#AskJamieOliver turned into ,”Hey, Jamie…how am I supposed to eat like that when I’m poor?”

The hashtag #AskJamieOliver on Twitter didn’t go so well for Jamie the other day. I think the tweet chat Q & A was supposed to be to promote his new show but it ended up being a chance for people to call him out on real food privilege . Well, that and to generally mock him.

I’ll just get this sordid confession out of the way right now: I kinda like Jamie Oliver.

I think he means well. I know,I know. Meaning well doesn’t count for much.  I live in an area immersed with food snobs who are also bleeding heart liberals. They’ll dine together over local,organic meals while passionately discussing the plight of poor people. They think they get it but they don’t and they think that by just talking about all these poor people things, they’re being good people. Being good isn’t always the same as doing good…and “doing good” can sometimes end up being a poorly executed maneuver if you don’t have a full understanding of what you’re trying to fix.

This is the main problem with Jamie Oliver.  He is in a perfect position to shed light on and change an oppressive food system but he needs to learn how to do so without shaming those who are struggling with real life problems. He needs a dose of reality and really needs to listen to his critics here.

There were some great snarky and pointed tweets the other day…
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But my favorite tweets related to Jamie Oliver the other day  was a series of tweets by @RhymesWithJen . She summed up what I talked about in The Reasons Poor People Don’t Eat Healthy  a bit more succinctly (140 characters per point,you know) . I always feel like the points are worth reiterating . The people who have had negative critique of the points usually say I’m “making excuses for poor people”, instead of recognizing that it really is that way. For real. We’re not making this stuff up.

(Oh,language advisory here. I didn’t edit out the cursing. I know I was supposed to make this blog more PG Friendly but meh…I hate censoring)


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9 thoughts on “#AskJamieOliver turned into ,”Hey, Jamie…how am I supposed to eat like that when I’m poor?”

  1. Jamie runs an upscale restaurant and while he might have a foodie bent at times (pines nuts and panchetta) his message is Home Cooked Meals and empowering people to cook.

    I wrote a post about fast food v. home cooked prices. http://wp.me/sATnc-3325. It’s simply not true that fast food and junk food is cheaper then fresh healthier home cooked meals.

    Compare a bag of potatoes v. the same price/weight of chips. Compare box cereals v. grains and beans (rice, oats, flour, wheat, corn meal). Even the cheapest on sale cereal is more than whole grain, even organic every time.

  2. Chefbrian1, I have no idea where you’re from, or anything about you. But I know that where I am living in Harlem, NY, that is definitely UNTRUE. It’s much cheaper to buy store-brand pasta, store-brand sauce, and store-brand cereal than it is to buy enough fruit, veg, and whole grains to keep me as full as those other things will, for as long. And when I have less than $15/week to spend on food, you can bet yer blog that I’m gonna buy the cheaper food that keeps me fuller longer, and lasts longer in my pantry. I’ve eaten only pasta for dinner for the last two or three weeks, because that’s what I can afford right now. Don’t you dare tell me I should be eating nothing but bananas. That’s crazy. Even you would think that’s crazy!
    I’d love to eat organically. I’d love to eat balanced meals. But I can’t, right now. I have $15/week, maximum, for all grocery needs. The whole grain cereal at the shop up the street is $6 a box. Their store brand cereal is $1.99. I’m buying the store brand.
    I would love to know what I’m eating. But it’s a little bit more important that I eat at all.
    I bought at $1 box of strawberries off the street the other day when the bodega down the street was having a blowout. I was really excited to eat it– I hadn’t been able to afford fresh fruit last time I went to the store, because other supplies came first on the list. That box of strawberries last me two days, because they had already started to turn by day two, otherwise I would have tried to make them last longer. It was nice to have something fresh, but that same dollar could have bought me a packet of pasta to last two weeks. I still can’t decide if I made the right choice.

  3. Cat and I relate. Spent large part of my twenties living near 149th st and Third ave in the Bronx. Fresh fruits or vegetables at a reasonable price, is not going to happen. 6.99 for cereal and last I heard milk was near 10$ a gallon. There goes the $15.
    I live in El Paso now and althought it is actually is a desert can still grow a few thimgs a heck of a lot better than what was in the stores.

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