By Cathy Salter
Following the spread of a deadly coronavirus pathogen from its source in Wuhan, China, to countries around the world, the global nature of the pandemic has brought the threat of food insecurity into critical focus. In the five months since the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the United States, businesses across the country have had to close, schools and universities have gone to online teaching, and record numbers of workers laid-off or furloughed have filed for unemployment. For an increasing number of Americans, food insecurity has become personal.
With much of our nation still following directives to stay at home, we are faced with how to feed ourselves and how to help feed others who are struggling to put food on the table. Ironically, while facing food scarcity challenges, many people around the world have been rediscovering the joy of food.
Food writer M.F.K. Fisher lived through a period of food deprivation due to global warfare in the 1940s. In her classic book, “The Art of Eating,” she reveals her thoughts on what it is about eating that brings people together. “With good friends…and good food on the board … we may well ask, when shall we live if not now?” In other words, a shared meal binds people together, wherever they are in the world, and no matter how bountiful or sparse the provender.