social justice

Giant Food’s “Chinese Food” Aisle is Culturally Ignorant and Fosters Stereotyping

If I told you that one of the most popular grocery stores on the east coasts refers to all of its asian food products as “Chinese food”, you wouldn’t believe me right? Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be a lie. Giant Foods, has an entire aisle dedicated to “Chinese food”, much of which is not Chinese at all. I wanted to give Giant the benefit of the doubt at first, but after months of various asian countries’ food being mislabeled as Chinese food, it’s now time to say something.

Just a quick sweep of the aisle makes this mistake stick out like a sore thumb. From Thai, to Korean, to Japanese, to Indian, this aisle is definitely not just Chinese.

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Rows of Korean food and South Asian rice
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Thai and Japanese ingredients
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More Thai, South Asian, and Japanese food

Now understand that there is nothing inherently wrong with a grocery store having a “Chinese Food” aisle; however, if labeled as such, it should only shelf ingredients, snacks, and products that are genuinely Chinese. By labeling all Asian foods as Chinese, it promotes the erasure of other asian cultures and their foods by stereotyping them as the same as Chinese. Asia is an incredible diverse continent with equally diverse cultures. It’s definitely not just China. Aside from the obvious mislabeling, many individuals of non-Chinese, Asian decent may be extremely offended considering that China occupied many asian countries against the will of their citizens. Additionally, shoppers seeking to purchase products from other asian countries have a difficult time locating what they need, as they believe the aisle does only contain Chinese items.

A simple way to resolve this issue, would be for Giant Food to apologize for their insensitive mistake and change the sign to simply say “Asian Foods”. Otherwise, they will continue to foster stereotyping and mislead shoppers.

I will update this post if any new developments occur. Thank you!

Update: I have contacted the Consumer Affairs department to address these concerns.

Until next post,

Bekah

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