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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Food and class

Food and class | Gristmill: The environmental news blog | Grist Magazine:

"Strains within the system are starting to show. Simply put, industrial food is making the people who rely on it sick and fat, to the point that U.S. life expectancy looks set to decline for the first time in two centuries."

And from the Accidental Hedonist
"Another way to put it is in the two different philosophy at odds. The first philosophy is on the one that's currently in place, and the one advocated by the corporations of the country: "Cheap Food". The second philosophy is one that's advocated by the Slow Food and organic groups: "Good Food"."

In reference to marketing and education, which is often controlled by "big food": "In both of these approaches, the "good food" folks don't have an equitable method of affecting the discourse. Sure the proper information is available if you look for it, but often the lower class doesn't have the resources (in primarily time, but also in money) to go searching for it.

Instead, what we get are chefs at four star restaurants and some of the clientele at Whole Foods advocating for "good food" while often forgetting the "cheap" variable needs to be addressed as well. This gives the "good food" crowd the appearance of being bourgeois along with all of the negative connotations that this label implies."

I do agree with her on her conclusion: "The answer for this problem comes down to this - effective education throughout the entire class system. What should be taught can be ironed out later, but the phrase should come down to the three words that I've been repeating in this post:

"Good Food, Cheap""

But I don't feel this is the only solution. I have the knowledge and continually strive to increase the knowledge. I try to make good choices about what my family and I eat, but for us it comes down to one thing- cost.

When I purged our diet and really started paying attention to what we ate, my monthly food bill went from around $200 to $300 a month to $500- $600 per month. I work part time, go to school and am generally a busy person- especially since I am my child's "case manager" if you want to put it that way. My son has some severe special needs that especially dictate his diet. I receive $270 in food stamps each month, $700 in disability for my son, and anywhere from $20 to $500 per month from work (I work on contract).

Housing: $400/month
Car: $300/month (payment only) (I don't have much choice in this- bought the car when I was working full time...)

Oops! Already over budget- now what?

The question is: How do I feed my family nutritious food that will promote their health (and mine- how do you think I lost so much weight) while providing for their other needs and managing Konal's medical needs?

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