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viewpoint

Go Irish, not hungry

| Monday, September 7, 2015

One time I ate 1,360 calories in one sitting. When it’s absurdly late at night and my brain is too tired to realize the stupidity of eating 1,360 calories in one sitting, it can happen. I also rarely step down against a bet that involves food — because come on, food’s one of the best things in the universe.

That’s how I found myself finishing off my Blaze pizza at 1 a.m., with my feet bruised and beaten because I thought it would be a good idea to break in new heels, and feeling very satisfied with myself and my current situation.

I was full, but I joked I could easily walk across the street and eat a Five Guys burger afterwards. I wasn’t going to do it — I’m not an insane person. But alas, the stars had aligned that night for me to hear the fateful words: “I bet you can’t.”

Ten minutes later, I was sitting in Five Guys with a hamburger in my hands and a ridiculous amount of determination. There was a little voice in my head that hissed that for a small person, ingesting this amount of food in such a short amount of time would surely make me sick. There was another little voice in my head that was stubborn as hell and said I would be a lying wimp if I didn’t go through with the challenge at hand.

I did it. I took that last bite of burger and winced at the way it sat in my stomach, and although it would go down as the least enjoyable burger of my life, I did it. The next morning, I did indeed feel sick, but I also emerged victorious.

Don’t be like me and eat 1,360 calories in one sitting at 1:30 a.m., especially on nights when you also can’t walk with or without shoes on and are borderline delirious. On second thought, just don’t eat 1,360 calories in one sitting ever. Trust me.

Food is a gift. It may be regarded as a right, but in practice, it is a privilege. One in six people in the United States face hunger. In 2013, 14.7 million children under the age of 18 were in poverty. I am lucky to have had the ability and the means to tell a story like this one, because I am blessed to not have to worry about food security. It can be easy to get caught up and forget about the millions struggling to put enough on the table to feed themselves and their families.

I may have been sick, but I was also lucky. We are lucky to be at a beautiful place like Notre Dame, where we can eat 1,360 calories in one sitting after a rough night out, but it is important to keep in mind that our campus is not indicative of the situation of the rest of the country.

I may have used an unfortunate (but slightly humorous) story to bring to attention the great need that still remains prevalent — but I hope it did not take away from the seriousness of the situation.

Go Irish, but don’t let others go hungry.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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