Food for thought

You know I thought that going to India would be difficult, but I never thought that coming back would be so hard. I am suffering from culture shock in reverse – which apparently is quite common when you come back from an overseas trip.
Things that didn’t annoy me too much before now really grate on me. We just have far too much food – in our cupboards, on our plates and in our bins. We have access to all the food we could ever want or need and to be honest up until now I have pretty much eaten what I wanted rather than eat what I need.
We have so much choice as well. This morning for breakfast I could have had porridge, or cereal, or toast or fruit and yogurt or eggs. The list goes on. In our cupboard there must be at least 7-8 different boxes of cereal and yet I have heard my children moan ‘there’s nothing to eat’. I have now seen children who literally have nothing to eat and I’m afraid my tolerance levels are rather low where this is concerned – beware little Bennetts.
I have a stack of diet books on my shelves, I have tried them all over the years. I know the nutritional value of loads of foods and yet it really hasn’t made much of a dent on me – increasing knowledge has not meant decreasing weight. But something changed in India. I saw people struggling to get food and I also saw very healthy people growing and eating all their own food – food that they have chosen to grow based on its nutritional value. I’ve also seen their portion sizes. These people were slim and healthy and full of vitality. They have a really good understanding of what their body needs, what fuel it needs to make it perform and they cook everything from scratch, so they know exactly what they’re eating.
Now I can’t say I’ve transformed into a great cook since I come back but I can say that I’m now very aware of what I need and don’t need. And unlike before it’s not based upon what I read in a book but what I’ve seen. What it boils down to is that I’m ashamed of how much I ate before, how I took it all for granted. It took a trip to India to make me appreciate the value of food. So this Christmas there won’t be mountains of food in our house – just enough to do us.


About rosamondbennett

CEO of Christian Aid Ireland, arts lover, avid reader and mother
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One Response to Food for thought

  1. Joanne says:

    Happy Christmas Rosie! I know what you mean, and it isn’t just food. When you’re buying gifts it’s really hard not to think of how much the same money could buy in food or other essentials. I’m heading back to Ghana in a few weeks and I know how much enjoyment the children there have had from very simple things like pictures from last year’s NB calendar! Glad you enjoyed your experience it sounds like just the beginning of a whole new way of life for you too! J

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