Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Evil hunger

Today, in addition to being all about three sixes, is National Hunger Awareness Day, and as a person who is without a car, sense of planning or cash-money-on-hand, I kind-of feel the pangs.

IE: I have not eaten today. Sometimes, it doesn't matter; today, I'm actually hungry, distracted because of it and feeling weary.

I am lucky to say that unlike a friend of mine who once reported that he used to sneak into the fridge and eat butter when there was nothing else, I never, ever was hungry as a child. It must be a harrowing thing. We "most Americans" tend to think of hunger as something that annoys us when we're on a diet. Or something we try to feel sympathy for when confronted with images of famine-stricken refugees in Africa. Or of stadium-bound Katrina evacuees sitting in the dark.

How do you tell if a kid is hungry? Our local mega-pantry distribution network, Harvesters, has a few programs specifically targetted towards children, things like a "backsnack" program, pretty much a back pack of snacky foods low-income kids can take home to tide them over between school lunch and whatever dinner is coming their way.

In the part of the city where I work, so many of the kids' families are poor that everyone gets free lunch from the government. I think the school has to have 90% or so of its students living at or below some poverty index and then they don't mess with paperwork, just let everyone eat for free.

Of course, we've all seen what kind of food that can be, pretty much everything that I avoid due to its meat-like-ness and preservative-laden status: industrial pizza, breaded reconstituted chicken, hot dogs, "fruit cups" and, well, milk.

I'm having a hard time not just staring unproductively at this Drum Room menu that came as part of some PR for the restored downtown (Hilton) President Hotel. . . .chorizo and manchego stuffed fried mushrooms, tempura fried vegetables, crispy flashed spinach and corn fried snapper salad, miso calypso bean soup, crab and serrano ham tater tots with garlic tomato sauce, salads of diced veggies, mixed greens and tomato basil dressing, of cashew and ginger chicken with artichoke pasta and miso vinaigrette. . . .

1 comment:

hearmysong said...

serrano ham tater tots? yuck!
i too was fortunate never to truly go hungry as a kid. my mom used to point that out to me every time i would walk into the kitchen and wail 'i'm starving!' she said i didn't know what it meant to be starving. now i'm wondering, given her background, if she did know what that meant.
i too think it sucks that the only "free" food is horrific in terms of nutrition. marc and i have this debate all the time--how much more expensive it is to eat healthfully, especially when trying to grab a quick meal when you are not cooking. breaded chicken is almost always less expensive than fried in most drive-thrus. salads are four times as much as hamburgers. i just can't eat off the dollar menu and it drives him bonkers!