Food professionals—a mental health survey


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Speaking Out

In October 2015, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at the TerraVita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill, NC. Each member of the panel was asked to talk for a few minutes on how they use their culinary capital to benefit their community. Here’s roughly what I had to say.

I am delighted and I am lucky to have a chance to speak with you today about two subjects that are increasingly intersecting in my work, namely:

1. My crazy intense love of food.
2. And, well, being crazy.

I’ve been a writer for the past big chunk of my life and mentally ill with depression, anxiety and a panic disorder for all of it — but it took getting a platform as a food journalist for people to listen to me.
At first, I was just caught up in the deliciousness of it all. The fabulousness and the sensual pleasures — Yay, bacon! Oooohhh…pimento cheese. Calloo callay for cake (and pie).

And what I found out pretty quickly was that if you can find this common ground of pleasure with people, you can also start to talk a little bit about the pain. Because we all use a certain amount of sugar to balance the sour . You have to to be able to get up and be a human being in the world on any given day.
Continue reading Speaking Out