Today I am joining about 200 other food bloggers to bring awareness to a growing problem in our country- Hunger.
Were you like me? The first time I heard that so many children in our country were hungry I thought- but aren’t we fighting childhood obesity? Where are the hungry children?
The answer is that they are often one in the same.
During my first semester as a Masters student in Nutrition at Columbia we had to live on a Food Stamp (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program- SNAP) budget for a full week. In those days it was $3/day per person- $21 for an entire week of groceries. Since then the allotment has gone up a dollar a day- but so has the number of participants who rely on food stamps to feed themselves week after week. The last study showed that here has been about a 50% rise in the number of people relying on SNAP since the economic downturn. As a result of Hurricane Sandy the numbers are expected to rise again.
How does Hunger lead to Obesity?
One of the first things you realize when you go to the supermarket, that there are a whole lot of foods that you just cannot afford to buy. Hunger is a terrible companion, so any way to make those dollars stretch you’re going to do it. Fruits and fresh vegetables are quite costly, but rice, pasta, chips, cakes and breads can go a long way. It’s hard to justify 80 cents for a single apple when you can get a huge bag of chips for not much more.
Obesity is not necessarily a lack of calories, but a lack of good nutrition.
It may be hard to get your mind around this- but many obese and overweight persons are nutritionally “starving” . Diets that are high in refined starches, added sugars and high in salt can lead to many health issues, including obesity and diabetes.
The High Price of Low Cost Eating
There is a huge cost to poor nutrition- both financially in terms of health care, and socially in terms of raising a generation of healthy minds and bodies. This is one situation where positive input early on can save us from the waterfall of problems later on down the line.
PLEASE take a few minutes to watch this trailer– It is fascinating and amazing- I PROMISE you will enjoy it.
What Can you do NOW? Click once, and then sit in a chair.
Your input can make a huge difference. We like to think that “someone” is going to fix this problem and you are correct- that person is you taking a small action to initiate the change.
Please take one minute- just ONE minute- to head over to this page at NO Kid Hungry: Share our Strength and send a letter to congress. It’s all laid out for you, just fill in the boxes and click to send. After you’ve done that, please come back here and leave me a note saying that you did- I personally want to thank you.
The next thing you can do is sit in a chair. That’s right- just sit there-and watch a movie- A Place at the Table. You can catch it HERE on iTunes.
For more information you can visit Share our Strength.
Recipes that are budget friendly and healthy
The recipe shown at the top of the page is both budget friendly and good for you. Please feel free to share this with anyone you think may need it, and here are some other recipes that also fit the bill:
Again: Please share with me your hunger experiences, and please let me know that you signed the petition, I want to thank you personally.
- 3 cups of cooked white beans (2 cans rinsed)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, about half a pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup scallions, sliced, about 3 stalks
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Cooking Spray
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 jalepeno pepper, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups frozen corn
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup non fat greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup cilantro, minced- about a quarter of a bunch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl place the beans, and using the back of a large spoon, mash the beans roughly, making a paste but leaving about a quarter un-mashed for texture.
- Add the peppers, scallions, garlic, cumin, salt and hot sauce and stir to combine. Then add the breadcrumbs and gently stir to incorporate.
- With cleans hands moistened with water, make 8 equal sized patties and set aside.
- Heat either a frying pan or grill pan on medium heat and spritz with cooking spray.
- Cook the patties until crisp and golden on each side.
- In a frying pan warm the oil and then add the garlic and jalepeno. Saute 2 minutes, then add the corn and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
- Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and serve with the patties.
- The patties freeze well. Make a double batch and save some for another day.