Guest Post by author Padma Venkatraman
I’m twenty and in graduate school when I first hear the expression “food fights.”
I refuse to picture what my classmate, Heinz, has described: children throwing food on one another, for “fun.” As a young woman who’s left behind her not-exactly-wealthy single mother and journeyed alone overseas, I cannot even begin to comprehend this. Instead, my brain conjures up an Oliver-Twist scenario.
“You mean you were hungry because they didn’t give you enough food, so you protested?” I ask.
Raucous laughter surrounds me. The two others in my study group (both young white men from well-to-do backgrounds, like Heinz), explain that no, food fights are when kids fling food at one another.
“Cafeteria food’s tasteless,” they tell me. “Not worth eating.”
I’m stunned into silence. I don’t know how to explain why the concept of throwing away something edible – wasting food for the sake of play – shocks me to the core.
Now, decades after that incident, the idea of a food fight still appalls me. [Read more…]