No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The more I write about and learn about food, the more important and complicated this subject seems. There are lots of websites and blogs that talk about how to cook stuff, how to make dishes extravagant and homey, how to get your kids to eat and so on. I’ve tried to fill a niche talking about how food affects those of us who are single, bachelors, if you will. I’ve tried to talk less about recipes and more about the basics of food and cooking and why you should prepare more of your own meals.

Along the way, I have learned a lot about food, about where it comes from, how it affects your life and what we can do to use it to make us healthier, both physically and emotionally.

I’ve been lucky, in some ways. I’m still alive when so many others I’ve known are not. I rarely am truly hungry. I have food stamps and, thanks to a friend, a roof over my head. I have a kitchen in which I can experiment, learn and be creative. And I am thankful, because I know how easily it could all slip away. I know there are many who are not so lucky. And I know I would not be here were it not for the generosity of people who pay taxes and who donate their time and money to help those less fortunate than themselves.

It pains me, therefore, when I read about people trying to do what they can to help, only to be thwarted by useless rules and regulations. That doesn’t mean I am against having rules, just that I feel they must recognize the difference between trying to help and trying to cheat. Too often, regulations in our society are written with a “one size fits all” mentality. Anyone who is other than average size can tell you that there’s no such thing as “one size fits all.” I know that making regulations more human means making them more complicated. But that’s the beauty of our system of government. We have a means of making changes to reflect the needs of our society today.

Good people speaking up about the absurdity of “one size fits all” rules are causing a change, a good change that will help the poorest of the poor. But for now, those poor, homeless people will have to do what they do in other places, dig old food out of the trash. What is wrong with us?

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