things i thought i knew

You are about to hear something most people never, never, ever hear come out of my mouth. (Or computer, in this case.) I want to give up. I’m failing.

Stubbornness being one of my main personality traits (wait, I meant perseverance. That’s so much holier, right?), giving up is something I’m about as likely to do as stick my fork in an outlet trying for a new hairdo. But February is only half over, and this only seven foods thing is getting me.

Giving stuff away? Easy, sadly enough. Wearing only seven items of clothing (that’s March)? Not too tough. But this? This is hard. 

I imagined it would be great. Three of the foods for us are apples, berries, and lettuces. I would learn things and lose weight, too, right? Win-win for me. 

Nope. In fact, the weight has gone back the other way, and I feel lousy. And I would probably wrestle a salmon barehanded in the Arctic if it meant I would actually get to eat it right about now. 

So what am I learning from all this whining? I am understanding the diet of the poor better, for sure. I already had a mental understanding of the few choices they have and the even fewer affordable choices, but now I empathize, not just know intellectually. Two of our items are bread and pasta, cheap and easy to come by. Also really bad for you as a steady diet. Living the bulk of your diet on bread, pasta, and cheese can really mess with your health. But that is the kind of diet most poor people in this country exist on. It’s what they can afford. It’s what’s available. It’s nutritionally disastrous.

According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1) “The highest rates of obesity occur among population groups with the highest poverty rates and the least education.” Why? Because 2) “Energy-dense foods composed of refined grains, added sugars, or fats represent the lowest-cost option to the consumer.” and 3) “Poverty and food insecurity are associated with lower food expenditures, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and lower-quality diets. Such diets are more affordable than are prudent diets based on lean meats, fish, fresh vegetables, and fruit.”

Researching this, I found a blog of someone who had done another interesting food experiment. After realizing the average poverty-level family of 3 has $6 to eat on per day, this person tried to do the same. It’s a fascinating and challenging read.

Its hard to look for a job when you feel lousy. It’s tough to pay attention in school when you can’t stay awake or you’re hyped up on refined sugar. I get these things now. So I won’t give up. Because they can’t. 

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