A YOUNG BOY stares down at a plate piled with raw meat, which sits on an ordinary kitchen counter. The kitchen has an archetypally middle-American appearance, neat cabinets lining its walls, pots and pans arrayed on the stove, a line of cannisters atop the double-door refrigerator. Yet something is awry. The young boy wears the solemn, questioning look of one who is approaching a potentially momentous realization. An unnaturally bright light illuminates his face and shirt. The source of this light is unclear; perhaps the meat is glowing. Certainly, his expression seems to say, Mom isn’t going to serve us this. Yet the very solemnity of his gaze assures us that, yes, no matter Ate what his qualms, this is dinner.

This kind of scene is familiar to many American children, especially those who are white and whose parents have jobs. Such children often consider a meal’s main course inedible,

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