Blog Post $16 Taco 4/3/2022

The author’s main point of identifying how the rapidly changing food culture within America is having both positive and negative repercussions on these neighborhoods & communities was quite the fascinating read. The recent explosive trend in American and even national interests in the more traditional cuisine is something that even I have been a part of due to interest in food as a whole. So it was not all surprising to see just how popular many of these local, ethnic communities restaurants and eateries have become, however I was surprised to learn about the recent gentrification problems that have started cropping up regularly. The first example the author discusses of which was the area known as Barrio Logan located in San Diego, and during which she discusses how most Americans have had a negative view on this area, and that recently a select few “educated foodies” had begun to extensively map and document all of the restaurants, culture icons (murals), and shops within these neighborhoods which has lead to a substantial increase in foot traffic through this area. The causal effects of this would be a larger, steadier influx of tourism to the area which would positively benefit the local shops, and restaurants as she documents, however as the public eye has now shifted towards these neighborhoods many larger corporations or individuals who act either under false assumptions or purely economic greed are attempting to move their businesses into said neighborhoods which has prompted community backlash. This backlash and the protests that went along with it were quite understandable as most of these ethnic communities had been operating under purely under their own community driven businesses and had developed their own sub-cultures within them, and the movement of larger corporations into said neighborhoods would only disrupt the communities and their businesses leading to economic problems for the local stores. The concepts behind monetizing and advertising food and the communities that they represent is an effective way to counter the decades of negative stigma associated with many of these distinct ethnic neighborhoods. This trend towards marketing these neighborhoods towards “foodies” is something that does have a pretty distinct downside which goes in hand with the new influx of tourist, travelers, and possible residents to these neighborhoods which is the “gentrification” of said locale. The first major issue that I had thought of long before reading it on page 140 was that with the influx of money to these neighborhoods either from their local governing body or even due to the newfound tourism, many of the homes, apartments, and offices that these long-time residents have owned have become too expensive in regards to rent or taxes which means most of them will have to leave their homes to cheaper neighborhoods if there even are alternatives locally. This revitalized focus on these communities has also given rise to many community driven organizations whom’s focus is on the local restaurants, food trucks, and other such businesses in order to ensure their continued survival amidst the current economic trends afflicting their communities. The other issues in regards to gentrification is the influx of what I would consider “haute cuisine” which would include coffee shops, high scale fruit shops, and high end taco shops, which not only takes the culture out of the food being sold by the long time community restaurants but it also promotes the travel of tourists, residents, and organizations who’s beliefs run counter to that of the neighborhoods long time residents which in turn breeds conflict. While I too am amongst those “Foodies” who are fascinated with the foods being discussed in this article I am now well aware of how their new economic trend can negatively affect the communities I wish to visit which is something I wouldn’t have ever thought about till now.

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