Gwyneth Paltrow threw in the towel on the “Food Stamp Challenge,” an opportunity to bring awareness to the millions of people in the United States living on a paltry sum of $US31 a week to feed themselves and their families.
Paltrow, who was criticised this past weekend for using her week’s allowance to buy half a dozen limes and parsley, told readers of her lifestyle site GOOP that she couldn’t hack it.
She ended the challenge, which is supposed to last a week, after just four days.
“As I suspected, we only made it through about four days, when I personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice),” she confessed in a GOOP post. “My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget, even for just a few days — a challenge that 47 million Americans face every day, week, and year.”
Critics explained why Paltrow’s mostly green grocery basket (above) didn’t make sense.
Rebecca Vipond Brink on The Frisky explained that most families living on SNAP (
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) can’t buy things like limes and herbs — while healthy and tasty, they’re not filling. Canned foods and peanut butter, frozen chicken breasts, and oatmeal are more likely to make it into the carts of those forced to stretch $US31 into seven days of meals. Not to mention fast food restaurants that give you a lot of (unhealthy) bang for your buck.
Paltrow then tied in her thoughts about workplace equality to her post about living on food stamps.
“If women were paid an equal wage, families might have more of a choice in the grocery aisles, not to mention in the rest of their lives,” she wrote.
Paltrow also shared some of the meals she made with her family this past week with the ingredients she purchased above, like this brown rice, kale, and roasted sweet potato saute.
Her meals (others include black bean taquitos and black bean cakes) are plated beautifully and photographed beautifully, but people are still pointing out it’s not realistic.
Business Insider reader LauraZZ commented:
This is much more to being poor than having to live on a strict budget. There is an avalanche of stress that surrounds poverty so survival consumes every living thought. This stress leads to all kinds of health problems. All of these issues make you an unhealthy, miserable person, which in turn makes it even more difficult to find a decent job. In order to truly understand what it’s like to live on food stamps and to be poor. You actually need to be poor. You can’t take a food stamp challenge from your mansion. It’s just not the same. There’s a whole world of hurt that goes along with the food stamps.
“After trying to complete this challenge…I would give myself a C-,” Paltrow admitted.