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Old 09-12-2008, 04:30 PM   #61
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But I dont think there are many single income homes now a days.

From my observing on this thread and board I think alot of the people who cook healthier have a better knowledge of cooking and all that is involved with it.

It could come down to just needing to learn how to cook better and how to use cheap ingredints that are in season to make healthy flavorful meals.

I know before I really got into the cooking thing i used to eat garbage and alot of it.

Now I eat alot of smaller tastier meals that are cheaper that are pretty healthy.

I just got a problem with snacking on the bad stuff.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:35 PM   #62
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But I dont think there are many single income homes now a days.
You're kidding, right? Not many single moms or single dads or single elderly folks where you are in good old Long Island? (By the way, I was born & raised there.) You're just not looking hard enough.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:41 PM   #63
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there are single people and alot of them are struggling to get by.

Long island I think is a special case because alot of people have the cash.

look at the taxes, housing costs and etc...

Where about on good old LI?
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:53 PM   #64
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From my observing on this thread and board I think alot of the people who cook healthier have a better knowledge of cooking and all that is involved with it.

But not everyone has this opportunity.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:54 PM   #65
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I'm from Setauket & my husband is from St. James. And yes, I know - both big-money areas now, but not so much when we were growing up there.

Family is still there & we keep up with area news, but even in the "high rent" areas of the East End where we spent lots of our time there are many people struggling these days. Lord - just look at the plight of the fishermen alone. Not to mention the elderly. Not the "rich" elderly - the normal fixed-income elderly.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:55 PM   #66
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Vera,

I agree with you on that but alot of school have the sports and other after school activities for no cost since its in the school budget.

.
Not trying to make this a 'school budget' tangent...and perhaps things on Long Island are different...but in most urban areas, where incomes tend to be lower, most schools haven't seen a budget pass since the 70s. When I was growing up, we had art, music, library, home ec, shop, and gym, twice a week each. Schools still have libraries, but you don't get classes on how to use them any longer. Art, music, home ec and shop are all gone. Gym, once every day, is now once a week. After school programs are babysitting programs, not physical fitness programs, and you have to pay a hefty amount of money to utilize them. The sports programs like football, soccer, cheerleading, softball, baseball, hockey....all cost money to participate, and then the shoes and other equipment is extra. Ever price a pair of ballet shoes for a 6 year old? $85 and they'll only fit for 5 months, at best.The school for ballet is in the neighbourhood of $125 per month, or 4 lessons. The recital? $500 for the costumes and you don't get free tickets, either. In fact, they want you to help then 'fund raise' by hitting up the rest of your family to come see strangers kids perform, usually badly. Like I said, things in affluent suburban towns may still have 'free' after school programs, but those aren't the people this thread was really about.

Sorry for derailing the train....back to your regularly scheduled topic.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:58 PM   #67
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this is very very true. A good culinary education is tough on the wallet and very intimidating if you try to learn with out school or come from a well culianry knowledged family

I know my family are horrible cooks and barely knew enough to get by. but the family was broke as mcdonalds was actually a treat for us. we had simple easy meals. always had the protein, starch and veggie.

There are books and what not out there that are avaiable at a local library to learn how to cook healthy on a small budget.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:59 PM   #68
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The wording is a bit harsh, but I believe it's not too inaccurate a statement. People with lower incomes will have a harder time presenting a balanced, nutritious meal when vegetables, fish, chicken, beef, bread, eggs, milk, fruit, cheese have seen price increases of over 17% in the past year. If a family of 4 only has a $15 dollar dinner budget, it's a lot easire to hit the dollar menu at McDonalds than it is to prepare a meal hitting all the food groups.
$15 a dinner is $130 a week...and that's just dinner. They still need breakfast and lunch, personal items like tampons, toothpaste, household items like detergent and toilet paper... and before you know it, the food shopping bill can exceed $250 each week.
Unfortunately, I know that many people in the food service industry, working 8 hour days barely bring home more than $400 a week. That doesn't leave a lot for rent/mortgage, utilities, clothing, medical expenses.

A dinner deal is 2 pizzas and a 2-litre coke for $14.99. How can you pass that up? You can get 8 burgers, a couple of fries and some nuggets for $15. Apples cost $2.49 a pound, and you may get 4, but probably 3. A bag of Dorritos on sale is also $2.49, you get less....but most kids want that more.

It's unfortunate, but I believe that financial status plays an important role in weight.

You don't see too many overweight rich kids... They come home from school and participate in sports programs and other activities. All those activities cost money. Kids from struggling families don't have that kind of disposable income, and many schools eliminate or curb physical fitness due to budget cuts.
This is a clear picture of what I see here, too. High quality, healthy foods are definitely more expensive in San Antonio. Of course, there are inexpensive healthy foods like the beans and rice mentioned in many other posts and from what I see here, they are the staples of the poor families I know. Perhaps it's because for southerners and Mexicans, these are integral to our traditional meals. But they can still lead to obesity if not supplemented with fresh produce and other foods that are simply too expensive.

Your mention of sports and other activity is a very good one, Vera. Most of the kids I know from poor families come straight home from school and have no physical activity on a daily basis. First, because they can't afford or even get to sports programs. And second, because the areas they live in are unsafe and no place for children to play in. If you have a car and someone home to drive, you can go to nice city parks or play on a soccer team or a swim team, etc. That is just not an option for very poor children. Most of us take for granted that a nice long walk in the evening is safe but for poor people, safety is an issue 24/7. (I hope this doesn't sound "preachy". It was an eye-opener for me when I first truly became aware of how hard it is to be poor and the kinds of things they deal with every day.)
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:02 PM   #69
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Vera,

I dont think you derailed anything. That is reality.

Ive been out of school for 10 years and your right about the budget. I know in my old school district it was always a fight to pass the budget.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:06 PM   #70
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I live in an area with many poor families. As mentioned by other posters I see many of them stocking up on frozen and boxed foods with thier food stamp cards

I myself have been living on a tight budget lately and find that fresh foods can be much more affordable but they require planning and paying attention to the unit cost etc

whole chickens and leg quarters are usually VERY affordable as are things like sacks of potatos and onions. Produce can be very expensive but not if you shop competitively and buy what is priced right.

Pasta, grains, beans are also cheap and generally a box of pasta and ingredients for a basic sauce are cheaper than poxed pasta-roni type products if you look at what you are actually buying.

The catch is preperation time and effective use of leftovers. Also the math is more complicated. A just add water box is pretty easy to price out and therfore seems cheaper than buying more items that you will use multiple times.

Time and energy to cook are also part of the equation. I remeber hearing one of the kids who lives down the block saying "mom was going to make pork chops but she feel asleep on the couch"

A whole chicken with potatos is one of the most cost effective and simple "real" dinners that you can make for a family. You can definitley get a really great meal on the table for around $10 meat veggies and all and have lunch for tomorrow for a family of four

Still 4 frozen dinners from the dollar store (or 99cent frozen pizzas) and a bag of chips is still cheaper and the chicken requires having some extra ingredients on hand like salt/pepper/oil at the very least.

Many prepard foods are no bargain at all though and actually blow budgets terribly.

At some level it is a personal choice on what is important to someone personally. nutritious menus can be done on the cheap but it takes some work a one box or nukeable dinner does not
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:10 PM   #71
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i don't get being 'uneducated'. kiddos attend school, with health class.

& there's an inherant knowledge that double cheeseburgers 'er more health costly than chix. media harps on health issues, especially issues like fast food. it'd be slim pickins to find those who don't really understand that if 'me eats me spinach' you'll be strong & healthy.
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Old 09-12-2008, 05:21 PM   #72
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As a number have said - it is the knowledge of how to cook as the affordability of the food. Over here, a lot of people do not know how to cook at all - it is probably more common in poorer families (particularly 1 parent ones - where the parent(s) are working all hours to try to make some money - they don't have time to teach the children to cook as it is "get home and feed as fast as possible". The children grow up and perpetuate the system as they do not know how to cook nutrtious foods.

I teach cooking at our church school and I want those kids going out with a basic knowledge of how to cook - I have had parents come and thank me as they can't cook and are know learning themselves through the recipes taken home. Our govt is now making it compulsory for all secondary school pupils to learn to cook and have issued a cookbook to help them:
Cooking classes for all teens from 2011 : Directgov - Newsroom

You will however, whatever get people who don't care and will abuse their bodies with the stuff they eat and drink - there are addictive things involved here. I know for me, I try to eat healthily but still love the taste of crisp chicken skin and the taste of fast food burgers - I know it is not good and I try to restict but I still sometimes need to eat them.
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:03 PM   #73
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i don't get being 'uneducated'. kiddos attend school, with health class.

& there's an inherant knowledge that double cheeseburgers 'er more health costly than chix. media harps on health issues, especially issues like fast food. it'd be slim pickins to find those who don't really understand that if 'me eats me spinach' you'll be strong & healthy.

luvs, for YOU those things are inherent, they are not for everyone. You read, but many don't, and the illiteracy rate alone is cause for those things to go unknown by many. And as for kids attending school, well lets just say you can make them be there, you can't make them learn. And frankly its only within the last 10 years (or so) that there has been a mandatory portion of the curriculum dedicated to nutrition. The kids don't buy the food, the parents do, and they didn't have that education. As Vera says the amount of time in gym class is limited. In Canada in the last couple of years they have mandated DAILY exercise of 30-45 minutes per day. (Its actually a weekly number to accomodate the high school semestered system)
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:39 PM   #74
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On another forum I belong to, there is a bit of disagreement....

So what do you think?

Poorer people (in the US) are overweight because the cheaper foods they can afford are all unhealthy?

I strongly disagree, but am surprised that there are a fair number who agree....


(gosh I hope this isn't too polarizing of a subject.)
Hi GrillingFool,

People are overweight because they eat too much in relation to the energy they expend. It is a simple equation!

Calories in, more than calories out - you will gain weight. It is as simple and as difficult as that, because what we are talking about is food and we see it in so many different ways - not just in terms of calories but also in terms of family pressures, wanting to be like other "skninnies" or simply eating.

The reality is that few people know how much energy they expend in a day or week and even fewer know how much energy they consumme.

Al the best,
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:48 PM   #75
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luvs, for YOU those things are inherent, they are not for everyone. You read, but many don't, and the illiteracy rate alone is cause for those things to go unknown by many. And as for kids attending school, well lets just say you can make them be there, you can't make them learn. And frankly its only within the last 10 years (or so) that there has been a mandatory portion of the curriculum dedicated to nutrition. The kids don't buy the food, the parents do, and they didn't have that education. As Vera says the amount of time in gym class is limited. In Canada in the last couple of years they have mandated DAILY exercise of 30-45 minutes per day. (Its actually a weekly number to accomodate the high school semestered system)
i get your point,alix. some kids fall thru the cracks & don't have a plethora of education ahead of them. they're simply uneducated.
i just cannot comprehend not understanding that cheeseburgers & stuff aren't healthy if you own a television. popeye taught me.

& i am aware of gym classes being cut; i'm angered by thier cutting gym.
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:03 PM   #76
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Hi GrillingFool,

People are overweight because they eat too much in relation to the energy they expend. It is a simple equation!
Hi, Archiduc. It's not always quite that simple: Sleep Stealers: Overweight and overtired: How those excess pounds might be costing your child a good night's sleep - National Sleep Foundation

Just to throw another topic into the mix.
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:24 PM   #77
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Just to throw another topic into the mix.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:22 PM   #78
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there, there, elfkins, just look past this it till you see light...
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:41 PM   #79
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For people with less money can't afford a lot thigs. Not just food. How about health club, that is part of healthy life style. My mother in law goes to club every day, my wife or I can only dream about something like this.
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:10 AM   #80
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I think Fisher's Mom get's it. I have a background in exercise physioloigy, diet, and nutrition - but when I found myself with 2 sons (Jr. High age) and only making $200/week ... we had to make some adjustments to our diets (I made a bad career change choice after my divorce). I cooked as healthy as I could - but sometimes it was a matter of using "meal extenders" (pasta, rice, beans, potatoes, etc.) to fill our bellies. But, that didn't mean we ate poorly.

Of course, when I was tending bar for $2.50/hr (I didn't have the requisite "tip magnet" equipment to get the tips the girls did) and paying $200/wk in child support ... I spent a lot of nights sleeping in my car ... so I was fortunate to get a "hot meal" at McDonalds ... once a day.

Anyway ...

I just did some checking on what the food stamp program might pay for a couple of retired adults, or a single parent with two children. Would you believe $160/month - $40/week - $5.33/day?

So, using all of your culinary knowledge and all of your kitchen equipment and expertise (let's eliminate the poor people are stupid theory) ... and based on the things you can find in a grocery store within walking distance from where you live, on a bus line, or within 3 miles of your home:

What would your menu be for breakfast for 7 days, lunch for 2 days (Sat and Sun), and supper for 7 days for a week on a $40 budget for an adult and 2 children - or 3 meals a day for 2 adults?

Are you aware we have a Budget Friendly Dishes Forum where you can post your "cheap eats" recipes?

FWIW: Gov'mnt cheese and day-old bread makes a good grilled cheese sammy ... nothing wrong with a slice of fried bologna on day-old bread ... a slice of cheese adds flavor and nutrition ...

Food banks don't have the resources for storing fresh produce for more than a day or two ... or fresh/frozen meats, or frozen vegetables ...
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