The Hunger Games movie logo
So you’ll notice that Kennedy and I spend a lot of time harping on about food. That is because food is important. Starvation is an equalizer; no matter how strong you were, just a couple weeks without food and you’re done. Those who survive the apocalypse won’t be the “fittest,” necessarily, they’ll be the ones who know how to fend for themselves.
This belief (fact?) was spoken to in The Hunger Games. Food is a major feature in the novels; Gale and Katniss spend their days searching for food to feed their families, Peeta once saved Katniss’s entire family by giving her a couple of loafs of bread. Fresh food is such a precious commodity in District 12 that even the Peacekeepers turn a blind eye and in fact benefit from the black-market that’s sprung up around hunger and starvation. We read anecdotes of people starving to death regularly; whole families starving to death in the streets. Kids would enter their names in the drawing for the Hunger Games multiple times of additional rations from the Capitol.
Once Katniss and Peeta are chosen for the Games and board the train to the Capital, sure they’re concerned about their fates but food even features here. They are always eating, talking about the rich food of the Capitol, its prevalence. Katniss is grateful for it too. Not because she’s been on the verge of starving for most of her life but because she thinks that the more strength she can build up the better her competitive edge will be. Of course, it turns out that what gave Katniss her competitive edge was that she had the skills to find food anywhere once she was in the arena. In the end it didn’t matter how big the Careers were, once food was removed equation Katniss dominated.
Now I don’t really have any problems with everything that was left out of the film in order to get that PG13 rating – I found the books to be truly horrifying all around and I was glad to spared that in the film – but I feel that hunger is an instrumental part of the story and of survival itself. Why leave it out, I mean really? Other than a couple of small hints we wouldn’t even know how big of a deal food was in the books from the movie. Unfortunately it’s little things like this that make me feel like people completely missed the point. So let’s all acknowledge for a second how important food is to society – and how important its absence is.
So why does hunger matter? Exactly because of what I said initially: starvation is an equalizer. In order to survive the apocalypse we must look to acquire the skills to survive outside of modern society. We don’t have to be hardcore hunter-gatherers but some foundational skills wouldn’t do any harm.
As we continue through the spring and summer months Kennedy and I will be posting some drill-downs and videos demonstrating some of these basic survival skills – things that we can all learn to do even from the comfort of our studio apartments. Let’s all just hope the apocalypse doesn’t happen before then.