Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/23/19
Primary Language: English
The informant is marked IN. The collector is marked JJ.
IN: My mom told me I can’t eat spinach and tofu together otherwise I would die. Like all throughout my childhood, she never let me eat spinach and tofu.
JJ: Did she explain why you would die?
IN: No she had no idea why and I told her I don’t believe you and she was like it’s real I heard it on the Chinese television. And my mom believes a lot of things from chinese television and they have the weirdest like, health talks where it’s like, they bring up the weirdest shit and it’s usually not true.
Context: I met the informant at lunch and asked about any folk medicine used by her parents.
Background: The informant is a Chinese-American whose parents were raised in Vietnam. Her parents collect a lot of health remedies from Chinese television, often explained with little scientific backing – which is something that the informant has never agreed with but faced a lot growing up.
Analysis: I found this interesting because both foods are very healthy and to my knowledge used often in Chinese cooking. I can’t imagine reasons for avoiding these two foods, folkloric or scientific.