fed/unfed

Posted: November 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

I spend a lot of time thinking about food.  We all do. Living in the U.S., the land of plenty, the land where everyone should have enough to eat, we fixate on food hunter-gatherer style.

Good food, bad food.  Healthy food, whatever the fuck that means.  Fast food.  Fat in the 80s, carbs in the 90s, irradiated food, GMO food, peanuts, trans fats, corn syrup, gluten.

Safe food, for a lot of teenage girls and young women who have taken our obsession with food and turned it inward, magnified it, made it the center around which their identities revolve.

As a species, we find beauty in the exceptions.  When food is scarce, fat becomes a status symbol.  Now, when we have seemingly unlimited access to mountains of cheap calories, and the gatherer part of our brains continues to drive us to horde energy for the future in which we may no longer be able to find food, thin signifies rich, signifies spare time, signifies help with life’s responsibilities, education and the ability to eat “better” than average.

But does it?  How do we reconcile the subtext our culture attaches to “thin,” when in other parts of the world it can mean you may die soon?  And is the inverse true?  Can you still have “thin” here without time, help and disposable income?

As much as I wish it didn’t, food and how we choose to eat is personal for me.  I have friends and family with celiac disease who are constantly trying to figure out how to eat so that they don’t get sick.  My cat, whom I love more than anything, has food sensitivities on an epic scale, and I spend a lot of time looking for something, anything that will feed her.  We have simultaneous obesity and hunger problems in this country.

And I am one of those girls I talked about earlier.  I am far luckier than most, but I still find it difficult sometimes to think rationally and logically about food.  That is what I want this blog to be about…looking at how we think about food, individually and culturally.  Thinking about who we feed and who we leave unfed.