eat local challenge http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2596/all en-US The new face of poverty is fat http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/depression-family-3.jpg" alt="Depression-era family" title="Depression-Era Family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="223" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Twenty years ago, I parked at a supermarket, near where a poor family had just parked. I knew they were poor, because they looked like poor folks are supposed to look: Their clothes were worn (but mended and clean). Their car was an aging sedan. They were recycling a trunkful of aluminum cans. As I locked my car, they took the handful of change they got for the cans, and headed in ahead of me. There were three of them--man, woman, child--and all three were skinny. It&#39;s unusual to see that now. The new face of poverty is fat.</p> <p>Poor people being skinny was already getting to be unusual twenty years ago, or I probably wouldn&#39;t remember it so vividly. Now, the fat person going to the food bank is a cliche.</p> <p>I&#39;ve thought about it a lot in the years since then. How can poor people be fat?</p> <p>I&#39;ve read a lot about the topic, and there are a lot of answers. Some focus on the food (healthy food is expensive, empty calories are cheap). More focus on the people (poor people are stupid, poor people are ignorant about good nutrition, poor people are lazy, poor people are too busy working two jobs to get enough exercise, poor people are too tired after working two jobs to get enough exercise, poor people don&#39;t have access to fitness centers, poor people don&#39;t have access to kitchens, poor neighborhoods have lots of fast-food restaurants and few farmers markets).</p> <p>I think the answer, though, comes down to hunger.</p> <p>Hunger is a powerful force--powerful enough to make a question like &quot;If a hungry man steals a loaf of bread to feed his family, is it really theft?&quot; a genuine ethical conundrum. Hungry people will do almost anything to get food--and for people with hungry children, you can delete the &quot;almost.&quot;</p> <p>The feeling of &quot;hunger&quot; is constructed in your brain based on many different inputs. A lot of research has gone into understanding what makes people feel hunger. (Particularly from drug companies who could make a fortune from a diet drug that worked, but also other kinds of scientists.) It turns out, though, that hunger is deeply wired into the human brain--it doesn&#39;t just depend on getting enough calories. Among other things, it depends on getting all the important nutrients, although it&#39;s not as simple as just that either.</p> <p>If you&#39;re poor and hungry, you buy the cheapest calories you can find. If you eat that stuff until you no longer feel hungry, you&#39;re eating too many calories. That&#39;s why poor people are fat.</p> <p>It&#39;s especially sad, because it actually is possible to eat a good, healthy diet pretty cheaply. Unfortunately, it&#39;s not cheap <strong>and easy</strong>--it&#39;s really quite complex. You have to know about nutrition. You have to have the use of a kitchen, and time to cook. You have to have access to fresh vegetables.</p> <p>There are a number of good articles on the topic here on Wise Bread, starting with Sarah&#39;s recent <a href="/healthy-eating-itll-cost-you">Healthy eating--it&#39;ll cost you</a>, Andrea&#39;s <a href="/why-is-it-so-expensive-to-be-healthy">Why is it so expensive to be healthy</a>, and Tannaz&#39;s <a href="/save-the-world-and-save-a-dime-eat-locally">Save the world and save a dime: eat locally</a>. Be sure to look at some of the great articles <a href="/myscha-theriault">Myscha</a> has written on cheap, healthy eating. I&#39;ve written two: <a href="/eating-locally-on-a-budget">Eating locally on a budget</a> and <a href="/healthy-recipes-with-cost-data">Healthy recipes with cost data</a>.</p> <p>The way to get cheap and healthy together is to eat <strong>real food</strong> without worrying about whether it&#39;s organic or local or not. You can get better vegis at the farmers market or from community supported agriculture--but whatever vegis are cheap in the produce department at the grocery store will still be better than some packaged food product full of partially hydrogenated soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup.</p> <p>It&#39;s the real food that&#39;s the key. Ninety percent of what you bring home from the grocery store shouldn&#39;t have an ingredients list--it should <strong>be ingredients</strong>. Food has gotten more expensive, but rice and beans are still cheap. Only in America do the truly poor eat meat twice a day--but even meat is still cheap, if you buy what&#39;s on sale. Again, it won&#39;t be as good or as healthy as meat from animals that were locally raised in a humane fashion, but it will be both healthier and cheaper than eating at a fast-food restaurant.</p> <p>Once you&#39;re eating real food, trying to source more of it locally will get you better food--and food that is sometimes cheaper and often almost as cheap. Check out the <a href="http://www.eatlocalchallenge.com/">Eat Local Challenge</a> for lots of information about eating local food cheaply.</p> <p>Of course, the people reading this know all that. I don&#39;t know how to get the word out to the people who don&#39;t. But I do know that you can be hungry and fat. If you&#39;re poor in today&#39;s world, it&#39;s very nearly automatic.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-recipes-with-cost-data">Healthy recipes--with cost data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-revisiting-the-5-second-rule-and-other-kitchen-classics">Waste Not! Revisiting the 5-Second Rule and other Kitchen Classics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Shopping Cooking eat local eat local challenge Food Health healthy foods healthy living organic poverty Fri, 21 Dec 2007 16:40:57 +0000 Philip Brewer 1528 at http://www.wisebread.com Save the World and Save a Dime: Eat Locally http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-world-and-save-a-dime-eat-locally <p><img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/64/223703668_de52877cd0_m.jpg" alt="tomater" width="240" height="171" /></p> <p>Paul Michael&#39;s recent post on <a href="/the-dirty-secrets-of-food-processing-strong-stomach-required">processed foods</a> and Andrea Dickson&#39;s on the <a href="/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">Manhattan family trying to live without impacting the environment</a> got me thinking. One one hand, Paul&#39;s exposing us to some very real perils in the industry responsible for pretty much everything we consume. On the other, Andrea tells us about a family going to very extreme measures to address these perils and more. It&#39;s admirable what the Manhattan familiy is doing, but living without toilet paper, or composting inside a city apartment are a bit much for most people. But there&#39;s a group of bloggers who offer a more feasible challenge, designed for sustainability, deliciousness, good stories, and now, even for saving a buck or two: eat locally.</p> <p>The <a href="http://eatlocalchallenge.com">Eat Local Challenge</a> can mean different things to different people. For some, it&#39;s a 100-mile radius, while for others, anything that comes from within their state is fair game. There may be exceptions, like soy sauce, or black pepper. It might be a commitment to reshape your entire diet, or just a single dish made exclusively from local foods brought to a Thanksgiving dinner. But the idea is, you start thinking about the food you&#39;re consuming. You ask questions from the employees at your local grocer, or at the farmer&#39;s market (a real haven for diverse, fresh local goods). You boost your local economy and eliminate the environmental costs of long-range transportation and packaging, <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4312591.stm">even more effectively than by eating organically</a>. </p> <p>It is a true challenge, but the payoff is an oasis from many of the issues introduced by food processing, not to mention delicious new taste experiences. Eating locally means you can&#39;t have everything all the time, but instead you get a feel for seasonality -- fruits and vegetables at the peak of flavor and ripeness. Plus, local produce is certainly fresher than pears shipped from China or cucumbers from Mexico (unless of course, you happen to be living in China or Mexico). </p> <p>The folks at Eat Local Challenge have been churning out a variety of challenges over the last couple years, and the latest focuses on budget: The Penny-wise Eat Local Challege. For one week in April, they will be eating locally, but also staying within the budget of the average American, which according to the Department of Labor, this could be as low as $121 a week for a single-income household. No doubt there will be trying moments, but that&#39;s part of budgeting, right?</p> <p>Here&#39;s some more info:</p> <p><a href="http://www.eatlocalchallenge.com/2007/03/announcing_the_.html">The official announcement of the Penny Wise Challenge</a> </p> <p><a href="http://www.eatlocalchallenge.com/2007/03/all_you_need_to.html">Nuts and bolts details of the Penny Wise Challenge</a> </p> <p><a href="http://fogcity.blogs.com/jen/2005/08/10_reasons_to_e.html">10 Reasons to Eat Local</a> </p> <p><a href="http://www.lifebeginsat30.com/elc/2006/04/a_few_tips_for_.html">Tips for Eating Locally</a> </p> <p> <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200783,00.html">Time Magazine Article on the 100-mile Diet</a> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tannaz-sassooni">Tannaz Sassooni</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-world-and-save-a-dime-eat-locally">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-think-youre-a-carnivore">So, You Think You&#039;re a Carnivore?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/survivor-island-meal-plans-use-it-or-lose-it-in-5-easy-steps">Survivor Island Meal Plans: Use it or Lose It in 5 Easy Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-lowdown-on-spending-less-for-your-food-but-getting-more">The Lowdown on Spending Less for Your Food but Getting More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink budgeting eat local challenge locavore omnivore's dilemma penny wise sustainability Tue, 27 Mar 2007 01:01:55 +0000 Tannaz Sassooni 400 at http://www.wisebread.com