A left-wing writer for the Guardian says apple pie tastes of genocide of indigenous people with an aftertaste of slavery.
Food writer and activist Raj Patel wrote an article for the Guardian called: “Food injustice has deep roots: let’s start with America’s apple pie.” Patel argues that apple pie is rooted in colonialism and slavery.
Patel wrote, “The apple pie is as American as stolen land, wealth, and labor. We live its consequences today.”
Patel then brings up that the apple pie and most of its ingredients are not from America, which is true. There have been only small, wild crabapples native to North America until apples (Malus domestica) were brought from England to the Jamestown settlement in 1607. Preceding that, the initial wild species of apples (Malus sieversii) was initially from Central Asia, in areas like modern-day Kazakhstan and China, and brought to Europe through the Silk Road trade routes. “Several societies were consuming apples in present-day Greece and Italy since 2000 BCE,” reported by the World Atlas.
Patel claimed that apples came to the western hemisphere with Spanish colonists in the 1500s in what was called the Columbian Exchange, but is now called a vast and ongoing genocide of indigenous people.
Patel says that he believes the planting of apple trees in Virginia “was used to demonstrate to the state that land had been improved.” He added, “John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, took these markers of colonized property to the frontiers of U.S. expansion where his trees stood as symbols that indigenous communities had been extirpated.’
Encyclopedia Britannica states that the “age of modern colonialism began about 1500, following the European discoveries of a sea route around Africa’s southern coast (1488) and of America (1492).”
However, the first recorded recipe for apple pie was written in 1381 in England, reported by Smithsonian Magazine, noting that the pie was made with apples, figs, raisins, pears, and saffron, and it is possible it did not include sugar.
The writer then links the sugar in the apple pie to slavery.