Shut Up and Eat started at the Ocala, Florida regional in 2004. It was founded by BoyScout, Frodo, and Harmony, and when someone asked BoyScout what is was they were serving for dinner, he said, “Shut up and eat it!”, which became its name. It was one of the first of the “dirty kid” kitchens (a name that you hear said in derision or with pride, depending on who is saying it). They are mostly in their teens and 20s, and they have dressed in clothes of black, khaki, and faded blue jean blue more than colorful hippie finery. For many years in the 2000s they, along with Fat Kids and Montana Mud, formed the anchor for Dirty Kid’s Corner.
After their first gathering in Ocala they bought a school bus and traveled to the 2004 annual gathering in California. At that gathering , they were ordered to move their kitchen by the law enforcement Incident Commander, along with Rainbow Crystal, because he said they were too near a stream. Rather than move, they dismantled the kitchen and stopped serving completely. This was not the end of the kitchen, however. They continued to travel and feed. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 they were part of the Rainbow Relief kitchen in Waveland, Mississippi for several months. To this day its members still strive to feed people whenever and wherever.
They seldom put food into tubs and serve to lines, and never to circles that have just said “Om”. In the morning you can usually go up to the counter and be served pancakes as soon as they come off the grill. They have sometimes served meat along with vegetarian stuff, and at the 2012 annual in Tennessee, they traded all their vegetables for Montana Mud’s meat, and offered together a choice of diets, side by side.
In 2008, some of their workers bought a plot of land in Tennessee and stated a community and organic farm called Shut Up and Grow It.