Supermarket cashiers, meal delivery folks, fast-food cooks, and farmworkers—all help keep society together. While that’s always been true, the COVID-19 crisis has put them in the spotlight. On this episode, we talk to food workers who are putting their lives on the line to feed the nation. You’ll hear about how their work has changed in big and small ways, from a Door Dasher’s elaborate cleaning routine to a small farm’s struggle to keep up with the surging demand for CSA boxes.
Your Best Dinner Option Is Hiding in Your Pantry
Get ready to master your pantry, no matter what you've stockpiled. Tamar Adler, author of the book An Everlasting Meal , has tons of tips for home cooking with economy and grace: What to prioritize on your grocery list, how to stretch ingredients across meals and make use of your scraps, and how to keep your sanity while cooking with kids. Plus: The founder of Rancho Gordo talks about how the coronavirus has made everyone desperate for beans, and Tamar offers some tasty recipes that will give you courage to finally cook those dried beans you've been avoiding.
Many Restaurants May Never Re-Open After Coronavirus
Today we bring you a bonus episode from our sister show, The Mother Jones Podcast. The coronavirus pandemic is devastating the hospitality industry. Millions of Americans are in lockdown. Events are being cancelled. The day before the release of this podcast episode, New York City's restaurants and bars have been forced to stop sit-down service. In the midst of a crisis, the worst thing that could happen to the restaurant industry has happened. This week, we talked to restaurant owners in the Chinatown in Flushing, Queens. This is a thriving immigrant community, and food-lover’s paradise, that has been turned upside down by COVID-19. For restauranteurs already operating on slim profit margins, staying open during the shutdown was already near-impossible. The question is whether they’ll be able to reopen at all. Also on the show: you share with us your stories about stepping up to help others through the crisis, and they are seriously inspirational. Tune in for all sorts of strategies, big and small, for giving your community a helping hand.
103 – The Golden Arches’ Long Shadow on Black America
“Getting people to trust fast-food is a process,” says Marcia Chatelain, author of the new book Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America . For many Black communities, that process started at a precise moment in history: The resulting chaos following Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination created the perfect opening for McDonald’s to step in and promise progress in the form of Black-owned businesses. But the resulting relationship has been complex; fast-food has been a source of both power and despair in Black America. “Businesses’ job is to maximize profits,” Marcia tells Bite fellow Camille Squires, “but they can’t set the possibilities for people’s lives.” Plus: Marcia reveals her true feelings about Popeye’s chicken sandwiches.
102 – You've Never Met Anyone Like This Bee Hunter
The new documentary Honeyland is getting rave reviews. Set in North Macedonia, it seems at first to be about the process of hunting for wild bees. And bees do fill the film—flitting in and out of the frame, stinging neighbors, and turning the harsh landscape into molten gold. But the real focus of the film is on a captivating woman named Hatizde. Maddie talks to the Honeyland filmmakers Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov about their remarkable experience following this highly unusual protagonist.