Overfed and MalnourishedDecember 13th, 2012 | Posted by in For People
It happens to people and pets. We’re getting fatter even when eating poorly. Arguably, it’s a phenomenon that’s seen more often in the human population because if the dog’s diet remains balanced, its’ easier to put a dog on a diet than it is to put ourselves on one. Maybe people themselves have become oblivious. At least, that’s how it looks on the outside. Yet, that’s not the whole truth. Who would believe that in countries as rich as the U.S.A. and Canada, there would be children going hungry? Or that people who work hard every day can’t afford to nourish themselves? Oh, it’s possible to feel full on little money, but where’s the nutrition in those meals full of fat and cheap carbohydrates?
I spoke with someone who needs the food bank to make ends meet and she said that while boxed meals that need milk or meat added to them may seem fine, she can rarely get milk or meat to make that meal because the food bank has run out by the time she gets there after work. Sometimes it helps to speak to people who actually use a food bank rather than buying what we think should be a good thing. It was an eye-opener for me.
Despite the political games and a slowly recovering economy, we are indeed very rich countries as compared to most of the world. I’m not sure how we can justify being all that, yet have food deserts in parts of the both countries while we throw out so much food. It’s not just what we discard from our own fridges. Stores and restaurants throw food out daily.
The positive here is that we can change it and a lot of people are trying to do just that. Some restaurants and grocery stores are donating to food banks and programs, some places have started communal veggie gardens, and if there’s ever a time when people donate to food banks, Christmas seems to be it. Fresh food (veggies, fruits, milk etc) are bought at good prices by the food banks themselves and that’s where monetary donations are of more help because their buying power is greater than ours. But what kind of food is being donated? Food bank wish-lists seem to focus on canned meats/fish, baby food, milk powder, peanut butter, beans, lentils, rice, canned fruit and veg. I looked in the large box that our local grocery store has placed for donations and it’s usually full which is great, but for the most part, it’s full of Kraft Dinner, Hamburger Helper, and the like.
Dog and cat food are never mentioned on the food bank wish-list, but people have pets and those animals are in need, too. The woman I spoke to lost her husband a year ago, has two children and an old cat. Being able to get some cat food means that she has a few more dollars to spend on what she needs to buy for her kids.
We’re not rich by any means. Not in a monetary way. But we live in a good country, have a roof over our heads to keep the elements away, sleep on a good mattress with nice pillows and warm blankets. The lights are on, there’s clean water to drink, food in the fridge, and we’re lucky enough to have good friends and a nice little dog. I count my blessings every night without fail. So, this year we’ll make our usual food donations including pet food, but I want to include something “nice” as well. Maybe a box of dried fruit or something else that’s yummy and nutritious at the same time. People can’t live on Kraft Dinner alone. This epidemic of being overfed and malnourished nags at me. What about you?
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