In the transition to Suharto’s New Order regime in the province of East Java, fugitives from the political Left, members and sympathizers of the Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia, PKI), came to the south of the province to set up a rural base from 1967 to regroup and resist the military-dominated regime. The military responded by mounting a counterinsurgency operation, the Trisula Operation, in 1968, against what they alleged were underground guerrillas in the area. Using food as a lens, this article traces the effects of counterin-surgency operations on food cultivation and consumption patterns in South Blitar, East Java. Changes to food cultivation and land use as a result of the operation coincided with shifts in thinking under the New Order regime in rela-tion to food and local economy, despite both sides of the conflict agreeing on the desirability of modernization and development for the area. Food consumption and production therefore became a site of struggle for legitimacy and a mirror showing the shifts in power in East Java during the early New Order period.