There is a debate over the question: can you eat healthy when you’re poor? And, should folks receiving food stamps be able to use them to purchase sugary drinks and fatty un-healthy foods? As a professor I had a student who used food stamps and thought wow what a smart idea why didn’t I do that when was struggling to put food on the table when I was in grad school! I could not afford to eat poorly back when I was a grad student at Syracuse University in the 1990s because I knew the long term consequence to my health. I stayed with a vegetarian diet full of produce in season, brown rice, and lots of different legumes. To supplement my diet I scoured the Daily Orange, the campus newspaper, for lectures and concerts on campus with REFRESHMENTS SERVED in the advertising. I’d show up and hover around the refreshments filling up on humus, veggies, and fresh fruit particularly expensive fruit like pineapple, kiwi, and grapes all while trying to be as engaged as possible for the real reason for the event. Knowledge is the key to one’s food choices and frankly when we know better we tend to eat better. As a competitive athlete before entering grad school I wanted every edge I could get to improve my performance. Thus for years I sought out the best information possible on the relationship between health and nutrition; that information insured that even when I was temporally poor, I made informed healthy food choices. One of my heroes is former NBA player Will Allen and his work at Growing Power and NGO dedicated to getting fresh produce to impoverished communities. I highly recommend this short video about his organization.
Will Allen’s Good Food Revolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EpTWQWx1MQ&feature=player
Relate link on Food Stamps and famer’s markets:http://www.sweettaterblog.com/2010/02/24/food-stamps-at-fruit-stands/