She may not approve of growing them in community gardens, but
The firebrand Democrat stoked ridicule on Wednesday after saying that planting cauliflower in community gardens where people of color live is ‘taking a colonial approach to environmentalism’.
Instead, plants like yucca – which thrive in dry, hot climates and are ‘culturally significant’ – should go in their place, she said.
She was bombarded by astonished Twitter users who said the comment showed she has ‘gone past the point of being stupid’ and others who pointed that contrary what she may believe, cauliflower is a popular choice among many cuisines.
DailyMail.com has since discovered that Flats Fix, the Union Square restaurant in NYC where AOC slung margaritas before she launched her political career, offers a $4.75 roasted cauliflower and humus taco special.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez worked as a bartender at Flats Fix in Union Square where cauliflower tacos are a popular choice on the menu. She is shown before abandoning the job for politics
The roasted cauliflower and hummus special tacos cost $4.75
The $4.75 cauliflower taco at Flats Fix is shown. AOC did not reply to inquiries about her remarks on Wednesday
Cauliflower is also one of the options for its veggie taco.
The vegetable is abundant in Mexican supermarkets and has been included in Latino cookbook recipes since the early 19th Century.
In the Bronx, where AOC grew up, cauliflower is served as a side dish at Dominican restaurants and it’s a popular vegetarian or vegan substitute in meat and fajitas at others.
Her remarks about the vegetable stunned critics and led to a barrage of ridicule.
Ocasio-Cortez had filmed herself in a community garden after planting harvesting Swiss chard, spinach and collard greens, saying: ‘What I love too is growing plants that are culturally familiar to the community. It’s so important.
‘A core component of the Green New Deal is having all of these projects make sense in a cultural context, and it’s an area that we get the most pushback on because people say, “Why do you need to do that? That’s too hard.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, walked around her native New York as she discusses how community gardens were central to her Green New Deal
Baffled: Twitter users questioned her comments and ridiculed her for them
‘But when you really think about it, when someone says that it’s “too hard” to do a green space that grows yucca instead of, I don’t know, cauliflower or something – what you’re doing is you’re taking a colonial approach to environmentalism.
‘And that is why a lot of communities of color get resistant to certain environmentalist movements because they come with the colonial lens on them.’
Some said she had gone beyond the pale by suggesting that growing a certain type of plant could be racist.
‘But we eat potatoes in Latin America.. and cauliflower?’ one Twitter user said.
IS ‘VEGETABLE COLONIALISM’ A REAL THING?
Cauliflower’s origins are in Europe where the highest number of variations of B. oleracea, the wild plant that produces broccoli, kale and cabbage too, grows.
It became popular in the US in the 17th Century when Europeans first arrived and started growing it.
Now, in the US, it is most commonly grown in California, New York and Arizona which produce 90 percent of the country’s supply.
Its heritage has never before been the source of contentious discussions on colonialism and AOC’s comments stunned Twitter users.
Cauliflower is a variety of Brassica oleracea which originates in Europe
It is not native to American soil like Yucca which is more common in the hot, dry land of parts of North and South America and parts of the Caribbean, but it is a staple of many diets around the world.
AOC singled it out after touting her Swiss chard, spinach and collard greens – none of which are native to the US either.
Spinach is believed to have first grown in Persia and been introduced to Europe in the 15th Century.
‘The greens’ in collard greens come from the same plant as cauliflower, broccoli and kale – the Brassica oleracea – which thrives in cool climates and originated in Europe.
Swiss Chard is native to southern Europe, north Africa and parts of the Middle East where it, along with other plants in the Flavescens-Group, grow along the coast.
The Yucca plant, which she said she wanted to add, would not be able to thrive in New York because it does better in warmer climates, some Twitter users claimed.
‘Culturally significant’ plants have become a source of interest, however, in a Native American context.
In 2010, the Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Materials Program released a
But the notion of vegetable colonialism is not one that has been explored publicly before.
AOC boasted about growing Swiss Chard, spinach and collard greens – all of which originate in Europe