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World Food Day

shantihhh's picture

Today is World Food Day, a day to remember how many go to bed hungry while most of us here sit groaning from eating too much in the evenings.  There is something very wrong about this dichotomy of food consumption.

This sort of says it all, doesn't it?

Many Americans just can’t stop eating. That’s the conclusion of a federal survey that estimates 6 in 10 Americans are overweight, more than 1 in 4 obese. The conclusion: too many of us consume too much and exercise too little.  We live in a Super-Size me world.

Some chronic overeaters admit that they are generally lazy and spend too much time sitting around and eating their goodies instead of walking. 

 I often think if there was a way to take half of our daily food and share it with those that are hungry it could make a big difference.  There are so many in need of basic food items here in the US, many areas of Africa and in India and other parts of the world.

Hunger has no borders - it is a world-wide problem of enormous proportions affecting many children and women on every continent.

In some cultures being over-weight is a sign of prosperity.  Over indulging in copious amounts of food shows their friends they are financially able to afford such pleasures.  Yet in Europe and the US young girls often strive to be rail thin and still think they are “fat”.

Many grew up in the US with the "Clean Up Your Plate,"  as mom's daily mantra.  This attitude has shaped many of the US  population into over-weight and obese people, who are training their children to also over eat. 

Super-size has become a way of life for many Americans.  Buffets are the popular restaurant or fast foods joints of many Americans.  Sadly we are spreading this fast food junk quickly and aggressively around the world.  Quantity has become the norm in place of quality foods.

Children in countries like Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, etc. are facing the plight of over-weight  children.  Obesity was unknown in these places as traditional diets were low in fat and high in vegetables and fiber.  Sadly greasy  fries, fatty hamburgers and sugar loaded cokes have become the “must haves” for many children around the world plus numerous treats of sugar and fat laden foods in place of fresh fruits.

 If a person takes just the amount of food they will eat I agree about cleaning up your plate, but the old clean up your plate is why so many Americans suffer from being overweight.  They load up their plate with mounds of food-enough for two or three people.  Then they drive everywhere fighting for the closest parking spot.

Walk up those stairs, walk from the farthest corner in th parking lot, walk fast, increase your normal daily activities instead of needing to run and do heavy exercise on occasion which is not healthy.  Normal regular exercise promotes regular deep breathing and does not stress the heart, but builds our stamina.

Making healthy choices as to everything you shove in your mouth, or as I often say, make your calories count.  Don’t eat those empty calories of donuts, pizza, double burgers with cheese, bacon, French fries, loads of butter on mashed potatoes and white bread toast, and just plain forget reaching for a chocolate brownie or a bowl of ice cream as a TV snack.  Don’t get overly hungry and start cramming food-any food like chips or  cookies in to your mouth.

It seems many get guilt feelings over their inactive lifestyles and run to the gym and work out like crazy for a few days, then  drop back to exercising by shoving food in their mouths while roaming the channels on the remote.

Ideas for eating less, but being satisfied:

Take portions smaller than your fist of meats and carbs.  Load up on green leaf veggies but use healthy dressings for salads.

Place your food on your plate so that none are touching.  Plate artistically and you are much more satisfied, as you eat first with your eyes.  No chef ever plops massive amounts of food overlapping on a plate when you eat in a good restaurant.

If this is a problem, use a smaller plate.Eat slowly, chewing and enjoying each bite instead of “scarfing down”.  Fast eaters = over-eaters.

Don’t wait too long between meals and healthy snacks as being “overly” hungry often results in over eating.  Healthy snacks mid-morning and late afternoon give us an energy boost and keep you from getting to hungry.  Healthy snacks of fruits or veggies are a good choice.  Late night snacks while watching TV should include such as popcorn or fruit instead of sweets.

Season your food well utilizing fresh herbs, spices, chiles, and such.  When your taste buds are satisfied so is your mind.  So instead of eating copious amounts of food to be satisfied a much smaller portion is required to trigger satisfaction.

Another good trick to eating less is first eat a healthy salad with a light dressing, or having a bowl of soup that is filled with vegetables and flavorful broth.

Carrot, onion, ginger, fat free milk, white pepper soup.


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Snigdha's picture
Steps towards healthy eating Eat leaner red meat & poultry. Eat half your dessert. Eat off smaller plates. More carrots, less cake. Eat more celery sticks. Share an entree with a friend. Snack on fruits and vegetables. When eating out, choose a small or medium portion. If main dishes are too big, choose an appetizer or a side dish instead. Ask for salad dressing "on the side". Before going back for seconds, wait 10 or 15 minutes. You might not want seconds after all. Eat sweet foods in small amounts. Every time you eat a meal, sit down, chew slowly, and pay attention to flavors and textures. The smaller your plate, the smaller your portion. Eat your meals at home on a smaller plate. Eat before grocery shopping. Top your favorite cereal with apples or bananas. At sandwich shops, ask for leaner cuts and smaller amounts of roast beef, turkey, or ham; extra lettuce and tomato; and whole-wheat, oatmeal, or rye bread. Make half your grains whole. Make your sandwich on 100% whole wheat or oatmeal bread or snack on whole grain crackers. Get a whole grain head start with oatmeal or whole grain cereal in the morning. Swap your usual sandwich side for crunchy broccoli florettes or red pepper strips. Focus on fruits. Bag some fruit for your morning commute. Toss in an apple to munch with lunch and some raisins to satisfy you at snack time. Never be fruitless! Stock up on peaches, pears, and apricots canned in fruit juice or frozen so they’re always on hand. Snack on low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Try it as a dip for fruits and veggies and a topper for baked potatoes. Go lean with protein. Eat lean or low fat meat, chicken, turkey, and fish. Try dry beans and peas as your lean protein. Enjoy pinto or kidney beans on a salad or a hearty split pea or lentil soup for extra protein and fiber. Toss salad with salad olive oil and flavored vinegar. Don’t sugarcoat it. Choose foods and beverages that do not have sugar and caloric sweeteners as one of the first ingredients. Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables in the refrigerator for snacks. Carrot and celery sticks are traditional, but consider broccoli, cucumbers, or pepper strips. Choose low - or reduced sodium, or no-salt-added versions of foods and condiments when available. Ask for more vegetable toppings (like mushrooms, peppers, and onions) and less cheese on your pizza. Add lettuce, tomato, onion, and cucumber to sandwiches.
LizzieMarieCuisine's picture
We enjoy serving what would traditionally be found in a sandwich (chicken salad, all natural deli meats) wrapped in Boston lettuce leaves and forego the bread. Veggies (baby carrots, sliced red peppers, snap peas) served with hummus are a tasty treat. Another tasty snack is banana slices with almond butter. Mmmm. Since portion sizes are usually very large in the Atlanta area restaurants, Lizzie and I usually share a meal. Warmly, Doreen Lizzie Marie Cuisine feeding body & soul
shantihhh's picture
Snigdha and Lizzie Marie Thanks for the comments! Steve and I often just order two appetizers and share or one entre and share. I always ask for extra veggies in place of mashed potatoes or risotto or fries. Americans eat TOOOOO much of the wrong stuff. I also love using butter lettuce or red lettuce for making salad/sandwich rolls. One of my favourites is deli lean ham with Ajvar. Ajvar is a healthy and very tasty Balkan condiment. I love the Hot one (very mild) from Zergut available at Eastern European markets. I make Thai Salad rolls using rice paper for shrimp & pork with salad herbs, bean thread noodles, etc. and a nam pla/fish sauce and chiles dipping sauce. Great flavours healthy stuff. Shanti/Mary-Anne
moodyfoody's picture
Interesting Blog shantihhh nice post great job ................
shantihhh's picture
Thanks, I was concerned it might upset some i.e. photos but the real world is this dichotomy of food consumption is one of the biggest issues the world faces today. Many in the US have "blinders" on and are not aware of the rest of the world. In fact many don't have a clue what is happening outside their own small space on this planet and have become deaf to even the hungry in our own nation, and there is no excuse for even one child to go to bed hungry in the US. Afterall we are the richest country in the world. I live in California, which if a separate country would be #5 in world wealth, and yet there are many children in desperate need of food and education right here in California. Every person that has enough food on their table can surely help! OK off my soap box. Shanti/Mary-Anne
HotChef's picture
well stated and very true
World Food Day