Monday, October 22, 2012

Food Fight

During an election year I have to wonder how much of what people say is based on emotion and what is based on reason.  I'm just as guilty, for sure, of being emotional about statements I and others make.  Today someone wrote on Facebook, "I've been amazed---and, frankly, appalled!---at how many people who take advantage of the food stamps system don't know that food producing plants and seeds can be obtained with food stamps". 

I wrote in response, "I think many people who use food stamps live in cities on a small plot or have no land at all and can't grow their own food. Not all of us can do this. If only they could find a way to barter for local, healthy food. It's not always as easy as you may think. It's important to keep an open mind. I'm extremely lucky to have almost everything I eat grown right here. Not everyone has this luxury, I understand that. Those of us who can afford it should have compassion for those who can't. Maybe they'd learn something from you about healthy eating." 

This person and I do not agree on this apparently.  At times I think I might be a snob about how James and I live and eat.  I hope I don't come across as holier-than-thou.  I know this lifestyle isn't for everyone.  We certainly haven't figured out how to do this on-the-cheap.  I'd like to think (maybe wrongly) that folks who get food stamps, at least a good number of them, truly need it.  Most likely they don't have money or time or opportunity to spend planting, harvesting, feeding animals, etc. 

I don't think there's any reason to be "appalled" that folks don't know their food stamps can be used for seeds and plants.  If that's appalling, then maybe it's appalling that some people have never planted arugula and artichokes. It seems to me only people who garden would even think about using food stamps or dollars for seeds.  For those of us who get angry about this, maybe we should try educating folks on food stamps, arugula and artichokes. Maybe we can all learn something.  Kumbaya........


  1. I was on food stamps back in 1979, giving in to pressure from a boyfriend who was familiar with 'the system' to take advantage of it. I think I lasted a month on them; Just didn't feel right to me. Flash forward to 2005 when we moved to VA from Fl--third month without finding work found us on food stamps again. We were on them for about five months, but it never would have occurred to me that you could use them for seeds--I don't think it is a 'promoted' usage. That said, when things got bad again a few years ago, I invested in chickens and a garden instead of applying for any assistance. We live and we learn. And we should all try to temper our emotions with clear thinking--but it's so hard! :O)

  2. I don't know if it matters if people using food stamps know that they can buy seeds with food stamps. I am sure the food stamps don't go far enough to buy food let alone seed. Fortunately, one can usually find free food and seed so that helps.

    I am excited that everyone here will be able to check out seed at the library next year and bring some seed back if they would like.

  3. Mary Pannabecker SteinerOctober 26, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    What I find sad is that only a handful of farmer's markets accept food stamps. It's not easy to get approval but one in a small town near us does accept them. Imagine what that could do for those on food stamps -- at least in rural areas.

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE your Donkeys! Kiss them on the soft nose for me:) and thanks so much for sharing with all of us:)