Is a budgeted healthy diet possible?

by ProvocativeTrash on April 24, 2015 - 12:53pm


In his article, Brett Arends takes on Gwyneth Paltrow’s laughaqble attempt at surviving on a food stamp budget of 4$ a day. He talks about surviving on such a small sum by cutting out meat, saying that when the water is cooked out, there is a significant lack of caloric content for one’s money. He also takes a jab at milk, stating that it was not affordable on such a budget. He also talks about dumping processed foods and prepared meals, due to the significant markup on the price of the ingredients. He then talks about stocking up on proteins due to them being more “filling” than carbohydrates, thus leading to not over eating. He was able to purchase a pound of peanut butter for only 2.50$ at Whole Foods. Additionally, he cut out fresh fruit and vegetables, because of their tendency to go bad and the fact that they are a poor value for their caloric density. Remember: at 4$ a day, you eat to survive, not to post pretty pictures of food on Instagram. He lists other tricks that helped him get by: baking his own bread, buying food on sale, buying in bulk and purchasing treats that were cheap but satisfying for those sugar cravings. At the end of the article, though, he concedes that a SNAP budget makes it difficult to achieve significant nutrition for people with special needs. His conclusion states that while he lived purely on what SNAP funds would provide, for most people, the program is only supplementary money for food, which means that it could be said that eating a healthy but nutritious diet is possible with proper amounts of control.

When it comes to new power, I believe that a solution to solving the problem of bad nutrition as well as the obesity problem (which is a direct cause of bad eating habits) could be a modern food distribution service made by farmers. Essentially, what could be done is farmers make an app which displays prices for their products and every week they converge at a certain area and sell their produce. Additionally, this could simply done for a farmers market. When on a small budget, eating is influenced by accessibility. By streamlining such a service, the middlemen grocery stores are cut out and the buyer receives affordable and nutritious food. This is also a scalable app, which could be expanded by getting more farmers on board. It supports transparency, interconnectivity and is accessible. The hard part is just getting it off the ground. But this is an assumption that obesity and nutritional health is a factor of money; it simply isn’t. I’ll talk about the link between the lack of education and obesity later on in my final project post.