Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Radical Idea That Just Might Solve Food Poverty

I've been book-shopping because TV is getting boring--I've watched all the reruns of reruns I care to watch, and my "current" shows are on summer hiatus, so I need something to keep my brain from turning further into sludge.

I've also been reading to death one particular book I already own: Eating For Victory. Putting war rationing together with the War on Obesity, it seems to me that war rationing might be the solution to obesity, hunger, and poverty in general.

Here's how I got there: if people can't or won't learn to shop for sensible, healthful foods on their own, let's revamp the food stamp program to align with the WWII ration book rather than the farm subsidy program (which it does now, as well as the carb-heavy Food Guide Pyramid).

One paragraph in particular from the book's intro from Jill Norman gave me the spark from which this brainchild was born:

"During the war, although there were privations and shortages, people generally had a good diet. When the war ended, it was found that the average food intake had risen from where it began. This was mostly because many poor people had been too poor to feed themselves properly, but with virtually no unemployment and the rationing system, with its fixed prices, they ate better than in the past."

...

"People at all levels of society took nutrition seriously and fed their families sensibly with rations and whatever vegetables and fruit was available, and with less sugar and fewer sweet snacks there was less tooth decay. As a whole, the population was slimmer and healthier than it is today; people ate less fat and sugar, less meat, and many more vegetables."

I know this is just fantasy, and I need to learn much more about the rationing system and what went into it (and what got left out of it), but this crazy idea came to me, and I wanted to share it. Could this be THE ANSWER to poverty, obesity, and excess in general? The bad news is it may be coming back our way whether we want it or not, thanks to global economic calamity and Obama's war on excess.

To top this off, there's a group of people over at The Dollar Stretcher forums who regularly engage in "ration living", and compare notes on how much money was saved, and how much weight was lost. I just might have to check in.

I'm also curious as to whether they maintain this way of living even when times are good.

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