Sunday, March 20, 2005

Sick Food

I was reading the news online and stumbled across the news of an "execution" (or state-sanctioned murder). Coming from a Southern, fairly christian state, the news of an execution didn't suprise me, but what caught my attention was that the news included the victim's last meal.

The news often covers the last meal and it manages to show up in movies in which someone is being put to death, and I wondered why food (and a final visit or not from a padre) was so interesting to our culture. What is so attractive about knowing what a condemned man or woman's last meal is? I thought it could be that it is representative of the person. What they choose to eat could tell us much about the victim. It could be that it represents one of the few choices a death row inmate gets to make in the final 20 years of his/her life. Why are we so interested in what the walking dead want to eat?

A quick and brief Internet search turned up a website that didn't surprise me, but bothers me. It's Just as you might guess, it provides information about the last meals of victims of state-sanctioned murders. You can even buy products from it on As I'm writing this, I am thinking, "How generous! Those states that kill people are nice enough to feed their victims anything they want just before they die."

Now as someone interested in food, I think it would be interesting to look at the food choices victims make from a sociological view. I can't imagine myself ordering a pizza from Domino's as a last meal (unless I was trying to commit suicide), but I can imagine asking for comfort foods. Maybe Domino's is comfort food for someone. But what if the CEO of corrupt major corporations were on death row (more worth worthy candidates than 15 year old boys and the mentally incapacitated)? I doubt they would order pizza, but how would I know.

It might be an interesting culinary journey to eat the same food as the condemned, but somehow I don't think it would be the same.

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