Food…most of us have trouble living with it, and NONE of us can live without it. How many things in life have that much power? Very few things indeed.

For many, the memories of “Mom’s” cooking stays with us for a lifetime…we call that “comfort food.” Even if Mom made you spinach noodles on burnt rye toast when you had a cold, you would still consider that your “comfort” food. Food is attached to time and place and, especially, emotions. Give me a bowl of tomato soup and I will tell you about childhood and the flu, and how much that warm bowl of soup meant to me. For some, it’s chicken soup…or lentil soup. Soups are, for most of us, put in the “comfort” category. You don’t even need a utensil to enjoy it!!

Food…too much of the wrong kind can kill us, and not enough of the good kind can malnourish, or starve us. What other thing in our life has that much influence over our well-being? Not much, for sure. When I hear food prices might skyrocket someday, I mull over buying large bags of rice, and dried beans, and little pots to grow parsley (got to have those greens!) and then wonder what I can add, to prevent scurvy…you know, the disease they got on the Mayflower from not having enough citrus! Maybe I can buy canned mandarin oranges? I like those. Or just buy a bunch of fruity jams. If it were down to survival, I would have to consider only those food stuffs that are non-perishable….hmmmm….how many things in our lives have to be used within a certain period of time before they become dangerous to use or consume? Not many….

Food….a true love/hate relationship. It can be one of the most enjoyable pleasures in life, and can be downright devastating, like when one gets food-poisoning. I got so ill once in an exotic foreign country from either bad food or water I thought I was going to die….luckily, I lived to tell the tale:) During the experience I told myself I would never drink or eat again (ha!) These are the crazy things we tell ourselves to feel we have some control over the enormous power Food and Water has over us.

Food…part of the gift God has given us…earth to grow wheat and vegetables, trees to bear fruit and nuts, paddies to harvest rice, oceans to fish, etc. It is not meant to be taken for granted, nor abused, and yet we do both. When we don’t have enough of it we die, when we have too much of it, we die. Somewhere we are meant to find the balance. And for those who are without it, may you soon have enough food to be able to complain about it.


Jennifer Avalon