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Food and LAN
Hackers and gamers are notorious for neglecting their bodies' needs and living off take-away pizza and other ready-made junk food. This is not because they dislike more wholesome food, but simply because they have better things to do than cook (see Open Source Recipes).
Importance of good food
What many people forget though is that quality, quantity and regularity of food directly influence alertness, mood and accuracy. As Napoleon famously said: "An army marches on its stomach". This should be of immediate interest to gamers. In this age of convenience foods, who actually knows exactly what they are eating? It is remarkable that people in the Open Source Software community are prepared to go to great lengths to be sure of the provenance and licensing of their software, yet are completely ignorant of the origin and contents of their food.
Allergies and convictions
Anyone with a food allergy or with moral convictions regarding food, or anyone who has ever had to cook for such people knows all too well how difficult it can seem to find food to suit special needs. One package does not contain nuts, but apparently was processed somewhere next to nuts, another should be simple chicken breast, but has been injected with a water and pig-protein mix, and a third has so many E-numbers that you need wikipedia open just to decode what is in it. But it need not be so difficult. Reject pre-prepared mixes and ready-made foods. Go back to basics. Buy pure ingredients, condiments, herbs and spices. Cook with them and enjoy the real flavour of food - and it then becomes quite simple to cope with even multiple dietary requirements.
Good food is easy
Good, wholesome food does not need to be expensive and time-consuming to make. In fact, simple, healthy food is cheaper than any convenience food and although it can take longer to prepare, the actual amount of work involved need not be excessive, as most of the time is just letting things soak, boil or stew without needing direct attention.
Meals are more than just fuel stops
Finally meals are more than just an opportunity to recharge the body's fuel tanks. Meals are a social event and promote contacts, exchange of ideas and and team spirit. Regular meals also provide a daily rhythm, which helps individuals get the most out of a day, as well as giving organizers of an event a natural time at which all participants are together and so can be used for announcements or requests.
For all these reasons we intend to make good, simple and cheap, but also diverse and thought-provoking food available throughout the event. Each day will have a theme, and no two days will have the same food served. We cannot promise that everyone will be able to eat everything, but we will do our best to take any dietary preferences communicated in advance into account - and because we cook with pure ingredients, if we say a dish is gluten-free, contains no pork or that something is vegetarian, we can guarantee it.