Updated: May 9, 2022
The last time you were hungry, how well did you perform?
Imagine you are in your cubicle, and you hear on the news that a "snowmageddon" is coming and you haven't eaten lunch. You are warned to go home before the roads ice over…and you are hungry.
Are you thinking clearly?
Now you are in your car. You've been stuck there for four hours due to traffic and weather conditions. You are so hungry! You are going to have to abandon your car and walk five blocks on the highway to a nearby convenience store. They should have some food and it's been seven hours since your last coffee!
Ah, but you're cold too. You weren't dressed for eight inches of snow. Your loafers are soaking wet. What's on your mind at this point? Your stomach is gnawing at you. Again, are you thinking clearly?
Of course you’re not thinking clearly, and you’re not likely to make the wisest choices in the minutes or hours that follow.
Hopefully, you’ll make it to the store and ingest food that will give you enough sustenance to make it through the day. Sadly, most of what’s on offer at the convenience store, if the shelves aren’t bare, is candy and processed food.
The food that you eat powers your brain along with your body. Filling your stomach with junk food does to your brain something similar to what low-grade fuel does to a high-end car. It won’t run as well. You won’t feel good. Your mood will plummet.
In fact, research shows that, over time, a bad diet will increase your risk for neurodegenerative disorders and mental illness. This is no joke.
Also, just the stress of being hungry is fraught with danger. Research has shown that stress has deleterious impacts on all cognitive functions, including decision-making, memory, and information processing.
To put it succinctly, a well-functioning brain requires good, nutritious food, and a minimum of stress.
Yet crises happen, and not everyone is equally prepared. On “snow day,” some workers may have brought nourishing food that will sustain them through the workday. Others rely on the cafeteria which may need to shut down if, for example, there is a major power outage.
In an ongoing crisis, most people only have enough food at home to last a week at best. So who is looking out for them? Who will see to it that they make it through the storm, healthy and intact, with fully functioning brains?
Contingency planning in life is truly everyone’s responsibility. But let’s face it -- not everyone knows what they’ll do in an emergency.
Forward-thinking CEOs and business leaders know not to leave their employees without support in the event of a catastrophe. They will put systems in place on behalf of their personnel. They’ll create these systems during relatively calm periods; they won’t wait until the storm comes.
Such planning will result in a workforce that is better cared for, and thus able to think and act with far more clarity.
Who do you want running the forklift, the nuclear power plants, driving public transportation, and even performing surgery? People with dependable, well-nourished brains or…?