I’ve been thinking about food a lot lately.
On Monday of last week, an essay series that I worked on with Fast Company and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched with this piece from Saru Jayaraman looking at the future of work for restaurant workers. In it, she asks us to imagine a future where “diners don’t just ask about where produce comes from but how well workers are paid.”
Also last week, my podcast conversation with Chef Aaron Sanchez was released. At one point, he suggested the way to support restaurants at this time is to order in or eat there (if safe) on Mondays or Tuesdays, their slowest nights of the week.
On a more mundane level, I found a few recipes from the NY Times, looking for something new to cook for my family. (Objectively, I think two went over pretty well, while one not so much).
Our relationship to food is both primal and secondary. We need it to survive but often give little thought to what we eat or worse yet, see cooking akin to drudgery.
Like many other things lately, we can become fed up with food.
Yet when done well, food is nourishment of the body and soul. It brings us together and allows us to feel a sense of satisfaction, solidarity and accomplishment. It justly supports our economy, society, and our planet. It is a sensory experience that is unavailable by any other means – providing we allow ourselves to savor it.
In talking with Chef Aaron, he noted that grandmas are often the best cooks in their families because they are never rushed. They take their time, let the herbs and spices do their magic, prepare their food with the love and attention it deserves.
It is ironic that while the phrase “food for thought” is so common, giving “thought for our food” has become all too rare.
On estimate, you’ll likely eat somewhere between 15-20 meals this week. Even typing that number can add to the anticipated grind of a long week. So in order not to bite off more than you can chew (sorry couldn’t help myself), perhaps just try these three simple steps this week:
- On Monday or Tuesday order from your favorite restaurant
- Make a donation to One Fair Wage, to support better wages for food workers
- Find a recipe (maybe even ask your grandmother) and the time to cook a meal that you can savor.