Tonight I got home from work and wasn’t in the mood for a proper dinner. I didn’t know what I was in the mood for, really. Food — or not. Being outside — or not. Laundry — or not. Finishing some painting — or not. I settled for food.
I tumbled some Special K Chocolatey Delight into a bowl, poured some skim milk over it and sat down for some Family Feud.
The cereal was so good I decided to have another bowl. Then, before I knew it, the commercial breaks were getting the best of me.
Unsweetened applesauce during one break.
Diet 7UP during another.
Then a Claussen pickle spear.
I realized I had a few Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb wedges, so I had one with a couple of rosemary crackers.
By this time, my spot on the couch was becoming mighty comfy but I hopped up to fetch another Diet 7UP anyhow, then tuned in to Iron Chef America. It was a cheese battle tonight, and everything looked divine. Holy, in fact — but, at the same time, sinful. If I was forced to worship a food, it would be cheese. Any kind — I don’t play favorites [often]. I’m equal opportunity queso.
Being that it was Kitchen Stadium, food was flying every which way. Plates become an artist’s canvas, different foods become their paints. They do what they want with them, mix them with other things, throw them out, start over — all for a few courses of perfection at the end.
I was starting to get the munchies again, so I decided it was as good a time as any to finally have my end-of-day Nutrisystem meal. I made the Italian herb flatbread pizza and tossed on a few pieces of turkey pepperoni and resumed my position on the couch.
And then, for some reason, I turned the channel to see an ad that highlighted children without enough to eat.
Since arriving home this evening, my existence had been about food: freely getting up whenever I wanted to, so that I could grab whatever I felt like eating. Then I had my diet food for which I paid a couple hundred bucks. Then I watched it on TV. For us, food is entertainment. It’s something we discard without much thought, as though it was a used tissue that we wanted out of our sight. We treat it as though we expect it will show up again tomorrow. And for the most part, it does. For many, they don’t know when it will show up again.
Food is also something we try to consume less of for other reasons, reasons often rooted either in vanity or in health. Sometimes they can be the same. Sometimes they are not.
And then there are those who don’t have a fraction of what we have. They lack the ability to hop up from a couch and choose something to eat; they often lack the couch itself, not to mention food to choose from.
Tonight I am thankful for food. I often look in my freezer and see things that have been there for months, and that I have no intention of eating. I feel bad for the freezer-burned bits that could’ve been put to better use. I purchased them with good intentions — this for a holiday meal, that for better, healthier eating. This for economic reasons, that because it freezes well. And there it sits. All of it.
So tonight I wish for a better food conscience — one that picks more wisely, buys more deliberately and partakes in a more humble manner. Because not everyone has the luxury of making such choices.