Learning to eat my vegetables: food and the PhD experience

The following post was published on Pubs and Publications, a blog curating musings on the PhD experience. We enjoyed it so much we wanted to share it, thank you to the Pubs and Pubs team and Laura for letting us do so! Based at the University of Edinburgh, they are always looking for contributions from across the UK and beyond.

There’s been more than one occasion where I’ve looked on, often in despair, at other PhD students’ lunches. I look down at my somewhat deflated looking sandwiches whilst they are happily heating up what looks to be something ridiculously healthy. There’s green stuff in it. Green. I try and hide my Wotsits, or whatever other kind of junk I’ve felt like polluting my body with this week. Judging my lunches next to theirs’, I feel like I’m still in secondary school, somehow. When did people ‘grow up’ and start eating so well?

Erich O. Krueger 'So klappt es besser!', Ferienplatz Schloßpark Charlottenburg in Berlin 1947.
Erich O. Krueger
‘So klappt es besser!,
Ferienplatz Schloßpark Charlottenburg’, 1947.

I Google “PhD students eating” because I’m a lazy researcher at heart. Aside from some of the usually surreal stock photos that pop up (there’s pizza, obviously), numerous articles pop up on how to eat healthily as a grad student. There are the usual tips that seem to litter advice articles like this: buy seasonal, check out discounts, cook at home. This isn’t an advice article. I’m not here to tell you how to eat properly, because I don’t. I know plenty of PhD students who find time to cook, eat well, and manage a thousand other things, too. You really should ask them, because I’m only just beginning to learn how to not eat like a devil-may-care teenager who lives on a diet of Doritos and toast. Continue reading