Written by CHUMA
This morning I received a forwarded email that led me to an article on the NPR website , which briefly tells of a couple who compiled a book entitled, Hungry Planet: What The World Eats, detailing the amount of groceries that various families from all over the world uses in one week. Complete with pictures (see below) and a breakdown of the different foods and the cost, I was disgusted and outraged after I read this article.
First let me address Chad, Africa. When I looked at this picture, profound melancholy overtook me. I mean, damn! How could such a paltry and insufficient amount of food feed a family of six? I was so disheartened and disappointed with humanity. Unfortunately, Chad is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Africa. I read that most Chadians live in poverty as subsistence herders and farmers. Sadly, the country remains afflicted by political violence and periodic attempted coups d'état.
But when I saw the picture of the family in the United States, and viewed all the processed food that was part of their weekly eating regimen, the most obnoxious feeling just came over me. McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza, potato chips, soda, and hardly a vegetable or whole food in sight; just absolutely appalling. Why has the atrocity of neglecting nutritious foods become the American culture? Out of all those pictures, the Americans are the only ones with fast food in their diet, aside from the Germans eating frozen microwave pizza. To make matters worse, the $341.98 they are squandering on a family of four a week is a detestable waste of money. That’s $1367.92 a month; a dependable mortgage payment if you ask me. I have never spent so much money on food in a month. I shop for a family of three, and the most I have spent is about $300 to $400 a month, and even now I have managed to decrease that budget to under $300, close to $200—and we eat plentiful.
The western culture, although holds a dominant economic place in the world, is a wasteful and repugnant way of life in regards to preserving natural resources and maintaining healthy well-being. Regular consumers of foods that are processed and laden with artificial flavoring and preservatives are at a higher risk for liver disease, cancer, high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, heart disease, and some birth defects, just to name a few of the many health risks.
Presently, the American government has adversely put its people in jeopardy of an economic depression due to the war in Iraq. The current climate of the economy has already forced families to buy cheaply packaged processed foods that are less, if at all, nutritious. In other ways, the government in Africa and the governments of the other countries profiled in the NPR article are to blame for their own disproportionate food wagons, and I find it shameful and lamentable that humanity keeps failing itself in this regard.
Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
Japan : The Ukita family of Kodaira City
Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25
Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11
Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07
United States: The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week: $341.98
Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1, 862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09
Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27
Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyp tian Pounds or $68.53
Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55
Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03