A recipe book consists of written instructions to achieve a specific goal. Involving the body in time, a recipe book references history and place through language, materials and tools. It turns an act of survival – eating – into a creative process with cultural implications.
Inspired by the methods and associations of zine making, I created two banana recipe books as zines. In the process of assembling the banana recipes I cut and pasted excerpts from advertisements, grocery coupons, court documents, newspaper articles and photographs. This free-for-all appropriation was a way to repurpose culturally acceptable forms of propaganda like advertising and news.
Through the recipe books I hoped to question the average American’s relationship to bananas in the hope of interrogating what constitutes our food systems, from consumer assumptions to the ongoing violence of settler-colonialism. I made two different recipe zines. The first one told of defining moments in the banana industry’s relationship with countries in Central America, and the other told about Chiquita’s practice of using pesticides which were already banned in the United States on banana plantations for years without informing workers of risks.
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