Benjamin Velani -  Dining Editor for the 138th Editorial Board. (Ben Parker / Sun Assistant Photography Editor)

That’s a Full Lid – Spring 2020

This has been one hell of a start to 2020. It has shown us how negligent we can be when it comes to taking care of each other, and it has shown us the extent to which we take care providers for granted. When I say care providers, I don’t just mean doctors and nurses; I mean the garbage collector, the Chick-fil-A cook, the woman stocking empty grocery store shelves and the 40 year employee showing up to work everyday and finding new ways of doing the same work. Re-imagining jobs that have been the same for decades is no easy feat. But people have done that invisible work so you don’t have to worry about getting your family sick when snacking on spicy chicken sandwiches for a special Friday dinner.

Ben Parker / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Food Ethics | Medicine for the Lonely

While walking up the stairs in my house, I saw my brother Mike’s door was propped open. I popped my head in to see how he was doing. Talking with him, we happened upon the topic of illness. “My throat has been so sore that it hurts even to swallow. I wouldn’t mind the cough otherwise.”

Well, I had a solution for that!

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A Spicy Take on Chronic Pain

One of my earliest memories is of being five or six and having my father, a spicy food fanatic, make me eat one of the dried chilis that comes in kung pao chicken. That was the day I learned that the best antidote to a mouth on fire is not water or even milk, but mouthfuls of plain, steamed white rice. It was also the beginning of my own descent into what my mother felt was madness. From then on, my dad and I were like a cult, only instead of a god we worshipped capsaicin. We went to fancy hot sauce stores on vacation.

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How Do the French Stay So Skinny?

But maybe the paradox isn’t that the French are skinny. Maybe it’s that Americans, in our mentality of experimentation and efficiency, are overemphasizing scientifically tested and quick and easy fixes to our health problems.

milky stuff

The Value and Values of French Cuisine

In becoming aware of the French concern for conservation, for example, I have become aware of my own wastage. In realizing the French normalization of the body, I’ve realized my own squeamishness. In appreciating how the French value precision, I’ve realized my own appreciation of individuality.