In 2017 members of the far-right fanned the flames of America's existential crisis, most notably by parading through the streets of Charlottesville , Virginia, chanting "we will not be replaced" and killing a counter-protester. A surprising by-product of the rise of extremist groups is the ruination of various foodstuffs.

Emboldened by the anti-immigrant rhetoric that Trump used to enter the White House, fascists and white nationalists of all stripes – from neo-Nazis and the KKK to so-called alt-right – have seized upon everyday items to shape their identity, similarly to how veganism is linked to left-wing politics. (See also: Taylor Swift, tiki torches, and New Balance trainers).

As 2017 nears an end, we've taken a closer look at how everything from pizza to milk became politically charged.

Papa John's pizza

The CEO of Papa John's pizza became embroiled in the NFL row Unsplash/ Igor Ovsyannykov

A writer for the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer named NFL sponsor Papa John's the "official pizza" of the far-right after its CEO spoke out against kneeling players.

John Schnatter pinned Papa John's financial losses on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem at games, and was recorded urging the football league's bosses to end the activism. It later emerged he had opposed Obamacare, and donated to Trump during the election campaign. Papa John's later released a statement distancing itself from the far right.

"The endorsements create some legitimacy for because it ties them to brands that are popular with people," Devin Burghart, a researcher at the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights who specialises in the alt-right, told Newsweek.

"And it's also a way to create distinctions between the alt-right and the so-called 'normies.'"


Milk is white, so no points for guessing the visual metaphor at work here. But in February, milk become linked to the far-right in the mainstream consciousness after neo-Nazis chugged milk on a live stream set up by Shia LaBeouf.

The anti-Trump art installation at the Museum of Moving Image in New York featured a camera on a wall emblazoned with the words "he will not divide us". The protesters later described the milk-drinking as an act of opposition to "the vegan agenda".

The far-right use milk as symbolic of perceived white supremacy, as a number of people of white European descent from Scandinavian countries are better able to digest milk proteins.

Far-right nationalists Richard Spencer and Tim Treadstone both adopted milk symbols on their Twitter profiles this year.

According to historian Andrea Freeman, milk has been associated with racism as far back as the early 20th century.

The Paleo diet

Meat is associated with masculinity jeztimms/Unsplash

The alt-right have seized upon the paleo diet as an alternative to organic and plant-based vegan and vegetarian diets that are generally associated with left-wing activism.

The diet itself, where followers try to eat like our Paleolithic ancestors with grass-fed meats, fruit and veg and wholefoods, is politically innocuous. Bernie Sanders follows it for instance, according to People.

John Durant, the author of The Paleo Manifesto who is aligned with right-wing politics, Motherboard that "relative to vegetarianism, paleo definitely attracts more conservatives, libertarians, independents and anyone who just doesn't by into the political and religious baggage of plant-based eating. More paths to eating real food is a good thing!"


Earlier this year reports emerged that users of a forum on 4Chan were promoting the (completely scientifically unfounded) testosterone-boosting benefits of onions.

The trend is believed to have originated from a 2009 study on how the vegetable affects sperm health, which marked an increase in testosterone and sperm count in mice who consumed onion juice. But the study was published in a little-known journal with a low impact factor. And no other evidence has linked onions with masculine traits.

In a post entitled "Individual and Political Consequences of Onion Juice" on the /pol/ (short for "politically incorrect") forum, one user wrote, according to NYMag, that "consuming onion juice was a trying, though masculine experience".

"Though this has been an overwhelming experience, I feel far more energetic, youthful, and viral. I might try this once or twice more to get the full experience. I am in need of a testosterone boost, and thus am willing to smell like an onion for a few weeks or months."