Kitchen Sink Activism: Two Authors on Food and Social Change

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Wren Awry, editor of “Nourishing Resistance,” and Alex Ketchum, author of “Ingredients for Revolution,” introduce their books on food and movements for social change, reflect on the nature of reproductive labor, and share their passion for oral histories and archival research.

ABOUT THE BOOKS —– From the cooks who have quietly fed rebels and revolutionaries to the collective kitchens set up after hurricanes and floods, food has long played a crucial role in resistance, protest, and mutual aid. Until very recently, food-based work–steadfast and not particularly flashy–slipped under the radar or was centered on celebrity chefs and well-funded nonprofits.

Adding to a growing constellation of conversations that push against this narrative, “Nourishing Resistance” centers the role of everyday people in acts of culinary solidarity and mutual aid.

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In 1972, a restaurant called Mother Courage opened in New York–followed by more than 230 feminist cafes, coffeehouses, and restaurants across the United States over the next fifty years. “Ingredients for Revolution” collects their stories for the first time, showcasing the vital role these institutions played in the fight for women’s liberation, LGBTQ equality, and food justice. Brimming with archival research, interviews, and photographs, Ingredients for Revolution is a fundamental work of women’s, food, and cultural history.

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