Is It Fair To Criticize Gwyneth Paltrow for Her $29 SNAP Buy?

Gwyneth Paltrow takes Food Stamp Challenge – Featured image with Gwyneth Paltrow:
cc 2013 J.J. Georges via Wikipedia.

By Heather Callaghan

Cuts, cuts, everywhere cuts. Despite U.S. spending on wars, including the war on drugs, militarizing police, bail outs and Wall St’s predatory speculation and what they do to derivatives – whatever the hell those are – apparently, the entire Internet is supposed to hiss at the people who receive “benefits” and “entitlements.” That wording if funny coming from those who produce nothing (the derivatives lovers) or politicians who work for us for hefty paychecks. It denotes a privilege, yet the majority of recipients have paid into it. Have people forgotten that we are in the middle of one of the worst global recessions? Some would say Depression?

Let’s not forget who the controllers are, but who gets bailed out by us, pays nothing to tank the economy, and the candy jar they’ve got their hand in is three times bigger than so-called welfare. Hint: they do something with derivatives. (some of you might have thought the government and would have a fair point too – so is it fair to listen to them and punish others?)

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People who like to pull the rug on the poor have never experienced hunger. They are chasing their shadow and don’t acknowledge that their deep fear is that it might be them someday – and it can be. Hunger is real. In fact, it could be downright deadly. Cuts without any type of legitimate help or replacement equals hunger, crime and genocide. People should also ponder why it’s increasingly illegal to feed the hungry and try to answer the question of what will become of them. Sure, people will do what they can until their world crumbles, but at a certain point they must either submit to crap GMO tummy-filler or none at all.

Gwyneth Paltrow has unwittingly pointed this out recently.

That’s why I think she deserves at least few hand claps for giving it her best shot when she shopped for a week’s worth of groceries on $29 of SNAP benefits. I don’t think she was being smug or “out of touch” with the poor like the New York elites who recently feasted on gourmet garbage. Oh no, she was merely bravely fulfilling a request the way she knew how.

Chef Mario Batali chose her for the challenge. And you see, the goal was to fail… There was no winning. She was going to take the fall to point out the obvious. That no one can really sustain themselves on SNAP. It’s eat empty packaged food or starve. I’ve seen extraordinary and creative endeavors, but they were extraordinary and not indicative of the average reality. If I were trying to help someone on a budget we would get creative to get them energy and vitamins.

There’s no way Paltrow could please anyone with her purchases. I’ve seen what SNAP buys – it can buy a lot of junk and I understand why that is what people buy. No one wants to starve. A SNAP card is a tummy-filler card, nothing else…And yes, after awhile rice and beans becomes tummy-filler.

Mother Jones couldn’t resist a punch:

Paltrow is not demonstrating what SNAP will get you – she’s demonstrating what $29 at a grocery store will get – anyone at a grocery store!

So, would people have been happy if Paltrow tweeted 20 boxes of Mac & Cheese? No, then she’d be called a Judas. Wouldn’t the critics buy eggs and beans on top of bologna and noodles? She chose nutrient dense foods and unfortunately a person would still starve on them despite the vitamins and minerals. Interestingly, The Frisky put together a list of what one could do on that budget and survive. However, I know that a person can’t do that at Bilo.

While now is the time to get creative and extraordinary with your health and food, I’m also getting tired of people saying “there’s always a way” to eat such and such diet or eat organic. Just grow your own. At a certain point there just isn’t. There is a way – until there isn’t. The times of extreme stress and need. And that’s what we need to be vigilant about. It picks people off like a wolf until there’s no one left with enough energy and resources to do something.

Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t insensitive. We are, if we allow the Internet to make us go on a witch hunt against the hungry. If we say “I’m all right, Jack, but you can take off.”

Yes, let’s March Against Monsanto, let’s grow food!, let’s change the industry, protect small farms that get attacked by corporaments and pursue aquaponics. But we need more than that to feed America considering that family farms continue to crumble. We need more than consumer dollars to withstand corporate/federal control of the entire food system. The food system is always intertwined with the economy. Neither can be taken for granted and nor can it be taken for granted that a backyard garden could completely feed a person, just as SNAP leaves people malnourished.

Go after the ones who won’t let you feed the hungry. Go after the ones who take food from babies. Get mad at corporate welfare – an absurd thing we can’t afford. Pick one and study them. Then make your demands.

h/t: Reverbpress

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.

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