opening our eyes to the big, hungry picture – because sometimes our privilege is blinding.

Late last night, or early this morning really, my daughter and I were sitting up, having the best time. She was on her phone, checking out e-books from the library and telling me all about them. I was looking through articles I have been behind on and getting caught up on my subscriptions and telling her about what I’ve been working on. We had a documentary playing. It’s been awhile since we had one of those evenings and it was fabulous.

When I got to my YouTube, I noticed something called the “10,000 Calorie Challenge” on my home page and asked aloud what it is. She didn’t know either, so, of course, we consulted the University of Google – and what we discovered was truly distressing.

The geniuses at Colossus Fitness explain the 10,000 Calorie Challenge this way:

The 10’000 calorie challenge is a food calorie challenge where one attempts to eat 10,000 true calories in a single day. This challenge likely got popular because of its prominent success on YouTube. The reality is that it’s fun to see people stuff their faces with food, so much food that it’s sheer abundance is almost unimaginable. When performing the 10,000 calorie challenge, any food of any type is on the table. The general consensus is that food needs to be as accurately tracked as possible. There can be no guestimation factor, if you’re going to go for the 10,000 calorie challenge, you NEED to make sure you actually hit your calorie numbers. The best way to do this is to download a calorie tracking app, we recommend MyFitnesspal.

They actually also have “rules” for the 10,000 Calorie Challenge and food suggestions for the most calorie dense things to eat when attempting it:

A quick search through YouTube revealed that there are MANY of these posted. You are welcome to look for yourselves but I am choosing not to watch any of them or to post an example because they are mostly monetized and I refuse to help anyone profit off of this behavior.

See, while it is common knowledge that many people throughout the world go without food, I fear that our society becomes so accustomed to this that we are desensitized to the suffering of others. Things like the 10,000 Calorie Challenge confirm my suspicions. They wreak of privilege and self-absorption and callous.

According to

Around the world, 821 million people do not have enough of the food they need to live an active, healthy life. One in every nine people goes to bed hungry each night, including 20 million people currently at risk of famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria.

ONE IN NINE PEOPLE INTERNATIONALLY. And 20 million people facing famine in one small region alone. This should alarm us all.

On a different continent, another country in need of all possible aid is Venezuela, where, this week, a lingering blackout has only worsened existing humanitarian crisis conditions:

The reports are grim, with people dying in hospitals, dialysis patients unable to receive life saving treatments, and food shortages worsening quickly.

Additionally, many don’t realize that the number of Americans living with food insecurity – meaning they struggle to feed their families from meal to meal – is even higher.

According to, 1 in 6 Americans face hunger. What’s worse, 1 in 5 children do – and the numbers are more terrible among minorities.

It is truly heartbreaking:

Understanding how significant a problem hunger is our society and our world, how in the hell can anybody waste food and time and effort with 10,000 Calorie Challenges? AND make money off sharing them on social media? It’s absolutely vile.

The idea that children are going to bed hungry or going without lunch because they couldn’t pay for it or that a family doesn’t have a proper dinner while some idiot on YouTube is trying to stuff in enough calories for their five times excess day? Just NO.

So, what can we do in the face of all this suffering?

Of course, if you are able, give to a reputable relief agency of your choice. However, giving financially isn’t an option for everyone – and that’s okay. There are other things we can all do that aren’t monetary:

  1. Reduce food waste as much as possible in your home. With so many going without, the last thing to do is to be wasteful with what we have.
  2. Buy local and shop small whenever possible. This helps other families in your area.
  3. Consider what’s on your plate. Eat compassionately.
  4. Be aware of what’s going on politically and contact your representatives when necessary where humanitarian issues are involved.
  5. Eat with gratitude. If you have enough, you are among the fortunate.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and Blessings.

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