Thursday, November 8, 2007

A New Appreciation For Food Today

I don't know about you but, I can get caught up and forget how blessed I am. However, I am trying to be more present in my life and to my blessings. To that end, I was on someone elses blog (sorry I can't remember which blog, I was jumping) the other day when I came across a wonderful reminder of one my blessings that I knew I had to share. Time Magazine put together a photo essay on what the world eats and it really made me stop and think about how blessed I am and blessed to simply be able to have food (okay to have the ability to purchase it because my refrigerator is normally empty...I'm still single after all!). And to not pay the prices in Europe...YIKES!

As I am typing this I am also thinking about how little my daughter's family probably has to eat right now. I wonder what my daughter's mother and father are doing right now. How they are feeling. Since my daughter is not yet born (I'm moving at a snails pace) it makes me a little sad to think they may be hungry and possibly sick. Maybe my daughter has other siblings that are crying right now because they are, this is a humbling thought while I am sitting here at my laptop drinking a soy latte and getting ready to go to the gym for yoga. After you look at these photos I'm sure that you'll have a different appreciation for the food you eat today also. Selam.

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07
Favorite foods: fried potatoes with onions, bacon and herring, fried noodles with eggs and cheese, pizza, vanilla pudding

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week: $341.98
Favorite foods: spaghetti, potatoes, sesame chicken

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53
Family recipe: Okra and mutton

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09
Favorite foods: pizza, crab, pasta, chicken

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03
Family recipe: Mushroom, cheese and pork

Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55
Family recipe: Potato soup with cabbage

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat


Katy said...

I would say that looking at these pictures makes me feel really hungry, but I know that I have no idea what real hunger feels like.

But I would like to eat everything in the Mexico, Egypt and Ecuador pictures. Right now.

I've read two blog entries of parents who've adopted chidren old enough to speak from Ethiopia, talking about the children demonstrating to them the amount of food they would eat prior to being relinquished. One set of toddlers showed this amount to be about three tablespoons of food every other day, and another kid demonstrated about a cup of food, every other day.

I hear you on the wondering about the suffering and circumstances that will lead your baby to you. This sure is an emotional and complicated process.

Ana said...

Hi! I ventured to your blog while blog hopping. I also saw this on TIME online. Very interesting indeed.

Congratulation on your pending adoption to an Ethiopian child! My heart has always had a desire to adopt from Haiti and I know I will.

Anonymous said...

When I read not long a go you saying "you are more than... and you want to have another blog name” I thought this woman is a queen with soul over her body based life managing to use her flesh interest as a slave to serve her stable, pure and innocent soul. But when I read latter on you saying “being blessed” measuring achievements and richness with material gains including with food that all living things are getting naturally, I don't know what to think about my own thinking about you that was different closer to the highest standard of soul achievements.

I don't blame you for that. It is not natural but human made,thinking and living the same way the society you are living think and live. Quantity of Food, cloths and any unwise and excess consumption the material world is using are not the natural and right measurements to achievements in life. You have the everything feeling today means not you couldn’t lose everything because of human or nature causes. Everything is nothing because there is no everything for always anywhere. The more you have something, you need more and more while in reality you are losing everything slowly but surely as worst as you become a kind of creature to live according to human rules not nature.
After all it is about being happy which must be the ultimate goal most of us are looking to achieve. What gives you a direct and everlasting happiness? Excess of Food? No. Unwise consumption of food leads to unhappiness including with different kinds of sickness and making the beautiful human body to become ugly with lots of fat on it. Cloth? Yes clean and fit cloth but not because of it is quality and every day you have different ones. Or any human made products for flesh benefit can give an ever lasting and true happiness? No. Any happiness comes based on external motivation is a temporary one and just a distractive from
concentration on the real issues which are inside you; the way how you feel truly about life in general.

Remember, Human being is the only creature isolated from all living things to be badly affected by nature for some reason unable to live naturally such as without having additional human made cloths. When you are talking about food, water and shelter, you are talking about basic needs to all living things including insects and parasites. Any fantasy beyond the natural creation boundary is a suicide mission against nature creation creating additional troubles to ourselves.
The point I want to make is that your child parents are living up to the nature creation. Because they are in Ethiopia, a spiritual nation. For record, Ethiopia has about 665 religion related holidays per year. That means they are remembering and living according to Gods name at least 665 times a year. In addition to Wednesday and Friday the whole year, they are fasting in total about more than 16 weeks per year. Meaning, they don’t eat until midday except Saturday and Sunday and when they eat, they don’t eat any kind of milk, meat or animal fat food products. They are doing this because they can do it mastering and punishing their flesh to serve their soul. Any child who is 7 years old has to fast, beginning a two weeks fasting period started from august 1 to august 15 every year. Then he/she will continue fasting other events according to the age and life direction he/she is following.

So, measuring the Ethiopians life achievements and status with human made products such as food that most of them are bad to health and environment is not right. To be clear, I’m not blaming you here. But there are other ignorants somewhere treating the so called third world innocent people based on material gains which is rubbish and not right.

The reason why it gives you some feeling when you see the life people are living there, is because you are comparing them with the life of the society you are living with. No one has the right to measure him/herself with own unwise and wrong human creation approach to undermine or to feel sorry for them. Most people, in the material world have no clue how the third world people are living which is a true happy life comes from spiritual richness. They are eating food because of their flesh has to get food like oil to the car to serve their soul richness life. No material gain get any chance to interrupt the Ethiopian pure spiritual journey while getting basic needs benefit the right way.

If you are talking about poverty, yes there is a relative development poverty there. But In contrast, there is an absolute spiritual/human poverty going on in the material world. It is like the kind of new/human creation animal type people are invading the earth to rule it without soul guidance towards destruction. The one, who is empty spiritually, is the one making this beautiful world ugly in order to get own way. When he/she thinks have everything in the material form, in reality they have nothing at all as good as they are empty themselves from inside.

For many reasons, I don't agree when the word “Blessing” that only the few are feeling they are achieving it the right way while others are formulating it with the amount of food which is animals are also getting for free from nature and with material gains. I think we are not what we have by ourselves but we are created to follow up to our creation. When it happened we truly are achieving something that would give us a true happiness.

It is nice you are thinking about the well being of those you carry much about. But as long as they have basic needs to keep alive for their spiritual life, don’t worry about them. They are rich and full spiritually from inside while look empty, weak and ignorance from outside. They don’t see what you see and they don’t feel the way you feel about them. The different is so huge as if it is between the creator and the created. They are believing and living according to the creator while the material world is believing and living according to the created principle. If you can, leave the rest to others and think about how you will make your baby rich and full from inside spiritually in addition to her material status in the material world. US is a great nation different from others so called developed nations that still more people are getting busy and committed with their religion duties and I like/love it. As a result you have the possibilities and resources to do more for your growing child sake to become rich and happy from inside as well as outside, too.


By the way, you are too smart coming with the kind of topics I can’t ignore. Instead I’m spending my little valuable time on it which I don’t mind much about.


Hi! I'm Laura. Welcome to my blog. said...

Wow, that was really humbling. I know we are so blessed and it so important to give thanks for that daily. I am definitely guilty of allowing perishable food to spoil in my fridge when I choose to indulge my whim and go out for sushi instead. Thanks for the reminder, especially as Thanksgiving Day is coming up.

Tami said...


You really make me think...and people say I make them think! :-) Thank you for your lesson. I have never thought about it like that...why...because I did not have a clue. However, when I speak of a blessing I do not mean from a material selfish sense, I mean from that of survival. If I understand nothing I understand what it means to be alive and to survive and fight for what you believe in. Some people call it blessing others call it grace...but if it were not for God I would not be here writing this and be looking forward to my adoption. I am grateful for that. I am learning about Ethiopia and I am committed to have it be a part of me since my daughter will be a part of me...just as my culture will be a part of her.

If you saw that I said I am trying to be more present to my life that is because I no longer believe in quantity which is such a Western Way and that was my way when I was younger. I want quality in my I live, my career, relationships, friendships...simply everything I do. There is so much misinformation out there...somehow, I hope that my little blog can assist in clearing up just a little of that for the few people that enter my crazy world. Selam

Rebecca said...

funny you mention this! my husband and i have been talking about this a lot lately. we (i) actually buy way too much food and we're trying to see how long we can go without going to the grocery store. we end up wasting a bunch of food because we have so much :( in light of adopting now from ethiopia, and being more aware of conditions of those around us, we are trying to better ourselves and not be wasteful!!

Anonymous said...

i doubt they feel they are spiritually blessed when they are dealing with the ramifications of malnutrition and poverty. true, i think africans in general look at blessings and life differently than americans and many are happier with less than we are with more, but to say she shouldn't worry implies she shouldn't care and that's sounds to me as if you are the one who really doesn't really care.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tami. I look forward to hearing all about your daughter when she arrives home. Most of us who have already traveled the road of Ethiopian adoption have thought as you have.

We become families as "first" families change for many unfortunate reasons but there is no denying the blessing it can be when we allow ourselves to function in that purpose.

BTW, I am not the Anonymous poster this time.


MM said...

Hi Tami. I have this set of pictures hanging in my HS classroom for my 9th graders. "Material World" is a great book. This is their second publication - and it is important to consider how the world eats. It influences how we eat. There has been a lot of literature about how our American appetites contribute to world hunger - an early dialogue about this can be found in "diet for a small planet"...and there have been many since then. Thanks for the great post! ~MM

haze said...

Wow! Great post and great comments. I also got a lot from your first anonymous commentor's response:

"They are believing and living according to the creator while the material world is believing and living according to the created principle"

That said, I don't agree with all of that person's comments. Yes, fasting is often performed for spiritual purposes, but it is not fasting when a child dies from malnutrition or when people die from lack of basic medicine. We mustn't forget that or hide it behind God's will (I would hope your commentor didn't mean to imply that we should). There are too many Ethiopian children who don't even reach the age of 7.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, 3:55 pm

"I doubt they feel they are spiritually blessed when they are dealing with the ramifications of malnutrition and poverty"

You don't get it. Do you? Have you been there not only to visit but to live with them in order to understand the truth of the matter about the life they are living? Don’t be a weak and foolish media consumer accepting all together as it is being said while they are presenting the news after searching bad and negative events all over the country to get evidences in order to portray the whole nation with bad and negatives.
Take for instance Ethiopia. The richest black man in the world is born and grown up there. He is also living there. he is the richest in Africa and 80th in the world with his 8 billion dollar wealth in 2006. yet, individuals like him also has to be accused/ undermined with weakness and backwardness by amateur and subjective media groups because of there is something wrong going on among few citizens in the country.

By the way, how you measure malnutrition? O, you mean based on the overweight innocent children and guilty adults that are numbering at least half of the total population in most developed nations? How you measure poverty? Is it based on the way you live there? No. Don't identify others in order to identify yourself especially when it is about you not them.

Malnutrition causes less damage to individuals and a nation than overweight because of excess and unwise food and unnecessary comfort. Unchecked Development activities are causing uncertainty future with live on earth including affecting the primary and basic life needs such as the air we breathe, water and food. What effect has poverty to the wider spectrum? it is affecting only individuals or partially a nation not the world which is under fret because of money/profit minded development activities.

By the way, much of development activities and results we are using today are too young and new. Take each and every item you are using started from modern homes, electricity, train, car, plain, cruise ship, roads, stations, metros, wash machines, cocking machines, radio, TV and many others. The oldest is not too older older than a 100 years old person. Look and ask your computer and internet how old tey are since birth after reaching the public use?

So, don’t feel you are all that while undermining others because of they have own way of life that make them happy. Think about consuming and using enough and the right way in order to save the earth from human made dangers caused by unwise and unnecessary development activities and over consumption.


Anonymous said...

"don’t feel you are all that while undermining others because of they have own way of life that make them happy."



Tami said...

Now, now, now...everyone go back to their corners and take a breather. Get a glass of water. Count to 100. Take a few deep breaths and then come back out.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:55PM

calm down. Every time you are getting angry, you are killing thousands own cells. That means you are getting weaker exposing to sicknesses and you get older. It is a talk and we are learning from each others taught. Of course bad student has to get a kind of advise; sometimes with unpleasant words and approaches.

I like our discussion which is not personal as we don't know each other and each of us can be anybody else with the same attitude about the topic we are talking here and they are many in my side as well as they are others on your side. For this reason I’m not talking exactly with you/about but them and take it that way.

I’m the one doing my best to create possibilities in order the unable to become able to get decent and regular basic needs. To have balanced basic needs the right time and the right way is the natural phenomenon for life. Human life doesn’t get those natural basic needs means there is unhappiness, misery and death from preventable causes which is a sad and unacceptable in the 21- century human family structure living together in a small but beautiful natural home to all, the earth. .

General speaking, it is natural to have balanced basic needs in order to live and function up to the level of the reasons to be created. But what I don't agree is that when I see individuals in the 21- century acts they are living to consume with excess and unwisely at the cost of others and especially environment. Because of these kinds of sick individuals, the level of successes and achievements are scaled so high only the few can be on the top while the others are downstairs regarded as rubbishes and garbage. When I said “they are blessed people” I’m referring those feeling they are consuming enough and wisely to live for better reason. Absolutely not about those have noting to consume to live as you think I’m saying about. How can I say so “they are blessed people” about those looking towards sadness rather than happiness and death rather than life because of the shortage of basic needs? .

That is why after referring material stuffs that make individuals better than others especially against the poor in Africa I said “you are not all that.” It is also not you and as a person. But it is about the kind of development activates that are created not long a go and causes lots of social damages among the world population and against environment. Don't get angry for nothing. It causes more damages to you than anybody else. It is a discussion and behave that way.

You said something about personal stuffs to someone you don't know about questioning my inelegancy. You are too late. If you did it few years back, I would be difficult to get my study result, which I leave to you to guess at what level degree it was. So, the kind of words you intended to use them against me as bullets and you as a brave shooter doesn't work with me. If I want I can be a world class shooter with bad ideas/words and the same time I’m a bullet free no matter how much guns and shooters are targeting against me. For these reasons, don't try to attack me personally but my idea if you don't agree with me.

To be clear I never said/ and I will not accept even if any body else says “hungry and destitute human being feels blessing.” It is your interpretation from my writing that you are taking it from the cover not from the book itself. Search the gold rather than complaining about silver or copper that are easy and cheap to get them. my saying is here like a gold and if you want find it what/why I’m saying about.

If you really you know what you are talking about, I like to discuss with you what was/is going on/will be especially in Africa.

Africa before colonization and slavery
Africa during colonization and slavery
Africa after slavery and colonization
Africa during the cold war era
Africa today, Africa tomorrow and Africa in the future.

Talk about it intellectually and frankly based on facts and the truth as malnutrition and poverty are directly and indirectly linked with the above mention points. Or talk about any anything you like/want from pole to pole and east west including about love in personal level but not hate.


haze said...

anonymous 4:09 - Your message would be better understood if you removed the condescending tone from your voice and stopped insulting other people's intelligence.

We all understand there is great inbalance in the world - from nutrition, to wealth, to spirituality. I think we all recognize the West has lost its way and could stand to learn from the so-called "under developed" countries. If you don't want people to feel attacked personally, then you need to take care with your choice of words and try to be more consistent with your tone. I understand the spirit of your words but the confrontational tone is unnecessary. We are all friends here!

Tami, you must be loving this! So much more than an adoption blog, FOR SURE! :-)

Anonymous said...

thanks haze, that is exactly it. the condescending tone and the insulting of our intelligence.

chou-chou said...

um, hi everyone! still breathing?

just wanted to say that i am slightly awed by the rankor this post inspired.

also quite relieved that I came too late to be involved. :-)

peace out.