"La comida no está en la mesa."
Translation:The food is not on the table.
Sorry, just making a joke. "The food is not on the table; the dog is not saying a word..." My sister's dog, alone in the dining room with the table set for a romantic steak dinner, ate the dinner right off the table while my sister & her husband were in the kitchen finishing the sauce. This sentence just reminded me of that incident.
I tried to use están, because we're not dealing with a single food here, that doesn't even make sense. I wonder if it's an issue of 'much vs many'. Money (measured by how much and not how many), for example, would also be está and not están, even if you're referring to a lot of money.