I read an article today about one of the original cast members of the movie, Steel Magnolias. There are many lines in the movie that are memorable, but the one that really caught my attention today is “….more is more.” I’ve reached an age in life where more is definitely more and I need to get on with life to make sure that I’m able to spread more to others. I don’t mean to imply that I should spread myself thin, I simply mean that spreading Love and Peace to others should be my daily goal, not how much exercise can I squeeze in the day nor what can I buy today, but instead invest in the most simplistic form of reaching out to others through love, fellowship and food. I’ve decided that while I’m in-between jobs I am going to make good use of my spare time and volunteer. My passion is healthy eating and holistic wellness, however, there is a huge problem of people going hungry in this country. We are one of the richest countries in the world and there are millions of people who will go to bed hungry tonight. Talk about an epidemic………..I totally understand the feelings of fear regarding a potential Ebola pandemic, but what about all the children who are dying or are malnourished due to lack of food?
I personally know of a family that receives government assistance in the form of food stamps. The family consists of a woman and her son. They were getting right about $300 a month in food stamps. That’s for the whole month! My family of five typically eats about $300 dollars’ worth every week. I know there are many others out there who eat on that amount and feed more people. So, the question is, how are the unfortunate poor supposed to feed their families healthy food while on such a strict budget? I suppose one could suggest that if the family lived in the country they could grow a garden and reap the benefits of what Mother Earth provides, but what about those who live in the city? Or those who live in a neighborhoods that have laws forbidding them to grow vegetables in their own yards? I actually live in such a neighborhood where it is against the law to grow a vegetable garden in my front yard. Against the law to grow vegetables in one’s own yard? I can have a small garden in my backyard, but not the front. I’m sorry, but in my humble opinion, that is absolutely crazy. I pay my taxes, but because I live in the city limits I am not free to do as I please with MY yard.
Another concern I have revolves around the cost of health foods versus unhealthy foods. Let’s take one of the biggest fast food restaurants in the world, (I will not mention their name as I think their food is probably the unhealthiest fast food that money can buy), let’s call it the yellow arches restaurant or simply YA fast food. As an example: let’s say that you are a family of 6 with 4 being children and you decide that you will give the kids a treat and take them to YA for dinner and you only have $20 to spare. Are you going to buy them burgers for only a $1 each or are you going to try to feed your family of 6 each a healthy grilled chicken salad with low-fat dressing for around $6 a piece. Simple math shows that you can buy 6 small burgers, 6 order of fries and 6 small drinks for less than $20; while purchasing healthy salads and bottled waters for everyone will cost around $42, more than double what your budget allows. This example clearly shows that eating healthier is not a viable option for many families across this country alone, let alone considering families across the globe. So, because healthier foods cost approximately double the amount of unhealthy foods, this “pandemic” creates more and more unhealthy people, which causes healthcare costs to spin out of control due to obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Those three diseases alone are preventable, in most cases, through educational opportunities and practical application. How does one practically apply nutritional education when one lives below the poverty line? This is the constant conundrum that drives me to finding solutions to this rapidly evolving problem, (pandemic).
While I am considering every possibility for change, I will devote my time to helping those in need through volunteering at my local food bank. I challenge each of you to take 30 minutes of your time once or twice a week helping others. It’s really nice to think about those in need, but in order for good intentions to create a real difference, those nice thoughts need arms and legs and fingers and toes in order to actually do something about said thoughts. When you help others, help will be there for you when you need it. I am firm believer in “what goes around, comes around,” “you reap what you sow,” and the law of attraction. In this case, MORE IS MORE.