I always get infuriated by the earnest assertion of people with money to spare at all times that, really, these poor people need to learn how to maximize the nutrition in their diets by shopping with cash at weekly farmers markets and getting organic produce that is only $2/bunch for kale.
So most of the month lunch is a candy bar and a coke (or 800 or so calories in fat and sugar for under 2 bucks) and dinner is hamburger helper and a can of green beans (a little more than 5 bucks to feed 4 people and about 400 calories per person).
That is why poverty and obesity go together. It's not because twinkies are the prozac of the lower classes, but because our Darwin approved bodies recognize starvation and fight to hold onto every possible calorie. It's the thrifty fucking gene in action, and a wee bit of math would have shown that out.
This was also a poorly explained aspect of my post about refusing to take checks - sometimes that cash isn't there until day after tomorrow, and if you hand over a check late in the day at a grocery store, chances are it won't clear until sometime the business day after that.
You spend the money you have to secure the goods you can. You don't buy soy milk because it is expensive compared to powdered milk. Fatty hamburger is cheaper per pound than tofu and tempeh and fills up a teenage stomach much faster. Canned vegetables - you know, the off brands made with the non-organic vegggies and bathed in salty, preservative laced liquid - are cheaper than frozen which are cheaper than fresh. They don't go bad, either. Am I going to buy the store brand squishy white bread for .99 (a day or two old, but, hey, toast it and who knows the diff...) or the artisan baked French White loaf with the extra chewy (i.e., inedible) crust made from the organic, stone-ground flour fo $3.89 per paper-wrapped loaf?
I have the luxury of eating a red bell pepper every day. I love those peppers. I never got them as a kid because they cost too much. I wasn't able to buy them as an adult until after I got a realatively steady high tech job. They are sweet, crunchy, tasty and packed with so many wonderful micro-nutrients per gram it boggles the mind. They are also $1 each, $30 per month (more, because some go bad), and about 100 calories. That's just 7 cents less than the per day food budget of Red Queen's family of four at the poverty line.
Think about that. My one bell pepper, inadequate to provide even a single meal, is worth almost as much as the entire day's food budget for someone who is at the poverty line. A $2 bunch of kale (I mention this because discussed on some food site as being the obvious choice for someone on food stamps to buy) might go a bit further, but is still all or half of a day's food allowance for one person. If I cook it up into a pot with pinto beans and some minced onions, then it might help make a meal, but why waste the $2 on the kale when I can get some sausage to go in the pot?
Most times, onions are cheap. Potatoes, too. Cheap bacon, probably bacon ends sold in a big box, mostly fat and really salty. Now, there's a yummy meal - pork fat, potatoes and onions. You think I'm joking? I'm not. I'd like a little salt & pepper to go with it, but I can do without and I'd gladly eat it. Even now when I can afford "better", I love a baked potato mashed with some onion cooked in a slice of bacon.
The obsession of the well-off upper middle class with the eating habits of the barely scraping by poor is both domineering and obscene, a deep desire to force their food choices (too little for too much) onto others who have little choice, and to closely observe, weigh, measure, and manipulate the bodies of subjects unable to avoid this invasion.
Who in this exchange better knows the cost of a pound of flesh?
PS - An observation. I'm getting more and more spam comment posts that have vague political stances and then include a link to "my site" which is something commercial, usually travel or "dating". Why put that much effort into spam?