This week I’m posting my customary Monday blog one day early. Why? Because today, Sunday, October 16, 2011, is Blog Action Day. What this means is bloggers all around the world will be blogging on the same day about the same topic. Blog Action Day (BAD) began in 2007, as a way to focus as many bloggers as possible on one important global topic. Past years’ topics have included water, climate change and poverty. This year BAD coincides with World Food Day, so the theme is “Food.”
Food is my nemesis. Always has been and, I suspect, always will be. My problem is not that I overeat. Instead I get engrossed in things and forget to eat. By the time I slow down enough to realize I haven’t eaten, I’m ravenous and grab something quick and non-healthy instead of making better choices, always available, but which usually require some prep work.
Another problem—my favorite foods are white: potatoes, rice, grits (I’m a Southerner), breads, cake—you get the idea. White foods (aka carbs) are my comfort foods. My favorite ice cream is even vanilla. I don’t even like chocolate anything.
Surprisingly, I’m not big on fried foods except French fries. I don’t like the way I feel after eating it and I certainly don’t like to clean up the mess from frying. And it seems to me the grease lingers in the air for days.
Unfortunately, though I am not an adventuresome eater. Growing up my family ate whatever (fried) foods were prepared and believed we didn’t “like” things my mom didn’t cook. Whether my sister and I were told that or we came to the conclusion on our own, I’m not sure, but it’s created a lifelong food issue for both of us. I never even tried pizza until I was a senior in college. Perhaps it would’ve been better had I not tried it, but that’s not the point.
As a child, our mother used the “starving children in China,” adage to coax us to clean our plates. Of course, like most children, we suggested she send our meals to those poor, pitiful kids (and promptly got in trouble). The country may have been different, but I’d be willing to bet most of you experienced the same cunning parental strategy growing up.
I’ve overcome the need to eat everything on my plate and try to stop when I fill full. But just as I get distracted and forget to eat, I can also get distracted while eating and continue long after I’m content. I need to stay focused.
In America, we are a world of plenty. Even those without means, can find a meal at a soup kitchen or mission. Churches, Meals on Wheels, and other worthy organizations provide food to those in need. I’m sure there are those who’d disagree, but in my opinion, no one has to be hungry in America. I know that isn’t true in other parts of the world. I found I almost had to leave the movie Slum Dog Millionaire because of the starvation portrayed. And when I hear how many children die from starvation daily, I’m appalled.
I want to do something in honor of World Food Day. I’m donating some canned goods to a local food bank, but feel the need to do something more personal—something that is a sacrifice. To that end, I’m going to give up French fries for one year. This may not seem like a big deal, but every fast food joint tries to upsell them to your order. And I like them. I really like them. But until next October, no fries for me. It’ll be like an extended Lent.
How about you? What are you doing for World Food Day?