I think therefore I am? – Eat to Live vs. Live to Eat

Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

I love my food, and some (mainly my wife, staff members, and the World Health Organisation) would say I love my food too much. So when I hear about crimes committed against food it really annoys me. Hospital food usually has a bad reputation. Mass produced food in general is usually not as good. The recent trend in New Zealand hospitals is for food to be manufactured in a central location and then for all the food to be transported to all of the hospitals. Though this may make economic sense, it is makes no gastronomic sense at all.

This goes against treatment of patients as human beings. Patients are served unappealing material that may have had a natural origin at some point in its life time. It takes a lot of skill to transform random bits of plants and animals into things that resemble plastic in the way it looks and tastes. Patients are in hospitals because they are unwell, and it does no-one any favours when the food they are served makes them feel even sicker.

A plate of fish and mashed potatoes was an example that my cousin told me about. The fish was dry and rubbery, with all nutritional content having been consigned to the pages of history long ago. The mashed potato had given up its moral integrity. Having once lived in a hole in the ground, the potato had been harshly dragged into the light. Flayed whilst still alive, and then subjected to a death by a thousand cuts. Turned into tiny molecules of potato, smashed into uniform shapes. Then dried out along with billions of similarly shaped friends, and repackaged. Add water to make instant mash potato. Instant it may have become, but potato it was in name only.

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