My theory is that the Indiana consumer doesn’t complain because it’s cheap. It’s not enough to have a healthy option if the customer has to pay more. Instead, stores convince people that they can eat wholesome food while paying the same amount as a box of corn flakes would cost, even if that is what they are actually buying. People in DC are too okay with over-spending, but I appreciate that nutrition level isn’t based on income level.
Even my friends with hourly wages eat well because it is possible to do so cheaply- check out this recipe for Curry Chicken Tacos at $1.25 a serving (and all her other awesome tips and tricks) on the blog Poor Girl Eats Well. It just takes more energy.
And according to this New York Times article, energy is something poor people don’t have in the grocery store.
“Shopping can be especially tiring for the poor, who have to struggle continually with trade-offs… Spears and other researchers argue that this sort of decision fatigue is a major — and hitherto ignored — factor in trapping people in poverty. Because their financial situation forces them to make so many trade-offs, they have less willpower to devote to school, work and other activities that might get them into the middle class. ”
These days, most people have to be frugal, but we need to make sure that our choices aren’t affecting our quality of life. A box of cheap “muesli” is one thing. Lack of awareness of what we eat is another.
iPhone update: I’ve felt overwhelmed a few times knowing that anyone can contact me in any way at any time and they know it. In a sense, it’s created more stress for me because I have no excuse for not responding immediately. I miss the privacy that being a technological laggard allowed me. It is oh-so-satisfying though when I am oh-so-lost and my phone helps me out of that mess.