Travel & Delectable Afterthoughts

Humbling Moments: The Epitome of First World Problems

August 16, 2015

Rosy Cheeks Project

Spurred by a deep-seated need to raise awareness on problems in life that concern matters beyond me, myself, and I. This article is an outcry of criticism regarding the largely impaired and distorted perceptions of our society and less about pitying the less fortunate.

Returning from my trip to Southern Africa, I realized how unbelievably privileged and how unappreciative I am of what I have here in Canada. There are so many people who struggle to get by, who live day to day, hoping that they have enough to last till tomorrow. Basic necessities like food, water, and shelter are real struggles met every single day. There the struggle is VERY REAL.

On my bus ride from Swaziland to Johannesburg, I met a lady who was traveling with her 10-month old baby to visit her husband who lived across the border due to better job opportunities. While we chit-chatted, I was chomping away on some crackers as she timidly mentioned she didn’t bring enough money for food. I shared my crackers with her as she gratefully accepted and carefully stored it in her pouch.

Rosy Cheeks Project

This experience spurred a shameful and humbling thought.

Why am I concerned about eating organic food and drinking ionized water when there are people who are content just to have their stomachs filled?

Growing up in a privileged society where we absentmindedly enjoy an overabundance of food, where clean water flows endlessly from our taps, creating a false illusion of an unlimited resource. We easily forget that these are resources that are being depleted and consumed much faster than it is being restored. Resources that we, as spoiled “first-class citizens”, neglect or are oblivious to the consequences of overconsumption. That we, like spoiled kids who refuse to eat broccoli because it “looks gross” will throw it in the dump without remorse.

How many tons of perfectly edible food is wasted every day just because it’s not “marketable” to sell in grocery stores?

Returning home with a new worldly perspective – letting go of my self-absorbed concerns.

While I still believe it’s very important to minimize our ecological footprint by supporting local farmers, drive demand for organic, clean produce, fruits, and meat. I now realize that my yuppie concerns about sourcing the highest quality produce, eating overpriced “superfoods” are incredibly miniscule and embarrassingly self-absorbed.

Rather, I now look at food with a new perspective. Asking questions that not only concern me but concern the impact it has on our global community and our future generations.

  • How do we eliminate global food disparity?
  • How do we create equality and provide sustenance to those in need?
  • How do we transform a system of short-sighted agricultural practices and chemical laden food production to one that addresses sustainable practices that promise the longevity and quality of our soil for our children that are of many generations to come?

They say it takes 100 years of foster and care to equip our land for the next generation. But just in the last 50 years, we have already managed to deplete over 70% of the soil’s nutrients as a result of over-consumption and detrimental agricultural practices.

Rosy Cheeks Project

When will our destructive practices come to an end?

It is therefore, now, more important than ever for a paradigm shift. To change the way we approach food production, consumption, and waste management practices to preserve the abundance of valuable resources Mother Earth has gifted us with.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Anna August 19, 2015 at 2:29 AM

    Well put! Important to be reminded of all of these things, and to be challenged to think about what our real impact is.

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