How food became a weapon in America’s culture war

On August 7, National Review published an article lambasting the US Department of Agriculture’s decision, announced in May, to broaden the prohibition of discrimination in federally funded nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The writer’s argument centered on a Christian school in Tampa, Fla., that, he wrote, was being “forced by the government to choose between adherence to the laws of man and those of God.”

There is disagreement over what the broader prohibition actually means, with the department insisting it is aimed only at ensuring that LGBTQ+ students and others are not denied access to these nutrition programs, either explicitly or through intimidation. But many conservatives say the change opens up schools and other institutions to lawsuits for not having gender-neutral bathrooms or for using pronouns that correspond to biological sex.   

There is much here to unpack, but that’s for another day. The relevant story, for our purposes, is in the op-ed’s headline: “A New Low in the Radical Left’s Culture War: The Weaponization of Food.”

The “weaponization of food” is nothing new, of course. For as long as there has been human conflict, food has been used as a weapon. The Romans starved Carthage. The Germans starved Leningrad during World War II. The CIA force-fed hunger-striking prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. And just this year, Russia bombed the Ukrainian port of Odessa to disrupt grain exports.

National Review, though, was getting at something different: food as a front in the nation’s ongoing culture war, a proxy for larger issues of character, morality, and patriotism.

The magazine’s finger-pointing at “the radical left” notwithstanding, it was the right that pioneered the use of food to smear its opponents—in this case, to frame liberals and progressives as “elite” pushers of the nanny state. The strategy took hold in the 1990s and evolved over the ensuing decades, as what we eat and how it’s produced became a national debate, and as culture clashes—over affirmative action, gay marriage, school curricula, abortion,

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Gentleman in custody after creating threats with a weapon at Resort Captain Cook, Anchorage police say

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Police have taken a person into custody after he allegedly barricaded himself in a area of the Lodge Captain Prepare dinner and created threats with a weapon. A number of downtown Anchorage streets had been initially shut to targeted traffic when a big variety of police officers responded to the region.

Anchorage law enforcement reported Friday afternoon that there was a “large law enforcement presence” downtown in the region of Fourth and Fifth Avenues, amongst K Street and I Street. They responded to the lodge just just before 2:45 p.m. and expanded the closure to incorporate Third and Seventh Avenues between K Street and I Road.

In a press launch, police reported the department’s special functions personnel experienced responded to the hotel, which is situated on West Fifth Avenue. That group includes a tactical assist device and a crisis negotiation crew.

By 6:30 p.m., police noted that a gentleman had been taken into custody soon after the close to 4-hour standoff and officers ended up breaking down the perimeter they experienced established up. They wrote that the guy “who was barricaded in a area following generating threats with a weapon” was taken into custody “without even further incident” and that there had been no accidents.

Nick Weatherman, supervisor of Anchorage Pel’meni on K Road, stated he seen law enforcement blocking the place off at the finish of his change just following 2:45 p.m. on Friday.

“As shortly as they received out of their automobiles they ended up pulling out their rifles and their helmets,” Weatherman stated. He said they began aiming weapons at a tower of the Captain Prepare dinner.

Anchorage police officers goal their weapons at the Lodge Captain Cook whilst responding to a “disturbance” in downtown Anchorage, Alaska on Friday, April 15, 2022.(Photo courtesy Nick Weatherman)

“And then a cop ran above to me, he claimed I should most likely get away from the home windows,” Weatherman said.

Erin Johnson spoke to Alaska’s Information Source from the foyer of the resort. She mentioned officers appeared to be heading upstairs, and ended up

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