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White Woman Accused Of Cultural Appropriation After Selling ‘Improved’ Congee

by : Julia Banim on : 23 Jul 2021 19:33
@breakfastcure/PA Images

A woman from Oregon has been accused of cultural appropriation after selling an ‘improved’ version of congee, a traditional rice porridge enjoyed throughout Asia.

Karen Taylor runs Breakfast Cure, a company that manufactures pre-packaged meals referred to as congee. The company has previously advertised the product as having been adapted to fit ‘your modern palate’ and that the centuries-old dish had been ‘improved’ upon.

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The company has since faced a backlash from many Asian Americans, who were particularly frustrated by a since-edited post by Taylor entitled, ‘How I discovered the miracle of congee and improved it’.

Many people have accused Taylor, who refers to herself as the ‘Queen of Congee’, of cultural appropriation, while also noting that she did not appear to employ anybody of Asian descent on her team.

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One person tweeted that the product was ‘peak orientalism and cultural appropriation at once’, while another wrote:

Aside from the raging cultural appropriation, how hard did this literal Karen think congee is to make that it needs to be made easier??

Breakfast Cure has since responded to the criticism in a statement, which reads as follows:

We fell short of supporting and honouring the Asian American community, and for that, we are deeply sorry.

We take full responsibility for any language on our website or in our marketing and have taken immediate steps to remedy that and educate ourselves, revising our mission to not just creating delicious breakfast meals, but becoming a better ally for the AAPI community.

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Taylor has previously revealed that she began eating congee around 25 years ago while she was studying Chinese medicine in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, cultural appropriation, no-article-matching, Oregon

Credits

Breakfast Cure
  1. Breakfast Cure

    How I discovered the miracle of congee