Lesson of the Day: ‘Food, a Basic Pleasure, Is Suddenly Fraught’ – The New York Times

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Featured Article: “Food, a Basic Pleasure, Is Suddenly Fraught,” by Kim Severson and Julia Moskin

The coronavirus has forced Americans to rethink how to feed themselves, from cooking to shopping to ordering in. In this lesson, you will consider how this crisis has affected food and food rituals for people, families and communities, then consider practical things you can do to help.

The article you’re about to read addresses two basic questions:

  • How do you feed yourself and your family when restaurants are shuttered and store shelves are emptying?

  • How do you take care of a community in crisis when caregiving meals like Sabbath suppers, pancake breakfasts, casseroles for new parents and funeral food are off limits?

How would you apply those two questions to your own life now?

For instance, how are you and your family feeding yourselves these days? What’s working for you, and what isn’t?

What food-centered community events that you once participated in — whether at school, in church, with your extended family, via a team or a club, or in any other setting — have been disrupted? How?

Read the article, then answer the following questions:

1. What changes in how we are sourcing and cooking food now does this article point out? Name at least two and explain how these changes are affecting people.

2. According to the piece, “During World War II, Americans tended victory gardens, needing both fresh food and a sense of participating in a national cause.” What does one food historian say might be today’s equivalent?

3. What differences among America’s cooks has this crisis underscored? Is your family more like the city dwellers, or more like those who have room for lots of supplies?

4. What examples does the article give to show how communities connected by food rituals are being disrupted? Do you have examples of your own?

5. How has grocery shopping changed?

6. Which of the challenges and changes explored in the piece resonated most for you? Why?

How can you think creatively about food and food rituals to help yourself, your family and your community during the coronavirus crisis?

For instance, what can you make from what’s already in your pantry and your refrigerator? The Times has a helpful article, “Easy Recipes to Cook While You’re Self-Quarantined,” with recommendations like the cheesy white bean tomato bake you see above and Rice Krispies treats with chocolate and pretzels. There are also apps and websites, like SuperCook, that let you list the ingredients you have on hand to suggest recipes you might make with them.

How can you challenge yourself culinarily in this moment? What can you learn to cook that might sustain you and your family?

You might also brainstorm ideas for creating community around food and meals during this crisis. For instance, maybe you can set up a regular online dinner date with a friend or an older relative. Perhaps you can buy groceries for a neighbor who is in quarantine. Or maybe you can create your own how-to videos to teach others to make something delicious.

Source: Thanks https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/learning/lesson-of-the-day-food-a-basic-pleasure-is-suddenly-fraught.html