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Hungry for stress relief.

February 27, 2012

Something special happened at the FeelGood kiosk on Friday.  I taught one of our members how to crumble cheese.  That’s right, crumble cheese.  As I’ve mentioned before, crumbled cheese is key for a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

The cheese is crumbled on Thursday evening by our wonderful deli managers and typically, a large container of perfectly crumbled cheese is already prepped for a full day of sales on Friday.  This past Friday was different.  Swarms of hungry admitted students and their parents stopped by for sandwiches, exponentially increasing our sales and simultaneously dwindling our cheese supply down to nothing.  We needed more!

I started to get to work on a block of Shelburne Farms cheddar but my fingers couldn’t move fast enough–the orders were quickly piling up.  I called another member in for back-up but she had never crumbled before!  Not a problem.  Cheese crumbling is not a particularly technical skill!  I taught her my technique–take a quarter of a block at a time and crumble it with your thumbs–which she quickly mastered.

After getting past the basics, I began explaining to my new accomplice the therapeutic power of cheese crumbling.  You’re angry?  Go to town tearing the cheese to shreds.  Stressed?  Forget all of life’s dramas by focusing 100% on the work of your fingers.  It works every time!  Working with your hands has been shown to have mental health benefits according to this article–check it out if you’re interested!

Since freshman year I’ve been aware of and have experienced the mental health benefits of crumbling cheese; but in explaining the phenomena to a new crumbler, I had a realization.

At FeelGood, we don’t define hunger just in terms of a desire for food.  Yes, that is part of it, but we believe that a person can also hunger for education, for companionship, for relief from stress and for anything else she deeply desires.  The Hunger Project, the organization to which we donate our proceeds, supports this belief by addressing hunger in a holistic fashion.

In a similar fashion, FeelGood provides its members, customers, and partners with nourishment in many forms beyond the grilled cheese.  FeelGood feeds the desire of young people to make a difference, brings people together to form meaningful friendships, arouses creativity in sandwich makers, and supports the mental health of cheese crumblers.  FeelGood does all of that AND is ending world hunger?  Yes, I am biased, but FeelGood is a pretty phenomenal organization!

FN 2/27

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2012 2:40 pm

    I can completely understand what you are experiencing. I know that when I have an opportunity to create a meal for someone, even just something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich, it creates a type of fulfillment that goes beyond the digestive system. Its nourishment for the soul! Food as a way to connect, heal and evolve. How do we incorporate this key “ingredient” into a society that has become so fast-paced and disconnected from the deeper meaning of what nourishment for the soul is?

    • March 5, 2012 10:33 pm

      Good question! The whole process of eating–from the market to the dinner table–is all a part of the nourishment provided by that dinner. It extends so far beyond just the nutrients that make up the meal (or the ooey gooey grilled cheese at FeelGood)! Organic Valley pioneered the Earth Dinner, a dinner held during earth week during which people come together to eat and to talk about the food that they are eating. I think it’s a pretty neat idea that hopefully will start to revitalize our connection to food! I wrote a post about the Earth Dinner on my other blog if you’re curious:

  2. Rachel Rubenstein permalink
    June 15, 2012 12:59 am

    Just reading through all of your beautiful blog posts Jamie! This one brought a big, gigantic smile to my face. I’m so happy to hear that VT sharp cheddar is still known for its therapeutic abilities. Love you lady! Congrats on your recent graduation!


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