I wrote this blog back in 2011 I think.
I guess to follow up my Fat man comment yesterday about sideshows, the AMA has labeled Obesity a disease now. Really. Is it a disease? Or is it just (for 99% of people) a matter of priorities, discipline, education? Is it more of a last ditch effort to get a handle on this national tragedy?
The more you look into the common diet in the US the more you begin to distrust corporations. Michael Pollan in his new book "Cooked" has said that people who eat food cooked by people and not corporations are showing to be healthier.
"Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) released a statement on Tuesday arguing that food stamps provide a good life for people as long as they use them wisely. Donny Ferguson, who serves as Congressman Stockman’s communications director and agriculture policy advisor, was able to buy enough food to eat well for a week on just $27.58, almost four dollars less than the $31.50 “SNAP Challenge” figure." [from "Continuing the Tradition of Black Intellectual Thought"]
For $21.55 Ferguson purchased at Dollar Tree:
Two boxes of Honeycomb cereal
Three cans of red beans and rice
Jar of peanut butter
Bottle of grape jelly
Loaf of whole wheat bread
Two cans of refried beans
Box of spaghetti
Large can of pasta sauce
Two liters of root beer
Large box of popsicles
24 servings of Wyler’s fruit drink mix
Eight cups of applesauce
Bag of pinto beans
Bag of rice
Bag of cookies
But the food he bought had very little protein and was not the most healthy of choices. I'd like to see this guy actually eat that food for a week, or live on it for months or years and see what it does to his body and mind. Look at the sugars (Honeycomb, Peanut Butter, Grape Jelly, Root Beer, popsicles, fruit drink mix, applesauce, cookies - a plethora of corn syrup products). You may be able to eat on that amount of money, but you are not going to be as healthy as you could if you have more money to spend on food.
I would never have bought those things when I was on food stamps, which I was for a while just after I got out of the military and before I got into college. I used to dream about buying meat and proteins. Maybe I could afford eggs for my Top Ramen (a fabulous cheap product you can throw anything into for a meal that differs day to day). But not the healthiest noodles to eat. One of the things about my post military and later on in college diet was that I got sick of eating the same things day in and day out.
Finally I discovered as many have that Top Ramen rocks.
You may be able to eat on that amount of money but you are not going to be as healthy as you could if you have enough money to spend on healthier food and can afford real proteins (no, vegetarians, we're not looking here for your input, even though you may be right because many people do not see a vegetarian lifestyle as a viable choice for them, even though it may work to their benefit). Baby steps, okay?
When I got out of the military I had a rough time. I was on food stamps for a while until I got into college and could use my Vietnam Era VA benefits. The work I did in the Air Force just didn't translate well back then to a job. I had to take a string of rather demeaning jobs until I simply couldn't take it anymore and gave up. It took me about a year to heal up and get things together.
My then ex wife, as our marriage didn't survive the military years, was a vegetarian and I had eaten well for years. To then go down to what I did after leaving the military was both enlightening and disconcerting. I finally got a job and got off food stamps, and thank God they were there when I needed them.
When I was in my third year at University, after moving to a different city where jobs were few in being available to students, I did't have and luckily didn't really need a job (and frankly I really needed to be a full time student, working day and night on my studies) and so I had very little money.
Both times what I found was that protein is very expensive and you either can't afford it or very much of it. Lots of carbs were cheap and I became more and more disgusted on what I could afford. This wasn't on food stamps because I felt I shouldn't dive into that since I was surviving and others needed it more than I did. Like I had earlier for a while after leaving the service. Others who couldn't attend college at all. But then, thank God for local food banks.
Still, foods you might prefer not to eat are far more affordable on a low income. I realized back then for the first time that you cannot live very healthy on the types of foods affordable at that economic level. There is a lot of talk about alternative lifestyles and how cheap it can be to grow your own, etc, but once again, that's not viable for many people.
And now Republicans want to cut food stamps, end programs necessary to people's lives and continue to discredit citizens, humans in America, because they are "too lazy to become rich." That is such a stupid statement only an asinine person would even consider saying it and no decent person would.
We need to end this stupidity ASAP with due prejudice and far more than any of the programs these Republican want to end.