Food for Difficult Times

We all know the right thing to bring to a funeral. A “covered dish; ” placed on the table, brightens many dark days. Since ancient times humans have buffered losses and hardships with food.

Jose Andres knows this. When tragedy, fear and loss strike in the form of earthquakes or hurricanes, the world renowned chef and his mobile food minions are among the first to arrive. They set up field kitchens.

Should we take our best covered dishes to long tables where people whose hearts are broken gather to protest injustice? Food helps humans survive heartbreak with their humanity intact. It provides the irreplaceable element of community support.

Imagine offering generous quantities of good or great food to first responders, families, and victims of illness in a pandemic. Would we see fewer deaths from Covid if we ate as well as people in a food centric culture? The United States, the wealthiest country in the history of the world,  has suffered far more COVID damage than any other country on earth.

◦The US has deliberately “saved” both time and money by skimping, since the 1950’s, on food quality, freshness, and access for all. (Think TV dinners, preservatives, food deserts, and Sci Fi faux food GMOs.) Huge collateral damage costs now loom. We may not have enough protective nutrients to buffer a blunder of such historic proportions.

Processed food belongs with polyester in the dustbin of history. File it away as another dreary “tech fail.” Can we cook our way out?