Need Food for Thought? Chew on this!

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

"Chew on This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder", a book of inspirational short stories by Gary Brock and Kelly Tuck, and is available for purchase here and in our Shop!

*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!


I am continuously amazed every time I walk into a grocery store. Food is everywhere. Meats, vegetables, canned goods, dry goods, frozen goods, packaged goods. There is food galore. Aisle upon aisle upon aisle of food. And that’s just in one store. There are grocery stores, usually multiple in the same town, literally everywhere. There are around 40,000 grocery stores in the United States and each one carries close to 50,000 products: meats, vegetables, canned goods, dry goods, frozen goods, packaged goods in aisle upon aisle upon aisle.

In the United States alone there are approximately four square feet of retail food space per citizen. Mark off four square feet and fill it with food up to the top of your head, as most food aisles are just over head high. Think about it, that is a whole lot of food…thirty percent of which, believe it or not, isn’t eaten at all, but is thrown away. Think about that. Thirty percent of all food becomes garbage without being consumed. Every time I traverse through the grocery store, one phenomenon smacks me square in the face.

I am always struck with the very troubling statistic that twelve percent of people living in the United States do not have enough to eat. This statistic is virtually the same as the world statistic, which is almost thirteen percent. How can that be? How can the richest nation in the world, in terms of natural resources, have the same hunger statistic as the entire world? How can anyone in the United States not have access to food when we have so many grocery stores with aisles upon aisles of food?

Now, I realize we do not have the delivery system needed to get food to all points of the world, but I don’t understand that either. How can we as a civilization send human beings into outer space, create artificial intelligence, and create every gadget seemingly imaginable not to have developed a delivery system to distribute food to all points of the world? It’s mind boggling.

Look at how much we have, and look at how much we throw away. There is plenty of food to go around; just walk into any grocery store and take in the sight of all the food on all the aisles…and then remember that thirty percent of all the food you see will ultimately be thrown away. Annually, forty percent of our grown food product that finds itself in one of our country’s 40,000 grocery stores will not make it into someone’s cupboard, refrigerator, table…or stomach. It goes from perishable to perished. That percentage of food product represents 125 billion pounds that is wasted, which could have been used to feed someone who needs it.

Twelve percent of people do not have enough to eat, and somewhere between a third and one half of all food ends up being wasted. Think about this deeper. We have some folks consuming food they don’t need, we have folks needing to consume food they cannot get, and we throw away more than thirty percent of what people are getting too much and not enough of.

Every time I step into the grocery store I am consumed with the overwhelming feeling that we definitely have enough food for everyone’s needs and even possibly for everyone’s greed considering the amount we waste. So, if we have more than enough food for everyone why is it that everyone doesn’t have enough food?

The good thing is that each of us can help solve this issue. Let’s all commit to this mantra…

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*Chew On This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder is available for purchase here!

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