It’s very comforting to think we’ll be able to solve America’s nutrition crisis by building more grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods and educating low-income families on how to cook healthy, nutritious meals.
But the unfortunate truth is that more grocery stores and nutrition education (while helpful to some people) doesn’t address the larger problem — which is that eating is expensive.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of low-income families is increasing. The report defines low-income working families as “those earning less than twice the federal poverty line.”
In 2011, the low-income threshold for a family of four with two children was $45,622. If you estimate rent at $1000/month, which is quite low for a family of four, that leaves about $33,000 for health care, transportation costs, clothing, and groceries for four people. That’s $687.50 per person per month for every single expense except rent.
Let’s do some more math.
Gala apples are among the cheapest fruit nationally. The USDA lists them at $1.16 a pound at the time I’m writing this article. There are about three apples to a pound, so if you wanted to buy your two kids an apple for each day of the week, you would spend $5.80 just on an afternoon snack for your kids. And let’s keep in mind that apples are relatively low-calorie, which means they aren’t very filling.
Six bucks doesn’t seem like much to someone with a middle class salary, but when you’re working with a weekly budget of under $700 per week for everything you need, including car repairs, gas money, winter clothing for constantly growing children, toilet paper, laundry detergent, electric bills… $5.80 starts to look pretty hefty for a snack that won’t even satisfy.
“I look at this list and can’t help but wonder how she’s supposed to do it. If $11 of apples equals two snacks, but $3 in Ramen will feed her entire family for dinner, how can she possibly pick apples with her limited food stamp budget?” McClay wonders.“And how will she ever afford to fill half of every mealtime plate with fruits and veggies, the amount recommended by the same government that issued her food stamps?”
It’s a good question.
The US government heavily subsidizes some foods, such as corn and soybeans. The result is that processed foods that are heavy in these ingredients end up being cheaper than fresh produce, which is not as heavily subsidized, if it is at all.
There is a serious disconnect between what we should be eating to stay healthy, and what the economic reality is.
Why Judging People for Buying Unhealthy Food Is Classist by Wiley Reading
At that moment I looked up, and there’s a picture on my iPad from when I was governor for a day; I’d called out my dad, and he was standing up and blowing me kisses. And I thought of all the times that my dad stood up for me. The memories just kept coming back, of things like that he would do when I was introduced to his friends, you know, and they would say, “Oh, what a pretty little girl,” or in Spanish, “Oh, qué niña más bonita.” And my dad says, it’s the first thing out of his mouth, “She’s the smartest in her class. Es la más inteligente.” I wasn’t, but because my dad said I was, I thought I might be. And because I thought I might be, I studied a lot. And then I never had the Barbie girl figure, so I understand the little girl growing up in the fifties and the sixties who had big thighs. So what my dad taught me was that it wasn’t what I looked like, it was how smart I was and the strength that I had. My dad was so formative in those early years, when the messages to girls were very different. All that came rushing back, and I looked at Gilbert and said, “I have to go.” Then I said, “If they’ve already called the second point of order, I won’t make it.” He says, “I have DPS outside.”
I went because I thought that if Wendy saw me, she might get some strength from that, but I never intended to say anything, because I was at the bottom of an emotional well. I had nothing left. And it wasn’t just about my dad’s death—we had also lost our grandson during the session. I said what I said out of frustration. I wasn’t thinking about my political future. But it was a toxic summer. It was hurtful to see how the collegiality and the good work that we had done during the legislative session—and we did good work during the legislative session—was tossed aside. Texas state Senator Leticia Van de Putte (via kileyrae)
I did go to school for Marine Biology, but the cool thing is… the greatest thing for me is that Polynesians, our gods, Kahoali, Maui, all these water gods, so it’s really cool and a honor to be playing a [water] character. And there’s not too many brown superheroes, so I’m really looking forward to representing the Polynesians, the natives.
My family are some of the greatest water men on earth. I’m not, but I’m going to go train with them. But it’s really an honor just being a Polynesian. And water is the most important thing in this world and we all know it. It’s cool be a part of DC’s universe. Jason Momoa on getting to play Aquaman (via racialicious)
There is no unmarked woman.
There is no woman’s hair style that can be called standard, that says nothing about her. The range of women’s hair styles is staggering, but a woman whose hair has no particular style is perceived as not caring about how she looks, which can disqualify her for many positions, and will subtly diminish her as a person in the eyes of some.
Women must choose between attractive shoes and comfortable shoes. When our group made an unexpected trek, the woman who wore flat, laced shoes arrived first. Last to arrive was the woman in spike heels, shoes in hand and a handful of men around her.
If a woman’s clothing is tight or revealing (in other words, sexy), it sends a message — an intended one of wanting to be attractive, but also a possibly unintended one of availability. If her clothes are not sexy, that too sends a message, lent meaning by the knowledge that they could have been. There are thousands of cosmetic products from which women can choose and myriad ways of applying them. Yet no makeup at all is anything but unmarked. Some men see it as a hostile refusal to please them.
Women can’t even fill out a form without telling stories about themselves. Most forms give four titles to choose from. “Mr.” carries no meaning other than that the respondent is male. But a woman who checks “Mrs.” or “Miss” communicates not only whether she has been married but also whether she has conservative tastes in forms of address — and probably other conservative values as well. Checking “Ms.” declines to let on about marriage (checking “Mr.” declines nothing since nothing was asked), but it also marks her as either liberated or rebellious, depending on the observer’s attitudes and assumptions. Wears Jump Suit. Sensible Shoes. Uses Husband’s Last Name.
(originally titled “Marked Women, Unmarked Men”) by Deborah Tannen. (via ibt-w)
I truly can’t imagine a better gift than a “Notorious RBG” shirt from the Notorious RBG herself.