A while back a friend of ours gave us a bag of their USDA Pinto beans. I will not name them, because they would probably get in trouble for giving away any extra they had gotten. If you don’t know what I am talking about, they are the free ones the US Department of Agriculture gives to local governments to pass out to the poor. Which is a really cool idea, in theory. Well I decided to cook them today… WOW it is amazingly sad what we give to the poor. In two cups of beans, I found 5 or 6 stones, many sticks, and other unidentifiable debre. I had to sort through them one by one, they were so dirty that my hands were filthy when I was done, as if I was digging up potatoes! Pinto beans grow above ground I thought?… When I went to rinse them, the water turned dark with mud. They all looked and smelled a bit funny too. I gave up and threw them away. Which if you know me, says a lot, because I hate to waste food. I got out a bag regular cheap beans, and started them soaking, they had no rocks, were clean, and smelled like beans. Think about it, we are giving Americas poorest people food that is of such low quality it can cause health issues. What if some poor consumer missed a rock? They could easily take out a tooth! Then how would they fix it? If they have no money to buy beans, I am sure they have no money to get a tooth fixed!
I know its a free service the government offers to the really poor, and the department of agriculture probably means well, but can we have at least some standards? The supper cheap no brand beans I can get at the grocery store are 10 times better! I can only imagine how the butter and eggs are… I believe access to safe, decent quality food should be something everyone can have. I am not saying fancy, expensive food, or even snack food, but rather healthful basics. Organic foods should not be just for the upper class ether, our government should stop subsidizing corn syrup and help out the small farmer. Ok I am getting off subject, but I think what government intervention has made cheap in the market, has effected what the poor get or can afford. So it is kind of related.
Before I step off my soap box, I want to point out that the nations health is directly connected to what we eat. I would venture to say that 80% of health issues, and in turn costs, come from what we eat. I could(and can if anyone would like the info) quote statistics on the rising cost of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and many other diet related diseases. Lets face it, those who have the least health care or none at all also eat the poorest. If so many Americans are so worried about the cost of making sure everyone is covered with healthcare, maybe they should look at the main reason health of the poor is so bad. What they eat.
Ok stepping off my soap box.