Monday, November 21, 2016

Blaming the Poor for Ballooning Up

It's Not Poverty That's Fattening-Its the Bad Eating Habits

This is a British article. It's written by one of those poor-shaming "right-wing" conservatives, who believe people are poor because they are "immoral". Dalrymple may be right about some of the "bad" behaviors, but doesn't understand the motivations or limitations of poverty. Some poor don't even have proper kitchens. It took me years to even have the right tools to cook with and I had years where I had none. A good friend who works estate sales, helps to outfit my kitchen for me. I got some silver mixing bowls and needed Tupperware. The Tupperware was almost like a new "miracle" for me, before things stayed in their original pots or bowls and if I was having a more flush week, got a piece of tin foil over it, otherwise, it was a left over shopping bag from the market over the top of it.

That's one guy, I would sit down and discuss, "This is what being poor is really like". I also believe if someone was brought up poor in a trailer park and were not presented with any ideas of "good food" beyond hot dogs and bags of Cheetos, how are they going to know any different? I was raised upper middle class and got some information out of it I suppose. My middle class college and wealthier high school introduced me to home ec and some food knowledge. I still eat recipes I got from an close wealthier college friend's family.

One odd moment the other day was getting what I consider "rich people" food from the mobile food truck, it was a Chef Irving "side" that consisted of pre-cut fresh broccoli, red onions, pine nuts and a balsamic vinegar sauce. It tasted good. You were to parboil the broccoli, saute up the onions, golden raisins and pine nuts and add the vinegar sauce, I ate it  with one lean pork chop, half a cup of left over pasta from the dinner the night before and it was good though I think the golden raisins gave me 5 points on the blood sugar the next morning. I said to my husband, "This is rich people food, and imagine if we could eat food like this at every meal".  It probably ended up in the mobile food truck because one escaped a yuppie customer willing to pay 5.99 or 6.99 for a side dish. I sneak in "rich people" food whenever I can. Many meals had a handful of a box of organic greens I bought from the grocery store last week.

Here's the problem getting good food is HARD for the poor. In fact I feel like so many hours of my life are dedicated to procurement of "decent" food it's insane, but fear of weight gain motivates me. The food co-op has allowed us more meat. I have eaten lean pork chops and roast beef I could not afford for years. I may have lost a little bit of weight lately, I am not sure, but my dresses always get far looser on the top. I was running around more. Of course I fear what being housebound this winter will do. It is a constant frustration.

My blood sugars have run in the low 120s on average and the doctor says he is fine with that. I do get too many sugary things from the food pantries and the rest, way too many cans of corn, but one church gave us a chicken and one a giant bag of prepared stuffing.

 Rich people can afford all the meat, nuts, salads and vegetables they want. I cook A LOT. If I did not I would die, but it is tiring and I do not have three part time jobs to piece together anymore like most of the working and poorer class. Unlike them I have time to screw around, and chop vegetables, and do more of it but even I get tired out. Sometimes I feel like a kitchen slave, and wished I could win the Lotto and move into assisted living with an available cafeteria with healthy food. Yesterday I baked a chicken, cut up a turnip, and some carrots and put stuffing in it, and ate it with my husband. It took 3 hours in total to prepare. How do people with bad employment and horrible mixed work hours, sit together for the classic "family meals"?

I get tired of the "blame the poor" rhetoric, as if they all could "fix" their problems tomorrow just if they would "try hard enough".


  1. Totally agree. I am lucky right now to be able to buy specific foods because I have allergies and intestinal problems. I do feel like I could easily end up at a food bank and it would be a hugh problem.
    I also agree the argument is poor, that the poor are all to blame. I grew up upper middle class and still feel like I could have had a better knowledge of what constitutes good food. What would it be like for a poor kid in a trailer park or inner city.
    These types of conservatives lack empathy and the critical thinking skills they claim to possess!
    They also can't afford whole foods, or whole paycheck as I recently heard someone say!

    1. Thanks anon. Glad you can get your specific foods. Food has a big affect on me too, and I have the food allergies as well. With Lipedema, if you eat a lot of processed foods, it causes pain, so that is one reason for all my cooking. With the food banks, I can get some decent food, but some is processed so it can be a difficult process. Yes blaming the poor stinks. Many of these people don't have decent kitchens or tools for cooking, even having a good roasting pan changed my cooking and I just got this covered roasting pan last year from my friend. Poor kids have no contact with decent food, and aren't watching Food Network or reading Saveur magazine. They only know what they are taught and what they see. At their schools they are getting processed chicken nuggets and square Pizza, their overworked parents are giving them the Kraft dinner boxes and cereal.

      I agree these types of conservatives lack empathy. Definitely. You see the "just get a job" types too all the time. No critical thinking. When I was ultra poor in Chicago, I used to go to Whole Foods to eat for a treat during the few times I had money, and it was like a heaven bonanza. I wish I could afford health food now, even for the difference in taste. The poor can't afford those things not at all. I'm having to make constant concessions, using what I have and not having what I can't afford. I know I am eating a lot o eggs [cheap] and trying to come up with other things.