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Too much of too little

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McAllen, Tex. — They were already running late for a doctor’s appointment, but first the Salas family hurried into their kitchen for another breakfast paid for by the federal government. The 4-year-old grabbed a bag of cheddar-flavored potato chips and a granola bar. The 9-year-old filled a bowl with sugary cereal and then gulped down chocolate milk. Their mother, Blanca, arrived at the refrigerator and reached into the drawer where she stored the insulin needed to treat her diabetes. She filled a needle with fluid and injected it into her stomach with a practiced jab.

“Let’s go,” she told the children, rushing them out of the kitchen and into the car. “We can stop for snacks on our way home.”

The family checkup had been scheduled at the insistence of a school nurse, who wanted the Salas family to address two concerns: They were suffering from both a shortage of nutritious food and a diet of excess — paradoxical problems that have become increasingly interconnected in the United States, and especially in South Texas.

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I think to blame health problems on the food stamp program is simplifying a more complicated problem. Here in California a lot of poor people who are eligible for the program, and you do have to be poor to qualify, live in urban areas that don't have any retail sources for healthy foods, because all of the big grocery stores closed down. So those without cars or public transportation are forced to use the neighborhood stores that don't stock fresh veggies & fruits, meat, etc. Access is a major issue.

There is the WIC program, which is meant to provide a food supplement to provide healthy, nutritional foods to mothers with young children, but the funding for that program keeps being cut. Our community has several nutritional outreach programs dedicated to informing & educating, as well.

There's a great website called Community Food & Justice Program if anyone would care to educate themselves on some of the issues on poverty & nutrition. What disturbs me about the newspaper article is its lack of depth and research, and failure to identify some of the possible barriers to a poor family obtaining the means to a healthy diet. I donate food every now & them to a homeless shelter, and it's always whatever fresh fruit is in season. It disappears quicker than the day old bread or doughnuts or pastries.

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Which is why all such programs should be discontinued and replaced by government commodity stores that provide milk, bread, butter, meat, rice, beans, etc.

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Which is why all such programs should be discontinued and replaced by government commodity stores that provide milk, bread, butter, meat, rice, beans, etc.

Oddly enough, the original foodstamp program was sort of like that. Gov buys farmer surplus, folks buy foodstamps, use foodstamps to buy surplus. The whole program has changed a lot since then. And I remember when I was a kid there being government cheese, bread, and peanut butter, but I have no idea what has happened to food products like that since I was little.

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I think it all boils down to the choices people make when it comes to food.

I recall watching a report where they were following a family who was poor and they were in a grocery store.

Now the mom is overweight as is one of her kids yet they filled their carts with sodas, chips and cheap stuff all the while whining that they can't afford "healthy" food. Naturally they didn't stop to think that they were spending far more on junk than they could of real food.

The real clincher was that one of the kids, a little boy, wanted an apple but he was told he couldn't have it because they (the parents) can't afford it; this coming from the same two people who are loading their carts with crap-foods.

Oh..and one of the kids has already pre-diabetes yet the mother was blubbering about their state of affairs again not realizing or conveniently over-looking that they are causing their children's health problems

So..if I, for example, am short on money, I am not going to blow it on candy, sodas, cakes and other junky stuff.

I'd rather buy bagged salad greens and a can or two of soup (maybe) because at least it won't give me conditions leading to diabetes.

Sure it is "easy" to just blow money on snack cakes because they're easy, sweet and it is something but when you can see yourself and your kids getting fatter and fatter and getting other health issues than you need to step up and say "Ok. No more junk food. We will eat healthier even if it means one main meal a day."

Even a can of pork and beans is better than subsisting on twinkies and cola.

Please, I do understand the struggles because I lived in an area where there was a lot of poverty yet at the same time many people willingly created their own problems buy wasting precious money on junk.

One neighbor we had was a girl who wasn't even seventeen and already she had partial plates because her mother bought cases upon cases of soda (which is quite expensive) so now they are saddled with medical bills because of that.

For the price of a 12 or 24 case of sugar water, one could buy some frozen juice or milk and maybe a tomato and some lettuce.

Sorry, I do not mean to rant, it's just that so many problems are being caused by very poor choices and one cannot always blame "lack of education" either.

If I had one hundred dollars for groceries and had children to feed, you better bet I'd be doing some research on how to feed them better. Why refried beans? Why snack cakes and sugar slop? Oatmeal is far cheaper and better. Why soda? What's wrong with milk or water? Maybe instant milk (ok..I know. Total 'Bleh' but it's better than nothing. I think...) Bananas are pretty cheap these days and generic brands of canned fruit and veggies are cheap too.

My kids health is more important than satisfying the craving for processed sugar and lard.

Choices. It boils down to choices. One can stretch the dollars with a bit of savvy.

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I think it all boils down to the choices people make when it comes to food.

I recall watching a report where they were following a family who was poor and they were in a grocery store.

Now the mom is overweight as is one of her kids yet they filled their carts with sodas, chips and cheap stuff all the while whining that they can't afford "healthy" food. Naturally they didn't stop to think that they were spending far more on junk than they could of real food.

The real clincher was that one of the kids, a little boy, wanted an apple but he was told he couldn't have it because they (the parents) can't afford it; this coming from the same two people who are loading their carts with crap-foods.

Oh..and one of the kids has already pre-diabetes yet the mother was blubbering about their state of affairs again not realizing or conveniently over-looking that they are causing their children's health problems

So..if I, for example, am short on money, I am not going to blow it on candy, sodas, cakes and other junky stuff.

I'd rather buy bagged salad greens and a can or two of soup (maybe) because at least it won't give me conditions leading to diabetes.

Sure it is "easy" to just blow money on snack cakes because they're easy, sweet and it is something but when you can see yourself and your kids getting fatter and fatter and getting other health issues than you need to step up and say "Ok. No more junk food. We will eat healthier even if it means one main meal a day."

Even a can of pork and beans is better than subsisting on twinkies and cola.

Please, I do understand the struggles because I lived in an area where there was a lot of poverty yet at the same time many people willingly created their own problems buy wasting precious money on junk.

One neighbor we had was a girl who wasn't even seventeen and already she had partial plates because her mother bought cases upon cases of soda (which is quite expensive) so now they are saddled with medical bills because of that.

For the price of a 12 or 24 case of sugar water, one could buy some frozen juice or milk and maybe a tomato and some lettuce.

Sorry, I do not mean to rant, it's just that so many problems are being caused by very poor choices and one cannot always blame "lack of education" either.

If I had one hundred dollars for groceries and had children to feed, you better bet I'd be doing some research on how to feed them better. Why refried beans? Why snack cakes and sugar slop? Oatmeal is far cheaper and better. Why soda? What's wrong with milk or water? Maybe instant milk (ok..I know. Total 'Bleh' but it's better than nothing. I think...) Bananas are pretty cheap these days and generic brands of canned fruit and veggies are cheap too.

My kids health is more important than satisfying the craving for processed sugar and lard.

Choices. It boils down to choices. One can stretch the dollars with a bit of savvy.

Bingo. You just nailed it. :tu:

I know all about stretching a limited budget on food, and you can buy healthy foods very cheaply without breaking the bank. This woman was just lazy and didn't want to cook. Throwing a frozen pizza in the oven isn't cooking. And since she's on disability for diabetes, a condition she gave herself by the way, she should have plenty of time, to cook healthy dinners and breakfasts for her family. I'm sorry, I try to be compassionate to people, but this is nothing more than laziness and stupidity on the mother's part. She's killing her children, because she's too lazy to get off her a** and cook an actual meal.

Edited by Kowalski
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Bingo. You just nailed it. :tu:

I know all about stretching a limited budget on food, and you can buy healthy foods very cheaply without breaking the bank. This woman was just lazy and didn't want to cook. Throwing a frozen pizza in the oven isn't cooking. And since she's on disability for diabetes, a condition she gave herself by the way, she should have plenty of time, to cook healthy dinners and breakfasts for her family. I'm sorry, I try to be compassionate to people, but this is nothing more than laziness and stupidity on the mother's part. She's killing her children, because she's too lazy to get off her a** and cook an actual meal.

Thank you. I was kind of bracing myself for an onslaught of yelling and screaming about how I was being "insensitive".

You know, if one likes pizza one can buy some of that day-old bread at bakeries and a jar of generic salsa (the stuff from walmart is surprisingly good) and some generic cheese and make individual pizza breads.

A little bit of frozen veggies thrown in the frypan with a tad of butter and sauteed with salt, pepper and garlic powder makes a nice meal too. It's not hard at all, it just takes a tiny bit of effort

Oh..that story on tv I recounted about the poor family with a kid who already has health issues? The mother already knew their bad diet was causing it yet they insist on shoving garbage into her.

Can't afford a couple of apples but will throw away 20 bucks on junk. Makes me a little angry when I see that.

Edited by Ryu
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Thank you. I was kind of bracing myself for an onslaught of yelling and screaming about how I was being "insensitive".

You know, if one likes pizza one can buy some of that day-old bread at bakeries and a jar of generic salsa (the stuff from walmart is surprisingly good) and some generic cheese and make individual pizza breads.

A little bit of frozen veggies thrown in the frypan with a tad of butter and sauteed with salt, pepper and garlic powder makes a nice meal too. It's not hard at all, it just takes a tiny bit of effort

Your right. It doesn't take that much effort, or creativity to make healthy, cheap meals.

There are places online like this one Betty Crocker website, that have tons of ideas on how to make cheap dinners, that are healthy. One recipe I make a lot involves frozen broccoli, cheese, Bisquick, and some cut up chicken....

Edited by Kowalski

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I think education does have something to do with food choices and cooking practices.

There is this whole vicious cycle of lack of education, a ton of cheap crap foods on the market... and this notion that it has to be "gourmet" to be good- like expensive, or hard to get, or exotic... And we end up with a lot of people who grew up not knowing diddly about nutrition or cooking, and are convinced it's impossible to eat healthy and frugal, and no way they can afford all that good stuff- it's all for rich folk and gourmet. Along with a huge service and product industry that just keeps feeding the cycle, coupled with a lack in the education system... Even if one had a 1000 a month per person food stamp budget, still could be eating all wrong, and not knowing how to cook...

Yuck. This feels like a rant coming on, so gonna stop and gather my thoughts, lol.

Edited by rashore
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Perhaps but more often than not it seems people will do what is "easiest" which means going to Slopper King (Burger King)

or Mc Krapple (Mc Donalds) or just buying garbage 'cause they think it tastes better.

There are plenty of those who know better but won't do anything because it requires effort.

It's like some nurses I seen, years ago, outside a hospital smoking away Came to find that some were the same ones that worked with respiratory patients. It is always easier to lecture the patients yet not follow any of their own advice.

I don't like cooking much either but it is a far better option than the MSG and trans-fat laden garbage that is out there.

Edited by Ryu
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I think it all boils down to the choices people make when it comes to food.

I recall watching a report where they were following a family who was poor and they were in a grocery store.

Now the mom is overweight as is one of her kids yet they filled their carts with sodas, chips and cheap stuff all the while whining that they can't afford "healthy" food. Naturally they didn't stop to think that they were spending far more on junk than they could of real food.

The real clincher was that one of the kids, a little boy, wanted an apple but he was told he couldn't have it because they (the parents) can't afford it; this coming from the same two people who are loading their carts with crap-foods.

Oh..and one of the kids has already pre-diabetes yet the mother was blubbering about their state of affairs again not realizing or conveniently over-looking that they are causing their children's health problems

So..if I, for example, am short on money, I am not going to blow it on candy, sodas, cakes and other junky stuff.

I'd rather buy bagged salad greens and a can or two of soup (maybe) because at least it won't give me conditions leading to diabetes.

Sure it is "easy" to just blow money on snack cakes because they're easy, sweet and it is something but when you can see yourself and your kids getting fatter and fatter and getting other health issues than you need to step up and say "Ok. No more junk food. We will eat healthier even if it means one main meal a day."

Even a can of pork and beans is better than subsisting on twinkies and cola.

Please, I do understand the struggles because I lived in an area where there was a lot of poverty yet at the same time many people willingly created their own problems buy wasting precious money on junk.

One neighbor we had was a girl who wasn't even seventeen and already she had partial plates because her mother bought cases upon cases of soda (which is quite expensive) so now they are saddled with medical bills because of that.

For the price of a 12 or 24 case of sugar water, one could buy some frozen juice or milk and maybe a tomato and some lettuce.

Sorry, I do not mean to rant, it's just that so many problems are being caused by very poor choices and one cannot always blame "lack of education" either.

If I had one hundred dollars for groceries and had children to feed, you better bet I'd be doing some research on how to feed them better. Why refried beans? Why snack cakes and sugar slop? Oatmeal is far cheaper and better. Why soda? What's wrong with milk or water? Maybe instant milk (ok..I know. Total 'Bleh' but it's better than nothing. I think...) Bananas are pretty cheap these days and generic brands of canned fruit and veggies are cheap too.

My kids health is more important than satisfying the craving for processed sugar and lard.

Choices. It boils down to choices. One can stretch the dollars with a bit of savvy.

You have a point but it does not all come down to that.

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Wouldn't it be easier to just make food stamps ineligible to buy bags of chips or sugary cereal? How about a commission that just sets standards on what foodstuffs can be bought with that money.

I know there are some restrictions on many of those programs already, and it would be easy to do. No one should be able to stop these folks from buying whatever they'd like, but they just shouldn't be able to do it with assistance money.

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You know, a store that sells only FDA approved healthy foods and does a great deal on foodstamps would go gangbusters IMO.

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So are we going to take this one example and use it as justification to condemn the poor and the food stamp program, using anecdotal evidence, the weakest kind, instead of doing due diligence by researching facts and statistics from unbiased sources?

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What this article is really about is the fact that the Texan government won't stop letting people buy soda and candy with EBT cards. If I'm not mistaken, my state disallowed the purchase of candy and soda with EBT cards a long time ago. I only have antidotal evidence that it might help though. Washington state is generally categorized as being one the healthiest fittest states in the nation... and we also have a high number of people on food stamps. I have no idea if the two are related, but I suppose they could be.

I do know that eating VERY healthy is incredibly expensive. Last July, I entered into a contract with myself to read labels, cook at home and eat well. (I'm trying to drop some weight, only about 15lbs though) and just be healthier in general. My food bill has quadrupled. For example, I could buy raspberry yogurt for about .60 cents a carton... great deal and healthy right? Not so much. Until I started carefully reading labels, I didn't realize just how BAD the vast majority of yogurts are! They are LOADED with sugar, VERY high carbs, and most have very limited healthy ingredients. In fact, when I compared a carton of yogurt with the same portion of ice cream, they came out nearly even in heath benefits. Now, since I like yogurt and appreciate the fats and proteins they contain, I've gone to a plain Greek yogurt which is more than twice as expensive. And since plain yogurt isn't that exciting, I have to add stuff to it. Fruit, or even stevia. A 7oz carton of Greek yogurt, after you add your additives to it, costs over three times more than the sugar loaded other brands of standard yogurt. I've found this to be true of a LOT of products that are even generally accepted healthy alternatives to junk food.

The short is, that if I only had $430 a month to spend on groceries, I'd likely wind up going to bed without any food at all by the end of the month. And I'd be fat... It's quite expensive to cut insulin spiking foods out of your diet... I've been doing it for months.

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What this article is really about is the fact that the Texan government won't stop letting people buy soda and candy with EBT cards. If I'm not mistaken, my state disallowed the purchase of candy and soda with EBT cards a long time ago. I only have antidotal evidence that it might help though. Washington state is generally categorized as being one the healthiest fittest states in the nation... and we also have a high number of people on food stamps. I have no idea if the two are related, but I suppose they could be.

I do know that eating VERY healthy is incredibly expensive. Last July, I entered into a contract with myself to read labels, cook at home and eat well. (I'm trying to drop some weight, only about 15lbs though) and just be healthier in general. My food bill has quadrupled. For example, I could buy raspberry yogurt for about .60 cents a carton... great deal and healthy right? Not so much. Until I started carefully reading labels, I didn't realize just how BAD the vast majority of yogurts are! They are LOADED with sugar, VERY high carbs, and most have very limited healthy ingredients. In fact, when I compared a carton of yogurt with the same portion of ice cream, they came out nearly even in heath benefits. Now, since I like yogurt and appreciate the fats and proteins they contain, I've gone to a plain Greek yogurt which is more than twice as expensive. And since plain yogurt isn't that exciting, I have to add stuff to it. Fruit, or even stevia. A 7oz carton of Greek yogurt, after you add your additives to it, costs over three times more than the sugar loaded other brands of standard yogurt. I've found this to be true of a LOT of products that are even generally accepted healthy alternatives to junk food.

The short is, that if I only had $430 a month to spend on groceries, I'd likely wind up going to bed without any food at all by the end of the month. And I'd be fat... It's quite expensive to cut insulin spiking foods out of your diet... I've been doing it for months.

Ah... somebody who got it!

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So are we going to take this one example and use it as justification to condemn the poor and the food stamp program, using anecdotal evidence, the weakest kind, instead of doing due diligence by researching facts and statistics from unbiased sources?

Personally I'm not condemning the poor- I've seen rich people know diddly about nutrition and cooking just as much as poor people- a lobster dripping in butter and a bowl of cream bisque with a bottle of expensive wine isn't really any better for you than eating a bag of Cheetos and a cup of ramen with a bottle of soda. Might be vastly different in how it isn't really good for you, but both aren't great as part of a regular diet. That's why I said in my previous post a person could have a 1000 bucks per person a month food allowance and still eat wrong and not know how to cook. I think education matters at that point more than money.

I don't condemn the food stamp program either- but I do think there are some problems with it that could use addressing. And every states program seems to be a bit different, so I guess that would be a lot of addressing. But some of it is just general across the board, like no soda or Cheetos. Though I'm mean and I would also probably say no lobsters either. In my mind, foodstamps should be for basic larder, not all the extra fun stuff.

And I'm not just going by the article- I'm also going by several years of shopping in different settings, from big city superstore to tiny town local market. I admit, I'm a basket peeper- I look at what everyone else is buying. And wow, I'm sometimes blown away at the poor choices and foods. It's also a bit amusing sometimes when people with a basket full of junk look at my basket like I'm nuts- like if cauliflower is on clearance for super cheap, I'll pick up 4-5 of them to prep and freeze for later, and people look at me like what the eff am I doing with that much cauliflower? Especially "bad" cauliflower- it must not be good anymore if it's on clearance.

I'm also going by years of experience of knowing people on food stamps all the way to knowing people that spend horrifyingly large amounts of money on food, by watching trends in the food markets, reading articles about all sorts of things food related. The whole food thing in general irritates the beejeebers out of me- however, this particular thread is more specifically about food stamp use. And it's a vicious cycle how that works.

Sorry to rant.

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So are we going to take this one example and use it as justification to condemn the poor and the food stamp program, using anecdotal evidence, the weakest kind, instead of doing due diligence by researching facts and statistics from unbiased sources?

It's more than one example. Stories like this pop up all of the time and have for years.

I also don't see anyone condemning the poor in this article. Questioning their choices, perhaps, but not condemning them.

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What this article is really about is the fact that the Texan government won't stop letting people buy soda and candy with EBT cards. If I'm not mistaken, my state disallowed the purchase of candy and soda with EBT cards a long time ago. I only have antidotal evidence that it might help though. Washington state is generally categorized as being one the healthiest fittest states in the nation... and we also have a high number of people on food stamps. I have no idea if the two are related, but I suppose they could be.

I do know that eating VERY healthy is incredibly expensive. Last July, I entered into a contract with myself to read labels, cook at home and eat well. (I'm trying to drop some weight, only about 15lbs though) and just be healthier in general. My food bill has quadrupled. For example, I could buy raspberry yogurt for about .60 cents a carton... great deal and healthy right? Not so much. Until I started carefully reading labels, I didn't realize just how BAD the vast majority of yogurts are! They are LOADED with sugar, VERY high carbs, and most have very limited healthy ingredients. In fact, when I compared a carton of yogurt with the same portion of ice cream, they came out nearly even in heath benefits. Now, since I like yogurt and appreciate the fats and proteins they contain, I've gone to a plain Greek yogurt which is more than twice as expensive. And since plain yogurt isn't that exciting, I have to add stuff to it. Fruit, or even stevia. A 7oz carton of Greek yogurt, after you add your additives to it, costs over three times more than the sugar loaded other brands of standard yogurt. I've found this to be true of a LOT of products that are even generally accepted healthy alternatives to junk food.

The short is, that if I only had $430 a month to spend on groceries, I'd likely wind up going to bed without any food at all by the end of the month. And I'd be fat... It's quite expensive to cut insulin spiking foods out of your diet... I've been doing it for months.

I tend to disagree. I think one can eat extremely healthy and remain on a tight budget if they plan accordingly.

Sure, buying fresh organic produce is expensive, but I often find frozen veggies on sale for less than $1 a bag. There are also farmers markets in many urban areas that take EBT cards.

My wife (and me too for that matter) can whip up a healthy and filling meal for a family of four for less than $1.50 a serving. It's not that hard. Just last night she made a homemade meatless tomato sauce with pasta that in total cost less than $3. And we had leftovers.

Frankly, what it comes down to is that it's just a lot easier to grab a Pop Tart than to figure out what to do with a pound of kale.

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What this article is really about is the fact that the Texan government won't stop letting people buy soda and candy with EBT cards. If I'm not mistaken, my state disallowed the purchase of candy and soda with EBT cards a long time ago. I only have antidotal evidence that it might help though. Washington state is generally categorized as being one the healthiest fittest states in the nation... and we also have a high number of people on food stamps. I have no idea if the two are related, but I suppose they could be.

I do know that eating VERY healthy is incredibly expensive. Last July, I entered into a contract with myself to read labels, cook at home and eat well. (I'm trying to drop some weight, only about 15lbs though) and just be healthier in general. My food bill has quadrupled. For example, I could buy raspberry yogurt for about .60 cents a carton... great deal and healthy right? Not so much. Until I started carefully reading labels, I didn't realize just how BAD the vast majority of yogurts are! They are LOADED with sugar, VERY high carbs, and most have very limited healthy ingredients. In fact, when I compared a carton of yogurt with the same portion of ice cream, they came out nearly even in heath benefits. Now, since I like yogurt and appreciate the fats and proteins they contain, I've gone to a plain Greek yogurt which is more than twice as expensive. And since plain yogurt isn't that exciting, I have to add stuff to it. Fruit, or even stevia. A 7oz carton of Greek yogurt, after you add your additives to it, costs over three times more than the sugar loaded other brands of standard yogurt. I've found this to be true of a LOT of products that are even generally accepted healthy alternatives to junk food.

The short is, that if I only had $430 a month to spend on groceries, I'd likely wind up going to bed without any food at all by the end of the month. And I'd be fat... It's quite expensive to cut insulin spiking foods out of your diet... I've been doing it for months.

I tried to resist double posting, but I just couldn't. Sorry for more ranting folks...

Miss, your yogurt example is a perfect example about my frustration of the service and product industry feeding the vicious cycle.

My husband complained recently about the fruit on the bottom yogurt. Years ago, the yogurt was actually tart and you could taste it, and really taste it when you mixed the fruit in. Now it sort of tastes the same sweet all the way through, and the fruit is just sweet goo. Because the industry has bumped up the sugar, and I'm guessing changed the fruit. Now they have the "better" alternative- greek yogurt. It's tart like regular yogurt used to be, is lower in sugars in it's plain form than regular flavored yogurt. Even better, you can get it lowfat, which kind of defeats the purpose of greek yogurt since it's supposed to be made with milk and cream to pump up it's fat content. And once you add in the fruit goo, it's just as bad as regular cheap yogurt. Though greek does tend to have a slightly higher protein content.

What a big around cycle of product. Blech. And people have to be willing to be educated about this sort of information in order to even read the nutrition labels and other information in order to make an informed choice. Blarg, frustration.

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So are we going to take this one example and use it as justification to condemn the poor and the food stamp program, using anecdotal evidence, the weakest kind, instead of doing due diligence by researching facts and statistics from unbiased sources?

I don't think the majority of posters are condemning anything of the sort.

The Food Stamp program is vitally important, and I support it. However, there isn't anything wrong with limiting the purchases that can be made with it. For instance, one cannot use the programs to buy alcohol....We aren't doing anyone any favors by allowing them to buy junk food. In fact, we are doing the exact opposite of what could be done with the Food Stamp Program.

Junk food, such as chips, candy bars, etc. should be considered 'luxury' items and not valid.

I don't want to see anyone going hungry because of poverty. I think some tweaking to the programs could allow us to have not only a good system, but also one that promotes a healthy livestyle.

No one is saying a poor person shouldn't be allowed to drink a beer, or treat themselves to an ice cream cone, it just shouldn't come out of the money earmarked for nutricious calories.

Edited by supervike
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I would like to see more resources put towards health & nutrition education, myself, but with all the budget cuts that seems unlikely. Although, as I said, here in California's inner cities a lot of people don't have access to fresh food, as all the major grocery stores have moved out to the suburbs or more prosperous areas of the cities. And a lot of the poor don't have access to transportation to the big stores. It seems weird to me that food has become a socio-economic issue, but maybe it's always been that. I would love to buy mostly organic foods, but I just can't afford it, this is another one of those topics that has a socio-economic element.

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The EBT program is almost set up to be misused.

I agree with another poster. Instead of EBT recipients going to the grocery store and trying to stretch their benefits as far as possible by buying the cheapest, crappiest stuff on the shelf...there should be facilities like food banks that accept the EBT and only offer the staples of a healthy diet. Beans, rice, fresh and frozen veggies, beef, pork, chicken and fish.

I know that sounds kinda backwards from someone who believes totally in freedom, but let's face the facts here...some of these folks buy crappy stuff because it is filling and it is cheap...you don't "feel" hungry but you are not getting real nutrition either. If the program is really and truly about helping the poor maintain a healthy diet, then they need to do that and stop aiding the profit margins of the big box super grocery stores...where junk food is the highest profit margin.

Oh well...

Hello everyone! I been on a break from politics and world drama for awhile. I got back into an online video game on a private server and found it just as addictive as it was on retail/public servers! FFXI for the win!

I'll still be dropping in on occasion...but the woes of the world was beginning to take it's toll on me...

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I tend to disagree. I think one can eat extremely healthy and remain on a tight budget if they plan accordingly.

Sure, buying fresh organic produce is expensive, but I often find frozen veggies on sale for less than $1 a bag. There are also farmers markets in many urban areas that take EBT cards.

My wife (and me too for that matter) can whip up a healthy and filling meal for a family of four for less than $1.50 a serving. It's not that hard. Just last night she made a homemade meatless tomato sauce with pasta that in total cost less than $3. And we had leftovers.

Frankly, what it comes down to is that it's just a lot easier to grab a Pop Tart than to figure out what to do with a pound of kale.

I think you missed the point... I too buy frozen vegetables, and eat a lot of them. However, it's been a few years since I've seen any for $1.00 the last bag of frozen spinach I bought (3 days ago) was $3.45. And that was the cheap generic brand. Granted, I live in Seattle and because we're a big city so far off the beaten track, everything costs a significant amount more than other more accessible areas.

The article (if you read the whole thing) was talking about high sugar and high carbohydrate foods that people tend to buy that spike insulin production and create a type II diabetes problem. I have no insulin resistance problems, but I'm in the process of eating in a way that eliminates most high sugar foods, which include pasta and tomato sauce. It's not particularly good for you. Probably not as bad as a candy bar and a Coke for dinner, but it's still very high in sugar.

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I tried to resist double posting, but I just couldn't. Sorry for more ranting folks...

Miss, your yogurt example is a perfect example about my frustration of the service and product industry feeding the vicious cycle.

My husband complained recently about the fruit on the bottom yogurt. Years ago, the yogurt was actually tart and you could taste it, and really taste it when you mixed the fruit in. Now it sort of tastes the same sweet all the way through, and the fruit is just sweet goo. Because the industry has bumped up the sugar, and I'm guessing changed the fruit. Now they have the "better" alternative- greek yogurt. It's tart like regular yogurt used to be, is lower in sugars in it's plain form than regular flavored yogurt. Even better, you can get it lowfat, which kind of defeats the purpose of greek yogurt since it's supposed to be made with milk and cream to pump up it's fat content. And once you add in the fruit goo, it's just as bad as regular cheap yogurt. Though greek does tend to have a slightly higher protein content.

What a big around cycle of product. Blech. And people have to be willing to be educated about this sort of information in order to even read the nutrition labels and other information in order to make an informed choice. Blarg, frustration.

I buy whole fat plain Greek yogurt, it's really hard to find, the Fage brand is about the only one that carries it. The 2% or non-fat yogurts have sugar in them so they don't taste horrible. If I add fruit, it's fresh blueberries or strawberries since most berries are super low on sugars while still being sweet. Mostly, I just add 3 drops of berry flavored stevia to it and it's fantastic. Or, since I'm not much of a sweets person anyway, I'll add cinnamon. But you're totally right, yogurt used to be tart and healthy, but for some reason, the manufacturers basically turned it into fruit candy. Gross. And NOT healthy.

I was so horrified by standard yogurt I went and compared it to some Dryers chocolate chip mint, no sugar added (but it does have sugar in it) ice cream... the ice cream was WAY lower in sugar (by like 20 grams!!), lower in fat, and fewer calories! That yogurt made the ice cream look like heath food! LOL

Edited by MissMelsWell
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