The Catalogue: No. 30

Tuesday, May 14, 2019



I've decided to revamp the way I do catalogues to match LC's style. This will help me be more well-read on topics outside of my usual reads, aka juicy stories about Anna Delvey, the scammer, who tricked NYC into thinking she was a German socialite or why the new stylish top knots are great for babies.

We Tried The Food At The New 'Clean' Chinese Restaurant Lucky Lee's...
| Ben Yakas, Gothamist
The language Haspel initially deployed to describe her vision for the restaurant—and the language used in the Instagram below in which she attempted to defend her intentions against criticism—sparked a conversation about cultural erasure, long-standing stereotypes about Chinese restaurants, and the manipulative nature of the food-wellness industry. "Every restaurant has the right to tout the positives of its food. We plan to continue communicating that our food is made with high quality ingredients and techniques that are intended to make you feel great," the Lucky Lee's post states.

[…]

"It's an odd experience, walking into this beautiful, place—I mean, being on University Place between 10th and 11th Streets is not cheap—that's proclaiming 'clean' and #feelgreatchinese and knowing that when my grandparents came to this country and opened a Chinese restaurant, because that was one of the few businesses they could go into as immigrants," Chung said. "It feels like a lot of privilege to assume this take on Chinese food would taste 'better' than all other Chinese food."

"I think her approach would have been better as, 'Hey, I'm a nutritionist, I see so many people with dietary issues now. I love Chinese food and came up with these ways for my clients to enjoy it... and I wanted to share it with you now,'" Chung added. "I just have a lot of questions: Did she study Chinese cuisine? Or work with Chinese chefs or go to China to better understand the roots of the cuisine she loved? I wouldn't claim to make 'Better tasting Italian food' without going to Italy to actually understand it. Right now, there's no acknowledgement that she's done any work to understand the culture she says so interested in."
I actually went to try it this past weekend as I was quite curious (and my mom had told me to go try it). I personally thought the food I got was pretty good and the storefront is so cute, but it's definitely overpriced. The store is handicap accessible which I think is rare for restaurants / places in NYC in general. However, it still says something like "Feel Great, Chinese Food" on the side of the store and they seem to have hired a token Chinese chef. The restaurant also was half-full of customers. Hard to tell if they came because they were curious (like me) or because they had stumbled upon the place or because they actually wanted her "clean" Chinese food. The implication in her marketing that other Chinese/Asian food is unhealthy is still there. Until she improves that, I can't support her or her business. Her apology sucks and she 1. lacks effort 2. issued what reads like a fake apology 3. hasn't done more to improve. I have more thoughts on this, but this is supposed to be a summary catalogue of articles I want to share so I'll stop. Another great article about Lucky Lee's is here on the NY Times though.

Your Questions About Food and Climate Change, Answered (How to Shop, Cook and Eat in a Warming World) | By Julia Moskin, Brad Plumer, Rebecca Lieberman and Eden Weingart, Graphics by Nadja Popovich, Illustrations by Carl Vander Yacht, NY Times (Food, Interactive)
It’s true that one person alone can make only a tiny dent in the global climate problem. It’s just a really huge problem that requires large-scale action and policy changes to address. And food isn’t even the biggest contributor to global warming; most of it is caused by burning fossil fuels for electricity, transportation and industry.

On the other hand, if many people collectively made changes to their diets, that could start to add up.
There's also a quiz NY Times created so that you can see how your diet contributes to climate change. I'm not the best at being sustainable and more environmentally friendly, but it's good to know there are small changes like eating less beef (I already don't eat lamb) or being better about food waste can make a change.


With love,
CL

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