The whole “you are what you eat” thing is true to a certain point. For example, I know that if I eat gluten more than twice a week, I’ll erupt in a symphony of farts that threatens the gaseous equilibrium of my three-story apartment building. But food snobbery—that is, equating one’s social value with one’s palate—is just about the most boring way to live your life. Turns out, scores of Twitter users and media personalities agree, as evidenced by today’s outcry after an ill-advised New York Times quiz suggested it was possible to differentiate a Trump voter from a Biden voter based solely on the contents of their fridges.
The Times asked a “representative sample of U.S. residents” to snap pics of their open refrigerators and reveal their presidential candidate of choice. According to the initial Times tweet, hundreds of partisan voters submitted photos (the Times excluded images from nonvoters, undecided voters, and split households).
The whole thing is pretty transparent, seemingly suggesting that fridges stocked with healthy ingredients are, naturally, the result of a prudent Democrat household—whereas fridges packed with Pepsi must be the work of anti-science Trumpers, right?
Naturally, the stunt is drawing criticism across Twitter. Food and culture writer Alicia Kennedy called it “classist and disgusting” and “clearly targeted at smug white liberals.”
Even Dan Rather called the quiz “nuts.”
I tend to agree with the criticism. With millions of Americans relying on the support of mutual aid organizations and food pantries, it’s pretty nauseating to give suburban neoliberals an opportunity to sneer at prepackaged muffins and six-packs of cola. I’d invite the Times to peer inside my fridge, which contains frozen dinners, weeks-old leftovers, and a single pancake on a plate. Democracy in action, baby.