My master’s thesis in Boston University’s Gastronomy program was on the subject of Food as a Response to Trauma. I studied the roles food could play in trauma recovery by speaking with practitioners, and by reflecting on the food that played a part in my own trauma recovery.
Food is extremely effective in modulating emotion, which is why so many people turn to food when they want to regulate their emotional state. Sometimes food-related coping skills can become harmful (for example, in the form of disordered eating), but in my research I heard from many practitioners the many ways that food can be a positive part of the healing process.
Comfort foods have an awful lot of bad publicity, so I wanted to show my gratitude to the foods that comforted me when I was struggling, and as a token of my appreciation I knit them sweaters. As any knitter knows, a hand-knitted gift brings joy to both recipient and gifter: I’ve knit since high school, and as my needles build stitches on stitches, a sense of calm falls over me. In ‘thanking’ these comfort foods, I was once again comforted, this time by the soothing rhythm of clicking needles.
Pizza – specifically a medium cheese pizza with extra sauce from Domino’s – is very close to my heart and has brought me comfort throughout my life, so this was the first comfort food sweater I knit. If you, too, are in the market for a sweater for your pizza box, you are in luck! I’ve attached the pattern here.