Wednesday, January 19, 2011
You need more?
What better to wash that 50lb. hamburger down than with a 31 oz. coffee. Good grief have we gone totally mad? Forty plus years ago a regular cup was something like 6 to 8 oz. And rather than go swimming in a fountain drink it was considered extra large if it was more than ten ozs. Guess when some executive did some research and found that the human bladder could hold 16 ozs. then all bets were off. More is not better. More is just more and results in more around the waistline. Now there are prizes to see who has the latest entry into the Guinness Book for the largest (fill in your entrée of choice). And the fools that be actually think that one human being can actually consume such gargantuan portion in one sitting. And the prize if they do? It's free! I can only assume that this has become the latest diversion much like flag pole sitting or marathon dancing was back in Mom's and Dad's day. But really do we need food items that would feed half the town when so many on this planet consider themselves lucky if they can eat grass or dirt in any given day? I'm no wet blanket to spectacles but you'd think that we could get just a bit more creative and practical in our feats.
With the current economy I can appreciate what those at the bottom of the pile are experiencing. I know now why the less fortunate carry the weight both figuratively and literally. They have everything going against them. The bulk of what comes from food pantries is rice, pasta and potatoes. It will keep a body alive but not in the healthiest of terms. Then there's the Russian Roulette of caned goods. Will they consume something that's been at the back of a cupboard two years beyond its' use by date? A broth soup is not supposed to slosh in a can when it's shaken as if it were a solid glob. Any fresh foods like produce must be consumed within the first 48 hrs as they were close to being composted anyway.
There is the stress of what I'd call "you can't have your cake and eat it too". That's the fear that if you eat something then you might not have anything for later or tomorrow. This results in skipping meals in order to save. But that's not a good idea since hunger will eventually kick in with a vengeance resulting in over eating. There's that never ending array junk foods. Like it or not a bag of chips looks very tempting and would fill a hunger pang for at least one meal. But such substitutes are no answer for good nutrition. It's all about survival and the subconscious takes over in desperation. I can only imagine what the Russians went through during WWII. I understand there were no dogs to me found on city streets during the German siege.
The thin veneer of civility slowly erodes when circumstances change for the worse. A war, a natural disaster an economic down turn or being born to poverty kicks in the survival instinct. We got to witness that some years back when the Kurds of northern Iraq were forced to flee their homes and live in the hills. These were by American standards middle class folks with homes and cars and jobs. Had it not been for their dress you'd have though they were from middle America. Yet in just a few short weeks conditions in their camps were reduced to something close to a Mad Max village. People at the bottom aren't necessarily lazy they're terrified. As we see from the latest events fear moves people to work against their own best interests. Survival is a great motivating factor. We will do what it takes to get by.