April 16, 2015

Gwyneth Paltrow does the food stamp challenge... too well.

I think the challenge is supposed to demonstrate how hard it is to eat for a week on $29:

But this array clearly demonstrates how to do it right: Rice and beans are the core staples that combine calories with some decent protein. Eggs are great protein and are completely delicious and versatile. There are additional starches for variety: a yam, corn, and tortillas. And there's plenty of fresh greenery, including the splurgy avocado and limes. The main thing missing is oil.

The Washington Post doubts that this is enough food: "It just might leave her consuming fewer than 1,000 calories a day for a week...."

Why do they write crap like that? Everything is in the picture. It would be easy to count the total calories and divide by 7. What's with the "just might" business?


MadisonMan said...

It would be easy to count the total calories and divide by 7.

You can't expect a journalist to do math. Math is hard.

mccullough said...

The S in snap stands for supplemental.

tim maguire said...

Lazy journalism, but I was thinking the same thing--that's not enough food. The last 4 days are going to be rice, beans, and eggs. The last 2 days just rice and beans.

The Drill SGT said...

I don't think SNAP means what she thinks it does.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Laslo Spatula said...

Everyone knows that Gwyneth could give a half-dozen blow-jobs at the Car Park and she'd make that $29 become $89, easy.

Plus: additional protein.

I am Laslo.

Big Mike said...

It would be easy to count the total calories and divide by 7. What's with the "just might" business?

Progressives have trouble with math.

Tank said...

@McCullough and Drill

Yous guys have a bad attitude. It's off to the Clinton Happy Camps for your re-education.

If we can't give everyone who breaks into this country as much food as Paltrow eats, then ... wait a minute ... Paltrow eats?

Bob Ellison said...

Ooh. I hate brown rice. And is that kale? Don't go there. Why not just chew an aspirin coated with lawn grass?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

More leftists lies.

A family of 4 get $649.00 per month and one person family gets almost 200.00 per month.

MountainMan said...

What shoddy journalism and what a shoddy stunt. It is the SUPPLEMENTAL Nutrition Assistance Program. It is meant to supplement what the family pays for food, it is not meant to be their entire food budget. And here where I live in East TN, where we have a lot of poverty and people on the SNAP program, we have food banks with FREE food availble to those who need it. The warehouse for the local food bank is in a former Sam's Club.

m stone said...

I notice the food is arrayed on Paltrow's Italian marble kitchen counter. At least one of her counters in one of her kitchens in one of her houses.

Dan from Madison said...

There are a lot of things she did wrong, too. Cans of tuna are always cheap and easy protein. Nix the one ear of corn, cilantro and garlic - those are a waste of money. I think I might take $29 and do this myself and blog it.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Where did she buy the groceries? I question that that is all she could get for $29.

rhhardin said...

There's no peanut M&M's.

Laslo Spatula said...

We all know why Gwyneth bought the yam. Perhaps cucumbers were too expensive.

I am Laslo.

Jane the Actuary said...

Fun fact: the true weekly benefit is $44, not $29 -- though this is the maximum for a single individual. Their formulas assume you can feed people cheaper in volume, so the per-person rates are lower with more people in the family. The $29/week figure that's always bandied about reflects the fact that, for the working poor, the SNAP benefits are not expected to cover one's entire food costs. Whenever the press covers one of these sad stories of someone whose food stamp allotment isn't enough and they end up hungry or at food pantries before the month is over, it's always someone who's employed but their other expenses are high enough that they try to make food stamps cover all their food costs.

A "welfare queen"-type situation, with a non-working mom and kids who get their breakfasts and lunches at school anyway, is doing just fine.


Bob Ellison said...

Epicurious.com used to have a feature where you could type in the ingredients you have, and it would spit out recipes that could use them.

Sorta like that woman who first cooked spaghetti alla puttanesca.

I'm wondering what it would cook up with this pile of ingredients. For one thing, you're gonna need a lot of water and power to cook up those dried beans and rice. The cilantro isn't going to go anywhere, and the kale is just going to make it suck like a Hoover.

Monkeyboy said...

My dad (born 1936) and I had a discussion on "ethnic food" a few days ago. Basically it is poor people's food. grits and ham hocks, hash, and baked beans was what you fed your husband because he needed one meal to make it through a physically exhausting day and you didn't have enough money to get anything better. Limes? Any cookbook from before 1955 will teach you how to shop better than that.

Bob Ellison said...

That's enough cilantro for all of those limes and twenty of those avocados. So save up on the cilantro for a few weeks and buy more avocados. And some salt and cayenne. And stop shopping at Whole Foods, for goodness sake. Wal-Mart has good deals.

Patrick said...

I never lived on SNAP, but I've had to make do with a very small food budget. I would dump the limes and avocados and get potatoes, pasta and bananas. Prices are up a bit lately, but overall food is pretty cheap. As a supplement, this isn't bad, but I'm not sure that's what Ms. Paltrow had in mind. I think she is so far removed from what normal people eat that a diet like this is unthinkable. Really, it's not at all.

EMD said...

Limes are expensive for fruit.

Apples are cheap.

And yes, the S in SNAP is an add-on to an existing budget, so this is not-really-true.

Jeff Nark said...

7 limes? That's over $4 just on limes.

Fernandinande said...

Gwyneth Paltrow’s SNAP Food Stamp Farce
"One glaring problem with Paltrow’s cause is that her figures are a complete fabrication (as I pointed out on Twitter). According to the USDA, which runs SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps), the “maximum monthly allotment” for a family of four is $649—more than five times what Paltrow claims. The maximum amount a single person can get in a month is $194.

Paltrow makes two factual errors. Apparently she picked up the $29 figure from the Food Bank for New York City, which Paltrow mentions on Twitter. But that figure pertains to an individual, not a family.

Paltrow also confuses the average SNAP contribution with what a person or a family “has to live on.” A key term in SNAP is “supplemental.” The program is intended to supplement an individual’s or family’s food budget, not to provide every last morsel. "

Anonymous said...

That processed meat shouldn't be there.

Those food may not be enough to feed a family for a week, but those food cost much less than $29, except in GP's neighborhood. But folks in her neighborhood shouldn't be on food stamps. Sell the damned house first.

Eggs: we just got a dozen of Jumbo for 99c, usually $1.69.

Veggie: $.65/lb.

Avocado: $.79.

Corn: $.10 - $.25.

Beans: $.75 - $1.19, brown rice: $1.00 - $2.00.

It helps if able-bodied food stamp recipients earn a few bucks working some odd jobs.

Sebastian said...

Ditch the cilantro, add milk and bran flakes, and your "supplemental" assistance pretty much covers a week.

Most poor kids get free food at school. Food banks provide still more free food. I

Of course, the big trend over the past century has been the flood of cheap and more varied food, claiming a smaller portion of household budgets than ever before.

All goes to show that, by historical or international standards, hardly anyone in the U.S. is actually poor. See BLS, 100 Years of U.S. Consumer Spending. Also Christopher Jencks in recent NYRoB.

MayBee said...

Do we think Paltrow usually eats more than 1,000 calories a day anyway?

exhelodrvr1 said...

IIRC from my last trip to WalMart:
Eggs - $2.50/dozen
Bread - $1.10/1 lb loaf
Canned vegetables - .50-.65/can
Peanut butter - $3.00/jar (?)
Yogurt - .49 each
Tuna - .75/can
Bologna - $2.00/pound
Bananas - .25/each
Cereal - 2.00/box
Milk - $2.60/gallon

Tank said...

Lay off the limes, need them for Mojitos.

Bob Ellison said...

The limes are for the margaritas. The tequila and Grand Marnier are outside the picture.

Bob Ellison said...

If the late-night talk-show hosts have any guts, they'll comment on that photo.

MayBee said...

Target sells bags of frozen tilapia filets for about $7.50, often a coupon is available to make them even less. You get about 6 filets for that price, or almost a week of dinners. Get rid of the limes and garlic and you can have a healthy, lean, easy to prepare protein.

Mark said...

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Three Cheese, 7.25-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 8), $8.00
Butter, generic, 1 lbs., $3.00
Skim milk, 1 qt., $1.69
Mixed vegetables, frozen, 2 lbs. $1.89
Pork chops, 1 lbs, $4.49
Eggs, 1 dozen, $2.00
Apples, 8, $6.00

Prices are local to Westchester County, NY., except for the Mac and Cheese from Amazon. That would definitely keep an adult alive and fairly nutritionally balanced for a week, although I'll admit it's pretty blue-collar compared to Gwyneth's basket. OTOH, it will all keep pretty well in a small refrigerator and all could be prepped with a hot plate and a deep pan. Marble counters not required.
Rice, 2 lbs., $1.99

Patrick said...

I haven't ever used dry beans and rice myself. Doesn't that involve a good amount of prep time? Gwyneth has that time. Do people on SNAP have that time?

MayBee said...

Eggs can vary from $1.50/doz to over $6.00, depending on how free rangey you need them to be.

They are a little more expensive in California because the anti-caging law which passed a few years ago. The average price is $4. Because of the do-gooders.

bwebster said...

Some 25 years go, I went through a period of extended underemployment. I had income from writing and a few short-term consulting jobs -- but I also had a wife and seven (7) kids at home, several of whom were teens or pre-teens. We had food storage to live off of (we're LDS), but there were many stretches where our weekly cash outlay for fresh groceries -- for nine people, not just one -- was only $20. So I know about making dollars stretch a long ways.

That's why I'm amused by her photo. A single fresh ear of corn instead of canned (or frozen) corn? All those limes? (Not cheap -- that's probably $3+ right there, or a tenth of her entire weekly budget.) Cilantro and an avocado? Kale? Seriously? Also, you don't buy store-bought tortillas; you either make them yourself with masa, or you track down the bakery outlet store to buy past-date bread.

As per Monkeyboy's comment, you buy ham hocks or beef necks bones and make soup or beans. Pasta is great, too. You want/need bulk and calories; if you want vitamins, buy some cheap supplements.

The only things that makes a lot of sense are the rice and beans. I lived for two years in Central America, paying for room and board with local families, and ate rice and beans two or three meals a day. I still enjoy them, remarkably. :-)

CStanley said...

Obviously the fresh things to add flavor should be switched out for dried spices. And you could get a huge bag of frozen broccoli for the price of that kale- kids are more likely to eat it, too.

rhhardin said...

How much protein she gets depends on whether she eats the beans with the rice or not.

sydney said...

If you eat like that, you'll have a figure like Gwyneth Paltrow's, and save money to boot. Win, win!

Brando said...

A lot of good points made here--it's "supplemental" not meant to be "sole" food income, kids in school get subsidized lunches, and of course the savvy poor shoppers tend to use couponing and purchases at food banks to get more bang for their buck.

The point Paltrow and her ilk are making is a fine one--on a limited income, it can be tough to shop, and requires strategy and tradeoffs. I've been behind poor people at the store a number of times, where they have to have each item rung up carefully, as they only have so much funds. But this is going to be the case no matter what--when your means are limited, you have to think differently than the rest of us. That'll be true even if they increased the SNAP benefits.

rhhardin said...

Kroger has eggs for $0.99 a dozen this week in Central Ohio. I bought many boxes.

Eggs last forever in the fridge. They're just not "fresh" eggs, if a recipe calls for those.

Brando said...

Also goes to demonstrate the benefit of going alcohol and cigarette free.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

What, no arugula?

Bob Ellison said...

When I was in college, I used to calculate the cost-per-day of my meals. My biggest bang for the buck was lentil soup. And I put ham in it! And (dry) spices, and carrots! My daily cost dropped to about $0.57/day when I made a big pot of that.

That was a while ago, but in general, grocery prices have dropped since then, relative to inflation.

Beans and rice (or lentils and rice). Words for the under-nourished to live by.

paminwi said...

What the hell is up with the kale? I realize iceberg lettuce isn't "cool" green food, but, it is still the cheapest salad fixing out there. It could be a good start to a taco salad with some cheap hamburger.

Renee said...

Will the fresh veggies stay fresh?

Or is cooking & freezing?

chuck said...

When I needed to live cheap, it was rice, beans, carrots and onions. But the main thing that is off about that spread is the cost. Take away the trimmings and buy in bulk from cheap markets and there would be a lot more food.

Bob Ellison said...

When I was first starting out, we had to eat dirt for breakfast. Dirt! And then our father would beat us until we re-roofed the chicken coop before walking eight miles to school with twenty pounds of books in our knapsacks.

Meade said...

I've been "poor" but I've never felt impoverished or in want. A high school friend gave me this book in 1973 and ever since then I've lived off of less than $10,000/year, saving, investing, or covering the expenses of dependents with the remainder of my annual income which fluctuated over 40 years between $15,000 and $150,000 per year.

Meade said...

What a great time in history to be born into such a great country.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

It could be a good start to a taco salad with some cheap hamburger.

Sidebar; does anyone else miss cheap beef as much as I do? I remember being able to get ground beef on sale for $1.59 a pound not too long ago. I haven't seen it below $3.69/lb for the fatty stuff in ages, and I had to buy 90/10 the other day (it was for a requested birthday meatloaf so I couldn't switch to a more reasonable alternative) for $5.69/lb.


Meade said...

For the price of seeds (about $5) I have all the kale and cilantro I want. In fact, does anyone need some kale or cilantro? No charge.

Smilin' Jack said...

think the challenge is supposed to demonstrate how hard it is to eat for a week on $29

Most of the world's population lives on less than half that. Paltrow should try the Malawi diet.

Gahrie said...

does anyone else miss cheap beef as much as I do?

I do.

It is yet one more reason to get rid of ethanol.

Gahrie said...

What a great time in history to be born into such a great country

I tell this to my students at least once a week. The poorest among them have a higher standard of living than 95% of all the humans who have ever lived.

We live in a time and culture in which the biggest problem poor people have is obesity.

Gahrie said...

I haven't ever used dry beans and rice myself. Doesn't that involve a good amount of prep time? Gwyneth has that time. Do people on SNAP have that time?

Since they are presumably not working full time, I would say yes.

Gabriel said...

A family of four that is only getting $29 per person per week is just below the maximum income threshold for SNAP. They wouldn't be eating on just $29 per week, unless they were spending all their income on things not food.

Bruce Hayden said...

The absurdity to meis that this is the same program that is in the news when states try to ban their cash cards working in pot dispensaries or on cruise ships. The level of fraud in the program is epic, with the going rate here for SNAP cards being maybe $.50 cash on the dollar. So, the liberal/progressive solution is to ignore the massive fraud and increase the benefits.

My view is that if this woman is really worried about hunger in this country, she should donate more of her money and time to the cause, and leave our money in our pockets. I don't and never have considered spending my money on someone else's noble cause the least bit noble. And making this one worse, so much of the money (already) squandered is going to drugs and alcohol.

Fred Drinkwater said...

First, she clearly bought at least some of those items at Safeway. Hardly the low-price leader.
Second, she does not know how to shop for food. That little bag of brown rice? Only an idiot, or someone who just needs a little brown rice for some party dish, buys rice that way. Same for the beans and some of the other items.
She's either a fool with no poverty experience, or she has a political agenda. Most likely both.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Meade, how do you keep your cilantro from bolting when the weather gets warm? Also, you should toss the kale out and grow some yummy chard varieties instead. Do you plant the root ends of green onions? I do, and now I have all the fresh spring onion greens I could possibly want.
[ Written while drinking coffee on the deck in the morning sun, watching my herbs and veg grow. Except my basil, which I have a black thumb for, and which my Master Gardener baby sister's advice does not help, because it's me implementing that advice. Sigh. I hate buying basil, but I love making Thai. What's a fella to do?]

walter said...

If it's so hard to merely survive on the food benefits, how is it that folks on them argue for keeping things like deserts or soda eligible as if they are rights?

Limes? For cocktails?

Peter said...

The root problem of these "Food Stamp Challenges" is that they're fundamentally dishonest.

Most states are like Wisconsin: the food stamp benefit does not have a sharp cutoff. Instead, if household income is less than $X ('X' depends on householdl size) the recipient receives enough SNAP benefit to pay for 100% of food expenses. But for households with income between $X and $2X the benefit decreases linearly, as SNAP is intended to pay less than 100% of food costs for households in this income category.

The fundamental dishonesty is that the "Challenge" uses "average food stamp benefit," yet becasue there are more households in the ($X < income < $2X) category than in the (income < $X) category, this average benefit is not intended to pay 100% of the households food expenses.

The whole "Food Stamp Challenge" is just a stupid lie.

Freeman Hunt said...

eggs 70/each = 840
16 oz dry black beans = 1300
12 oz frozen green peas = 262
16 oz Guerrero corn tortillas = 990
16 oz brown rice = 1700
(This item costs a mere $0.79 at the local grocery story, so a couple more bags would have been good.)
avocado = 250
1 med sweet potato = 100
1 ear yellow corn = 77
1 tomato = 22
7 limes = 140
1 bunch kale = (approx) 110
1 bunch green onions (approx) 50
1 head romaine(?) = 100
1 head garlic = (approx) 50
1 bunch (?) cilantro = 23
1 med onion = 44
1 jalapeno pepper = 6 (seems questionable)
total 6064 calories
866 calories a day

Drop some of fancy stuff for more eggs, beans, and rice.

Jason said...

Yeah. I saw the limes. That's just weird. Hey, libtard! Your money goes a lot further when you use it to buy staples and not condiments!

chorister said...

I count about $23 dollars at Kroger prices. Of which almost five dollars goes toward the seven limes, currently .69 each. Probably enough Vitamin C in her vegetables to avoid scurvy.

Jason said...

Perhaps she needs the limes to apply cool lime juice to any scalding from the vaginal steaming?

Only Gwyneth and Laslo know for sure.

Freeman Hunt said...

Instead, buy...
5 bags black beans ($1.72 each)
5 bags brown rice ($0.79 each)
$12.55 total

That's 15,000 calories, just over 2100 calories a day, enough for someone significantly larger than Paltrow. Now the calories are covered, so spend the remaining $16.45 on whatever vegetables, condiments, eggs one wants.

Meade said...

Also, I have radishes out the wazoo. Free to a good home. Free even to a bad home.

William said...

I grew up very poor. I can't remember ever going to bed hungry, and that was before the food stamp program......America is afflicted with morbid obesity, not famines.

Anonymous said...

Thanks @freeman for doing the numbers.

Freeman Hunt said...

Alone and forsaken the radishes lay...

Anonymous said...

The limes are so she doesn't get scurvy. ;)

@meade's old book, Living Poor w Style, is selling for $48. Lol.

CStanley said...

@Meade- are there not any food distribution charities that accept produce in your area?

stan said...

Governments spend over 21,500 for every American living below the poverty line. That doesn't include all the charity provided by churches, groups like Second Harvest, etc. And that's on top of what people earn -- legally and illegally, reported and unreported.

If the food stamps aren't enough, maybe Paltrow needs to ask where the hell all the money is going?

If we spend over 86 grand to support a woman and her 3 kids (plus whatever she and her boyfriend earn), why are food stamps not enough? Who is getting all that cash?

Maybe some Democrat-voting govt workers need to start taking less of the money intended for the poor.

Freeman Hunt said...

Or forget the beans and rice and go with lentils. They cook a lot faster, no prep required.

Birches said...

The cilantro actually isn't that expensive. She probably paid 79cents for it at the most. It's the limes that drove the bill up. Buy two lemons instead. Buy a jar of peanut butter.


TreeJoe said...

First off, it's not like all you have to live on is $29 a week.

Second, if I was STARVING and was given $29 to buy food for myself on a weekly basis I sure as hell wouldn't be buying leafy greens which are going to use up my budget for almost no caloric value.

You want caloric density: Cheap peanut butter, rice, beans, oil/butter, whole milk/cream, bread (not tortillas).

Let me help you out here:

2 gallons of whole milk - $7
4 dozen eggs - $8
2 pounds of peanut butter - $5
10 pounds of long grain rice - $5
5 pounds of black beans - $3.50

Total = $28.50
Total calories: 4800 in milk, 3500 in eggs, 5200 calories in peanut butter, 5900 calories in the rice, 3000 calories in the black beans

Total calories from $29 a week on SNAP: 21,400

= >3,000 calories a day on $29 a week

So you can GAIN weight on a SNAP-only diet....

Birches said...

I had friends on SNAP for a few years when her spouse was in Medical school (no income). She said they usually had trouble spending all their money every month, because they could only spend their money on food. She worked part time to buy toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc. They had two or three kids.

MaxedOutMama said...

She shopped at the wrong store.

Walmart (I don't shop there, but the prices are online) -

2 lb Great Northern beans $2.62
3 lb apples (not a good price) $4.88
5 lb Iberia long grain brown rice $3.48
I can't see the eggs, but I pay about $2.00 per dozen. That brings us to under $14.

For about another $5 I would buy some onions and cabbage. I have $10 left. I would buy canned tomatoes, canned green beans, some oil.

I do not eat 5 lbs of brown rice a week, nor three pounds of apples. The oil lasts more than a week.

I would have money to buy some additional fresh vegetables and chicken, fish, or dairy each week.

I usually buy a 42 oz generic container of plain oatmeal at my local grocery. That lasts for weeks.

Paltrow's shopping endeavors are a sad statement of disconnection from the actual lives of those in difficult circumstances, or those who just had mothers who taught them how to shop.

One must presume that no one at WaPo did have a mother who passed along basic skills!

PS: I don't live off food stamps, either, just pointing out the bullshit factor here.

Coupe said...

What she doesn't know, is that even just two home invasions can net you four pairs of nice shoes and shitload of groceries.

Mark said...

The number one health problem among the poor in this country is obesity.

If she wants to show solidarity with the poor, Gwyneth should put on a hundred pounds.

I am not Laslo, but I admire him greatly.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The "S" in SNAP stands for "all the money you should have to spend on food," right? I mean SNAP payments are designed to cover 100% of any food cost anyone might have, so Patrow has a strong, valid point.

Plus, limes--way to keep up with the news, lady. NPR - Lime Shortage

Laura said...

The Sigourney Weaver Celebrity Chef Restaurant Challenge has a much higher difficulty level, since you first have to get seated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7GRuhxVHiM.

Creativity counts. Grocery stores will let anyone in.

(There's always interlibrary loan, if you have that icky conscience problem.
"Filled with advice on stocking your pantry, buying in season, shopping on a budget, and avoiding the temptation to be too frugal[!], 'Chef on a Shoestring' is a unique culinary adventure for taste- and budget-conscious home cooks.")

walter said...

"She said they usually had trouble spending all their money every month, because they could only spend their money on food."

Here's a list:

Kyzernick said...

Screw all this noise. I can live on $2.50 a day. Anyone who can't figure out how to do that doesn't deserve to live, and should rightly starve, because clearly they were born without a functioning brain. Paltrow and her ilk can suck my nuts for all I care.

After they finish with Laslo, of course.

Sick of the leeches. First candidate to suggest eliminating all entitlements and letting the lunatics die off gets my vote. I'm fresh out of pity, sympathy, or anything else.

Kyzernick said...

I didn't see TreeJoe's comment, but yeah, 3K calories a day on 29 bucks a week. No wonder people are getting fat on food stamps (aka MY HARD EARNED DOLLARS!) I seriously wanna go all Michael Savage and just start yelling at the poor.

And then cut their entitlements.

The clever will survive. The lazy/stupid will die. The gene pool improves. It's not ethnic cleansing. It's just withdrawal of useless poverty support.

chuckR said...

Sure, GP is disconnected from reality. I love these gently scolding little presentations.
Want to know what would be much more educational? Stand outside a neighborhood store in a poor neighborhood and offer a crisp Jackson to people who use the SNAP program in exchange for inventorying what they actually buy. More carbonated sugar water, sugary/starchy snack products, nothing much in the vegetable line, etc. We are drowning in caloric abundance but the people who most need to understand cheap nutrition don't.
We could offer a useful Jr High course on how to budget for food and necessities and live a healthy life. Home Ec, it's not just for girls anymore.

Freeman Hunt said...

What do the peas go with? All the rest is obvious.

Todd said...

chuckR said...
We could offer a useful Jr High course on how to budget for food and necessities and live a healthy life. Home Ec, it's not just for girls anymore.

4/16/15, 12:30 PM

That needs to include a "trigger warning". We can't be having discussions about making smart purchasing decisions on a budget as it might hurt the feelings of those "forced" to live on limited means. It is far better to not put them through the possible shame of being taught how to improve their lot in life when weighted against the possible damage to their self esteem.

Alex said...

Of course GP is scolding the white establishment for not providing MOAR money to poor people. She would never scold the poor people who use their SNAP on carbage food.

That would be not in alignment with social justice.

The #1 thing in social justice is to constantly scold white people.

Alex said...

Todd - "trigger warnings" are a clever tool in the social justice arsenal. Just a means of censoring any possible debate.

It does help keep the minorities in line from the ivory tower white liberal perspective.

chuckR said...


A guy comes up to you on the street. Smells like he relieved himself without benefit of unzipping his pants. Multiple times. He asks for some money so he can buy breakfast. Do you take him to a diner and buy him breakfast or give him a few bucks and let him hit the liquor store for the breakfast he wants?
I support the bill to limit what you can buy with food stamps. Would it be embarrassing to have to choose real food? Most posters here probably elect to do so with their own money. The bill will die along the way - Coke owns more Senators than I do.

Todd said...

chuckR said...

A guy comes up to you on the street. Smells like he relieved himself without benefit of unzipping his pants. Multiple times. He asks for some money so he can buy breakfast. Do you take him to a diner and buy him breakfast or give him a few bucks and let him hit the liquor store for the breakfast he wants?

I support the bill to limit what you can buy with food stamps. Would it be embarrassing to have to choose real food? Most posters here probably elect to do so with their own money. The bill will die along the way - Coke owns more Senators than I do.

4/16/15, 1:11 PM

You forgot option three; sorry buddy, no money for you. I do not give to pan-handlers. I have no guilt to appease with handouts. I help those in need but I don't do handouts.

As to your other comment, 100% agree. If you are on "public assistance" that means I am paying for your existence. I should get to have some say in what my money is used for. No soda, no alcohol, no smokes, no junk food, etc. Anyone trading food-stamps or there equivalent for money should be charged with felony fraud, both participants.

BudBrown said...

Last year I did a months menu, 1800 calories a day, $1.50 a day. And it didn't seem that bad, I mean I didn't try it. Mainstay had to be rice. Which was a bummer when I followed the link to the arsenic in rice story. Dang the boll weaval.
Lot of trade offs. Thing that got me is I started thinking of beans and potatoes as too expensive.
$6 a day seems easy. But then I'm often surprised shopping noticing some item doesn't fit that budget.
And black beans are about 800 c, I think. And ham hocks are expensive. 100 years ago maybe they butchered the hog and had to eat it pretty quick so there were parts for everybody. Now I'll eye em in the store and then just buy a ham on sale to go with the peas.

Brando said...

And much as I love to bash Paltrow, I don't really see anything particularly bad about what she did here--some of the food choices (limes? On a limited budget?) are questionable, and the stunt itself is a bit attention-whorish, but it's really not beyond the pale for your typical celebrity.

Give her time, though--she'll alienate us yet again!

Freeman Hunt said...

Nothing wrong with giving cash to panhandlers who look like alcoholics. Delirium tremens.

Christy said...

Family works the church food bank. In the summer they are always bringing me fresh tomatoes nobody wanted.

Gabriel said...

@Bob Ellison:When I was first starting out, we had to eat dirt for breakfast. Dirt! And then our father would beat us until we re-roofed the chicken coop before walking eight miles to school with twenty pounds of books in our knapsacks.

Luxury. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down to the mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing 'Hallelujah.'

Gabriel said...

What poor people lack is not money for food.

What they lack is time (or inclination) to prepare food.

If you are willing to cook from scratch you will spend hardly anything on food.

One of those little single-serving bags of potato chips costs more than a whole pound of potatoes.

Bill said...

For me, the limes didn't leap out as indulgent. I'm used to getting several per dollar (currently four). But she's overpaying; I figured I could get that basket for about $20. E.g. if you're buying rice in one-pound bags, you're Doing It Wrong.

Bob Ellison said...

Thank you, Gabriel. I was a little worried about that.

Christy said...

If one's house is vermin infested, one doesn't keep bags of rice or beans around. A middle class upbringing teaches us how to do for ourselves. I'm not sure we realize what a huge skill set that includes.

Loren said...

Really doesn't take much prep time for the beans. Just soak time. The night before you want them, cover with water and let set. The rice takes maybe 30 minutes on the outside.

lgv said...

I've spent a lot of time in poor Asian countries. First, I don't know where she shopped, but you could buy a huge bag of rice at our local Korean grocery stor. That's plenty of calories and the base for most Asian meals. You add in vegetables and spices and proteins, even fried egg. Granted, the $29 is both insufficient and misrepresented.

Or you get 24-25 $1 menu items at McDonalds. That's 3.5 items per day. There's your calories.

Anyway $29 isn't enough, nor is it a real number of any kind. But people can eat plenty on a small budget. Remember, obesity is now more common among the poor.

Nice Carrara Marble, but never get marble for your kitchen, unless you don't really cook.

Lydia said...

Freeman Hunt asked: What do the peas go with? All the rest is obvious.

I wondered about that too. Gwyneth served them as a side dish with black bean taquitos. More at goop.

Gahrie said...

Well I had to walk five miles, through the snow, uphill both ways, to school everyday. We were so poor we lived in a box. At the bottom of a lake. We were so poor, other people called us po....they said we couldn't afford the r and the second o.

Char Char Binks said...

"I think the challenge is supposed to demonstrate how hard it is to eat for a week on $29:" That's right; the point of most of these "challenges" seems to be to validate a preconceived notion.

Rhythm and Balls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

$120/month is a substantial food budget for the average consumer, which can even include some low-quality (aka "junk") foods. The efficient use of resources through the whole body concept of nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc. should already be taught in grade school. The "global" statistic of calories only estimates individual nutritional needs, which varies widely between individuals throughout their evolution.

n.n said...

The bigger problem is the multi-trillion dollar welfare economy that leaves Americans indigent, homeless, and even unidentified.

It may be time to revisit policies of excessive immigration, including illegal (i.e. unmeasured) immigration, that serve to displace and replace American men, women, and children. It is time to revisit the consequences of liberal policies, including trillion dollar deficits that devalue both capital and labor. Also the consequences of energy policies that shift and obfuscate the consequences of so-called "green" energy technology.

I wonder if this is why abortion is promoted as a solution in liberal societies where it is necessary to reduce the native problem set.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Ummm.. I think the operative word in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is "Supplemental."

So, Gwyneth - SNAP (food stamps) is to supplement what folks spend on food, not be the whole enchilada (so to speak).

tmitsss said...

I would love to see Ms. Paltrow in an ALDI, Here is James Delingpole on the joys of ALDI.

RecChief said...

umagine how much more she could have purchased if she didn't shop in Whole Foods Market, or some similar trendy ,organic, hipsterish establishment.

Michael The Magnificent said...

In my far-more bleeding-heart days of my youth, back when I attended MSOE, I'd frequently get pan-handled while waiting to cross the street by those visiting the soup kitchen in the back of an old church MSOE used for classroom space.

Having literally never missed a meal in my life, and as poor as I thought I was, I always had some change to share. And so I did.

Until one day someone panhandled me for coffee in front of a professor, who schooled me as we crossed the street. He suggested I offer to take them up on their request by buying them breakfast, or coffee, or whatever song and dance they were requesting money for that day.

So I did. My offer to their request was genuine, and yet ZERO takers. Not one person who begged for money for coffee or breakfast or lunch or dinner was willing to actually take me up on my offer to buy them exactly what they were asking for.

Giving money to an addict isn't doing them any favors, which is what I had been doing.

Michael The Magnificent said...


If you are entitled to my hard earned money in order to feed you and your trolls, then I am most certainly entitled to have you shovel my driveway in the winter, cut my lawn in the summer, wash and wax my truck, and pull weeds from my flower beds.

Too many God damned lefties who think that stealing from their neighbors is a mitzvah. It isn't a mitzvah; It's a sin.

jimbino said...

I don't need SNAP, since I can eat quite well by trapping the neighbors' cats.

jimbino said...

A libertarian properly votes against gummint socialist policies, like SS, Medicare, Medicaid, EITC, SNAP and other forms of income and wealth transfer.

A libertarian does NOT criticize a single mother for taking any of those benefits any more than he'd criticize her for taking an income tax deduction for her kids or for property taxes paid.

A person who rails against socialism but votes for a socialist is a hypocrite.

A person who rails against AGW and travels by private jet is a hypocrite [Al Gore].

A person who promises "transparency" but who consistently hides the ball is a hypocrite. [Barack Obama]

A person who rails against AGW but breeds anyway is a hypocrite.

Meade said...

@Fred Drinkwatrer: I let cilantro bolt and self seed and I pinch some of it back to keep new leaves forming all summer. But I don't really use very much cilantro. I like kale AND chard.

O2bnaz said...

The USDA web site shows clearly that a family of four receives over $80 per person per week not $29. Stop feeding the trolls


Kirk Parker said...


"Where did she buy the groceries? I question that that is all she could get for $29."

Hey, the don't call it "Whole Paycheck" for nothing!


"radishes out the wazoo. Free to a good home."

Why do you hate me? (You must be a communist or something.)

"Free even to a bad home."

Ah, that's more like it. Pile on the zucchini to the bad guys while you're at it.


Hasn't there been some terrible health issue with hogs recently? ISTR reading something about that, and to expect a huge increase in the price of pork (aside from the already-mentioned food-to-fuel ethanol scandal, of course.)

Largo said...

"or you track down the bakery outlet store to buy past-date bread."


Unknown said...

Even easier. The internet says a pound of 20 percent fat ground beef has 1152 calories. At an achievable $2.99/lb, about 9.7 lbs gives you 11173 cal for 1596 cal/day. Stop feeding corn to automobiles, and the price would come down. Interestingly a pound of boneless skinless chicken breast according to Tyson has 440 calories. And you often get that chicken in bulk for $1.99 a pound. So that would be almost about 2 pounds of chicken breast per day. That would be practically enough by itself. 10 lb bag rice about $5, a 20lb bag is 9, at Wal-Mart. potatoes 50 cents a pound or less. Frozen vegetables around $2 a pound. What are these people smoking?