8

votes

Paleo and social responsibilities

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 27, 2011 at 3:51 PM

One of my classes is involved in an ongoing food collection campaign for poor elementary students. We're supposed to bring in items for them and it started me thinking about poverty and the standard American diet, as well as the implications of our actions in regards to our belief systems.

The items collected for food drives are almost entirely low(er) quality than paleo principles recommend. Most of them are highly processed and derived from neolethal (stole that from someone on here) foods (e.g. wheat).

While grains are obviously a few steps above starvation, do paleo minded people have a responsibility to provide paleo friendly foods in these situations? Would it be hypocritical of me to take a box of ramen noodles? Am I endorsing the legitimacy of foods as a nutritional choice by providing it to someone, or does it come with an opt-out of (1) they still choose to eat it, and (2) it's better than the alternative of nothingness. Do I have a responsibility to only give things to others that I would eat myself?

Outside of canned vegetables, nuts, and jerky, what kind of long-lasting in storage, food-drive-friendly foods would fit the paleo lifestyle?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 03:47 AM

+1 for listing some possible items. I wondered not about what people would eat but what the food drive would accept as a food donation. Most don't want fresh food donations or any of the other fresh stuff paleos eat. I especially like the idea of nut butters and canned tuna. Both good options that SAD people might try and like and not have to learn to cook to eat.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:52 PM

I agree with Jess. Tuna is a staple. Brown rice can go a long way. Sorry to say this but pasta isn't horrible. I grew up poor and we had to go to the food pantry. My mom could feed us for days on pasta. We were just grateful to have something in our bellies. We sometimes went a few days with no food. You need to know that at a point, anything is appreciated.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:33 PM

And generally speaking, people don't get to choose what they take home from the pantry. So even if that coconut oil you donated somehow serendipitously ends up in the hands of a 'healthy eater', the likelihood of it being used is slim. Very slim. It's a conundrum for sure. I really don't mean to sound so cynical... it's just that lot of poor people 'round my hood eat flamin' hot cheetos for breakfast.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:30 PM

Generally speaking, people don't get to choose what they take home from the pantry. So even if that coconut oil you donated somehow serendipitously ends up in the hands of a 'healthy eater', the likelihood of it being used is slim. Very slim. It's a conundrum for sure. I really don't mean to sound so cynical... it's just that lot of people 'round my hood eat flamin' hot cheetos for breakfast.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:29 PM

I agree with Jess too, but what exactly is nutritionally sound that comes in a package, and might really get used by a conscientious family? Canned fish? Ok. I bet theyre going to want some bread and mayo to eat with that. Do you think they want the $6 non-soy mayo? No, they do not. They want Kraft (low-fat).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:28 PM

I agree with Jess too, but what exactly *is* nutritionally sound that comes in a package, *and* might really *get used* by a conscientious family? Canned fish? Ok. I bet their going to want some white bread and mayo to eat with that. Do you think they want the $6 non-soy mayo? No, they do not. They want Kraft (Low-fat).

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:25 PM

Thank you for the end hunger information. Did not know about that. Shared it with my professor/class. Maybe the university can forge a connection.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:21 PM

I appreciate your thoughts. I'd like to think you're wrong, but the cynic in me thinks you're probably pretty close. That's part of my problem: if I give paleo foods, it still wouldn't make a difference in their everyday diet, and I could give much more non-paleo. I think your critics (jess and Shari) are probably right too: little things could make a difference, and most people care about improving their health, at least theoretically. Too bad most people are propagandized a la SAD.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:16 PM

We are essentially the food pantry. My professor started collecting food for students she would see when she visited schools and delivering it directly to the schools to distribute to the students. Students take it to their homes. I like the idea of tuna and wild rice. I can't afford such things either.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 27, 2011
at 08:41 PM

Thanks Eric for asking a great question. This is something I've struggled with as well so I appreciate the discussion.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 27, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I agree with jess 100%. There are people concerned about healthy eating in every socioeconomic class. Give good quality food and know that it will do some good for someone.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:32 PM

I hate hate hate this reasoning. I agree - it's very true of the vast majority of people utilizing these programs. But there are people who cannot utilize food distribution programs because there is so little there that they can or want to eat (is it worth it to wait in line for hours for a single can of tuna?). Why not give with these people in mind? It's HARD to raise a family with good nutrition while low income, and doing what you can to support those who are conscientious enough to make nutrition a priority can help break the cycle.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:16 PM

true true true. poor people want the 'food' they see on tv. just like rich people.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Good Lawd, I think this is an unfortunate, and yet very spot on comment.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 27, 2011
at 05:01 PM

If that was the issue, wouldn't it be faster, cheaper, and easier to lace them with actual poison?

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on June 27, 2011
at 04:40 PM

A question that makes me think yet I don't have an answer for. We can't solve the world's hunger issues (even in our own back yards) but we can give what we can in the immediate situation. Most of us here are truly lucky/blessed to be able to pick and choose our foods that we feel is optimal to our health. Others must live by what they can get. I would give rice, tuna, canned vegetables I guess and hope that these folks can get out of their situations at some point and have the luxury of choosing better food for them when they can.

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5 Answers

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4
11dff0119e8ca2babb4acf40a5ef6ac4

(233)

on June 27, 2011
at 04:32 PM

I've had family here for the last week--my husband's niece and her 2 kids.

Consider this: I cook supper for everyone in this household (normally 7; this week 10). I regularly serve a meat and 2 vegetables. Our visitors pick at the meat, won't touch any veggie other than potatoes, and consider ketchup a vegetable. They drink soda and "juice" drinks non-stop throughout the day, and have potato chips, cookies/donuts/etc, and individual bags of chex mix to munch on.

You might feel bad about giving something to a charity that you don't even consider to be food, but if what I see in family and classmates from school is the norm, then what are the chances that what you would like to give would actually end up in the hands of someone who would eat it? Most people eat crap. I've had the experience more than once this year where I've served meals of real food, only to have our "guests" run right out and grab their bags of crap and bottles of sugar, because that's what they want. That's what they consider to be food.

Give whatever makes you feel better, but seriously, most people don't eat like you do.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Good Lawd, I think this is an unfortunate, and yet very spot on comment.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:33 PM

And generally speaking, people don't get to choose what they take home from the pantry. So even if that coconut oil you donated somehow serendipitously ends up in the hands of a 'healthy eater', the likelihood of it being used is slim. Very slim. It's a conundrum for sure. I really don't mean to sound so cynical... it's just that lot of poor people 'round my hood eat flamin' hot cheetos for breakfast.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:16 PM

true true true. poor people want the 'food' they see on tv. just like rich people.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:30 PM

Generally speaking, people don't get to choose what they take home from the pantry. So even if that coconut oil you donated somehow serendipitously ends up in the hands of a 'healthy eater', the likelihood of it being used is slim. Very slim. It's a conundrum for sure. I really don't mean to sound so cynical... it's just that lot of people 'round my hood eat flamin' hot cheetos for breakfast.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 27, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I agree with jess 100%. There are people concerned about healthy eating in every socioeconomic class. Give good quality food and know that it will do some good for someone.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 27, 2011
at 11:52 PM

I agree with Jess. Tuna is a staple. Brown rice can go a long way. Sorry to say this but pasta isn't horrible. I grew up poor and we had to go to the food pantry. My mom could feed us for days on pasta. We were just grateful to have something in our bellies. We sometimes went a few days with no food. You need to know that at a point, anything is appreciated.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:32 PM

I hate hate hate this reasoning. I agree - it's very true of the vast majority of people utilizing these programs. But there are people who cannot utilize food distribution programs because there is so little there that they can or want to eat (is it worth it to wait in line for hours for a single can of tuna?). Why not give with these people in mind? It's HARD to raise a family with good nutrition while low income, and doing what you can to support those who are conscientious enough to make nutrition a priority can help break the cycle.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:28 PM

I agree with Jess too, but what exactly *is* nutritionally sound that comes in a package, *and* might really *get used* by a conscientious family? Canned fish? Ok. I bet their going to want some white bread and mayo to eat with that. Do you think they want the $6 non-soy mayo? No, they do not. They want Kraft (Low-fat).

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:21 PM

I appreciate your thoughts. I'd like to think you're wrong, but the cynic in me thinks you're probably pretty close. That's part of my problem: if I give paleo foods, it still wouldn't make a difference in their everyday diet, and I could give much more non-paleo. I think your critics (jess and Shari) are probably right too: little things could make a difference, and most people care about improving their health, at least theoretically. Too bad most people are propagandized a la SAD.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:29 PM

I agree with Jess too, but what exactly is nutritionally sound that comes in a package, and might really get used by a conscientious family? Canned fish? Ok. I bet theyre going to want some bread and mayo to eat with that. Do you think they want the $6 non-soy mayo? No, they do not. They want Kraft (low-fat).

3
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 27, 2011
at 04:31 PM

I've pondered this as well. It occurs to me that you could give sealed coconut, nuts, butters, and oils. Since I can't afford such things, I would give cans of tuna, bags of rice (better than wheat at least), and chicken stock.

Even better, if you can give cash, the food pantries use it to buy fresh meats, dairy, and veggies.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:16 PM

We are essentially the food pantry. My professor started collecting food for students she would see when she visited schools and delivering it directly to the schools to distribute to the students. Students take it to their homes. I like the idea of tuna and wild rice. I can't afford such things either.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 03:47 AM

+1 for listing some possible items. I wondered not about what people would eat but what the food drive would accept as a food donation. Most don't want fresh food donations or any of the other fresh stuff paleos eat. I especially like the idea of nut butters and canned tuna. Both good options that SAD people might try and like and not have to learn to cook to eat.

1
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on June 27, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Canned meats and fish are what come to mind other than what you mentioned. I would also have a problem giving SAD food.

0
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 27, 2011
at 06:06 PM

I would ask the food bank you are collecting for. Shelf stable is a real challenge with real food.

On the plus side it looks like food banks in your area are getting perishable food donations from walmart as part of their big end hunger program.

I am told one of the challenges in using these food donations is that they take more time and skill to prepare, you might be able to make a meaningful know how and time contribution to make real food that is already donated actually accessible.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 09:25 PM

Thank you for the end hunger information. Did not know about that. Shared it with my professor/class. Maybe the university can forge a connection.

0
0dccd5cecfbb8a934d39689b11a66a45

on June 27, 2011
at 04:36 PM

Robb Wolfe said to give them the grains and help the population problem!

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 27, 2011
at 05:01 PM

If that was the issue, wouldn't it be faster, cheaper, and easier to lace them with actual poison?

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