Is Junk Food For The Poor Better Than Nothing?

June 14, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

Tania Melkonian
Waking Times

Anyone behind me in line at the supermarket check-out would think me uncharitable.  The cashier asks,‘Would you like to donate a meal to the X house for the poor?’  Naturally, it is deliberate that her script obliges that any answer other than an enthusiastic ‘Oh, yes please! I would love nothing more!’ renders you instantly a heartless shell of a human.  The supermarket’s bet is that 9 out of 10 people will look sheepishly around them and, if anyone is witnessing their insensitive answers, will succumb to the cashier’s captivating plea…..

At the check-out, as our transaction comes to a close the cashier points behind her at a collage of photos of some of the store’s products displayed neatly to show each one’s label.  She asks as she has on every previous visit, ‘Would you like to donate a meal to that poor people place?’  The photos present the shopper with a few options for so-called meals to donate to aforementioned ‘poor people’. For $15, the economically (and soon to be nutritionally) disadvantaged can receive the following: hamburger helper with some hamburger (to be helped) and several macaroni and cheese ‘kits’ with some semblance of preserved cured meat-like accompaniment.  This basket also includes a vat of diet juice.  $30.00 gets some lucky recipient the deluxe package of instant mashed potatoes, a large jar of Italian-style sauce, a misleadingly plump, white CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) chicken, canned mandarin slices and instant whipped topping mix. Hmm.

Here, there are many, many layers of tragedy and injustice.  That none of these ingredients should be considered components of a meal – for anyone regardless of economic status – is just the first. On top of this is the idea any guilt we of the middle class harbor about economic disparity can be mollified by simply ’rounding up’ our grocery bill.  With this little micro-adjustment, we lift our rose-colored glasses to our eyes and rest easy believing we have righted the world by bringing to some nameless family’s dinner table a six pack of hot dogs snuggled up in their enriched white flour buns. If it weren’t for this gesture, these unfortunate folk would have nothing. And all of these helpful grocery kits are better than nothing, right?

Wrong.

At the heart of this ostensibly charitable act is the idea that ‘beggars can’t be choosers’. The reality is that we all can and should be choosers. Note the misconception that hunger and food insecurity afflicts the poverty-stricken, the homeless, the unemployed.  US Census Bureau’s figures show us that, in fact, that only 10% of the nearly 49 million Americans that are hungry are impoverished1.  The rest are reflected to have at least one member of the household employed.  Poverty and hunger although related, are not the same.  The benchmark for poverty in 2010 was income of $22,113.00 or less for a family of four.  Whereas hunger is defined as insufficient access to enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle2 . It should be clear that sustaining a healthy lifestyle is not possible on a steady course of potato flakes and commercial cold-cuts (My bologna has a first name, it’s u-l-c-e-r).

Remember that 49 million figure representing the number of Americans experiencing hunger?  Seventeen million of those are children. I tell my son regularly, that when he is tired or cranky he needs to recharge his batteries with healthy food. This parent’s euphemism is borne out of a sufficient body of research proving children’s brain development is highly dependent on consumption of nutrient dense, healthy, unrefined food.4  By the way, I tell my son he also needs naps to recharge his batteries. That is primarily for my healthy brain development.

There is enough evidence in the research that continuing to feed today’s children foods that come from packages rather than plates will lead to a generation of tired, socially limited, attention challenged adults anchoring our society in twenty years. Knowing this, should we continue to consider the pizza pops a balanced meal? And one fit for ‘donation’ to the hungry?  Is the deluxe package of instant this and microwave that and factory raised, hormone injected meat really better than nothing?  If we have the privilege of helping someone experiencing food insecurity, should we not choose more wisely? I believe we should.  So despite the admonishing glare the cashier gives me when I respond to her request yet again with, ‘No, not this time’, I will hold my head high and stand by my position that no one-rich or poor-should ever have to eat cheese that comes in an envelope!

THE RECIPE SECTION

In this series, I offer recipes that you can name yourself.  Amend them to suit your dietary predilections and enjoy.  I do urge you to preserve the essence of the recipe, however, and promise that doing so will augment the deliciousness….a lot.

A generalized formula for a nutritionally worthwhile, tasty macaroni and cheese with no involvement of flavor packets:

Get a bowl and half-fill it with pasta*.  That’s one portion.  I’ll list the amounts you need for that serving and you can do the math!

Cook the pasta according to the directions minus 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a deep baking dish.

Make your cheese sauce. Melt a pat of butter in a saucepan (don’t like butter? Use oil), add one peeled, mashed sweet potato and half a mashed white potato and stir to combine on medium high heat.Add about 1/2 cup of milk (don’t like milk? Use stock) and stir until thickened lowering heat to medium.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of cheese from the animal of your choice (don’t like cheese? Use 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast) When your sauce is smooth, pour it over the pasta.  Cover and cook in a 400 oven for 40 minutes.  Combine the following: 1 teaspoon each of turmericpaprika, groundflaxseed and 2 Tablespoons of ground walnutsRemove pasta from oven, uncover and sprinkle the top with the nut/seasoning mixture.  Return to oven and broil on high for 3 minutes.

* A word about pasta: Pasta is made from flour.  Whether that flour comes from rice, kamut, spelt or wheat, it is a milled product.  The process of milling, while not eliminating all nutrients does strip the original whole grain of many of its nutritional benefits and raises the glycemic index.  Does that mean we should never eat it?  Millions of Italians (and I too) would say ‘hell no!’. It’s delicious and comforting and those qualities in a food provide a different kind of nutrition (see my previous post on this site ‘Eat Food You Love, Not Too Much Of It by Yourself…’).  Enjoy!

References

1. U.S. Census Bureau. Carmen  DeNavas-Walt, B. Proctor, C. Lee.  Income, Poverty, and Heath Insurance Coverage in the United States:  2009.

2. http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/hunger-and-poverty-statistics.aspx

3.  http://www.bread.org/hunger/us/facts.html

4.  http://go.worldbank.org/DL9AKYWQ70

This article originally appeared at GreenMedInfo.com, an excellent source for news and information about natural, preventative medicine. 

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Activism, Body, Business, Community, Earth, Evolution, Food, Ideas, Money, Natural Health, Self, Society

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tabytha Blu says:

    I would suggest spelt pasta. Since the mid-90′s our traditional wheat has been replaced by dwarf mutant “wheat”, which many find indigestable. The wheat our ancestors ate is now called “heirloom wheat”, and is hard to find.

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public













Terence Newton, Staff Writer
Waking Times

In a world of problems and solutions, few ideas spur both immediate hope and skepticism as the idea of free energy, and, on the brink of ecological disaster, nothing may be of greater importance to the human race.

The story of Nikola More

April 14, 2014 | By | 13 Replies More
Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields

Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields













Kevin Samson, Guest
Waking Times

Neuroscience has come under scrutiny for its involvement in an array of mind control initiatives and other ethically questionable research. But at least one neuroscientist from Sweden has gone on record to caution against the increasing dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on human beings … More

April 14, 2014 | By | Reply More
On the Eve of Construction

On the Eve of Construction













Zen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

I love the sound of construction. I always have. Not the industrial sound from the kind of massive, offensive structures made with other-worldly looking machines, but the intentional, gentle kind. Small structures going up, improvements on homes, road repairs, even tending to gardens whether … More

April 13, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?

Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?













Brandon Baker, Eco Watch
Waking Times

Monsanto didn’t achieve $11.8 billion in sales and 404 facilities in 66 countries all on its own.

The company is valued at $60 billion in the marketplace with 525 million shares outstanding, but the three largest mutual fund shareholders, Vanguard, Fidelity and State Street, … More

April 10, 2014 | By | Reply More
7 Ways Our Children Are Being Brainwashed

7 Ways Our Children Are Being Brainwashed













Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest
Waking Times

From birth, virtually all of us have been brainwashed through various outlets that encourage materialism, ego, subservience, control and conformity. But where do the origins of mind control begin and what can we do about it?

1. Religion

As children, the brainwashing begins … More

April 9, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More

Activism Works

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Fluoride is a poisonous substance added to many municipal water supplies across the US, Canada, and elsewhere without the permission of the residents. Is there a model that communities can follow to remove it from their water supply? The short answer to this question is yesMore

April 1, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry

6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry













Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet
Waking Times

While many procedures on factory farms are cruel, breeding animals into mutants and violating mother/offspring bonds are truly crimes against nature.

The horrors of factory farming are multifold. Treating animals like heads of lettuce—”forget it’s an animal” says one farming magazine—has created institutionalized ruthlessness toward … More

March 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason

Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason













Michael T. Winter, Contributor
Waking Times

The Internet awakening has given birth to a worldwide multitude of people that are disengaging from the programmed paradigm created for us, and awakening to the reality of the dangers we face. The web has supplied a platform for writers to take a crack … More

March 26, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry

13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry













Heather Callaghan & Jeffrey Green, Guests
Waking Times

A major shift in the consciousness of food consumers is forcing the industry into a competitive race to become more natural.  The market is telling food producers that they no longer want so-called factory food because of its many harmful effects on … More

March 25, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
American Agriculture May Eradicate the Monarch Butterfly Unless Swift Action Is Taken

American Agriculture May Eradicate the Monarch Butterfly Unless Swift Action Is Taken













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

You may be aware that bees are dying in large numbers across the globe, courtesy of the ever-increasing presence of toxins in our environment. But did you know that the monarch butterfly is also becoming endangered, and for the same reason?

As reported by the New More

March 22, 2014 | By | Reply More