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An open letter to blogger White Mommy who posted a recipe for turmeric energy balls

Dear Mom Blogger,

I recently tried your no-bake recipe for Golden Turmeric Energy Balls because I currently have two five-pound bags of turmeric. Yours was the first link that popped up when I googled “recipes rich in turmeric”.

I understand why your blog is so popular; it has a strong angle. Even I have found something in common with you: family values. In fact, family is the reason I have excess turmeric. I was in the spice aisle of Whole Foods with my mother-in-law, who glanced at the prices and started screaming “neo-colonialism” like it was bloody murder. We had to leave. She ended up ordering me bulk turmeric, but the product had no smell and a bland flavor. I couldn’t use it for my dishes, but I thought it might be perfect for yours.

Your post began with an essay describing your personal journey with irritable bowel syndrome, interspersed with advertisements for turmeric tincture. I got to the recipe after forty-five seconds of scrolling, which apparently was the time it took you to get to the bathroom when your SCI was in full swing.

Yes, I read your entire essay. I noticed that you are a dietitian since you mention it in every paragraph. I’m all for women claiming their titles, but you already put “RD” in your blog name. I understand this is your way of differentiating yourself from other blogging moms, and to your credit, you tried to make yourself accessible. You listed “common mommy problems”, although “the nanny made a snack for baby, but no one fed you!” is not a problem that I have. I wish it were, believe me. You also talked about the fatigue that comes with motherhood and the importance of staying ahead of hunger. You came across as progressive. Anti-diet culture. Feminist. You believe moms can do anything.

What really sucked me in was your food photography. Despite the iPhone’s portrait mode shots, it’s clear you’re an artist. You have an eye for detail. You’ve remodeled your home to perfectly match your blog’s color scheme. You boast a cherry red manicure (which somehow stays unstained by the turmeric), and your photos of half-eaten balls showcase the removal of an enviably lined bite. Your photos reflect the impending inner glow that you claim I too can have if I regularly eat your balls.

I admit, your message showed my dream life. Your recipe was much simpler.

He started, as most do, by listing the ingredients. However, your ingredients came with epithets—Golden raisins, Costs Ginger, unsalted cashew nut. You made these items look exotic and rare, but as someone who cooks with them almost every day, I know they sell out in bulk at the local ethnic grocery store. Instead of acknowledging that your balls are appropriating South Asian culture and encouraging your audience to buy from Indian-owned businesses, you’ve logged on to your own drop-shipping storefront.

Throughout your recipe, you have explained the probiotic benefits of turmeric. Even though you didn’t cite peer-reviewed scientific papers (as I was asked when I talked about Eastern wellness practices), I believed you. You have a DR.

I ended up making your recipe because you wrote, “I wish I could eat turmeric by the spoonful.” I always wanted to love my culture as much as you seem.

In the end, your recipe only had two steps: use a food processor and mash them together. Indeed, I was able to successfully use up all my stale turmeric. Unfortunately, it was inedible. I had to trash your balls.

Sincerely,
Swati