I am torn about this issue. I do not think that it is a wise decision to allow food stamps to be used in fast food joints. However, to the best of knowledge, most people who have food stamps have them because they cannot afford food without government help. Fast food offers a very cheap option to families near the poverty line. My television keeps telling me that I could feed a family of four for 15 bucks at KFC. And I’m sure I could, but I have to think long term here. If I feed my kids KFC 3 times a week I am going to eventually have to pay for their funeral because their hearts have exploded. I would hope that people who use food stamps would use that money wisely and try to provide themselves with food high in nutritional value. But I also know that despite what Republicans say, food stamps don’t make you some kind of king as 130 dollars a month is not a lot of money to buy food for an average sized family, least of all providing a well balanced diet. Heck, I bet Romney spends that much on a bottle of champagne every time he looks at his bank account. ZING! But seriously, the people who are advocating for food stamps to allow purchases of fast food are people who are paid off by fast food companies. Like every politician they do not have the best interest of the people in mind, just what fills their pockets.
I wonder if I should feel guilty knowing how much I eat and how little others get to. I’m really not even that appreciative of my food when I eat it. There has not been a time in my life when I have experienced real, desperate hunger. I take food for granted. I actually take a lot of things for granted living in the U.S, but that is a discussion for another class. I mean, I get hungry every now and again. And even when food is not readily available I know that all I have to do is open my refrigerator, or drive a short distance to they supermarket where I can buy whole meals of food for an hours worth of money. I don’t believe I am the only one in a developed country who just doesn’t understand and appreciate what it means to actually be hungry. When I was in Vietnam it was considered rude to not finish your plate of food because there were people starving and if you were lucky enough to have food, you ate it. Perhaps if people in developed countries understood hunger they would be more inclined to help those without food. Instead of saying “finish your food, there are people starving in Africa” you could say “be appreciative of your food because you could just have easily been born in another part of the world that does not have food”. I’m probably wrong though. The majority of people just don’t care about Africa or starving children. It does not affect them on a daily basis and likely never even enters their thoughts.
Walmart is trying to campaign in NYC to be allowed to open up a store. People are worried that it will put a strain on smaller businesses. And in my opinion they have every right to be worried. Walmart is an evil corporation whose only sole objective is to accumulate as much money as possible regardless of who gets in the way. The extremely aggressive campaign they have launched (going so far as to hire Bloombergs former campaign manager) is proof enough of the length Walmart will go to get what it wants. Why the hell does NYC need a Walmart anyway? Sure, maybe it could help some of these food deserts we have talked about, but so could any number of other, less evil, grocery stores. Is there even enough room in NYC for a walmart? I guess you could build upwards but that just seems stupid. I shop at Walmart because they have great prices. Oh shit, did I just say that? It is true, but boy do I hate myself for it.
I really have no problem with Paula Deen and I don’t see why Anthony Bourdain should either. I think it comes down to Bourdain believing that people (food people on t.v) are more influential than they actually are. Or if not that then beveling that Americans are very easily influenced. I see a lot of violence on television, seeing violence on television does not make me want to act out. I even see people I admire committing violent acts in television and movies, but that does not mean that because the Rock lays the smack down on someone that I am then going to do the same. What it means is that I am entertained by the acts I am watching. Cooking shows are essentially forms of entertainment, food porn if you will. If I were to watch Paula Deen cooking a super fatty meal my gums would salivate and then I would change the channel. At no point during her program does she climb out of the television and shove butter down my throat. We just don’t have that kind of technology yet. I understand what Bourdain says when he states that Deen is in a position of power and influence and she is using it to exacerbate a problem 66% of Americans already deal with (being fat). But Bourdain is forgetting that he is not some messiah come to save the world from fatty foods, he is an actor on a television shows whose first priority is to keep the audience watching. I’m not sure what kind of God complex he grew up with to make him think that he is affecting that many people. And if he has such a problem with Deen why not just back off and let her eat herself to death? Nothing would prove his point better then giving a speech about the dangers of butter at her funeral. And he would do it too, because he is an asshole. I hate his shows.
Mr. Klein makes a few good points here. If people cook their own food they are more likely to eat healthier because people are not willing to spend time making snacks. And snacks are the reason people are so fat. I’ll agree with that. But just because someone doesn’t cook does not mean that they are doomed to a life of unhealthy choices. Klein says the convenience/effortlessness of fast food restaurants are what draws people to them and helps them gain weight. Well this is true, but it is still about what people decide to order at those restaurants that makes the choices unhealthy or not. I just got back from Wendys having ordered a grilled chicken sandwich (no mayo please) a baked potato (no sour cream please) and small lemonade. In total it was around 600 calories. That isn’t too shabby for eating at a place that has meals that can shoot up to 2,000 calories or more. If I had stayed on campus I would have spend another night eating cashews and drinking Gatorade in my room. If I were at home I probably would have eaten a big bowl of cereal that would have been more than 600 calories. Klein has it right that if you are conscious of what you are making you are more conscious of what you are eating, but even if you choose to eat out at either a fast food place or a sit down, if you are at all concerned about eating healthy then common sense will prevail where nutritional facts on a menu may not.
I tried being a vegetarian for a week. Well I didn’t try, I did it. My original plan was to do it all the way through lent, but then I realized I’m not Catholic so there was divine punishment if I stopped. I didn’t do it because of the animals, or because I wanted to walk a mile in their shoes, or because I think meat is really that unhealthy. No, I did it because I need to eat more fruits and vegetables and the only way to do that would be to cut the meat part out of my diet. A normal dinner at the caf for me is 1 meat, some vegetables, some potatoes probably and a bowl of cereal. I could not eat any more fruit/vegetables because I would be too full. So if I was forced to cut the meat out and replace it with some salad or an apple then I had no choice but to eat healthier. Any hoot it wasn’t that tough of a week at all. I did not have any meat cravings and while I did not have a great deal of food choices I never went hungry. The biggest problem was not the caf, it was the other 3 restaurants on campus. I did get a veggie burrito at clydes but aside from that you need meat in most everything. Ele’s had many salad options but they all contained meat. There were, I think, 2 sandwich options that did not have meat. Bennys was by far the worst. There are no healthy options at Bennys (aside from a turkey sandwich) so I usually just avoided that place altogether and ate nuts in my room. I’m not sure if I gained any health bonuses from my short experiment but I did lose a pound or two. I have gained those back since then so nothing remains of my short time as a vegetarian. It is so easy to get fat. I am going to have to drastically alter my diet after college otherwise I’ll end up on the biggest loser. Which won’t be so bad because I would destroy everyone and win a quarter of a million dollars. Which I would probably spend on baconnators.
I have a lot of respect for Time magazine. Whenever I go abroad I always make sure to find a place that sells them so I can keep up on the world. When I come back home I just go back to the daily show. It sounds weird I guess, but I want to know more about the world when I am outside the golden gates of America. This article talks about linking anti obesity movements to unhealthy eating habits in children. While I do agree that there has been a big push in getting kids to eat healthier, I think most eating disorders stem out of media representations of the beautiful. The anti obesity movement is about kids eating healthier, making smarter choices to drop the startling 17% obesity rate among children. It makes no mention of having a perfect body or being attractive to others (as far as I know), whereas things young girls (I understand boys have eating disorders too, but in much lower numbers) are being fed crap about their body image from every media outlet available. It happens so much now that finding a girl who is comfortable with her body image is now the rarity. Most girls by the age of five are conscious of their weight and I have heard tales told of five year olds going on diets because they believe they are too fat. Of course in that case the media can;t be blamed, but rather bad parents who aren’t giving their children enough love, or teaching them how to love themselves. I’ll end this by saying that anti-obesity movements can’t start in the schools they have to start at home. I don’t claim to be original.