Belfiore wrote three articles on the ills of dumplings, egg rolls, and fried rice, beginning each one by stating how delicious each item can be at a Chinese restaurant. She then asserts that health specialists advise not to eat them before promising to give eleven reasons to convince readers to avoid these dishes at all cost. While some reasons seemed to be fairly stereotypical for Western beauty rag concerns, such as calorie count and macro intake, others were blatantly offensive, suggesting things like “low-quality protein” were added into the dishes.
What Belfiore possibly didn’t realize is that, not only are these foods culturally significant to other nationalities, they are not always unhealthy. In some cultures, these foods are eaten on specific holidays and hold some sense of sacredness to them, and they’re often made with high-quality ingredients, healthy oils and veggies, and, naturally, a lot of love and tradition.
Although there may be actual health concerns with fried rice, egg rolls, and dumplings — like any other food — the notion that these items should be criticized while their clearly unhealthier American counterparts seem to be given a pass can be infuriating. The same holds true for many beloved Asian foods; for example, boba is often condemned for its sugar content, but few outlets slammed the unicorn frappuccino’s calorie count. For many, it appears that American foods are above condemnation, while Asian foods are fair game and are treated as highly suspect — just another way that Asians are “othered” in Western societies.