Sunday, October 31, 2010

Poverty and Being Fat: Food is So Expensive Now

The prices are already shooting up, I'm already ready to pass out from sticker stock at the grocery store.There seems to be a direct correlation between how healthy a food is and how much it costs. The conspiracy theorist in me seems to think its like they WANT all the poor people who can't afford good groceries, to get fat and die younger. Why can I get bologna for a buck but every package of lean turkey lunchmeat in the store costs at least 3.99?-4.99a pound? Why do I have to pay $6.25 for a loaf of gluten free bread? Yes I have the flours to make my own, but the experiments have failed miserably lately, sigh, I will learn with trial and error.

I wonder if being broke, I will suddenly be pushed into out and out starvation too poor to even afford the fattening cheap stuff, and finally maybe weight will fall off. Well hasn't happened yet. I'm one of those strange people who loses weight the more food and money I have. Being a celiac, and poor, is nightmare city, that diet is designed for the millionaires of the world, but I got tired of itching to death, and fear now my bowels may be destroyed beyond the breaking point. One slip up can mean a week of pain and being doubled over. Pain teaches one not to monkey around.

Eating things at the end of the month like some old veggie patties from the freezer for breakfast and having only a few dollars to spend, one's food options get very limited. Being penniless and trying to assemble meals with the fewest ingredients as possible, it's gotten harder.

I dread meal time, and sometimes it seems such a hassle, with the lactose intolerance and celiac, I'd just skip if it didnt mean passing out. I'm quite sure my doctor would not like to hear about my 3-4pm lunch times. Meals on Wheels is full of wheat and says I am too young.

Grocery costs are skyrocketing. Even when I read the working class "Cooking Quick" magazine which keeps things more basic, I think well how am I going to afford all these herbs, and my pantry is getting pretty empty. Coupons are a joke, they allow for the most sugar laden, processed crap food, there are no coupons for green peppers or rice noodles that I have ever seen.

I plan meals out for when husband shops, and exact ingredients, I have no choice but to do so. It's getting tough. Right now I am craving salad, and some plums, and more. I am making left over chicken with rice noodles and some canned bean sprouts [the fresh are almost 4 bucks here] for dinner, I had soup made with kale and carrots for lunch with sandwiches on gluten free bread. So still trying my best, but just the effort to acquire food, and make it, seems like a marathon anymore. American wages are sinking like crazy, at least we still have a roof over our head and some income coming in, but food insecurity is nothing I am new to.

That said, the food pantries, are scary as well. They are short on food now due to the growing poverty and if you have special dietary needs there is no way they will take time or even have the resources to match them. One time I got some corn, 2 packages of cookies, pasta and a box of potatoes [I'm allergic to potatoes too] from one food pantry, the only edible item for me was some apple sauce. So avoid food pantries if you can help it. Beggars can't be choosers, and they are basically bastions of starch and sugar.

But overall, the less money you have the hardest it is to eat and afford a healthy diet, I still remember this one pre-Whole Foods Health food store, I used to for a treat in a city, I lived in years ago. The hippies still ran it, this was before they sold out to Whole Foods. Scads of salad, beans, seeds, varieties of hummus, cut vegetable salads, lean meats, the place was a mecca of the healthiest tastiest food on the planet, the rare times I had money, Id go fill up on their organic salad bar and swoon it was so good!. Is it funny, I have dreams about that place, ok maybe that is showing a little food obession, but I LIKE the healthy stuff. Too bad so much of it is so expensive.

There is something new out there being called recession pounds, they are predicting that more Americans will become fatter from the Great American Depression Redeux. That definitely will happen. Read this quote:

The specter of “recession pounds” is a concern weighing on health professionals, who point to numerous studies linking obesity and unhealthy eating habits to low incomes.
They fear that as people cut food spending they will cut back on healthy but relatively expensive items such as fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and whole grains, in favor of cheaper options high in sugar and saturated fats.
“People … are going to economize and as they save money on food they will be eating more empty calories or foods high in sugar, saturated fats and refined grains, which are cheaper,” said Adam Drewnowski, the director of the Nutrition Sciences Program at the University of Washington in Seattle.

I'm buying a grow light for my apartment to grow food in the corner of the living room. Yes that is how expensive food is getting.

1 comment:

  1. Thank God I could go off the gluten free diet, if you are a celiac, try being a millionaire. Corn didn't do me any favors and I hate polenta.