Food Stamped

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When I moved out on my own for college, I had this fantastic – I thought – idea about how to feed myself in the lean times. I would buy a 25 pound bag of beans and eat from it whenever I was hungry.

Pinto beans were my main staple for quite some time, off and on for a couple of years, actually. I cooked them with herbs I had been gifted, a housewarming gift in a lazy Susan type rack from Mervyn’s. I’d get so tired of some herbs, I’d range out and create awful combos that I still had to eat. I cooked them with my meager supply of salt. I cooked them with packets of ramen and added them to scrambled eggs.

I no longer cook pinto beans. Well over a dozen years later, the thought still turns my stomach. Be that as it may, those beans kept me from starving, but it sure wasn’t the healthiest way to live.

“Food Stamped” explores that extreme of not having much for a food budget. A married couple, the wife a nutrition teacher at elementary schools, decided to eat on a standard allotment of food stamp money for a week. Their only goals were to try to eat as healthy as possible, avoid processed food, and try to buy organic when possible.

Their journey to understand what so many families struggle with on a daily basis is at times amusing and at others sobering. So many people try to make their allowance last by buying the cheapest, and most unhealthy, food available. Others may focus on lentils – or even pinto beans. Is it really possible to eat enough healthy calories on a food stamp budget? Find out on Friday, February 17 at 7:00 p.m. Food Film Fridays are held in BriarPatch’s Community Room.

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