absence makes the stomach grow fonder: food variety deprivation, fantasy and phenomena in the humanitarian aid worker life

by caitlin meredith

meal of desperation: canned fruit cocktail with a side of canned tuna

Food cravings are a motherfucker. After a few weeks of being in the field with the same slop every day, my gastronomic fantasy life takes on a bigger and bigger portion of my conscious and unconscious mind with debilitating consequences. I’ve been through this cycle enough times now to recognize the signs and symptoms, which I will presently share with you.

(In a future post I’ll talk about REAL food problems in refugee camps that will put my indulgent indignation in proper perspective, but for now I just need to whine.)

But before I get into the Meredith/Kübler-Ross Five Stages of Varied Food Deprivation, however, let me give you a small snapshot of what kind of culinary context I’m referring to. Let’s take my recent time in South Sudan as an example. Read the rest of this entry »