We live in a country

where there is an abundance of food,

Where supermarkets overflow  with thousands

of products from which to choose

And fill your cart until it, too, is overflowing,

Where people with food stamps (not food stamps

anymore, but an anonymous-looking credit card

issued by the government) fill their carts

with soft drinks and snack foods and pre-packaged

instant faux nourishment because it would be

discrimination to insist they buy anything that

is actually nourishing.

A country where children younger and younger

are being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes

because they live on fast foods and junk foods,

But worst of all, we live in a country where

restaurants fill your plate to overflowing and

much of it ends up in a garbage disposal

because portions are so oversized.

We live in a country where WASTED FOOD

has become the norm, but worst of all,

a country that could provide for all the

starving children in third world countries,

but in some instances, doesn’t

because the dictator of a country

refuses aid for his dying people.

We live in a world of plenty

where obese shoppers have  access

to motorized carts to enable them to

whiz through the supermarket filling up

their carts with more junk food and snacks

and giant size soft drinks loaded with sugar

and caffeine.

Meanwhile, millions of children are starving

to death in many parts of the world.

This, I believe, is the true paradox of plenty.


Sandra Lee Smith

Written May 15, 2009/updated June 30, 2018

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