Mario Batali and the Food Bank for New York City recently launched the Food Stamp Challenge, in which participants limit their food budget to just $29 per person for the entire week. This challenge is an effort to raise awareness about the struggles to stay healthy on a limited budget and to showcase that low income families need more support than they are currently offered.
Gwyneth Paltrow is one celebrity who has accepted this challenge. Last week, she tweeted out a picture of the groceries she bought for the challenge after being personally nominated by Mario Batali:
That sounds pretty commendable.
Except that people lost their shit.
Basically because they hate her.
They hate the fact that she is doing the challenge at all.
Like she knows anything about poverty.
And that’s very true. Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t know anything about poverty. But isn’t that the whole point of the campaign? To raise awareness about an issue that many, many people (other than just Gwyneth) don’t know about?
The fact is that Gwyneth probably spends more than $29 on one meal, let alone for an entire week. But people other than Gwyneth also spend a lot on food. Look up the images on Twitter and Pinterest. Those aren’t $1.38 meals (which coincidentally is how much each person on food stamps has to spend.)
They hate the fact that she bought what she bought - brown rice, black beans, peas, eggs, tortillas, cilantro, limes, and fresh vegetables.
Apparently she should have bought cheese and meat and milk and peanut butter.
Right. She can’t possibly attempt to understand poverty without dairy and meat and peanut butter. Because those are obviously the cornerstones of low income living. Because Twitter said so.
As for everyone questioning why she would dare have so many limes, the premise of the challenge is that you cannot use anything in your pantry or kitchen that you already have. I’m going out on a limb here but I’m assuming the limes are for seasoning her food. Seeing as she didn’t buy any Mrs.Dash. Or maybe she just likes limes.
But really, who cares? She's the one doing the challenge. Let Gwyneth eat what Gwyneth wants to eat.
And if you think you could do better, a better idea than complaining about her would be to try it out yourself and see how far that money stretches. The real issue is that most people would have a hard time figuring out a grocery list with just $29. It’s hard to get an entire week’s worth of food for that measly sum. But once again, that’s the whole point of the challenge. To help people understand that it’s hard to get by for a week with only $29 worth of food. So I say she’s sort of awesome at demonstrating that.
They hate the fact that she’s using her celebrity to garner attention for her involvement in the challenge.
Nevermind that she’s bringing attention to a cause that most people don’t think about.
Nevermind that most people hadn’t even heard of the challenge until she tweeted about it.
Not to sound like a broken record but once again, that’s the whole point of the challenge. That she’s using her celebrity to raise awareness about an issue that most people don’t typically worry about, and she’s doing a pretty good job at it.
Because we’re thinking about it, we’re talking about it, and we’re aware of it.
The fact is that I think most people are misguided in hating Gwyneth Paltrow for this challenge. I think she’s doing a great thing. This isn’t something she had to do. She chose to do it. She chose to accept the challenge and she chose to help raise awareness for a worthy cause. I say that's goop-tastic.
Gwyneth Paltrow may have a lot more money that most people but most people have a lot more money than $1.38 per meal. So maybe it’s time to judge her a little less and maybe consciously self-reflect a little more.
Image Source: WikiCommons