Americans seem to have a love/hate relationship with food. On one hand, we appear unable to gather without food. On the other hand, eavesdrop on a group of 10 or 20 women long enough and you’re bound to catch wind of someone’s issues with weight or diet. We look to food for entertainment, comfort, and pleasure. We oftentimes seek convenience before nourishment.
A significant portion of most families’ monthly budget go to food. But, are we spending more than we need? And are we spending our money on quality or ease? These are uncomfortable questions, especially when the lines between “needing to eat” and “wanting to eat” are so easily smudged.
I should first admit, I read 7 as a passive observer. As much as I’m inclined to crazy projects and self-imposed plans, I decided to read 7 and take in the wisdom without feeling compelled to mimic the actions. And, because I read for the enjoyment of the words, the words are what stuck out to me. Instead of feeling solidarity in a loathing of dry chicken breast, I felt joy in the prose. I loved that Jen repeatedly talked about not making 7 into law. I read her words and ran with the heart of her ideas.
This stuck out to me. This challenged me. This started a chain reaction in my life. This chain of letters, these lines and words, these are what have started a months long look at what it means to have and to have not.
I thought about these seven healthy foods jam-packed with nutrition, fueling my body. My energy has doubled and I feel really good. I have the luxury of eating healthy, organic food, an extravagance in most of the world…I realized my slightly reduced life is still extraordinary in every way. There is no end to my advantages. For whatever reason I was born into privilege; I’ve never known hunger, poverty, or despair.
What started out as a discussion about a fast from food, quickly turned from a millennia-old practice into a modern day challenge. How can I celebrate being in such excess when others have so little? How is it possible to continue to live in such a way, knowing full well how little others have. These thoughts bled slowly out of the kitchen and into all my waking (and non-mealtime) moments.
My heart turned toward living in a way that allows my life to have a beautiful cadence. One where the “haves” and the “have nots” dine together and are celebrated equally. My desire turned to parenting my boys in a way that would illustrate to them that the pizza delivery on a Friday night is an absolutely extraordinary blessing in the scope of the world’s population.
There was an article recently that got my heart aching and my mind racing. Did you know that 40% of the food in America goes wasted, yet 1 in 6 American’s haven’t enough to eat? Clearly, this is not a supply issue. The problem isn’t that we have too many people to feed, or that we cannot grow enough food to feed the hungry. The problem is, the “haves” are taking more than we need without thought.
I started to wonder, if I was more careful with my grocery planning and budget, could I give that money to feed local people who are hungry? Our church has a food pantry, and it is running terribly dry. Even in our affluent county, there is a high need for food. So, recently, I’ve decided to carefully plan our meals and buy only what we need. With the newly found room in our grocery budget, I’m buying items on the “most needed” list for our food pantry. A 44 cent box of cornbread mix isn’t much to me, but it’s a lot to a momma who is struggling to feed her babies.
By Hayley at Tiny Twig
Did Jen inspire you to stick to 7 foods for a month? Did this chapter make you step back and reflect on what you’re serving on your dinner table each night? If Month One of 7 made an impact on you, we want to hear about it! Link up your posts below or share in the comments!