Foodies on food stamps
From Whole Paycheck to Whole Food Stamp.
There's provocative story in Salon headlined, "Hipsters on food stamps." Subhed: "They're young, they're broke, and they pay for organic salmon with government subsidies. Got a problem with that?"
The story happens to open with two, young, underemployed Baltimoreans who use their food stamps at the farmers' market and Whole Foods. She, an art-school grad whose museum-installation work has dried up, gets $150 a month in nutrition assistance. He, a University of Chicago alum and part-time blogger, gets $200 a month.
"'I'm sort of a foodie, and I'm not going to do the 'living off ramen' thing,' he [blogger Gerry Mak] said, fondly remembering a recent meal he'd prepared of roasted rabbit with butter, tarragon and sweet potatoes. 'I used to think that you could only get processed food and government cheese on food stamps, but it's great that you can get anything.'
"Think of it as the effect of a grinding recession crossed with the epicurean tastes of young people as obsessed with food as previous generations were with music and sex. Faced with lingering unemployment, 20- and 30-somethings with college degrees and foodie standards are shaking off old taboos about who should get government assistance and discovering that government benefits can indeed be used for just about anything edible, including wild-caught fish, organic asparagus and triple-crème cheese."
I wouldn't wish a Ramen-noodle diet on anyone, but triple-crème? Not my idea of government cheese.
Sun photo by Doug Kapustin