Friday, October 08, 2010

So extremely blessed...

Tonight we had big plans. It was Aldi Night! Yep. We are such huge Aldi fans that we save it for a Friday night event once a month. We stock up in one trip with food that will, for the most part, feed us an entire month. We were particularly low on food, so this was a particularly big trip. We aren't quite challenging the Duggar's and their 11 carts at Aldi's, but we did graduate up to two pretty full carts tonight. YIKES! Grand total, $336. We now have one very full pantry and two full fridge/freezers. [We we are short on pantry space so end up using the fridge outside to store more dry goods.]

As I was putting away the canned goods tonight I was thinking about how INCREDIBLY blessed we are. Amazingly blessed. The amount of food on one shelf of our pantry is more than some families have in a month. And (even though it isn't health food by any stretch of the imagination), because the food was processed/made here in America, it is full of fortified vitamins and nutrients. Think of something as simple as the iodine they put in our $.30 box of salt--saves thousands of babies from birth defects each year! Yes, most of the processed food in this pantry is full of sodium and preservatives and other bad stuff, and fresh fruits/veggies is a better way to get your vitamins, but still.

Today I was talking with a friend about some of the food prices in Ghana. First, keep in mind that most Ghanaians live on less than $2 a day, so let's say $60 a month. Here are the general cost of a few items in Ghana:

25 kilos of rice--$40
a few gallons of oil--$25
a basket of tomatoes--$15
30 eggs--$5

I did a little research. Best I can figure, there are 4 cooked cups of rice to each uncooked cup. And best I can figure, there are about 4 uncooked cups of rice in a kilo. So a 25 kilo bag of uncooked rice could provide about 400 cooked cups of rice. Sounds like a lot until you break it down.

In Ghana, my family would have about 13 cups of rice a day. Six people. 13 cups. Let's say mom and the kids get two cups and dad gets 3 cups. Wow. Not. That's only 400-600 calories a day for us. If I spend $5 I can get my family one egg a day, to share. I've spent about 70% of my income and my family will have to survive on 400-600 calories with a tiny amount of protein and really no fat. [Ghanaians know how to even this out to include mostly carbs (rice/banku, etc.) with fat (oil) and a bit more protein (beans, fish, egg). I'm just using this as an example.]

In America our per capita income is somewhere around $46,000 a year or about $3,833 a month. We would not DREAM of spending 70% of our income on food each month! $2683 of my monthly budget on food?! No way! More like $500-$700 (and that's generous) for a family of six. That's about 15% of my monthly budget on food. For that 15% I get fruits and veggies and protein and fat (more fat that we need!)!!

I'm just sayin' time you stock up your pantry, remember how good we have it. Yeah, our food is processed until it's almost like non-food. It's preserved to death. But we could buy 100% organic and grass fed for much, much less than our Ghanaian friends spend just to get an inadequate diet.



Cindy 7:55 PM  

Thanks for the reminder. : )