Food is Something

A radical idea: sometimes it’s everything

Allow me to steal from a dear friend who knows how to make AND write about pizza in the best way. My friend Cyndi, the founder and publisher of the food lit mag Graze and an intimidatingly good cook, posted this on Instagram in the midst of our latest national shitstorm:

I love this not just in a click-the-heart way. I am reminded of the power of food to bring people together. I am reminded of the unshakeable ties between food and memories. I am reminded of how good Cyndi’s homemade pizza tastes, especially when we eat it standing up in her kitchen off the white plates with the blue farm scenes she inherited from her grandmother, in between laughing too loudly and pouring more wine.

Food is not nothing, in other words. It is the epitome of something — it’s tangible and of-the-earth and often formerly ALIVE and completely necessary. Eating is an adventure and a choice. Food is fuel, food is art, food shouldn’t be a reward, food shouldn’t be off-limits, food is a vice, food is a comfort, food is culture, food is killing us.

This is an absolute cop-out and this is a fundamental truth: I don’t want to put boundaries on my food. I don’t want to be sensible and I hate treating food like a math problem: if Megan eats one serving of homemade chilaquiles with a side of Bloody Mary but she omits the pepper jack garnish, will she have enough calories left to get gelato from the place in Lincoln Square following a post-brunch walk and visit to the bookstore? I don’t know but it sounds like a great Sunday, doesn’t it? She’ll have one scoop of butter pecan and one scoop of raspberry sorbet and you can hold the residual guilt please.

Nothing will ever uncomplicate my feelings about my own body, my desire to lose weight tied inexorably to my desire to not GAF, but in this particular historical moment, in which the president of the United States normalizes white supremacy and hate speech, in which those who disavow this violence and hatred must stand up and must stand together and perhaps must simply share a meal together, it’s hard to see past this: I don’t want to make myself less.

They won’t take our rights and they won’t take our freedom and our love for each other and there are big ugly horrible things to fight, and even so, let it be said: they will not take our pizza.