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The Food + Grief Project
Where there is grief, there is food.
What Is the Food + Grief Project?
Food finds many contexts in grief. The Food + Grief Project explores that important intersection.
A community forum, the Food + Grief Project publishes recipes, stories, personal essays, and food memories of those we love and lost.
The Food + Grief Project is inspired by Unpeeled founder Lisa Ruland's experience as young widow. A full-time food writer at the time of her husband's death, Lisa was continually struck during her grieving process by the many ways her loss impacted her relationship with food: learning to eat alone, making foggy-headed cooking mistakes, learning to food shop for one, being too sad to throw out his now-long-expired yogurt. And on and on.
The Food + Grief Project connects people in ways that heal, nurture, and provide strength in numbers.
How does it work?
Even in the depths of grief, we have a relationship with food -- albeit one that may be greatly altered.
Food connects us, and food heals us: the casserole carefully prepared by a neighbor; broth that offers sustenance when someone is too grief-stricken to eat anything else; holiday cookies that form a powerful tie to a grandmother.
The recipes, essays, and articles here cover it all: the recipes that heal, the recipes that remember, and the stories of the people and bonds connecting them.
If you would like to contribute to the Food + Grief Project, or would like to reach out, contact email@example.com.
In addition to the feature contributions on Unpeeled, here is an ongoing list of some writing on food and grief:
- "For Many Widows, the Hardest Part Is Mealtime," Nierenberg, A., The New York Times (Oct. 29, 2019).
- "Raw Grief," Podcast, BBC's The Food Chain (Sept. 9, 2018).
- "Widowed: Food After Loss," Podcast, BBC's The Food Chain (Sept. 9, 2018).
- "Crying in H Mart," Zauner, M. The New Yorker (Aug. 20, 2018).
- "The Bread I Still Can't Bear to Bake," Kolb, L. Modern Loss (April 27, 2018).
- "A Widow's Food Guide to Grief," Kolb, L., The Washington Post (Mar. 27, 2018).
- "Turning Down the Nachos (aka Managing Grief and Comfort Eating)," What's Your Grief? (Mar. 28, 2017).
- Culinary Grief Therapy, Nickrand, H. et al. (2017).
- "When Grief Strikes, Food Can Be a Gift From the Gods," Ferguson, D., The Guardian (Jul. 16, 2016).
- "The Gift of Food: What to Give to Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones," McWilliams, S., Cooking Light (Oct. 17, 2015).
- "Love, Loss, and Fruit Salad," McWilliams, S., Cooking Light (Oct. 16, 2015).
- The Pleasures of Cooking for One, Jones, J. (2009).
Additional resources related to food and grief:
- The Dinner Party: A potluck dinner group for 20- and 30-somethings who have experienced close loss.