Food is MedicineF. Amos Bailey, MD Jun 25, 2019
Food….there is so much food in our society but many don’t have enough. Hangrey , the smash up of hungry and angry. The idea being that we often get grumpy and angry when we don’t have enough food to eat. Unlike the commercial this is featured in I would recommend some fruit instead of a candy bar.
Once again, I noticed that his tray, was open, the food looked cold and unappealing and not much was missing. He said the food was uneatable… it reminded him of the food he had been served on board his ship in the navy. Not very good then, but at least than he shared it with others.
A few weeks later I visited him in the room in the transitional housing he had been discharged to when he left the hospital. He had made some progress. Maybe put on a little weight. I asked him about food, and he took me down to the kitchen.
He told me he made eggs, grits and bacon for himself and two other older Vets almost every morning. Something he had learned from his Ma. There was a well-seasoned pan and he describe how they all liked their eggs over-easy, so that the yolk spills into the grits and the bacon and a little grease gets all mixed up. I understand. I have had this breakfast many times growing up. The time between when the egg is done and when you eat it is just seconds … at most a minute. I sometimes make this for myself when I am hangry. You could never get this in the hospital.
For lunch they went to the soup kitchen next door most days and heated up soup or something from a can or box for dinner. They cooked and cared for each other.
There is something therapeutic in eating with others, making food for others, caring for others. I am not sure what we can do to make institutional food less institutional. I think it has something to do with sharing and caring.