Here’s the thought I had: Let’s write about food. I thought of the idea to dedicate months of work to such a broad topic, thinking I wouldn’t get past the brainstorming stage. In the concept stage, however, I realized food is at the core of everything. In reality, the prevalence of food has lulled humans into an ignorant trance that takes many forms.
For instance, the overindulgence state — where some humans consume so much food, according to a recent study, they have become just as addicted to food as drug addicts are to narcotics. Then there’s the ignorance state — where food intake is all some humans think they can control, causing them to starve themselves.
But food affects all of us — not just the major eaters or the body-conscious. Food affects religions and careers. It has a stake in the U.S. economy and propels the business models of several multibillion -dollar food chains.
And with the haves come the have-nots. The intriguing aspect of food is that any food will suffice when it is scarce. When someone has gone days without eating, in kicks desperation — a feeling so intense and painful there are campus and national organizations solely dedicated to the cause of filling the stomachs of the hungry.
But as we begin to settle into somewhat affluent lifestyles, we expect more from our food, invest more into nutritional habits or disregard all forms of discretion.
The last tendency is the most detrimental. It’s the reason the first lady has dedicated her time to warding off childhood obesity. Americans have forgotten that preparing your own food and eating foods grown from this soil are actually enjoyable — and healthy — activities. There are, however, trends fighting against American forgetfulness. There are the homegrown food lovers and the people who choose fresh over frozen. And there are the local restaurant owners looking to provide simple meals with wholesome nutrients.
We all have different views on food — for the daily volunteers and the hungry, food is at the epicenter of their lives. For the busy-bodies always on the go, food is seen as a hassle, taking precious time away during which they could be working.
It’s interesting, then, how there are so many organizations set out to change our perceptions of food. Perhaps we have to understand its ubiquity before we transform our perceptions.
The Lariat staff set a precedent last semester, winning a national first place award for its special section on Generation Y at this year’s Associated Collegiate Press conference. Clearly, the staff’s hard work paid off. But I think special sections — particularly those sections that are done exceptionally well — offer more than a chance for a staff to garner awards.
Special sections are focused. Centered on one topic, staffs delve into an adventurous species of journalism. The best special section writers are on the prowl for the angles others have consistently missed regarding the sections’ specified subjects.
The Lariat staff has been back on the hunt for the past month. And this time, we bring you nothing but the best stories surrounding a foundational aspect of human life — food. Chew on this, Baylor Nation — there’s much information-rich content here for your brain to digest.
— Nick Dean, editor in chief