Skip to comments.Mario Batali takes ‘Food Stamp challenge’? What challenge?
Posted on 05/19/2012 1:18:07 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Its admirable that Mario Batali, owner of the most expensive restaurant on the planet Earth, cares that everyone has enough to eat. To prove he caresthat he is down with the 1% (the bottom 1% that is)Batali has carefully lowered himself down into the gutter (actually, for him I believe the gutter is up) with the 1 in 7 American families on Food Stamps so that he can walk a mile in their diet.
In a paean to the portly chef and his magnanimity, the Associated Press writes:
The chef, his wife and their two teenage sons are eating for a week on the equivalent of a food stamp budget in protest of potential cuts pending in Congress to the benefit program used by more than 46 million Americans.
Thats $31 per person for the week, or about $1.48 per meal each.
Goodbye restaurants, free nibbles on his talk show The Chew and all the luxe offerings at Eataly, the high-end New York City market he co-owns. Hello, Trader Joes, Jacks Dollar Store, Gristedes and Western Beef, a low-cost supermarket chain.
What a guy! I could mention here that Batali was considerably less charitable to his own employees whose tips he helped himself to (they subsequently sued him and his partner, Joe Bastianich, and won a $3.9 million settlement), but that would be off-topic.
The important thing here is that Batali is, in his own words, starving. (Relevant science question: How long does it take a beached whale to starve?) Not only is he finding it difficult to sustain his girth on a buck-and-a-half per meal, but hes also having to make do without organic and pesticide- and hormone-free food. The organic word, he told AP, slides out and saves you about 50 percent.
Lets not forget that hes dragged his kids into this. So how are the poor little dears holding out? Says their dad:
Theyre having more peanut butter and jelly than theyve had in the last 10 years because bread is inexpensive and peanut butter and jelly, if you buy it at the right place at the right time, is cheap.
I love pb & j and have it for lunch most weekends, even though I earn a decent living. Whats more is we buy extra-virgin olive oil at the aforementioned Trader Joes, do the bulk of our shopping at the aforementioned Gristedes, and my wife frequently brings home some amazing bargains from the aforementioned Jacks Dollar Store. One of my favorite dishes to cook is arroz com pollo, for which I use whole chicken thighs ($1.99 a pound), a large Spanish onion, a green pepper, a cup of rice, and assorted seasonings. The dish feeds a family of four for around $5, or $1.25 apiece. I dont do this out of dire necessity but, rather, because I enjoy eating simple, wholesome food most of the time. Anyone who sets his mind to it can do the same.
The article goes on to note that Batali is on the board(!) of Food Bank for New York City, which issued the challenge. Margarette Purvis, who heads the organization, laments:
Nearly 3 million New Yorkers have difficulty paying for the food they need. They live in every single neighborhood. Were not trying to compare the food stamp challenge to the very real challenges people face. Were just trying to raise awareness that its no longer just the homeless. Its working families who use the food stamp program. Its seniors. Its a lot more children, in every single neighborhood.
Id be happy to share other recipes with hungry New Yorkers on Food Stamps. All of the meals can be cooked for under $1.48 per person. If these families choose instead to dine at McDonalds, as so many do, they can expect their expenditure per person to triple or quadruple. Or they can splurge on a single 12-course Collezione Grand Tasting at Batalis restaurant, but then they will be forced to fast for the entire year following.
How about showing people how to make their own pasta for much less than store bought pasta? How to use bargain cuts of meat, how to end the cycle of box meals and live better?
Nope, instead he chooses to emulate how he believes poor people should eat.
Yet another opportunity to educate people wasted.
Bingo! He intentionally wishes to fail, thus "demonstrating" that $1.48 per meal isn't enough.
I eat for less than $1.48 per meal - everyday!
I quit eating the processed crap that passes as food, don’t eat anything frozen, and 75% of my food intake is fresh and organic. It is not hard to do, but you do have to actually cook. I do eat meat or fish once a day as well, and my per meal average cost is still in the $1.05 to $1.20 range.
I lost over 100 lbs in 6mos by eating real, whole foods and am healthier than I have been since high school. Convenience crap is killing us all - I wish I had figured it out 20 years ago!
Fast food is amazingly expensive, too. I go to lunch at Farmer Boy’s and get a cheeseburger for $4 and pepsi for $2 (they really rip you off on drinks). I go to BJ’s Brewhouse and get a sandwich and cocktail and it is $20 plus tip.
I cook a pot of stew, spaghetti sauce, beef stroghanof, stir-fry meat and vegs, etc. once a week and get 8 meals out of a dish that costs $10 total to cook. But cooking for one person means I’m sick of eating the same four meals over and over for a month.
I could eat better and cheaper if I didn’t go stir crazy and need to get out of the house once in a while.
How much is dirt? Free.
How much is a wooden pallet you can pull out of almost any dumpster in almost any business district in America? Free.
Build a planter or planters. Plant tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, beans, peppers, herbs, etc. This is something almost any apartment dweller can do.
In no time at all you’ll be eating on a lot less than $1.48 per meal, and eating all you can eat. And “eating healthy” to boot.
Buy olive oil, condiments, spices, rice, dairy products, chicken (at less than $2/lb) on sale at the supermarket or at a discount grocer.
Food is essentially free in America. Clean water is free and abundant. There is no reason for anyone to be hungry in America, or to have dysentery. But don’t tell elites like Batalia that.
Don’t tell them that people actually do starve to death by the millions in N. Korea or are severely malnourished and forced to drink water contaminated with raw sewage in any number of socialist hellholes around the world.
According to the narative, America is supposed to be an evil cold-hearted country of awful, selfish, rich demons who, despite only making up 1% of the population are successfully engaged in a sinister plot to starve the other 99% to death.
Cry for the poor 99% who are helpless to do anything about it.
Food stamps were never intended to supply ALL the food for a family but to supplement the grocery budget. When did it change?
This is life in Obamaville.
I think Mario could “flywheel” through a week of food stamps by just living off of his stored fat.
$1.48/person per meal?
That one of these cracker packs per meal, per person:
Now could you live on $3 per meal ($9 per day) on food you cook yourself rather than restaurant food? Easily. You might have to skip the arugula with gourmet dressing and just eat iceberg lettuce with Kraft dressing for you salad - like 90% of the rest of the people in the country. And baked potatoes ($3 for a ten pound bag recently at the grocery), beans, rice andchicken ($0.79-$0.99 recently on sale) will show up a lot more often.
Democrat politicians know that no one has time to envy their neighbors on an empty stomach.
Considering that poor school aged children receive breakfast, lunch, and in some areas even dinner at school for free, then children only need to be fed on weekends.
$100 bucks a week for 3 people?
I could do that and still buy a box-’o- Brass every other week!
Food is cheap IF you know what/where/how to buy. As many post, the “day-old” bakery section, the “bruises and bumps” veggies and the “last-day-of-sale” meats are fabulous bargains. Perfectly good food that people turn their collective noses up at.
Food or Brass . . . Food or Brass . . .
A tear came to my I when I read about the sacrifice of Chef Batali. What a man! I recovered swiftly however. For those who have the stomach, check out “It’s Free Swipe Yo EBT” on You Tube. The Electronic Benefit Transfer are an improvement over Food Stamps. “A Los Angeles Times report also found California’s poor spent $69 million from January 2007 through May 2010 using their EBT cards on at least 14 cruise ships sailing from Miami and other ports, at Florida’s Walt Disney World, in Hawaii and Guam (!), and at hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.”
As much as I enjoy my garden, doubt it is cost effective.
The local produce mart has so much for less then 75¢ a pound.
Most of the low income group lack the discipline to shop or cook much less grow some vegetables.
Through many government polices we have conditioned them not to think ahead.