Friday, July 30, 2010

Politics of Food

NPR, that decidedly more-left-than-right news behemoth, did a bit recently on hunger in America. Specifically, childhood hunger. They began by relating numbers--X number of children go hungry every day, etc. They they moved into the story--a particular family in America who can’t make ends meet. Remember, this is about childhood hunger. So, the matriarch of the family, on the opening bit, is parsing out the cost of KoolAid, and how much KoolAid the family drinks. And sweet iced tea.


I almost yelled at the radio.

That isn’t hunger, that’s choice

That’s a gallon of KoolAid, with no nutritional value, instead of a dozen eggs or 3 packages of dried beans, which would give some good protein.

That’s a gallon of iced tea instead of a head of broccoli.

That’s junky, teeth rotting, intestine eating sugar drink instead of a bunch of bananas.

Now, my kids drink KoolAid. So do I. I like KoolAid.

But if I had to put my kids to bed hungry one night, I guarantee the next night they wouldn’t be drinking KoolAid.

What kills me most is this: there are probably hundreds of families who do not drink junk, who cannot make the grocery bills, whose children are hungry. But they didn’t make it onto the radio.

There was a family this week at the local farmer’s market, which now takes food stamps. They had used those food stamps to buy fresh veggies, which supported a local industry, provided them with healthy food, and made me want to cheer that, in that case, the system was working. I wanted to hug the wife in the family. I restrained myself because that would have been awkward for everyone. But, the point is, NPR chose a particular angle to the story, one that shot the story in the foot, so to speak. And they did it with a straight face, which makes me wonder if the reporter had been enjoying some of our new medicinal cannabis before editing her story. Or if she got confused and thought she was on Fox’s payroll. Or if she just didn’t vet her contacts right. Since I couldn’t holler at the reporter, I chose to yell online to you, my sometimes right-wing friends.

And now that I feel better, I’m going to make some KoolAid for my kids to enjoy with the Peaches and Cream corn on the cob and Rocky Ford cantaloupe we’re having for dinner.


BlueSkiesBreaking said...


buttercup said...

Hae you heard of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? He's trying to get American's eating real food again. It is a cool project.

Irish Cream said...

It's unfortunate they don't hand out a book with recipes and grocery lists when a family gets food stamps. Maybe something titled: "How to shop with your food stamps to get the most: healthy and fresh, appetizing and fast". Heck, I'd probably even buy a book like that!

I wouldn't mind shaving a few dollars off my food budget. Of course, if i started leaving ice cream and KoolAid or soda off the list I might shave off a few pounds, too. Hmmmm, this is sounding better and better!