My Mom and Dad both grew up during the depression. I hear stories about how Gramma would send the nine kids to the parks to pick dandelions so she could use them to make a salad for dinner. I have a picture of my dad as a young man standing in a food line with a cup to get his share of soup. But thanks to their hard work, I’ve never seen an empty refrigerator or pantry! We have so much more food than we’ll ever eat and as a matter of fact we have to be careful about eating too much. We’re always watching our weight because we have the tendency to overeat! According to some recent statistics, overeating is a major problem in the US. The US obesity prevalence was 30.5% in 2000. By 2018 it had increased to 42.4%. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. These are among the leading causes of preventable, premature death. The estimated annual obesity related medical costs in the United States was $147 billion in 2008. Even those in the poorest counties in our country have a high obesity rate. There are so many charitable organizations in our country that give food to the poor or disadvantaged that no one needs to go hungry, and it looks like they don’t.

We are so blessed in America to have so much food available for everyone. For the most part, I think we’ve taken it all for granted. Yes, that might be one of the results of living in a competitive, capitalistic society where production and delivery of food products to everyone produces profit. Someone posted two pictures on face book. On the right was a photo of a grocery store with full shelves. The one on the left was the same grocery store with nearly bare shelves. The tag lines, “This is the difference between capitalism on the right, and socialism or communism on the left.” Very well, but I think we should never forget that the ultimate source of our full tables at Thanksgiving and year around are not solely the result of our economic system.

The ultimate source of our food is God. In Genesis 1:29, “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.’” Our tables are full because God has given us so much. Granted, because of greed and corruption, the poor around the world have suffered at the hands of other humans, but the food is there. It’s just being hoarded by those in control.  This is one of the many pieces of evidence of God’s love for man. He filled the world with colors and gave us eyes. He filled the fields with flowers and aromas and gave us noses. He filled the world with good things to eat and gave us taste buds and appetites. Growing up Catholic I learned a simple little prayer of gratitude for my food. I remember that prayer: “Bless us our Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive through Jesus Christ our Lord.” One website puts it this way: “Got ten seconds? Then you have time to say one of the most familiar prayers in the world: grace before meals. Seriously. You can do this in about ten seconds—and even that humble act can serve to connect you, however briefly, with the Creator of all you are about to receive.”