If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen a few of my latest posts that take jabs at those who excoriate those who don’t eat “real food”. Whenever and wherever I see these “experts” and “gurus” inadvertently shaming others, the inevitable question of those on a tight budget comes up –
“How does someone on food stamps or someone who is struggling financially manage to eat only “real food”?“
This is a fair and appropriate question – as many of you have pointed out, access to these “real foods” can be 2 or 3 bus rides away, and that’s after at 12 hour work day. There is not only the immediate higher monetary cost because most of this “real food” is more expensive per volume, there is also the time cost, which unless you are a mother or father you may not know is simply priceless.
Whenever I see this question posed, the answer is almost always,
“well, it’s cheaper that getting sick.”
What kind of answer is that?
It provides nothing other than letting the speaker feel they have conveyed some sort of positive message, while leaving those financially struggling, time strapped families with no real solution and a feeling of shame and embarrassment for not having the resources to provide their children “real food”.
This is what I posted on Facebook recently after seeing yet another “it’s cheaper than getting sick” response:
While I laud efforts that encourage people to move their bodies and eat a more nutrient rich diet, I can’t help getting a little irritated at, as one running Instagram friend put it, those who “look down on someone from the high pedestal of privilege.” Let’s be clear, if you have easy access and the financial means to shop at specialty markets then you are privileged, there is simply no arguing that. I was happy to hear from another friend that in her area there is an affordable indoor/outdoor farmer’s market located in the heart of her city that accepts EBT cards and food stamps and is open year round. The key words? Affordable and In the Heart of the City. That is a tremendous start, but we still have a long way to go before we reach food equality for all in this country.
So with that being said, I am seeking your help. I would like to post YOUR favorite, relatively healthful recipes for four that you can make for around $10 (US) or even less. I am hoping to collect around thirty recipes that I will price out, document my attempt to make and then post here on the blog. Quick recipes will obviously help the time strapped families, but I will gladly take all kinds, especially those that can be stretched – the key is that they need to be relatively healthy.
Relatively healthy…what does that mean? To be honest, I’m not exactly sure. I suppose it means that it’s not made up entirely of processed foods and has elements that call for veggies or fruits (fresh, frozen or canned). If you are in doubt, send it to me anyway. I will happily credit all contributors (if wanted) providing links to blogs or websites as well.
If you have an inexpensive healthful recipe you love and are willing to share, please email it to me at runluaurun at gmail dot com or message me on Facebook.
The bottom line is that I would like to see more people NOT eating out of a box for every meal and my hope is that WE can help provide the means for more people to both think and eat “outside the box”.
Thank you in advance for your help,