In both the popular imagination and ad campaigns, honey is the epitome of a wild food. After all, bees can’t be herded and overfed like cattle, or immobilized like broiler chickens if they are to continue making the sweet substance. As reported here last year, bees are “a key to global food security” due to their critical importance in food chains worldwide. In fact, honey seems to be a bellwether of global food insecurities. Read more
As a member of the armed services, my boyfriend is entitled to shop for food at the commissary on our local military base in New York. Right next to the commissary is the PX, or “Post Exchange,” where we can buy every day necessities, books, and military supplies at a discounted price. Between the two services, military personnel can buy all that they need without leaving the base. The PX also houses a few private eateries and business, such as Burger King and GNC, where the store’s slogan, “Live well,” frames displays of nutritional supplements. The open, tiled space of the PX looks more than a little like a food court, an effect that will only be enhanced by the installation of another fast food franchise in the next year. Burger King’s tables spill out into the lobby, and the glowing menu sign above the counter warmly invites its customers to partake in a Whopper or a Dutch apple pie.
Are patrons supposed to enjoy their Whopper value meal and then attempt to undo the damage with some vitamins and powders from the King’s neighbor? This Burger King and that GNC represent two aspects of military food culture constantly at odds with each other: The need for culinary comfort in a stressful job environment and the attitude that treats the soldier’s body as a high-performance machine that requires precisely the right fuel. It’s hard to find a middle ground, at least here in the PX. But what about elsewhere on post? The commissary should offer the healthy-eating options lacking at a Burger King or a Taco Bell. Read more