SLUG columnist Mike Brown fights off a pack of human-sized vegetables in this illustration of a "food fight."

Mike Brown: Food Fight!


For this month’s Local Food issue, I chose a food-related topic. Instead of focusing on whatever the fuck Salt Lake’s latest progressive restaurant is, I thought I would go a different direction and write about something food-related that I don’t think gets enough attention: the age old tradition of the Food Fight!  

As far as research on the topic goes, I re-watched Animal House—a classic ‘70s movie about fraternities and pantie raids—and, needless to say the movie does not hold up well in today’s cultural climate. However, the scene where John Belushi starts a food fight in the cafeteria is classic and it made me wonder, “Why, as a society, aren’t we having more food fights?”  

“For me, the most desirable setting for a food fight would be Sunday family dinner right when dad starts talking geopolitics.”

My old band, The Fucktards, used to do tomato shows where the crowd threw tomatoes at us while we played. It was a very, very one-sided food fight with the appearance that we lost, but it was a food fight, nonetheless. I would sell tomatoes for a dollar each and made more money off of tomato sales than I did at the door. So, I guess I was the real winner.  

Back when I was an adolescent growing up in Salt Lake, there was a “vegan straight-edge” scene where these guys would sometimes start actual fights over actual food. That’s a different kind of food fight, in my opinion. If I remember correctly, someone started throwing baloney slices at Earth Crisis during a hardcore show. I don’t know if that’s Salt Lake urban legend or not, but the thought of that is pretty funny to me and would take some serious balls.

Regardless, I’ve been thinking a lot about having a food fight. My apartment is too small to host one and is already pretty messy. Obviously, the most appropriate battlefield would be a school cafeteria. For me, the most desirable setting for a food fight would be Sunday family dinner right when dad starts talking geopolitics, or a fine dining establishment where a Wall Street broker could get caught in the crossfire. Realistically, a mall food court, a Denny’s or TGI Fridays would also work. And although I’m not on TikTok (I do enough doom-scrolling on the other apps), I like the idea of starting a food fight challenge where your social credit goes up depending on how nice the place is where you start the food fight.

Now, let’s talk about some of the best arsenal for a food fight. I’m not sure what the Geneva Conventions’ stance is on food that might cross a line in a food fight—would they outlaw red wine because of the stain factor? Or, is whatever is on the table “on the table”? That’s not for me to decipher. All I know is anything that stains, such as wine, or anything sticky, like syrup, is going to fuck up your enemy in a food fight.  

“Why, as a society, aren’t we having more food fights?”

Also, using your spoon as a catapult is a good move. Mashed potatoes and gravy are super effective with the spoon catapult method, as is apple sauce. Peas are fun too and can be hard to clean up, so they should also be considered. Anything hard like raw carrots is kind of a dick move, since someone could lose an eye. Oh, and anything egg-based is good, too. If you’re lucky enough to have a squeezable ketchup or mustard bottle handy then those also make for great ammo.

I’d like to end by officially reaching out to any dining establishments in Salt Lake that would like to have me host a food fight. I’d prefer to write about things I’ve actually done, and I think it would be great promotion for a local business, which is important to SLUG. My email is above, so get at me!

Read more articles from Mike Brown:
Mike Brown: Mushrooms and The Great Outdoors
Mike Brown: Beer Cocktails!