By Alice Wong: Complete Post through this link…
It’s rare to see an article combining disability and food appreciation. It’s more common to see pieces about disability and nutrition, in which food is thought of mainly as a functional need, or as part of a medical or wellness regimen. And then there are the entirely justified, but repetitive and therefore frustrating complaints about restaurant accessibility. Deep dives into the personal, sensory experience of food itself, through disability, are hard to find.
That’s at least part of the reason why this article by Alice Wong drew me in. That, and the fact Alice’s writing here is so filled with joy. It’s not happy platitudes, but very specific, personal, relatable pleasures in food from someone who can no longer eat.
The article opens an Eater series on disabled people and food — but food as life and joy, not just nutrition, medicine, or addiction. Alice cites disabled people’s powers of innovation and adaptability, explaining that the series “provides merely a sample of this brilliance through the prism of food.”
For me it also speaks to something broader. It’s about how even people with lifelong disabilities can experience the onset of disability as a new thing — and how the loss of certain accustomed pleasures doesn’t have to be complete, because we can cultivate what we physically miss in our memories.