Some time ago I saw on the Internet a few pictures from the book “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats” by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio. They traveled around the world and had a look at the dining tables of people in various countries. In each country they visited a family and photographed their entire week’s ration of food. They also quote the value of the purchases.
With € 375.39 Germany is miles ahead of even the USA – it’s € 256.01 there. (However, at this point I must criticize that the two authors have apparently chosen some kind of bio-eco-freak family. You can definitely feed a family of four with € 50 per week in a delicious and healthy way.)
Anyway – as I watched the rockets ascend to heaven in their thousands on New Year’s Eve, I kept having to think of one picture from said book. It shows the weekly amount of food of a family of six in Chad:
The costs of the food for these six persons were quoted as 685 CFA francs. That’s about € 1.04. So a single person there eats for an average of € 0.17 per week. For comparison: The German family averages € 93.85 per person and week. A person in Chad thus consumes food worth of € 9.04 in a whole year. For a German it would be € 4,893.48 correspondingly.
These different dimensions alone are incomprehensible enough. But at the turn of the year I was struck by yet another thought: According to various sources Germany spent an estimated 100–110 million Euros for fireworks. So by Chadian standards you could have used that money to
- feed over 600 million people for one week
- or feed approximately 11,600,000 people for one year
- or feed about 230,000 people for 50 years
So many people could live off the money that we blow up in smoke in a single night. For the fleeting pleasure of colorful lights in the sky. Not even for one night. For a measly half-hour.