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(TreeHugger)   At the end of the day Americans could eat healthier. They just don't want to   ( treehugger.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Nutrition, low-income households, food, hipster food towns, Musselshell County, immediate food environment, food desert, food preferences  
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2594 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Feb 2018 at 9:50 AM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-09 08:38:35 AM  
As baffling as it may seem, their grocery decisions are not affected by improved access to fresh foods or more affordable prices because they're comfortable within their food culture.

I can't tell if this is sarcasm.  I don't find it baffling at all.
 
2018-02-09 08:44:56 AM  
Between TV/billboard advertising being exclusively fatty/salty/sugary crap and a genetic predisposition to desire fatty/salty/sugary foods in addition to the billions of dollars of government subsidies for fatty/salty/sugary input components - it's not that hard to see that our food economy is weighted heavily toward the worst foods for us.  It's called the "Standard American Diet" for a reason.

It's not hard to go shopping for fruits/vegetables/beans/nuts, but given the choice between a green salad with rice/bean bowl for dinner and that frozen DiGiorno pizza that was BOGO, it's easier to throw the pizza in the oven than take 30-45 minutes to prepare a wholesome meal. I pass at least 20 restaurants/fast food places in 5 miles from picking up my kid from daycare to home. Most nights, instead of fighting to keep him entertained and out of my hair while I prep a healthy dinner, it's much easier to get takeout on the way home.
 
2018-02-09 08:56:23 AM  
crow202.orgView Full Size

...When you have options like this, why would you eat salad?
 
2018-02-09 09:16:35 AM  

togaman2k: a genetic predisposition to desire fatty/salty/sugary foods


Careful there, I was informed humans are blank canvases who have been failed by society.  Don't you go toutin' them ganetic perdisposition's!
 
2018-02-09 09:25:05 AM  
At the end of the day Americans could eat healthier. They just don't want to

maybe try in the morning then
 
2018-02-09 09:46:20 AM  
Gimme!

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-09 09:51:35 AM  

blatz514: Gimme!

[img.fark.net image 850x566]


I see all the food groups represented.  What's the problem?
 
2018-02-09 09:51:48 AM  
At the end of the day, I am hungry
 
2018-02-09 09:53:07 AM  
When watching food shows became a primary form of entertainment, you know this country was doomed.
 
d23 [BareFark]
2018-02-09 09:53:15 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


And I get to break out the best gif ever posted on Fark.
 
2018-02-09 09:54:57 AM  
"Points of view" are pretty amazing when you think about it. They can lead you to write all kinds of shiat.
 
2018-02-09 09:55:01 AM  

danceswithcrows: [crow202.org image 512x340]
...When you have options like this, why would you eat salad?


I don't know WTF that is but I want two of them - on that wonderful kitschy plate to boot!
 
2018-02-09 09:55:39 AM  

danceswithcrows: [crow202.org image 512x340]
...When you have options like this, why would you eat salad?


Please tell me there's a recipe for that monstrosity

Looks like a bacon explosion but filled with chili and mac and cheese
 
2018-02-09 09:56:55 AM  
I got a promotion yesterday and celebrated with half a pizza and an oversized slice of peanut butter pie.  If I'm going to be an office manager, I better look like one.
 
2018-02-09 09:57:37 AM  
I quite like a nice salad.

/No croutons please
 
2018-02-09 09:57:41 AM  
No sh*t.  I live in a college town, which is affluent and well-educated.  And every time I go grocery shopping, I see people with shopping carts full of poor food choices.  Processed over fresh.  Junk food over healthy.

People like what they like, which is usually what they grew up with.  And because we've had an unhealthy diet for a couple generations now, what people grew up with is crap.
 
2018-02-09 09:59:03 AM  
It doesn't help that people are so fat nowadays that borderline morbidly obese people are considered "thin" and "healthy" because they're literally the thinnest people in the room.
 
2018-02-09 09:59:18 AM  

danceswithcrows: [crow202.org image 512x340]
...When you have options like this, why would you eat salad?


That is a salad, isn't it?
 
2018-02-09 10:00:40 AM  

danceswithcrows: [crow202.org image 512x340]
...When you have options like this, why would you eat salad?


Because eating some roughage every once in awhile helps you take some quality shiats?
 
2018-02-09 10:01:19 AM  

ThrillaManilla: I got a promotion yesterday and celebrated with half a pizza and an oversized slice of peanut butter pie.  If I'm going to be an office manager, I better look like one.


Speaking of which, it's supposedly national pizza day today.

If you don't eat pizza today, you hate America.  And let's face it, salad instead of pizza?  Really?
 
2018-02-09 10:02:40 AM  
A guy goes to his doctor and asks the Doc if he will live to be 100. The doc asks him "do you enjoy a good steak ?" Guy says "No, I never eat red meat".
The doc asks him if he enjoys a nice glass of scotch and a good cigar. The guy says "No, I never drink or smoke".
The doc asks him if he likes to chase lewd women. The guy says "No, of course not".
The doc then asked "Well then why the fark would you want to live to be 100?"
 
2018-02-09 10:02:52 AM  

Rapmaster2000: As baffling as it may seem, their grocery decisions are not affected by improved access to fresh foods or more affordable prices because they're comfortable within their food culture.

I can't tell if this is sarcasm.  I don't find it baffling at all.


It's almost like people buy stuff they like. It's weird.
 
2018-02-09 10:03:09 AM  
Humans are creatures of habit?  The hell you say.

My blood pressure was high so the doc told me to lay off the sodium.  I'd never paid any attention to it and my god, the amount of sodium I was taking in was crazy, and I mostly eat homemade food.

One premade food that's now off my plate is canned biscuits.  They have crazy amounts of sodium.  And look up the stunning amount of sodium in a small flour tortilla.
 
2018-02-09 10:04:16 AM  

Rapmaster2000: As baffling as it may seem, their grocery decisions are not affected by improved access to fresh foods or more affordable prices because they're comfortable within their food culture.

I can't tell if this is sarcasm.  I don't find it baffling at all.


Comfortable blog writer doesn't understand why people different than him choose differently.

It's very baffling to him.
 
2018-02-09 10:04:29 AM  
Why would I buy fresh healthy and expensive food when I can just hit up McDonalds for $5 and be nice and full, get fat, have a heart attack at 45, and make dirty vegans pay for my health care through taxes since I'm uninsured because the only job I can hold is working at walmart making just under the food stamp wage cap and then sell my food stamps for $5 and go to McDonalds and be nice and full, get fatter, and have another heart attack at 55?

/sorry for lack of punctuation
//didn't have enough room in my pockets today
///they're filled with cheeseburgers
////they're only a dollar!
//one slashy for each chin
 
2018-02-09 10:04:32 AM  
They could do that whole day
 
2018-02-09 10:04:47 AM  
could
 
2018-02-09 10:05:37 AM  
"Food desert" is one of those phrases that for me evokes mental images of liberal white people pulling their hair out going "why don't poor minorities want the same things I want!?" Another phrase that has the same effect on me is "Bernie Sanders."
 
2018-02-09 10:08:10 AM  
Whats the point?
I lived across the street from a guy that was a health nut, exercised every day, ate a healthy diet, no drinking, no smoking, had a heart attack at 44. My grandfather ate the worst diet possible, lots of fatty and greasy foods, was about 50 lbs overweight, lived into his 90's. My great grandmother smoked and gambled till she died in her 90's.

You might as well live a lifestyle that makes you happy.
 
2018-02-09 10:08:14 AM  
I was about to go on a rant about the article missing the obvious point, but then I found it, so kudos to the author:

If health care providers, teachers, legislators, and insurance companies want to see a significant uptick in Americans' health -- and it is in everyone's best interest to work toward this -- then low-income individuals must be taught how to prepare food from scratch. In doing so, they'll learn how to take advantage of the many ingredients available to them. Without those practical tools, it's unrealistic to expect households to wean themselves off a heavily-processed diet.

Processed food is easy and delicious.  Fresh food is hard, and bland unless you do it right (in which case it is much much better than processed).
 
2018-02-09 10:08:36 AM  
Its laziness.

Eating healthy with minimal cooking and prep time is a lot cheaper than people assume.
It takes effort to learn about vitamins and nutrition.
It takes effort to plan out your meals.
It takes effort to learn cooking skills.
It takes effort to figure out the real cost of eating healthy.

Or people can just by a box of mac and cheese and a rotisserie chicken and biatch how they are a victim of the food industry.
 
2018-02-09 10:08:44 AM  

AngryDragon: blatz514: Gimme!

[img.fark.net image 850x566]

I see all the food groups represented.  What's the problem?


I don't see anything from the "dairy" group - needs some cheeze added
 
2018-02-09 10:09:09 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-09 10:10:43 AM  

AlanMooresBeard: Its laziness.

Eating healthy with minimal cooking and prep time is a lot cheaper than people assume.
It takes effort to learn about vitamins and nutrition.
It takes effort to plan out your meals.
It takes effort to learn cooking skills.
It takes effort to figure out the real cost of eating healthy.

Or people can just by a box of mac and cheese and a rotisserie chicken and biatch how they are a victim of the food industry.


I'll add, if one doesn't care about healthy food then that is fine. We all have different goals, needs and wants.
My post was targeted to the "But it costs too much money and takes too much time" crowd.
 
2018-02-09 10:11:27 AM  
I love how this story is sandwiched between a Lucky Charms and a nation pizza day thread.
 
2018-02-09 10:11:41 AM  

mrsleep: Whats the point?
I lived across the street from a guy that was a health nut, exercised every day, ate a healthy diet, no drinking, no smoking, had a heart attack at 44. My grandfather ate the worst diet possible, lots of fatty and greasy foods, was about 50 lbs overweight, lived into his 90's. My great grandmother smoked and gambled till she died in her 90's.

You might as well live a lifestyle that makes you happy.


Your grandparents are genetic outliers.  Most people who have that sort of lifestyle meet their grave decades earlier.  And, while happy during mealtimes, are miserable overall due to diet-associated diseases like diabetes, blood-pressure, joint pain (and related mobility issues).

/not sure why you mentioned gambling.
 
2018-02-09 10:12:03 AM  

NotThatGuyAgain: Humans are creatures of habit?  The hell you say.

My blood pressure was high so the doc told me to lay off the sodium.  I'd never paid any attention to it and my god, the amount of sodium I was taking in was crazy, and I mostly eat homemade food.

One premade food that's now off my plate is canned biscuits anything.  They have crazy amounts of sodium.  And look up the stunning amount of sodium in a small flour tortilla.


Same here.  Now that it's been a while since I cut salt out of my diet I have a hard time eating out or at someone else's house.  I've become very sensitive to the taste of salt and don't like it.
 
2018-02-09 10:12:06 AM  
My middle daughter and her little family stayed with us last week. They are vegetarian and sometimes vegan, so I made sweet potato and barley stew, and other such things, and that was fine for the week. But after they left, I cooked 10 lbs of pork shoulder and divided it for carnitas and pulled pork sandwiches for the rest of us to enjoy for a few days.

Yesterday someone on Twitter was haranguing people about hating animals if they weren't vegan. It wasn't even subtle. But I don't think I'd enjoy life as much without ceviche, sashimi, carpaccio, and crudo when I can get those, and sometimes lovely chunks of tender delicious pork. And eggs, lots of eggs. I tend to crave foods with lots of B12, but I don't have the enzyme to digest it so I have to have shots or tablets.

Anyway. I just think we need to strive for balance for our individual needs. I think for most people it feels unnatural to eliminate huge swathes of food, and also cook so many different things than they adapted to throughout life, so they go for what's easiest. My upbringing was a little unusual for the time and place, and I was exposed to a broader variety of foods and cuisines than my peers, so some of the food challenges are easier for me. As I age, I still want to retain as wide a variety as possible, but it does require time and energy (or else having a great deal of money) to do it healthfully all the time. I spend more money on less beef and chicken to have it come from good sources, and use smaller amounts in my cooking. Etcetera.
 
2018-02-09 10:13:52 AM  
One thing I've become acutely aware of in the past few years is how geography and health are correlated. I grew up in Kansas and my family is from southern Indiana, two places where obesity is a visible obvious epidemic. Here in Colorado, obesity is the exception. My children have lived most of their lives in this culture, so when we travel, one the first things they notice is how fat the rest of the country is in comparison. Colorado grocery stores are filled with the same garbage as grocery stores in the rest of the country, and we have the same high-calorie restaurants as you'll find elsewhere. It just comes down to a different culture. We're not genetically superior in Colorado. A lot of us just choose to live healthy lifestyles.
 
2018-02-09 10:16:01 AM  

SaladMonkey: I was about to go on a rant about the article missing the obvious point, but then I found it, so kudos to the author:

If health care providers, teachers, legislators, and insurance companies want to see a significant uptick in Americans' health -- and it is in everyone's best interest to work toward this -- then low-income individuals must be taught how to prepare food from scratch. In doing so, they'll learn how to take advantage of the many ingredients available to them. Without those practical tools, it's unrealistic to expect households to wean themselves off a heavily-processed diet.

Processed food is easy and delicious.  Fresh food is hard, and bland unless you do it right (in which case it is much much better than processed).


Processed meals are tasty if you like the taste of sodium and sugar, if for whatever reason those two don't light your world on fire then they're actually pretty bland a lot of the time. Since i've been making my own meals i've fallen out of love of sugar altogether, it tastes weird to me now.
 
2018-02-09 10:17:48 AM  

mrsleep: You might as well live a lifestyle that makes you happy.


Absolutely. As long as you're prepared to accept the consequences that result from your lifestyle and make sure that your lifestyle doesn't affect other people.

/had a miserable 4 hour flight last week seated beside a 350+ pound woman so I'm a bit jaded about other people's "lifestyle choices" at the moment.
 
2018-02-09 10:18:18 AM  

AlanMooresBeard: Eating healthy with minimal cooking and prep time is a lot cheaper than people assume.


"Is a lot cheaper than people assume" might be true depending on what people we're talking about and what these people assume is cheap, but buying processed frozen food is the cheapest.

My two favorite activities are cooking and saving money (what an exciting life I lead).  Anyway, I only cook from scratch (canned beans counts although dried are cheaper and better),  I only buy meat on sale, and I challenge myself to make vegetarian meals without cheese for two nights a week (because cheese is cheating), and even then the math works out that it would be cheaper to just buy frozen pizzas.

I suppose if I only ate dried rice and beans then I could come out ahead, but decent food cooked yourself is not inexpensive.  The $1 Menu is inexpensive and the time cost is significantly less.

For reference, I frequently use this website in the hunt for cheap meals.  https://www.budgetbytes.com/​   Even for chicken and pasta with vegetables you come out worse than Stouffers frozen lasagna and that's not even counting the fact that some kind of processed food is always on sale in the freezer section.
 
2018-02-09 10:18:52 AM  

mrsleep: Whats the point?
I lived across the street from a guy that was a health nut, exercised every day, ate a healthy diet, no drinking, no smoking, had a heart attack at 44. My grandfather ate the worst diet possible, lots of fatty and greasy foods, was about 50 lbs overweight, lived into his 90's. My great grandmother smoked and gambled till she died in her 90's.

You might as well live a lifestyle that makes you happy.


Yeah, fark it. That apple at the top of that tree probably doesn't taste any good anyway.
 
2018-02-09 10:20:31 AM  
Be quiet and play with your Gluttony Barbie!!!

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
d23 [BareFark]
2018-02-09 10:21:35 AM  

Rapmaster2000: AlanMooresBeard: Eating healthy with minimal cooking and prep time is a lot cheaper than people assume.

"Is a lot cheaper than people assume" might be true depending on what people we're talking about and what these people assume is cheap, but buying processed frozen food is the cheapest.


The problem in many urban areas it is NOT cheaper to eat fresh food because there is a huge cost to get to a grocery store.  Grocery stores have moved out of urban areas and the poor don't often have a car.  So it's time and money to get a suburban grocery chain.
 
2018-02-09 10:22:11 AM  

AlanMooresBeard: Its laziness.

Eating healthy with minimal cooking and prep time is a lot cheaper than people assume.
It takes effort to learn about vitamins and nutrition.
It takes effort to plan out your meals.
It takes effort to learn cooking skills.
It takes effort to figure out the real cost of eating healthy.

Or people can just by a box of mac and cheese and a rotisserie chicken and biatch how they are a victim of the food industry.


Exactly.  Get a cheap rice cooker with a steamer basket.  Voila, quinoa and veggies with the same amount of effort it takes to rip open a frozen lasagna and nuke it. Learn how to make a Thai peanut sauce and you will never want for tastiness again.
 
2018-02-09 10:25:13 AM  

Rapmaster2000: I suppose if I only ate dried rice and beans then I could come out ahead, but decent food cooked yourself is not inexpensive.  The $1 Menu is inexpensive and the time cost is significantly less.


I've never been satisfied for very long with anything off of the dollar menu. Spend a little more for  bulk items and you have leftovers for days.
 
2018-02-09 10:26:57 AM  

lilistonic: My middle daughter and her little family stayed with us last week. They are vegetarian and sometimes vegan, so I made sweet potato and barley stew, and other such things, and that was fine for the week. But after they left, I cooked 10 lbs of pork shoulder and divided it for carnitas and pulled pork sandwiches for the rest of us to enjoy for a few days.

Yesterday someone on Twitter was haranguing people about hating animals if they weren't vegan. It wasn't even subtle. But I don't think I'd enjoy life as much without ceviche, sashimi, carpaccio, and crudo when I can get those, and sometimes lovely chunks of tender delicious pork. And eggs, lots of eggs. I tend to crave foods with lots of B12, but I don't have the enzyme to digest it so I have to have shots or tablets.

Anyway. I just think we need to strive for balance for our individual needs. I think for most people it feels unnatural to eliminate huge swathes of food, and also cook so many different things than they adapted to throughout life, so they go for what's easiest. My upbringing was a little unusual for the time and place, and I was exposed to a broader variety of foods and cuisines than my peers, so some of the food challenges are easier for me. As I age, I still want to retain as wide a variety as possible, but it does require time and energy (or else having a great deal of money) to do it healthfully all the time. I spend more money on less beef and chicken to have it come from good sources, and use smaller amounts in my cooking. Etcetera.


To go along with this, it isn't that expensive to eat healthy *if* (big if) you have the money to do things like buy whole cuts of meat and know how to divide, and know what to do with it (which the article definitely addressed, which was a nice change from typical food access articles).

The local store sells boneless half shoulders or steaks for around $5/lb, but bone in whole shoulders for $1.10/lb.  So if all you have is $5 you get a pork steak that'll feed one person one meal, but if you have $12 you can get a whole shoulder that'll feed a family of 4 for 2-3 meals - if you know how to cook it.
 
2018-02-09 10:27:06 AM  

mrsleep: Whats the point?
I lived across the street from a guy that was a health nut, exercised every day, ate a healthy diet, no drinking, no smoking, had a heart attack at 44. My grandfather ate the worst diet possible, lots of fatty and greasy foods, was about 50 lbs overweight, lived into his 90's. My great grandmother smoked and gambled till she died in her 90's.

You might as well live a lifestyle that makes you happy.


Yep. We all die in the end. Depends on the type of life you want.

Some people want a life where their greatest joy is gorging on crappy food. Where getting up a flight of stairs is a struggle, before they get a scooter and start losing toes to the 'beetus. Washing themselves with a rag on a stick.

Some people want a life with good food and cooking new things, while moderating portions and keeping in shape. Where being able to play in the mountains, skiing and hiking is a big part of their life. For example, one person I instruct with is 82, and still skiing all the time. I want to be like him.
 
2018-02-09 10:28:43 AM  
  "[Researchers] analyzed what happened to a household's food purchases when a new, full-service grocery store opened in the neighborhood, or when the household moved from 'food deserts' to areas with more abundant grocery options. But even major changes in a household's immediate food environment, the paper found, had a limited impact on the foods that people purchased."

"We reject that neighborhood environments have meaningful effects on healthy eating. Using a structural demand model, we find that exposing low-income households to the same availability and prices experienced by high-income households reduces nutritional inequality by only 9%, while the remaining 91% is driven by differences in demand. These findings contrast with discussions of nutritional inequality that emphasize supply-side factors such as food deserts."


That's not how this works. You have to account for the fact that people who have lived their entire lives eating processed, over-salted junk are likely to keep buying it. Someone who grew up on hot dogs and potato chips isn't going to drop several decades of habit overnight. You might get through to their kids though. Stuff doesn't change overnight.

Also, "exposing low-income households to the same availability and prices experienced by high-income households" does not mean that healthy food is equally affordable for poor people. It still costs more. Might as well ask why poor people don't eat salmon often when there's a perfectly good fish market in their neighborhood selling it for $20 per pound, down the road from the place that sells a pound of hot dogs for one dollar.

That all said, there are healthy foods that are affordable. Brown rice, beans, eggs, frozen vegetables. Try eating those things if you're looking at the avocados and salads, thinking it's cheaper to just eat potato chips and hot dogs.
 
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