November 17, 2012

Let's think about food this Thanksgiving

Letter to the Editor

Having turned 64 this year, it's a struggle now to remain hip. To stay cool. I have a smart phone, a website and hair. But I don't tweet, and I've fled Facebook.

Nowadays, cable TV is the cultural fountain in the piazza of the proletariat. T'was there I discovered "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives." The host, a hipster named Guy Fiere, sports pretentiously spiked white hair.

This episode featured burgers towering to dizzying heights of beef, onion rings, dollops of chili, cheese slabs and great gobs of glorious goo (reminiscent of our native whoopee pie filling) into which Fieri would sink his face, eventually coming up for air.

Watching this spectacle was as exhausting as nauseating.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, this show was another reminder about how callously and cavalier we regard food in this country.

There's a blur between substantive nourishment and unabashed gluttony. As a (Staten Island) hurricane victim aptly noted: "Manhattan's preparing for a marathon, an' we're pullin' bodies outta de river. Y'see the disconnect heah?" Instantly, the obvious relevance between a foot race and a disaster was brought into crisp, vivid perspective.

In spite of this -- and the circus we recently endured electing leadership -- I nonetheless see (aided by corrective lenses) the inherent good and vast potential in our country.

But doesn't it seem more and more of a challenge each holiday season to look beyond the buffoonery and decadence that surrounds and consumes us -- if we allow it to?

It's an old saw, but as we approach Thanksgiving, I hope we'll pause to thoughtfully and respectfully give thanks. Perhaps re-think food: its abundance and distribution in this country, our state, and your neighborhood. Hunger and need is not relegated to today's hurricane victims. Or tomorrow's.

Happy Thanksgiving. Stay cool.

Buddy Doyle, Gardiner

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