I’ve never been on Food Stamps.
Many years ago, single, pregnant and alone in a big city, I had to get in line to get my block of butter and cheese, but even that was short-lived. I’ve had to do without, but I’ve hardly ever had to wonder how I would get my next meal.
We’ve been trying to watch our spending very carefully lately around my house. Credit cards allow for instant gratification, and using only cash has been another awakening for me. (I’ve had many awakenings over the past several years) Today, though, I watched a documentary that is available for purchase, but is free to watch through the end of the weekend. It is called Food Stamped. It is very interesting and makes me think about what I might be able to accomplish in my own home. For us, like the documentary maker, it can be an interesting experiment, not a forced way of life.
So, what about people who choose to buy bad food? People who are on fixed incomes or on food stamps might feel like they don’t have a choice–they buy what is cheapest, so they stay feeling full. But what about all of the people who choose to buy what I call “crap food” simply because it tastes good to them and is a quick fix? What about all of the people who are part of the big corporations making the products and the genetically modified organisms called ‘food’? My mother asked “Do they think they’ll live forever?” No, I don’t think they even think of the effects of what they are creating–on themselves or others. Sad, isn’t it? What if we began to make a difference in the way people looked at food?
I have watched several documentaries in the past couple of years that have shown truths about our food sources and production. I think we all come to this information in our own time. Before I was married and had kids, I was incredibly healthy–didn’t eat meat or sugar, exercised, drank Scotch and smoked cigarettes. Really, I thought I was pretty darn healthy. Now, I don’t eat beef or pork, don’t eat sugar or flour, don’t smoke, don’t take medications, exercise minimally (walk the dogs and lift weights, separately), limit my intake of foods that come in a box, have an occasional beer, wine, or Scotch, and study every report I can understand about what different foods do to a person’s body.
I’ve learned that not every food is good or bad for every person. I’ve learned that medical doctors aren’t taught much about nutrition in med school. I’ve learned that I like how I live and eat, but I’m always wanting to know more. I believe we have a creator (I call him God) who created our bodies to work well with little interference….and then we mucked up the whole thing with our inventions and time-savers. I believe that lots of us are doing the best we can to take care of ourselves, but my best and your best don’t have to be the same.
So, to the wealthy who could eat the best foods, shame on you for not! To the poor who want better food than you can afford, make some noise and learn ways to help yourselves find healthy options. As you are challenged to find better food with your dollars, we are all challenged. Maybe we don’t have to spend a week trying to live in someone else’s shoes, but shouldn’t we ALL be spending every day trying to live better than we have been?
Maybe this is all foreign to you and you’re thinking “What’s wrong with my diet? Canned vegetables are good, right?” Start slowly educating yourself. Some great documentaries are Food, Inc. (a shortened clip), Food Matters, Forks Over Knives, and of course free to us for this weekend is Food Stamped. Most are available on Netflix and/or YouTube.
I’m just trying to encourage you…investigate for yourself. Don’t believe everything you hear. The science isn’t wrong…the personal experiences are truth…big companies aren’t all bad…educating yourself is right! As you learn, please leave notes here, so we all can learn with you!