No. 773



One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be married to a woman who is an excellent cook. In my case, I have never taken the time to figure it out, but most of us spend a good deal of our time each day, week, month and year eating, or as we say, feeding our face. We have excellent, well balanced and nutritious meals here at our home. Viola, who has had Parkinson’s for 13 years, still does a great job in the kitchen, and even goes to the store and purchases our food a good deal of the time. Neither of us is grossly overweight because we exercise some, and that part about our meals being well balanced and nutritious is one of the key reasons. The last report I heard is that 25 percent of the American people are obese. Now, that’s really sad when you think about it.
Even with the downturn in our nation’s economy and several million people being out of work, we are still a very prosperous people. However, I am not sure how long our nation’s credit card will be honored, which is really something to think about. There are pockets of poverty right here in our country where people still go to bed hungry each night, especially children. This is the backdrop for some ideas I want to share with you regarding a most interesting article a friend sent me the other day. The article consisted of some excerpts from a book titled, “Hungry Planet: What the world eats.”
In this book, the authors had researched 30 different families from 24 countries and came up with some most interesting parallels and contrasts, showing a photograph of each family and the amount of food they consumed each week. It was most interesting to see the Melander Family from Germany, with four members, standing before what looked to be a mountain of food that represented $500.07 in American dollars. Of course you understand the food in one nation is much different than the food in another. Ever go to a Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Japanese or Polish restaurant in your community?
While I can’t show you the photographs here, visualize each family and the number of family members, with a stack or pile of food they have to eat for the whole week, as given in American dollars, which helps to have perspective.
After Germany, that I gave earlier, we have the Revis Family, four members, from North Carolina. They were spending on the average $341.98, with this footnote: Sure hope most American families eat more fruits and vegetables and less junk food than this family. Next is the Manzo family of Sicily with five family members, who spend an average of $260.11 each week. A sidebar: these photos do not tell the whole story, since there is no way to know the calories and nutritional value of each item.
Next is the Casales family from Mexico, with five family members and they spend, on average, $189.09 each week. This family is followed by the Sobczynscy family from Poland, with five family members who spend $151.21. Then there is the Ahmed family from Egypt, with 10 family members who spend $68.53 per week. Next is the Ayme family from Ecuador, with nine family members who spend $31.55, then we have the Namgay family from Bhutan, with 12 family members who spend $5.03 and lastly, the Aboubakar family from Chad, with five family members, who spend $1.23.
Hopefully, this has been of interest. It was to me as it shows how really blessed we are, but it’s vital that we reduce obesity.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)