Wednesday, 11 January 2017

healthy diet and poverty

Unplugged from food corporations

I've heard some alarming tales from friends who work with people trapped in poverty and debt. The worst cases, due to the tax and benefits nightmare orchestrated by successive governments, are all people working full-time. Usually, they are working so many hours that they find it difficult to make the best decisions about what to eat.

Understandably, when exhausted and broke, they feel the need for a treat. Doing your food shopping (fast food!) in this state of mind is not a good idea.

Food poverty UK

Very often, the worst enemy of such poor people is corporations. The food corporations, food 'manufacturers', marketers, advertising/media giants.

Our newly elected majority government in the UK claims to be aware of poverty and health problems, but is currently celebrating their responsibility to the people by trying to relax the ban on hunting foxes with packs of uncontrolled dogs.

Clearly, if we want things to improve, we'll have to do it ourselves.

One of the difficulties with 'general advice' is that everyone's circumstances are different. There is no 'general case'. Probably the only factors shared by all are cash poverty and exhaustion. So let's choose the worst imaginable case and see how it can be improved.

Worst Case

Very low income.
No cooker, just a microwave.
Trapped in a poor district of a city where all local stores only sell 'convenience' food (heavily subsidised, advertised; huge profit margin)
no private transport.

A Solution

With a microwave cooker it is easy to cook a variety of quality meals, provided you have a microwave-friendly vessel with a LID. Typically pyrex.


The best bargain for your health and wallet is oats. It has soluble fibre and a useful amount of unsaturated fat. If you like muesli, add dried (or fresh) fruit, seeds and nuts. If you like porridge, it makes in about two minutes in the bowl.

The food industry likes to disguise small portions of 'quality' food in cheap, bulky packaging.

Examples include

1. pork pies; which often contain more wheat flour, lard and water than pork.
2. pizza. This is little more than cheese on toast with an inflated price.
3. sandwiches. These are often near the checkout, with 'chocolate' and sugary treats. Just once, buy one and take it apart. Typically, the main constituent is 2 slices of cheap bread.
4. The worst example isn't food at all. It's an aluminium can of fizzy tap water with CO2, flavouring and sweetener. Currently the adverts for this confidence trick show overweight couch potatoes mysteriously transformed into manic teenagers leaping about to loud music as soon as they open the bottle. If you are a couch potato, be warned. It doesn't work!

5 Fish and chips ...

healthy food diet


fish and/or fish fingers with chips (from frozen).

These cook well in a microwave on the plate, ready to eat. The fish (from frozen) might need an extra minute. If you have a freezer or freezer compartment in your fridge, then add peas for the vitamins.

Currently in my local supermarket 560 grams of frozen white fish fillets are £1.70 - containing typically 6 portions. The average chip shop has this amount of fish disguised as something huge with loads of cheap batter.
If you like batter, either make some or try the supermarkets own-label fish fingers. (£0.60 for ten).

Fish and fish fingers and chips and peas costs less than £1.

Frozen chips (96% potato, 4% sunflower oil) are NOT fattening unless you fry them in oil.


Fresh carrots, greens (or frozen broccoli), peas, potato or rice, lean meat or fish. The variations are are endless. It takes about 10 minutes, though some meals taste better if microwaved slowly.


apple, banana, orange juice. These don't advertise, and they are good bargains for health.

If you love chocolate, make your own from 100% cocoa with sweetener and/or dried fruit and nuts.

Sugar is the enemy, not cocoa, though one can overdo it.

Most important of all: don't watch adverts. Failing that, don't believe them.

Don't go shopping when you are hungry (either food hunger or emotional hunger). The displays are designed to take advantage of you.

Do take a shopping list.

If the corporations have taken control of your neighbourhood and you don't have transport:
1. Search online for bulk buys (oats, wheat flour, etc.).
2. Talk to neighbours to develop a community solution: bulk buying, shared transport ...

To assess/compare bargains, read the ingredients and the analysis. It is no coincidence that pies, pasties, cakes on display in ovens, blowing their aroma at you do not have such information on the packaging.

You will probably benefit from a list of meals that you discover work for you. It is very easy to forget after a hard day/week/month when you stagger into your home.

This is just an example of value for money and adequate nutrition. Food can be very interesting and varied without spending a fortune, and can become a pleasure rather than a chore.

 No matter how hard it seems, you are not alone ...

nutrition education for best diet on a budget


freedom, advertising, corporations, diet, education, fast food, health, corporate matrix, poverty, video, wellbeing, documentary 


  1. For those of us in America all dietary needs are met by our local McDonald's fast food joint. only need to ask them to SUPERSIZE your meal and you'll receive a double portion and a LARGE
    drink....the container about the size of a small foot tub..about 75% sugar...but never mind that. It all adds up to another artery gumming else to decrease the surplus population??

  2. Could you ask them for a supersize - mailed to Africa? It sounds about right for 2 families to share.

  3. good #food and #poverty - find the #foodfacts and don't listen to #advertising


  4. #healthy #fats for a flat tummy!

  5. Independent News17 January 2017 at 17:19

    "poverty in Britain, the world's fifth largest economy, is a national disgrace"

  6. Poverty 'Some mothers can't afford baby milk': One in five children in poverty in county Poverty news Gloucestershire

  7. Poverty World Sustainability Forum speaker says Africa can end poverty by 2030 Poverty news

    Africa can end extreme poverty by 2030 with heavy investments in education and health‚ much like China did. This is the opinion of world-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs‚ the keynote speaker at the opening of the sixth World Sustainability Forum in Cape Town on Friday.

    China and east Asia were transformed in a short period with well-targeted investments of between 30% and 40% and Africa can learn from their case, he said: "If Africa can substantially raise its investments rates ... then its overall growth rate would increase and poverty would plummet."

    US President Donald Trump could play a role promoting unity — by uniting countries against him!

  8. 'No magic #poverty wand' says Swansea expert

    The difficulty with tackling poverty in Wales was that you're effectively trying to tackle 60 years plus of de-industrialisation.

    "Poverty is such a massive, all-encompassing term," said Dr Reynolds, of Swansea-based regeneration agency Trilein. "You have to break it down into its component parts.

    "It was an incredibly bold thing to do. But one fair criticism of the Communities First programme is that most of it was not clearly defined at the outset.

    "You have to know what is achievable, realistic. These things are very complicated."

    full story:

  9. News today about statins. slightly off topic but maybe interesting to Lord douchebag

  10. Children's food poverty requires radical long term solutions
    BMJ report (British Medical Journal)

  11. A new label, to remind us of one of the greatest threats to health (which we are invited to pay for !!!)

    A HealthyFood diet aims to be habitually

  12. #sugarfree really means avoiding those foods with high glycemic index.

    So all sugars are included though the sugar in dates (for example) digests more slowly due to the significant amount of fibre in dates.

    Carbohydrates, especially 'refined' carbs like white wheat flour and white rice, are equally hazardous for diabetes, pre-diabetics and weightgain.

    Such foods give a glucose boost, which then swings the opposite way making us artificially hungry.


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