First World Problems: It May Not Be What You Think It Is
I was on vacation recently and while I am passionately in love with the beach, beach towns typically have only one oasis of a “health” food store (unless I’m somewhere in California!) and I was happy to find the one on this particular vacation. And I hit pay dirt because it also had an amazing café with the meanest green juice I’ve had since One Lucky Duck. (And the best salad! A mix of warm wilted spinach and cold crisp romaine! Must. Make.)
So. The sign above was at the juice bar one day and there was a lady holding up the line. She was visibly distressed and asking what she could possibly have to replace the wheatgrass with in her green juice. Spirulina? Super green powder? Plain old spinach? Pause. Grimace. Seconds crawl. I blink. Really? Green juice is good for you but one juice without wheat grass? Ain’t. Gonna. Kill. You. I will bet my own life on it.
This just reminded me of something my friend Regina once wrote (as we experienced electronic communication fail in spite of the fact that we are connected by SMS, twitter, facebook and gasp — phone) – First World Problems. There’s the irony of it: Wheatgrass shortages. Social media fail. Hipster onslaughts. Whole Foods parking lots.
And then there’s the reality of it. And it is surprising.
While some of us have the search for the beach town health food store and wheatgrass supply as our most pressing problems, 50 million Americans are hungry, including 1 of every four children. In the region that The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank serves, more than 380,000 people are food-insecure — that is, they’re not always sure where their next meal is coming from.
Hunger is not just a Third World Problem. It is close to home. It is someone you know.