What Poverty Can Teach Us About Our Unhealthy Relationship with Food

Is the keto diet a good idea? Should I be intermittent fasting? What’s the fastest way to lose belly fat? As an online dietitian, these were the questions I was bombarded with last year… and it says a lot about our relationship with food.

Despite all the diets and food fads, the latest CDC statistics indicate that obesity in American adults and children has been increasing at its maximum historical rate since 2011. We’re basically eating ourselves to death! Yet, in developing countries there are about 800 million people who will eat just one meal today, if even that.

These people are also faced with food issues, but at the complete opposite end of the spectrum when compared to us. Nothing brought this home for me more than my trip to rural Uganda. I noticed a striking contrast in how people treat their relationship with food and what issued they confront on a daily basis.

The Hunger Project: You Won’t Look at Food the Same

In 2017, I traveled to Africa with The Hunger Project, a not-for-profit devoted to helping end world hunger.

Instead of providing food handouts, this organization raises money to build a central community building that – run by local volunteers – provides villagers with access to a school, a health clinic, clean water, food storage, and micro-finance banks. In addition, demonstration farms offer training on how to farm “cash crops” such as coffee. This means locals learn how to grow food to sell, not just to eat, in order to generate an income.

When you actually see starving people, and how a small quantity of simple foods can dramatically improve their lives, it puts your own consumption into perspective. It makes you reevaluate how much you eat and how often. Moreover, it makes you realize all the insignificant things we complain about. It is truly humbling.

Rather than attempt to explain my experience in Uganda, I decided to document it in a video. I invite you to watch it below.

Hopefully, just watching this will change your relationship with food and the way you think about it – where it comes from, how much variety we have, how accessible it is, and how wasteful we are.

Learn more about my experience here or visit The Hunger Project to learn more.

About the Author

Joe Leech is a dietitian (MSc Nutrition and Dietetics) and founder of the nutrition website DietvsDisease.org.

This article (What Poverty Can Teach Us About Our Unhealthy Relationship with Food) is copyrighted by Awareness Junkie, 2018. It is reposted here with permission. You may not copy, reproduce or publish any content therein without written permission. Feel free to share this article on social networks and via email. If you have questions, please contact us here.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of letuKenya or its staff.

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