The Myth of Comfort Food. (The New York Times, 12/15/2014)
Getting it wrong from the start.
Feeling sad or stressed? Put down that Oreo or bowl of mac ’n’ cheese and brace yourself for another bummer: The emotional healing powers of comfort food may be overrated.
In my view, "comfort food" has never been synonymous with "chicken soup". This first definition sums it up for me.
American Heritage has historically taken a more prescriptive approach to lexicography, but its dictionaries do not mention a healing aspect of comfort food.
Oxford's definition might give University of Minnesota researchers a smidgen of comfort, but "well-being" can easily be translated to mean "happy" and have nothing to do with emotional health and healing.
I make what I immodestly consider the best comfort meal ever:
- meat loaf
- baked potatoes
- green bean casserole
I rarely utter such complaints, but I sincerely hope that no public dollars funded this study.