"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Health, Nutrition and Special Diets
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-12-2008, 03:16 AM   #41
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 3,619
This is such a complex topic for discussion with so many variables and potential for misunderstanding. There are so many valid points that have been made so I'll add my $.02 also.

There are many other costs in meal preparation besides the cost of the food itself. At a minimum, a stove of some sort and a fridge of some sort, cooking utensils, running water for prep and clean-up, gas or electricity for the stove and fridge, plus transportation to a grocery store. Believe me, there are many, many people who don't always have access to those basic things reliably.

Others have mentioned that working is an issue too. Many people here in San Antonio work a full 8 or 9 hour day plus another 1-3 hours in transit via public transportation. Then they must tend to household chores and attention to children and homework and laundry, just like everyone else. If you happen to be a single parent, there is no one else to take up any of the slack. Something's gotta give and often, it's home cooked meals.

Another thing to look at is that poor parents love their children as much as any other parents. They want to make them happy and do special things for them, too. But often, things like going out to a movie or a special toy or a new outfit are out of reach financially. But a 99 cent burger or fries isn't. Long term, of course, it contributes to obesity and poor health, but it's understandable that fast food can become a symbol of love for poor parents.

I'm not disagreeing with anyone here - I just wanted to bring up some further issues I think are relevant to the topic. I think this is a great discussion and with the direction the economy is going in the US right now, it's very timely.
__________________

__________________
Fisher's Mom is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 06:57 AM   #42
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,973
No matter how you look at it, I can buy ramen noodles for as little as a dime, sometimes a nickel, a package. Zilch nutrition, just calories. Yes, of course a poor family can be healthily fed, but it takes a little more work, knowledge, research. Heaven knows my mom raised four healthy, strapping gals on a sergeant's pay, so I learned from the master. But look at the price of fresh produce in the middle of the winter in a 4-seasons climate. You can't do it for a dime for a meal for one. And don't forget; unlike Mom, many people are single parents who are not home for 50 or so hours a week. It is more expensive to live healthy; very worth it, but not cheap.
__________________

__________________
Claire is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 07:00 AM   #43
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,973
P.S. When I was young and broke (thank heaven I had the wisdom to not have children by my first husband!) I would buy a pound of chicken livers for $.99 and a head of cabbage for less. I could live on that for the better part of the week, with the bonus of feeding my cat!
__________________
Claire is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 08:54 AM   #44
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
Sure soda might be cheaper than milk, but water is cheaper than soda so there is not reason you HAVE to buy soda if you want to save money.
Add a couple tea bags and you have iced tea.
__________________
Jeekinz is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:06 AM   #45
Master Chef
 
jabbur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 5,481
Fisher's Mom brought up some valid points. In my city, the poorest part of town has no grocery store, only convience stores. The city has tried to get a major chain store to open in the area by offering incentives without success. Most of the people that live there rely on public transportation and it can take them 30-45 mins on a bus to get to the closest grocery store then they have to carry the food back home on the bus which may limit what they buy. Sometimes they may take a taxi to the store to get more than they can carry but the cost will cut into what they can spend on food.
__________________
I could give up chocolate but I'm no quitter!
jabbur is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:17 AM   #46
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,806
The very idea that "poor people can't afford healthy food" has to be one of the most inaccurate things I've every heard. What a crock!! (Oh, & hot dogs definitely do NOT cost less than chicken, nor do cookies cost less than fruit, etc., etc. That's just plain unsupported nonsense.)

"Poor" (whether jobless, on a fixed income, etc., etc.) people have the same options as everyone else as far as healthy eating. Keys being education as to what's healthy, not being so lazy that all one wants to do is defrost & eat, & most important of all, WANTING to eat healthy.

What pisses me off is that all the "helpful" people in our immediate area aren't really all that helpful. Our local food pantry actually advertises what they want to "showcase" as "needs for the week" as far as donations. These "needs" are always things like "Hamburger Helper", boxed Mac & Cheese, etc., etc. They don't accept any "fresh" food, which sure as heck isn't really helping anyone besides filling their tummies with sodium/fat-rich garbage. We make regular food donations - but never any of that stuff, regardless of what they request. I always bring rice, bagged dried beans, whole-wheat pasta & egg noodles, low-sodium jarred & canned pasta sauces, canned tuna, dried herbs/spices - whatever non-fresh items I can find that are suitable to make a good meal that's as non-processed as possible. Frankly, without even touching fresh produce & meats, I can fill a shopping cart full of relatively healthy eating that will make a number of different meals for around $50. One just has to take the time to THINK about the possibilities.

So don't tell me "poor" (which is a very relative term in itself) people can't afford healthy food.
__________________
BreezyCooking is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:26 AM   #47
Everymom
 
Alix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 23,184
Breezy, your opinion is your own, but it isn't a "crock" that folks can't afford healthier food.

Again, I'm going to reiterate that if you don't KNOW what you are consuming is unhealthy, why would you change anything? Education is key.

Fishers Mom, you are so right about so many things. Folks who don't have much have different challenges and not having all the essentials for meal prep are just a few. I would also add transportation issues and perhaps challenges with managing their money and budgeting. If you can't afford a car you may have to be on a bus for a very long time with your piles of groceries. Just easier to feed the kids at the corner McD's. Their tummies are filled...fast.

I'm not saying poor people are dumb, what I am saying is that often those who don't have money have organic reasons that they have difficulty managing money and planning ahead. FASD, drug use, persistent physical abuse...all these things contribute to brain damage.

OK, sorry, took that slightly off topic, but I'm just trying to clarify my point.
FM, loved your post. Very clear and concise reasoning.
__________________
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
Alix
Alix is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:41 AM   #48
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,806
Alix - I was addressing the original point/topic heading that "poor people can't afford healthy food", as in monetarily. Which is incorrect - aka crock. It's not that they can't afford it monetarily, it's just, as you & others have stated, due to other aspects of their lives - education, desire, etc. - they choose not to. Not necessarily because they can't do it on their budgets. If other issues could be resolved, I most decidedly believe that they can do it. Their choice &/or community services' choice to help teach them.

As far as groceries on a bus - a couple of chickens or packages of ground turkey & some fresh vegetables can easily take up the exact same amount of weight/space as processed zero-nutrient food. Again - the education/desire-to-eat-healthy card in play (or not).
__________________
BreezyCooking is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:52 AM   #49
Everymom
 
Alix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 23,184
Quote:
Poorer people (in the US) are overweight because the cheaper foods they can afford are all unhealthy?
I guess its all in the interpretation of this statement isn't it? I can see your point. I think everyone here can relate to shopping healthy on a budget. We even have specific fora dedicated to that very subject. However, I think many folks are addressing WHY poorer people buy unhealthy/cheap food. I think that is a very logical progression. I'd bet that many of the folks in the category we are talking about don't know Discuss Cooking exists because they can't afford a computer or internet access. Its easy to make statements from this side of the fence if you haven't walked on the other side. I'm going to reiterate my first post. The cheap alternative was extremely unhealthy, but filling and large. The healthy choices to feed us cost roughly 3-4x as much.

As for shopping and carrying stuff on a bus. I've done it, and I've done it with little kids in tow. Its not impossible, but it sure aint easy. I'm thankful I didn't have to do it on a regular basis because I can tell you right now I WOULDN'T. I could juggle a diaper bag, a baby, and 4 bags of groceries and manage a 3rd floor walk up, but it wasn't fun and I can see being exhausted enough every day to just stop for a quick fast food meal. When you weigh tired against most anything else tired usually wins.
__________________
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
Alix
Alix is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:54 AM   #50
Executive Chef
 
Dina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Mission, Texas
Posts: 2,686
Send a message via Yahoo to Dina
I think that even people who can afford the healthier stuff as well as upscale restaurants are still overweight. It all boils down to HOW MUCH you put into your mouth and HOW MUCH you move your body.
__________________

__________________
Dina
If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart. - Arab proverb
Dina is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.