Foodie Can, In Fact, Fail. (Kind of.)

February 6, 2010

I was rejected by the Emerson Congressional Hunger Fellowship committee last night.

If you don’t know about the Emerson Fellowship, it’s the ballerest hunger/food access related opportunity around. It splits a year of service between a hunger oriented non-profit and policy wizards in Washington, D.C.

I’ve been in a touch of a rut (food and life wise) since my farm-exit, and I am doing my best to work through it without drinking myself to death (ok, maybe I am not trying that hard.) Spending the past few weeks obsessing over this application and others rekindled my bookish flames. It is simultaneosly freeing and frustrating to figure out exactly what you want, but feel like it is continually out of reach. All I want to to is read books about food, write about food, help people understand why good food is important, cook, garden, and throw the worlds best dinner/dance parties.

I declared in my application, “I believe that access to healthy, satiating, sustainably and ethically produced food in America should be a right rather than a privilege. I believe that hungry Americans should not be held with their backs against the fast-food-is-cheap-food wall.* I believe that community and backyard gardens and government programs that foster connections between the hungry and local farmers cannot only supplement diets, but also can change the way Americans think about food. I believe in the communal power of good home-cooked food. I believe that families that cook and eat together can be happier, healthier, and better adjusted.”

A conversation with my fellow blogger/wife/food adventurer lead us to talking about the profound social and personal pressure on our generation to find meaningful, motivating work outside the work-your-way-to-the-top corporate structure of our parents. She boiled it down to living a life in which you lead by example. It made me realize that maybe I have fallen off the practice-what-you-preach wagon. I have been eating subpar mom-cooked leftovers because I am too tired from my misery-inducing job with that big ‘ol organic grocery. I sort of gave up after the last farmer’s market closed in October. I have been drinking like it’s the edge of prohibition. I need to start using the only bonus of this employment (20% discount) to eat exactly how I know I should. ** I need to start voting with (my very few) dollars again.

I took this snow day to cook for my little brother and cousin, trapped inside with me. There were thin organic egg omelets this morning. There is bolognese asimmer, and peanut butter applesauce brownies cooling on the counter. It makes me feel warm and good, and maybe marginally more hopeful.

*How fucking good is that line? How could they deny me?

**Keep an eye out for a post about the intensely practical, if sadly self-helpish named, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat.

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