Fast, Pray, Give: Day #2

So I can cook, I just am often one who chooses not to. It’s more about the effort to make the food, the time it takes and often the large clean up afterwards that I don’t relish.

HA! And I don’t even like relish.

Take out always trumps making a healthier meal and that’s something that BustedHalo’s Fast, Pray, Give Calendar asked me to avoid today. So I’m eating oatmeal and fruit for breakfast and a small salad for lunch before I make a simple bread and soup meal for the students (Butternut squash).

I really enjoy cooking when I do it and Mary DeTurris Poust’s book Cravings reminded me about the mindfulness aspect of cooking a meal. I’m looking at doing more with actually fasting this lent–perhaps doing the one full meal per day on both Wednesdays and Fridays of lent will be what I end up doing. I’m still deciding.

Speaking of take out, do you eat out often? If you do there’s a good chance that you’ve been served by someone who is a victim of human trafficking.

This is from the Polaris Project:

Cases of human trafficking in restaurants have been investigated in multiple states, including FL, TX, MA, NY, WI and MN and the prevalence of labor trafficking in restaurants has been commonly cited by human trafficking investigators and service providers as an area of concern.

In a study of the restaurant industry in several major metropolitan areas by The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, researchers found that nearly 80% of workers did not receive paid vacation days, nearly 90% of workers did not receive paid sick leave. This report also documents wide racial disparities in the quality of work and wages earned by workers. For victims of human trafficking forced to work in restaurants, the conditions are frequently more severe.

I ask waiters and waitresses lots of questions, especially at good restaurants. My favorite question to ask is: “What would you be disappointed that I didn’t have?” They often love that question and give me narrow down some good choices or flat out convince me on what I should order. After all, they know what’s good. I worked for a food show with my dear friend Arthur Schwartz when I was back in radio and he made me become a lot more of a foodie than I already was. And I discovered an underground food movement and learned how badly people who work in this business are often treated. They get cut by knives, burns from the stove, waiters have to deal with the public and they have to do it all while continuing the serve people (Waiters even do this with a smile!)
So let us pray for these people who are often invisible but provide us with much hospitality.

Our local Wegman’s is also raising money for the Buffalo Food Bank, a place I love volunteering. I think I’ll set up the next service event there as well as tossing some money via Wegmans to these people who give some much to the hungry in the city.

So blessings on day #2.