B-Side: Food and Coping

How do you cope with a rough day? Perhaps some comfort food? On this edition of B-Side we’re talking about food and coping.

First: B-Side’s Tamara Keith cooks up a pot of her mom’s vegetarian lentil soup and explores food and our relationship to food.


Then: We visit a bar. It’s the kind of place where you can get a strong drink a disappear. And it seems the appropriate location to do a show about coping.  B-Side explores the things we do to deal with the unexpected, the unpleasant, the sometimes miserable parts of life.


Liner Notes:

“The Gastronauts” Jody Avirgan: The Gastronauts are a group of adventurous eaters who like to push their culinary limits and explore the most exotic food New York City has to offer. Just what makes these guys hop the subway to seek out giant Nigerian snails, lamb eyeballs and live, squirming octopus? We’ll find out.

“Take me Out…to Dinner” Donovan Keith:
Donovan Keith is on a strict diet. His food intake is carefully planned and regulated. He’s even signed up with a personal trainer at the local gym. But he’s not, trying to lose weight: he’s trying to put on 30 pounds of muscle for a regional theater production of Take Me Out.

“Spam?” Rene Gutel:
Sometimes food can be a dividing line because what you eat, or what you don’t eat, can say a lot about you. It can speak to your tastes, your socioeconomic status, how you were raised. It gets kind of complicated and touchy and emotional. Rene Gutel found all this out not long ago. She’s a reporter in Phoenix, and also a newlywed. Her husband is John Tynan. We’ll let them tell you the story.

“Retail Therapy “ Claudine Zap:
Claudine found that for her the best place to cope with a loss wasn’t a bar, but a shopping mall. For her, shopping couldn’t bring back the dead, it couldn’t make the pain disappear but it could help her forget, at least for a little while.

“T-Shirt Addiction” Rob Sachs:
Sometimes coping with a loss is hardest when the thing you love is slowly fading away. That’s what literally what happens for our next contributor Rob Sachs. Rob is a self-proclaimed tee-shirt aficionado who’s spent countless hours scouring thrift shops for the coolest in vintage fashion. But with each washing Rob’s faced with the inevitable reality that his precious tees won’t last forever.

“After the Dumpster” Elizabeth Chur:
Many people might need to do a bit of spring cleaning. But for some, the sheer volume of their possessions reaches epidemic proportions. You might never know from someone’s outward appearance that they have a problem with hoarding and cluttering. But their piles of papers, books, clothing, food, and other belongings often reach from floor to ceiling and endanger their safety and their ability to function. In this story we hear from one such person who has struggled with clutter for decades. This story was originally produced for Transom.org.

“Kitty Prozac” Kristi Birch:
This story starts with a woman, who decides to get a cat. Then the cat decides to cause some trouble…and the situation gradually spirals towards absurdity.

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