Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This coming Tuesday is World Food Day. It’s a day whose mere existence is both a sad statement of the conditions that exist on this planet as well as perhaps a condemnation of the priorities of those who live upon it. World Food Day recognizes the millions of people starving across the globe.

In many respects, it borders on disgraceful that that there are so many blogs like mine that discuss restaurants or others that talk about cooking and recipes. We talk about who makes the best Cornish hen or how we can go about making the best Cornish hen. Or maybe we talk about how we thought about making that Cornish hen, but got lazy and sat in front of the TV instead and vegged out on cheese doodles until our fingers turned orange.

While we may not be as gratuitous as the guy driving the Bentley or the woman wearing the seven hundred dollar pair of Jimmy Choos, we’re way more common.

As Americans in general, and as New Yorkers in specific, we are amongst the luckiest people the world has ever known. Despite what makes for a good protest march, we live with personal freedoms and rights that other people on earth could never hope to have in their lifetimes. The simplest items from a KMart represent luxuries that half of the rest of the planet would look at with unimagined awe. And the ability to eat what we want, at any time we want isn't even an option. Food that isn't dropped out of the back of a white C-130 doesn't necessarily even exist. We take food for granted so much that we buy candles just so we can have a home that smells like apple pie or vanilla latte or blackberry cobbler. And they don’t even get us hungry.

Don't get me wrong, I know that you've heard this all before, and I'm not planning on stopping my culinary excursions any time soon. But I will try to guilt you just a bit since it’s the right thing to do.

For my part, I am going to pause and think about the world beyond the bistro door. I had plans to eat out this weekend, but instead, I'm going to walk to the next restaurant on my list, look at the menu in the window, and to write down what I would have ordered. Then I'm going to add it up, tip and all, and donate that money to a food-related charity. It ain’t much, and I’m not going to say that it is, but if you do it too, it’ll add up.

In the meantime, I'll finish up the reviews I have floating around that I haven't gotten to.


Be careful though. Choose the target of your generosity wisely. There are plenty of charities to give to and if Hurricane Katrina taught us nothing else, there are also plenty of scumbags with fake charities trying to take advantage of us. And the help needed isn't all abroad, either. If you believe that charity begins at home, City Harvest is a great place to start.

Update 10/18/07:
My restaurant pick is Craftbar. Escarole and Cannellini Soup, Short Ribs, Cream Cheese Panna Cotti, a glass of wine and a cup of coffee would run, according to my tally, around $60.

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