Have you finished eating the pasta, baked beans and tins of tomatoes that vanished from supermarket shelves when news of the Covid-19 emergency first broke in the UK? Are you eating all the eggs, which were nowhere to be seen in the supermarket this morning, or perhaps you’re baking many cakes? My Instagram feed is proof of the pudding. Oh, those heady days of popping down to the shops to buy the ingredients for a meal, stopping en route to sunbathe in the park and no-one pointing an accusing zoom lens.
Who would have known that this would be the year we’d talk so much about and take so many photographs of food? What about food growing in fields? Who will harvest the onions if there are no migrant workers? Will British people pick fruit and vegetables, wearing face masks and standing two metres apart? How will ordinary people grow their own food in their gardens if we can’t buy seeds because the garden centres are closed? When did Home Economics stop being a compulsory subject in schools and why?
It struck me as extraordinary to hear from Boris Johnson’s former advisor, Guto Harri on Newsnight, that the Prime Minister, currently very ill in hospital with Covid-19, a multi-millionaire and graduate of a fine university, “(didn’t) eat very healthily…not the recipe for giving your body the chance to fight something as vicious…” Why wasn’t food important to him? How can someone so rich, with any kind of food available to him, eat so poorly?
What are you eating? What are you dreaming about? For the second night in a row, my 19 year old son is cooking. I’m not sure what to expect but I can smell onions and garlic. Discovering that my children can cook has been one of the pleasures of this lockdown.