So I didn't pick this topic because I actually wanted to talk about comfort food, though Suzy, I disagree with your analysis of food's ability to comfort. I picked this topic because every week I go to seminar to talk about healthy eating and body image and there I get a free lunch.
There is nothing more comforting than free food.
Now, to further my argument about food's ability to comfort, the idea stems from sense experience. It's runs along the same lines as the argument for smell triggering memory. Because food is largely at the core of our North American existence, it shapes much of our expectation of experience. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter - all noted as 'the holidays' and as a time when we should come together with family and friends . . . to eat. This is the expectation, this is the anticipation, this is the comfort. What comforts me? Cake. Mostly cake.
So anyway. Every week at my healthy eating seminar, I hear different Bio-Chem Nutrition or Kinesiology majors tell me about the benefits of eating well and exercising and I am not in the slightest inspired to do it. Because the reality is that I am there for the free food; and the free food they're offering me goes against most of what they're encouraging me toward. Sandwiches on white bread with sodium enriched sandwich meat, topped way too much mayonnaise. But I do love my sandwiches. And I leave a little bit comforted.
What I don't leave is any money behind because this was after all free. And what are we here for but get as much as we can for as little as we can.