These infographics where we’re shown a picture of a “good” meal and a “bad” meal with a dollar amount, showing how easy is it to eat well on a low budget seem to be everywhere right now. Again. They make me curse a lot and I wish people would stop making them.
When I say I hate these, people assume I must love Big Macs and Pringles or something and that I’m angry because I’m feeling defensive. SO not even close. I’m not defending the food. I’m defending the choices that people make when they have to buy this food. Choice might not even be a good word to use because that implies there’s more than one option. And hell, maybe there is more than one option but the not-so-healthy choice is the one that makes the most sense based on circumstances or geography or whatever. Or maybe someone really just wants to have one goddamned thing of french fries just because.
I posted these ones awhile ago. I’ve seen it floating around tumblr again lately and it still pisses me off.
SparkPeople has these examples of how to spend your limited money on better food.
I’m betting most of you are looking at these and saying to yourself, “Where the hell are they shopping!?”
This is not representative of what food costs in my area. These prices must be reflective of things they found on sale.
I have seen these being reposted as evidence that you can eat healthy on little money. It’s a classist assumption that this will be the case for every person living in poverty or on food stamps and that if they can’t manage to eat well on next to nothing, that must be their fault.
I know I probably already belabored my point about real food privilege, but I really don’t understand why people who are pro-health and real food feel that they need to fudge the truth of food accessibility. I mean, why lie to sell a myth to people? Or is it that they’re just completely oblivious of the reality of it? It just makes people in a hard situation more frustrated to hear some sanctimonious preaching about something that other person probably has no real experience with.
This set comes from The New York Times article, Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? :
alithea on tumblr is going to help me out with some words here. It obviously pisses her off just as much as it does me:
this bullshit fills me with a very specific kind of rage. so, TIME TO DEBUNK!
- that meal from mcdonalds takes virtually no time to acquire AND is available almost anywhere.
- the second meal? that “salad” is lettuce … with nothing else, not even dressing unless its just olive oil or some milk i guess? gross.
- also thats the price of each serving, not an entire loaf of bread, a bottle of olive oil, etc. that stuff adds up which means you have to have a lot of money at one time to buy it all.
- that meal probably took an hour and a half to make, which is a long fucking time when you work multiple jobs or are caring for a lot of people or dont have help! seriously, if you are a single parent of three who works, is spending an hour and a half every night preparing a meal a likely option?
- same with beans and rice! also, you know whats a fucking bummer? eating beans and rice every night because you are poor. ask any person who has done it and they will tell you (you can start with me).
- there is a “nutrition” argument here that lacks a follow up: poor people are more likely to be doing physical labor and need more than 571 calories per meal.
- you know who is less likely to know how to bake or prepare a chicken? people without access to the internet, or libraries, or who werent taught how to by their parents because their parents worked all the time. access to healthy foods is a classist issue and classism is cyclical, you fucking morons.
- seriously, these sorts of infographics make me want to fucking flip tables. do you know why people don’t eat more fresh fruits and vegetables? because fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive, because they take a long time to prepare, because they dont live near a grocery store that has a decent produce section, because they dont have reliable transportation to get groceries to and from the grocery store, because they dont have the energy to plan all of the shit that is involved in making healthy, intentional, filling, balanced meals. basically: poor people get fucked, and then we get BLAMED for being lazy.
- eating “healthy”, aka access to fresh fruits and vegetables, is a privilege, first, foremost, always. so fuck you new york times and your ignorant goddamn infographic.
- there are SYSTEMATIC REASONS that we do not have equal access to fresh fruits and vegetables. they are very REAL problems. besides, you know, systematic poverty in america, the total mis-distribution of farm subsidies is a perfect place to start. read about that, then either get bent or start working on the actual problem
Yep. All of that.