We all know that Thanksgiving is tomorrow and it’s one of my favorite holidays, it’s probably one of yours too. It’s a holiday that allows you to kick-back and relax, spend time with loved ones, think about what we are grateful for, and of course eat lots and lots of FOOD. The average American consumes about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day and probably does not think twice about how unusual it is to have that much food available to them in a single day compared to the amount that an average person consumes per day in some other parts of the world. On a day we celebrate being grateful for the things in our life, we may overlook how blessed we are to be able to have so much food available to us.
Let’s take a look at an example of what an average American would eat at Thanksgiving dinner below:
As you can see, this is only ONE meal. If you’re anything like me, you would also choose to eat breakfast in the morning. Compare this list with another list, below, that is an example of what a middle-class family in Guatemala would eat in a typical day:
It is certainly a much shorter list than our Thanksgiving dinner. I mentioned above that this is what a day of meals looks like of a middle-class family in Guatemala, but 53% of Guatemala’s population lives in poverty. A lot of families live on less than $2 per day and the menu above would look a lot like how the Thanksgiving feast looks to Americans. In other words, it would look like generously more food than they are used to.
For this reason, almost half of Guatemala’s children under the age of 5 suffer from chronicundernutrition. As you can see from the example directly above, it would be hard for a growing child, or even an adult, to get all of their essential nutrients without a wide variety. It is impossible to get those essential nutrients eating even less than that on $2 a day.
So when you sit down to eat on Thursday, be thankful for not only your friends and family, but your health, and their health, as well as the amount of delicious, nutrient-filled food in front of you. Some of it may not be the healthiest, and that is okay, but be thankful for the variety in your meal and remember there are individuals in the world who don’t have this privilege. You may even start considering to research programs that help the less fortunate. Even better, you may decide to take part in one of these programs as the Christmas season quickly approaches.
I truly hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Take the time to practice being grateful and helping others realize all of their overlooked blessings as well.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” -Anne Frank