Nowadays, more than ever, with the introduction of science and technology, the selection of food has been elevated into another dimension. People's desire of sustenance now can be fulfilled from TV dinner, fast food, mignonettes of beef and scallops with pommery mustard sauce to white jelly fungus and bird's nest in honey soup. Given the fact that the appetence can be satisfied through wide selections of food, some people now take this advantage for granted. Some people overestimate their capacity of eating and abandon large portion of the meal which they cannot consume. Moreover, some people ignore the taste, the smell and the quality of the food and concentrate on the quantity of the food which they start to eat like a horse. However, in contrast, the act of the abandonment of food and ignorance of the taste, the smell and the quality is unaffordable to a prisoner. As a result, in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich, the theme of food has been addressed elaborately and in detail. .
With the nutrients and energy it provides, food is the basis of life. However, because of its very scarcity in the camp, the act of eating takes on a new and profound importance for the prisoner who has the ability and will to survive. Being in a camp for eight years, the harsh condition of camp life triggers Shukhov to elevate his eating to a new and profound level. Such an account is being introduced through a typical breakfast in prison. Instead of consuming the meal cursorily, Shukhov "[eats] [the meal] slowly and carefully, like he always [does]" in the camp. To Shukhov, there is "[no] need to hurry, not even for a house on fire." .
Sleep apart, the only time a prisoner lives for himself is ten minutes in the morning at breakfast, five minutes over dinner and five at supper.
Rather than having a warm breakfast with a cup of coffee and a plate of sausage, pancake and eggs done sunny side up, all Shukhov has is a "cold gruel.