Week two below the line has kicked off and it’s funny to think that all my food and drink for the past 7 days has cost less than £7 altogether. I haven’t gone over the £1 mark any day – surprisingly, I’ve been so careful in my measuring and calculating that my highest amount has been 89p. It’s a strong wake-up call to just how much money we spend on food on a weekly basis, when people talk about weekly family shopping costing £100.I was watching television this afternoon and will fully admit I am a bit of a cooking show fiend. I loved ‘Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen’ when it was on, and I watch Saturday Morning Kitchen every weekend. Food programming dominates our television schedules every week from competitive dinner parties in ‘Come Dine With Me‘ to professional displays of cooking in ‘Masterchef‘.
During the week I have stumbled across a programme called ‘Man Vs Food‘ which I’ve seen a few times before but, in the bright light of Live Below The Line, it really got me thinking about the obsession there is with food. ‘Man Vs Food’, in case you have never come across this worrying example of a programme, basically involves a self-confessed food obsessive, Adam Richman, trailing across America and taking on the biggest food challenges there are. For example, eating the biggest hamburger in Missouri, the hottest curry in New York, a pile of giant filled pancakes in San Francisco……you get the idea. The dishes are enormous, and look enough to feed a family of 5 easily, yet Adam ploughs his way through gigantic meal after gigantic meal.
Now, this is all happening in America where, as far as food goes, super-sized appears to be the usual and expected fayre. However, these dishes are not just served up especially for Adam – they are regular ‘challenges’ taken on by their customers. The sheer amount of food that must be served daily is hard to comprehend, and it makes me wonder how many of these customers, or even Adam himself, would even contemplate living below the line.
We are the first generation with enough resources to eradicate extreme poverty in the world. Yet, while 1.4 billion people in the world try to make it through the day on less than the equivalent of £1 for everything, elsewhere in the world tonnes and tonnes of food is wasted, and obesity is a leading health issue.
Surely it’s time to regain the balance.
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