This is going to be a short one today, but it sort of relates to my last post. I ran across this post on Time Magazine's website, called "What the World Eats". Interestingly enough, I used a similar post from time.com last year when I was teaching summer camp at my school in Taiwan.
First of all, it's so interesting to look at the different types of food that people from so many different parts of the world eat. As an anthropology nerd, this sort of stuff always fascinates me. It is also pretty amazing, though, to compare how people in other countries are eating to the way Americans eat. Although the American family had some tasty-looking food (that made me think, "mmmm... pizza..."), it was quite obviously packed full of high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, fat, and salt (now -- please -- don't get me wrong. I enjoy a Hostess cupcake or potato chips as much as the next guy. I just don't buy them in bulk when I go to the grocery store!). That, in and of itself, is quite sobering.
Secondly, when I showed these pictures to my kids, the response was not what I had expected. The purpose of the exercise was just to talk about the way people all over the world eat and to open their (the kids') world up to some different types of food (during summer camp, the teachers pick a new theme each week and teach about it in any way they like -- does it surprise you that one of my weeks was devoted to food???). Instead, the students' responses to the pictures opened MY eyes. They were eager to point out how MUCH food some families had and how LITTLE others had. They loved seeing food that they recognized (McDonalds, Corn Flakes, Pepsi), but were absolutely shocked by how much soda some of the world is drinking, and how many bags of potato chips the American family was allowed to have in their house! It made me think (and has again as I reminisce) about what my groceries for a week would look like... Would I display them and proudly send a picture back for my students in Taiwan to see? Or would I feel slightly ashamed and embarrassed? I think some weeks I would definitely NOT feel proud to show others what I'm eating, but others I would.
Think about this for yourselves... How would you feel about what you're eating if you really laid it all out there???
p.s. Picture #1 is of the classroom wall -- food pyramids, healthy snack ideas, and a sticker reward wall for the "Healthy Snackers" in class!
Picture #2 is of my Lion Class (the 3rd grade upper level English class). I miss them. *sniffle*