Last night I was going through Twitter like I usually do just to catch up on all the fun tweets in the world, well as many as I can lol and I came across a comment that got me, well, all fired up, and it went something like this:
Seriously, are there really people who buy steak at Walmart?
What?! You know I don’t really eat much steak, but I do shop at Walmart for things I can’t find at Trader Joe’s because it is cheaper. I’m not going to lie. Hey I would love to shop at Whole Foods, practically walking around that store gets me all giddy, but it’s pretty expensive for me if I shop there exclusively. Working with lower income individuals, steak from Walmart let alone anywhere would be special to them. You know we can get so focused on culinary creations (myself included), when there are people out there who don’t even know what they are eating tomorrow, or if they can feed their families. This comment just really offended me.
Remember my previous post about the hunger-obesity paradox? I really enjoyed seeing all your insightful comments. You guys are truly special. Thank you!
Michelle @ Find Your Balance has left a new comment on your post "hunger-obesity paradox and beer can chicken":
As for obesity, I wonder how many cases can be traced to a food-related or starved experience vs. an issue with using food to fill an emotional void. In my experience working with clients I'm finding that often, food is a 'good' substitute for love, comfort and interest in one's life.
Nicole M., MS, RD, LD has left a new comment on your post "hunger-obesity paradox and beer can chicken":
Great entry! A lot of my current patient population are food-insecure and it takes a lot of being creative. Some of my patients...if it doesn't come from WIC or the Dollar General, they can't get it. It really can make things challenging, but I've certainly learned a lot, especially to count my blessings.
It’s just so hard because many of the foods that appear to be cheaper and convenient are those that aren’t as nutritionally dense or ethically sound. When someone that doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from and they have 3 children to feed, they don’t give a crap if their food comes from Walmart. If it’s cheaper that’s all that matters. Especially in these economic times, it’s been really hard. My step dad was out of work for 20 months, my dad also got laid off with 3 young kids, and currently my fiancée is out of work and searching. It’s tough and I myself am worried right now. Economic hardship and hunger don’t discriminate, and I’m sure we’ve all seen our fair share in these times.
And I think that’s where we come in because it’s really about education. We know that it is possible to eat wholesomely on staples that are cheaper, but people have to understand how to prepare and where to acquire them. Rhetorical question: Why is it when given the choice between a box of pop-tarts and a large canister of oatmeal that will provide many meals, most will chose the pop-tarts? We are really a select few in the blog world. Yes, there are tons of food bloggers out there, but if you think about it, relative to the entire population, we are unique. While we project great nutritional information on our blogs, are we really reaching the people who need it most when most of them don’t even have access to the internet? If we keep preaching to the choir, how will we reach the entire congregation? How can we reach those that need it the most? I believe that anyone can shop at Walmart and buy steak at Walmart and still prepare healthy meals that satisfy nutritional needs and fulfill our strong connection with food culturally, spiritually and emotionally.
Yes, Walmart has not been the most ethically sound company as many extremely biased websites make clear (there are so many biased websites it’s not even funny). Using un-reliable, biased sites renders one incapable of making a sound argument. Many people can’t really shop anywhere else! Instead of alienating this population with ignorant comments, why not try to spread the word of simple nutrition and better options? And really that’s what it comes down to, foods that nourish our bodies and keep us alive, but it can also be a very strong emotional issue as well.
Walmart is what they are. It’s a company that reduces costs and has helped a lot of people make it in this recession. Their primary means of reducing cost is their inventory system, which is the most efficient in the world. They are also supporting legislation that will require employers to provide health insurance, and are looking at ways to make the products offered more environmentally sustainable. If you don’t like Walmart that’s perfectly justifiable, but you know some ‘people’ have to shop there.
So what can we really do? We really have to be creative like Nicole said above. I’m hoping that you guys can give some great insights too, because I can’t even touch the surface of this.
- Try going to your local food bank and donate some wholesome non-perishable foods or foods that they accept and you yourself would eat.
- I’m also going to get together several boxes of healthier snacks so when I see someone on the street that needs food I can give it to them and not just avoid eye contact because I have nothing to give. I don’t think they’ll mind one bit if any of it came from Walmart.
This topic has so many heated aspects that I cannot even begin to touch or explain and it is just so close to my heart, and the fact that anyone thinks less of another because they shop at Walmart, IS offensive to me.
---- awkward break here ----
On a lighter note, Chris and I are going camping next weekend! Since Chris is about done with summer school, we thought we’d catch one little vacation for the summer, and you can’t beat $12 /night! Here’s the campground. It looks beautiful and we are looking forward to doing some hiking and dutch oven cookin’ (you can make practically anything in these things!) We may try to rent mountain bikes too.
We’ve never actually been camping together before, but both of us practically grew up roughing it in the mountains with our dads lol We are really excited and I have of course started making the list of things to bring, but I’m sure I’ll forget something! There’s just so many things to think of. Chris’ dad and my dad have a lot of camping gear that they are going to let us borrow too so that is great. On the last night we also decided to stay at a cute B & B in Cedar City called Anniversary House. We stayed here a little while ago and just loved it and thought it would be a nice treat on the last day.
In spirit of camping, I decided to make campfire oats for breakfast with chocolate chips, marshmallows, crumbled graham cracker strawberries, and dollop of peanut butter yum! It felt like we were right by the campfire lol I’ve never tried chocolate on oats before, but seeing Angie’s awesome powerfood oats, I wanted to give it a try! pb and chocolate is my fav combo! It was really good, but very rich!
What are your thoughts on this topic? I can’t get too caught up in the internet bickerfest though because it really doesn’t go anywhere. Or if you care not to comment on this topic, any fun weekend plans??