Monday, July 13, 2009

Speaking of gardens

One of my tennis partners gave me these. She grew them in her garden, and they are simply divine. Seriously the best tomatoes I have ever had. Supermarkets are totally gypping consumers. It's an education in itself to taste these things and ponder the complexities of the American food industry.

In one of the very first EDTE classes I took, we had to do a final project on community resources. My group went to Southside Park. Another group went to the local WIC store, where families can buy supplies using food stamps or that WIC cash - which may or may not be the same thing, I still don't quite understand that system very well. Better study up on it.

In any case, the WIC store stocked milk, baby formula, and other essentials of that like. It also stocked cereal, boxed and packaged products, and frozen foods. Not a single piece of fresh produce in sight. For the families of my students who rely solely on food stamps to feed themselves, they may rarely, if ever, get anything like the just-off-the-vine tomatoes.

And thus, here we have another mobius strip of questionable morals. Poor families may not receive optimum nutrition, which means their children go to school - perhaps not exactly hungry, but still slightly deficient in terms of nutrition. Which doesn't make much difference in the short term, but over years and years there's bound to be some health implications. Which means these children grow to be students who may not perform as well as they would at school, certainly not as a direct result of under-nourishment, but it is a factor. Which then provides them with limited opportunities in life after school. Which leaves them in the dust when it comes to earning a decent living. Which after some time creates other poor families. And thus, the cycle of poverty continues.

Note: sure, this is a very simplistic view. And there are many other things involved too. Nevertheless, one can't say it DOESN'T happen, so I stand by what I mean.

And yet there are students who work extra hard and are able to take their circumstances as an advantage rather than an unfortunate statistic. Just as there are wealthy students take their privilege for granted and blow it off on a meaningless life of selfish pursuits. People are unpredictable like that.


Hedgetoad said...

WIC is only meant to supplement food for the children or pregnant mother to ensure vital nutrients are recieved. There is very little in the way of variety.

The food is basically dairy products, cereal and "protein" in the form of eggs, peanut butter or red/white/kidney beans. Also, fruit juice (grape or apple). The exact items are printed on each check that can be used. They are also dated, so the recipient cannot use all checks at the same time. Dairy consists of formula for infants; milk or cheese. Cereal is either infant cereal or a limited selection of non-sugary breakfast cereals.

bun2bon said...

Thanks for the info!