conservative Republican food writer Julie Kelly – pro GMO, food stamps, SNAP Audio

Food Fight: Can Two Foodies From Opposite Sides Of The Political Aisle Come To An Understanding?

When I told a few people that I had landed an interview with a conservative Republican food writer that hated everything I stand for and believe in, I got two distinct reactions: 1) “Wow, interesting! What are you going to say?” 2) “Why would you do that? You’re just legitimizing them!” And just 6 months ago, I might have thought/said the same as the later, but now things have changed: In my view, I can chose to sit with my back turned and plug my fingers in my ears for the next 4 years, or I can sift through the hysterical media and punditry noise and try to find out the answer to this question FOR MYSELF: Is there anything that conservatives and progressives have in common, or do we just live on separate planets? That’s why I reached out to Julie Kelly. Julie is a mother of two who runs a cooking school out of her home, and also writes about food policy (among other things) for conservative/Republican leaning outlets. There were so many things I wanted to “ask a Republican” after the election, and once I found Julie’s work it struck me that using food as a conduit to conversation would be the perfect way to focus on a specific topic that would shed light in other areas as well.  Before I met Julie in person, a lot of her articles made me really mad, but it was clear that my POV was just as irritating to her and I wanted to know why.  I traveled to Chicago to meet Julie just before the holidays and had a long discussion with her about food policy, farm subsidies, Michelle Obama’s school food program, food stamps, GMO’s, organic, why she thinks people like Tom Colicchio and Mark Ruffalo are so ridiculous, and more.
watercolor portrait by Cate Parr
watercolor portrait by Cate Parr
(Intro music for the podcast comes from Bensound)


Join the conversation

  • Jodi

    Great podcast from both of you! I identify with Julie and share a lot of the same sentiments she does. Glad she so eloquently talked with you in a manner that left both of you feeling like something was accomplished. Loved the common ground solutions that I think both sides of the political aisle can agree too. Nice job!

    • Thanks so much, Jodi! Much appreciated and so glad you enjoyed listening! 🙂 Happy New Year.

    • Elettra Wiedemann

      Thank you, Jodi! Your feedback is much appreciated 🙂 And I did learn a lot from Julie — she gave me a lot to think about. I hope she can say the same for me!

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  • YourBeetingHeart

    Let me start by saying how very much I enjoyed the entirely civil, friendly discussion you had with Julie. I learned a great deal from being able to hear her positions. I won’t say it was always easy to listen to and I may or may not have shouted at my computer while listening (HINT: I did) but it was enlightening. I was confused by a few of her positions, however, that seemed inconsistent… Like, feed kids whatever they want for school lunches but SNAP recipients shouldn’t be allowed to buy Dorritos (I think Dorritos shouldn’t exist, personally, but I seem to be outnumbered on this issue). And why can’t a busy mom be concerned about the fish she feeds her family? Checking the wallet card you mention isn’t exactly an onerous feat. Like Julie, I don’t want my clients and readers (I’m a therapeutic chef and food blogger) to fear food but, more akin to you, I want them to be educated consumers. OK, rant over! Mostly, I want to thank you for helping to identify some common ground! ~ Stacey

    • Elettra Wiedemann

      I am so glad you got something out of the podcast, Stacey! Thank you for taking the time to listen 🙂 I certainly don’t agree with Julie on many issues, but I was happy and grateful that she was open to sit down with me and talk to me calmly about these issues. She was very friendly and kind in person and very smart! I think the heat we read in the media often gets turned down when you’re sitting “mano and mano” or in this case “foodie to foodie” 🙂 Thank you again for your time and comment! I really truly appreciate the feedback 🙂