I have just been reading some thoughts by Eilleen over at the Co-op regarding her recent $2 a day challenge for Live Below the Line. As I have registered to do the Challenge here in New Zealand in late August, it was interesting reading about her experiences.
What really stood out to me, was how unconnected she felt from those around her, in having to eat separate meals. I wonder if this is something people experience when on a special diet (gluten free for instance)? I was on a wheat-free diet for years as a child and I do remember going to parties and not being alllowed to eat almost all the food there. I have extended family and friends who similarly have to be careful of what they eat.
It amazes me just how much food and eating permeate our lives. Somehow, the act of eating, which we do in its most basic form simply to stay alive, ends up being a highly social act. How many times have I eaten something just because it was on the table, and I was sitting there with friends, staring at that piece of cake while we chatted? How many times have I enjoyed a meal out with my husband or friends and family to celebrate a birthday or other major milestone? I can't imagine not being able to do that.
Even today, I bought groceries for the month and had a minor freak out at the cost. But I did have money to buy them. And even to splurge. It so didn't feel like it though. What's about this feeling of entitlement that I "should" be able to buy some treats and feel let down if I don't get to buy enough of them? I still got some. Many people don't get a choice in what they eat, and here I am feeling let down when I bought cordial for hot drinks, chocolate as my special treat, ham and a tomato for Munchkin's lunches (yes, one tomato - at $12/kg this is a big treat, it is winter, after all!), and some lamb and pork...farily expensive meats, really.
Food for thought. Food permeates our lives. Our ability to choose, and to make wise choices around the foods we eat have such a big effect on our lives.