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In addition, Asian American small businesses have been among the hardest hit by the economic downturn during the pandemic.

As if the pandemic wasn’t hard enough, there’s this added threat to Asian businesses of this lingering hate.”Conversations about the stigmatization of Asian food reached a crescendo this month when Philli Armitage-Mattin, a contestant on “MasterChef: The Professionals,” used the phrase “Dirty Food Refined” and the hashtag #prettydirtyfood in her Instagram bio, which described her as an Asian food specialist.

“The way I mean food to be ‘dirty’ is indulgent street food; food that comforts you as in, ‘going out for a dirty burger,’” she wrote.

“It was a very flippant, ignorant, tone-deaf way of talking about Asian food,” he said.

Racist rhetoric referring to Asian food as dirty or disease-laden dates back to the 1850s, said Ellen Wu, a history professor at Indiana University.

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