American Food Company Owned By Woman Literally Named Karen, Criticized For Trying To Colonize Ancient Chinese Recipe
Karen Taylor, who owns Breakfast Cure, is accused of cultural appropriation.
July 22, 2021 at 3:39 pm
If you haven't noticed, "Karens" are everywhere.
An American company is receiving criticism for “improving” Chinese cuisine to fit the Western palette, Yahoo reports.Breakfast Cure, an Oregon-based food company founded by Karen Taylor that markets pre-packaged congee, which is a staple porridge dish in China and other Asian countries, is being accused of cultural appropriation. offers new creations and some true to the “ancient tradition,” but all based on “Chinese medicine” and said to “build Spleen Qi and Yang.”
In a blog post, she also claimed she was "improving" the recipe.
In a blog post, Taylor, also known as the “Queen of Congee,” details how she first discovered congee and sought to improve upon the recipe while a student at a Chinese medical school in New Mexico.“I’ve spent a lot of time modernizing it for the Western palette — making a congee that you can eat and find delicious and doesn’t seem foreign, but delivers all of the medicinal healing properties of this ancient recipe,” Taylor wrote. “I thought about what most people I know eat for breakfast and that made me want to find out more about it. I’ve spent over 25 years trying all kinds of different combinations to find some really tasty, healthy ones, some based on ancient tradition and some my own creations."
In July 2019, Taylor published an article in the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Journal, saying it was her "personal mission to hear 'congee' uttered as a common household word.'"
"Acupuncturists are the ones who can bring congee and all its healing powers to the people around us," Taylor wrote. "As acupuncturists, we understand why it's actually good for everyone…Chinese medicine provides us a vantage point that allows us to see beyond trendy fads and draw instead on our beautiful, time-tested traditions."
On Twitter, many expressed their dismay at Taylor for suggesting she was an expert on congee.
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