Eating Well on SNAP

One of six Americans subsists on food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). An individual receives about $4.30 a day, an amount that wouldn’t last long if a daily latte is part of the routine. But most lower income people aren’t regulars at Starbucks.

And as Mark Bittman wrote in his column in The New York Times: “The alternative to soda is water, and the alternative to junk food is not grass-fed beef and greens from a trendy farmers’ market, but anything other than junk food: rice, grains, pasta, beans, fresh vegetables, canned vegetables, frozen vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, bread, peanut butter, a thousand other things cooked at home—in almost every case a far superior alternative.”   

Brett Arends, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal recently put his $4.30 where his mouth is– by trying to eat nutritiously on that small amount.

First, he looked to peanut butter, eggs and legumes for protein instead of expensive meats and fish.

Then he added “whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, and whole-wheat bread..” In the end, Arends reported that he ate well, felt healthy and even gained a few pounds. Read his story here.