice how your favorite local Thai joint evolved from the traditional form to their signature dish. This deepens the connection with the food, honors the culture and the creator of the food.
Look up what you can do in your local state/city. For example, in Chicago, Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Chicago is spearheading the passing of the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act (TEAACH). You can contact your rep to express support for this act (find your rep easily here).
By NO means am I saying Lil Bucks is doing it all right. But as the founder, I do promise that we will listen, learn and honor every culture that has impacted this brand and beyond. We will strive to be better and to stand by our word to better the future of food, where we ALL have a seat at the table. ️🍽️