What Happened to Gwyneth After Her SNAP Challenge
The SNAP Challenge “encourages participants to experience what life is like for millions of low-income Americans living on the average daily allowance of only $4.15!” It’s aimed to demonstrate the real problem of American hunger and supposed to foster some cross-class compassion, but is also being exploited by those who believe in “welfare queens” in order to shame poor people about what they buy at the grocery store.
The actress and rich-people lifestyle guru participated in the so-called SNAP Challenge:
This is what $29 gets you at the grocery store—what families on SNAP (i.e. food stamps) have to live on for a week. pic.twitter.com/OZMPA3nxij
— Gwyneth Paltrow (@GwynethPaltrow) April 9, 2015
Chiefly I was bothered as I do not read what Gwyneth Paltrow writes about in order to see her connect to the common man. Gwyneth Paltrow is a window into esoteric rich people stuff that I, frankly, like knowing about. I mean how else would I have ever heard about Korean vagina steams?
Apparently, to feed a family for a week on SNAP Ms. Paltrow would buy:
- seven(!) limes
- an avocado
- one dozen eggs
- a bag of black beans
- a bag of brown rice
- frozen peas
- one sweet potato
- one yellow onion
- one tomato
- one head of garlic
- one jalepeno
- a bunch of parsley
- one corn on the cob
- one head Romaine lettuce
- some kale
- pita bread (?)
- and one bunch green onions.
Needless to say Twitter responded by dragging out-of-touch Gwyneth on how poorly she stretched that $29. I mean, the limes, really? So many limes. But her intention seems to be to point out how little that actually is and making a weeks worth of food with that for an entire family would be extremely difficult.
I think what was annoying to most is this tweet recalled those disingenuous memes where they pretend it’s cheaper to buy organic produce than buy fast food. Sure, it’s kind of possible if you can buy one leaf of lettuce at a time and completely ignore the labor/time that goes into cooking. But that’s not how shit works and I suspect those memes simply exist for “healthy” people to feel superior. After all, it’s easier to blame poor people for morally failing to buy healthy food than it is to accept that the Just World Hypothesis just doesn’t pan out and it is actually more difficult to eat nutritiously on a shoestring budget.
But what made me a bit sad is that things devolved into an epic frugal-off where people were all competing to see who could spend $29 in ways that would provide the most meals. I am known for being frugal myself to the point of absurdity and have had to make due a month or twenty with just canned tuna and rice (pretty sure I gave myself mercury poisoning one of those times.) But this reaction is a disservice because, as far as I am concerned, it is a good thing that someone like Gwyneth can’t imagine having to live like that because I want families to have more money than that in their weekly SNAP accounts. I don’t want them to have to stretch things to such an extreme degree.
Instead of simply mocking easy-target Gwyneth for all the rich, white wrongs of the world, maybe just keep our ability to stretch a dollar a secret and proverbially pat her head and say, “yes Gwynnie, can I call you Gwynnie? Ok good. Yes it is entirely too little for a family to survive on and please tell all of your wealthy, powerful friends how atrocious it is. Maybe even set up your own food fund. You know it’d probably be good publicity and what is it like hanging out with Beyonce?”
Anything to move away from this bullshit policing of poor people’s shopping carts.