Saturday, June 16, 2007

Friday & Saturday dinners & the Food Stamp Diet

Friday night we ate leftover lasagna. It was good and filling.

Tonight it's just the man person and me here so we went to Becky's Diner, a local cafe, for burgers and onion rings. Ehhh, not healthy, way too many carbs, and not too frugal at a little over $19 for the two of us, but it was a nice treat.

Right now I'm listening to Miss Maggie, founder of, on the radio. She was interviewed by Christopher Lydon in a segment about the Food Stamp Diet (the latest bandwagon the politicos are hopping on) and did a great job of expressing her opinions on both food and this attention getting, PR oriented "challenge" going around. I really hesitate to use the word "challenge" as living on food stamps for a week or even a month isn't much of a challenge in my opinion. But maybe this little experiment will encourage lawmakers to re-think the whole food stamp thing.

**Mini rant coming***

Actually, I think the distributing offices of the benefits need to offer, perhaps require, more education in exchange for food stamps. I'm not sure about other places but from what I've seen in our area of Texas there's no education about nutrition or wise food purchases involved with food stamps as there is with WIC. Certainly it can't hurt to teach parents that letting Little Billy or Tiny Susie (who happen to weigh 180 lbs at the age of 8 and are well on the road to a myriad of health problems) eat a package of Ding Dongs and a 2 liter of Dr Pepper as a snack isn't good. Along with education, how about more restrictions? Again, I don't know about other places but here one can't buy hot deli items, alcohol, or non-food items with food stamps but those are the only restrictions on what a recipient can purchase. It seems to me that restricting (note, I didn't say eliminating but what would be wrong with that?) sweets, soft drinks, chips and other empty calorie and non-nutritive items might be wise. At least then the kids stand a chance of getting healthier food and taxpayers won't find themselves standing in line behind someone with a basket loaded with garbage, knowing their money is buying it..not to mention helping to pay for the health care required later. Come on.. Pop Tarts, Cocoa Puffs, Ice Cream, and Kool Aid with food stamps? Shame, shame! On both the government for allowing it and parents for buying it!

By the way, sometime I'll write about my personal experience with the food stamp program. I'm thankful I qualified for food stamps for a period of time and I learned through self education more about smart shopping. By the time I wasn't qualified to receive them anymore, I didn't need them anymore! If I could do it, others can do it.

**Mini rant finished***

Miss Maggie talks about the importance of children being taught to cook properly and how it isn't necessary to eat unhealthy, bad carb laden foods to save money. Her $45 a week menu is also briefly discussed. It's a great interview and if you're interested in cutting your grocery expenses, give Miss Maggie and her website a try. I think you'll be happy you did.

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