I needed somewhere to go for Easter Break last year while studying in Germany. Prague was looking too expensive, and I needed a last minute train ticket fast. I decided to check out Germany’s tiny neighbor, Luxembourg, where I found something I wasn’t expecting. It took a tiny museum in a tiny country to bring some real-world perspective into my life that I’m not likely to soon forget.
What the World Eats, or “The World is Hungry,” as the museum exhibit was called, showed just what different people consumed per week in different parts of the country. The exhibit in Luxembourg shoved in my face the gluttonous habits of Americans and Germans, while making me feel guilty as I peered upon the rice grains a lonely vegetables that sat on a Somalian family’s table. The gross indulgence of the two countries I’ve called home filled me with a sense of guilt. It’s something so easy not to think about
I always hear that the world produces enough food to feed everyone, all 6 billion of us. But when it comes down to it, many people don’t have the money to buy food or the means to grow it. Conflict and poverty-ridden countries are home to people who eat in a week what we might eat for a dinner out. But what can we do here to help? Thinking about that can be overwhelming sometimes. The gap between steady food and a few grains a rice is so disparaging it’s hard to see the answer. And right now I don’t see one.
Picture from supplementalscience.com
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