Thoughts from Hurricane Sandy: Starting Over with an Empty Fridge and an Open Mind

We’d like to introduce the Hilary’s Eat Well community to a new contributor to our blog.  Please give Adam Michaelson a warm welcome.  Adam was born and raised in New York.  He is an education and employment lawyer based on Long Island and is a big fan of our products, the New York food scene, and the real foods movement. 
For the last 75 hours my house had no power.  As Hurricane Sandy slowly moved through the tri-state area, millions of homes experienced a total blackout.  I lost power at 3:00 p.m. Monday afternoon.  Monday night was uncertain and a little exciting.  But on Tuesday, I listened to the radio and learned that the entire coast of New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey experienced severe damage.  As of Thursday night, I’m fortunate to have my lights back on, but I know that entire towns and cities in the area have no electricity and no clean water.  There is still standing water in some neighborhoods and the National Guard and Red Cross are just beginning a long operation.  It will be weeks if not months before people’s lives take on a semblance of normalcy.  It’s surprising and sad; my heart goes out to the people I grew up with on the south shore of Long Island who have lost their valuables and their invaluables.
But as survivors from major disasters from around the world will tell you, things will eventually return to normal.  I’m not trying to say that people will forget or get used to their loss…there will be a new normal.
So once my lights came back on, I tried to get back into my usual routines.  I turned to the kitchen for a hot meal.  It was then I realized that I had to clean everything out of my fridge and freezer.  And a few moments after that I realized that millions of homes would be performing this same task over the next few weeks.
I know that most people affected by the storm are thinking about their safety and health, their families and their jobs.  But everyone affected by this storm will at some point have to do what I did tonight.  They’ll have to clean out all of the spoiled food and buy all new food.  
If you find yourself forced to clean out your fridge, or you’re just trying to turn over a new leaf, consider making changes to what you buy, to what you eat, and what you feed your family and friends.  After weathering such a terrible storm, I know I want to be surrounded with the people I love, making food that’s good.  There’s food that’s better for you out there that will make you feel better and will help you live longer and healthier.  There’s no magic formula and no secret ingredient.  There’s simply the choices you make.  And from my vantage, staring at a bright and empty fridge, I intend to be more purposeful with my food choices.
contributed by Adam Michaelson