COVID-19 Diary – 2nd April – Food


A larger proportion of my day involved Asda than I would have expected. I will spare you the boring details, but suffice to say it involved me getting irate with someone in a call centre. This behaviour is both bad and pointless, but something about stress related to food seems to bring out the worst in me. My wife has noted that I get especially tense in restaurants, if we have to wait too long, or they get our order wrong, or I even think they might be getting our order wrong.

I’m lucky that I’ve never had to worry about where my next meal is coming from, I’ve never experienced true poverty. As an averagely well off family, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, in one of the most abundant periods in human history, We’re lucky that we can, broadly speaking at least, eat what we like. So it’s a bit of a shock when that is suddenly not totally the case. Even the relatively minor imposition of having to queue outside a shop, and then certain things not being available inside, seems like a massive deal.

I’ve never suffered from an eating disorder, but I do sometimes think my relationship with food is slightly askew. As mentioned above, any problems related to food cause me an unusual amount of stress, and I have a need to know when and where my next meal will be. Food, more than alcohol or anything else, is what I want to treat myself with at the end of a tough week or day. I have tended to eat at least moderately healthily for most of my life, but do have a tendency to gluttony if left to my own devices.

We weren’t a big junk food or snacky family when I was kid. It wasn’t banned by any means, just limited for reasons of health, wealth, and because my mum, I think, doesn’t really understand the need for it. McDonalds baffles her even now. I remember once sneaking off with either my pocket money or paper round money to buy a 6 pack of crisps to eat by myself in one sitting. As an adult, I would get takeaway only once a week, but when I did I would often order way more food than I needed or could even realistically eat. But, as I say, it has never developed into a big enough thing where it has caused me any major issues, with my health or otherwise.

Being in lockdown certainly increases the temptation to gorge, as there are fewer ways available to treat myself. However, we also have to be more careful with our food, to keep shopping trips down to a minimum and we don’t know what will be available when we do go to the supermarket. Meal planning has improved, and food waste is down, habits that will be good to stick with once all this is over.

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