To have found this blog about childhood obesity intensely smug and annoying?

(305 Posts)
MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Thu 13-Jun-13 22:39:01

agirlcalledjack.com/2013/06/13/dont-blame-poverty-for-your-childs-obesity/

Is it just me ... what kind of la la land does she live in, where everyone who is struggling for money lives in a nice house with a cooker and has plenty of time from not working two jobs to bake bread?

What she is describing is the sort of sensible cost-cutting I would expect most people who're struggling for money but not absolutely on the bones of their arses could do. I get what she's saying, I do, but the smug tone coupled with the failure to realize that quite a lot of very poor people don't actually have good enough cooking facilities to do what she describes is getting me down.

Am I being mean?

Plus the 'chicken to feed a family for a week' makes me slightly suspect her of embroidered truth. hmm

BlackeyedSusan Thu 13-Jun-13 23:31:35

I feed a family for a week on a chicken. protein is supplemented with beans and pulses.

she also uses the value stuff from supermarkets. things a year ago were that price. I think they may have gone up a bit since, can't sy i have looked recently.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Thu 13-Jun-13 23:31:48

Oh lord, that blog entry was smug and very blaming.., she has lost her way and become a spokesperson for those who honestly believe that most of the poor are the 'undeserving poor' ...

She has alienated me with that blog article. Sold out, totally. Quite nastily too sad

Triumphoveradversity Thu 13-Jun-13 23:32:14

People living in total poverty will not be able to affird a bread maker if they do not already own one and they will be loathe to stick the oven on to bake bread as it uses too much power. Some people really don't have working cookers, nor carpets in their homes or even a proper bed.

There are people with MH issues that would not be able to manage cooking like this and source multiple ingredients even if they wanted to. I have met people with these kind of issues through voluntary work I do.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Thu 13-Jun-13 23:33:09

I don't get it either, copper.

double - who is she, is she famous? Sorry, I don't know of her, just came across this.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Fri 14-Jun-13 00:49:03

She was a struggling single mum living a hard life like so many people, then she started to blog about her pretty clever ways of cooking to a swingeing budget, and newspapers picked up on it... And Lo! She has a book deal and isnt poor anymore.

I thought was/ would be a great spokesperson for how tough it is but also practical tips on how to be savvy and survive well against the odds. You know, a positive story for once! Kind of sad to see she appears to be distancing hersf from those other poor people not as skilled at cooking & budgetting sad

The story has shifted from 'look at this wonderful woman making it work against the odds', to 'I'm smug and wonderful and look down on everyone... Blame them allllll'

slapandpickle Fri 14-Jun-13 00:53:45

I have read her blog before and the recipes are great (although 90% are soup or bread), but that post is very smug and very irritating. And all her recipes require a blender or hours of soaking beans, I don't define that as easy, quick or cheap.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Fri 14-Jun-13 01:23:00

I wanted to get her cooking book, but gone off the idea now

TimeofChange Fri 14-Jun-13 05:47:47

I think there must be thousands of redundant bread makers in the back of kitchen cupboards. It might be worth asking on Free Cycle if any one wants one.

Baking bread in an oven uses a lot of electricity as it is baked at a hot temperature.

Another useful item worth asking for on Free Cycle could be a slow cooker.

HollyBerryBush Fri 14-Jun-13 06:20:50

That's Jack Molone isn't it?

She's quite an internet sensation at the moment - I keep reading about here everywhere.

She's a savvy shopper, the queen of yellow lable reductions.

She did an article on her blog, where he calorific content of her meals was taken apart, she is existing on something like 4-600 calories too little a day, purely because she cannot afford to eat much in the way of meat.

cory Fri 14-Jun-13 08:12:02

Dh has been baking for many years. Lovely stuff it is too, but it does not save money once you factor in the cost of heating the oven.

And I may be out of touch here- but when I was young and poor, electricity in cheap rented accommodation was often on metres, making it disproportionally expensive. Also, in several of the places dh rented in, the electricity would simply cut out after a time, making slow projects like baking impossible.

cory Fri 14-Jun-13 08:14:53

The thing that always puzzles me is how everybody who becomes poor is automatically whisked to within walking distance of a supermarket stuffed with value goods. Never seemed to happen in my day.

soverylucky Fri 14-Jun-13 08:26:59

Tbh - I didn't see much wrong with the blog post - a bit patronising I suppose but it is a blog so bound to be opinionated.

My mum got her breadmaker from the charity shop.

FasterStronger Fri 14-Jun-13 08:34:01

if you don't have a cooker, eating cheaply and healthy is going to be near/completely impossible.

but we have a serious childhood obesity problem and most people do have cookers. so lack of cooking facilities is not the main reason for this very serious problem.

people do frequently say they cannot afford to feed their children properly. the point the blogger is making is for most people this is disingenuous.

OTheHugeManatee Fri 14-Jun-13 08:54:00

It might be a slightly smug post but she makes a valid point too. Lots of people spend more than her on food, still claim they can't afford to eat healthily, and let their children get fat.

Ignorance plays a part, too. People who don't know how to cook cheap and healthy food, and a subset who don't care either.

MiaowTheCat Fri 14-Jun-13 08:54:01

Gosh a mummy blog being smug! Never!

I didn't have a cooker for a year and a half btw - never quite had the disposable income to buy one and got by on a veg steamer, george foreman gril, cheapo microwave and toaster. And I wasn't exactly living on the breadline - just an erratic income and it being lower on the list of priorities than paying the rent.

If you all read the blog from the beginning, it gives you a far more rounded picture.

This post as a stand-alone does not portray Jack Monroe as she is.

Trills Fri 14-Jun-13 09:16:57

It's a shame - I have enjoyed reading many of her posts - but I don't like the tone of that post one bit.

Was the Daily Mail paying for that piece?

tungthai Fri 14-Jun-13 09:26:07

In the first article that the OP linked to I don't think the blogger sounded smug at all. I haven't read the other articles yet as I find her site very difficult to navigate.

With regards to using foodbanks perhaps she had a bad month, an unexpected bill. When you are living hand to mouth it doesn't matter how good you are at budgeting and cooking from scratch. Not everyone has the luxury of preparing for the unexpected.

coppertop Fri 14-Jun-13 09:54:00

Tungthai - I wasn't criticising the use of the food bank at all. Times are tough and we all do what we have to do to get by. I've never heard of the blogger before and certainly have no axe to grind.

What I couldn't understand (and still don't tbh) is how there was an article describing how she needed help from the food bank because £10 wasn't enough to buy the food she needed, yet in the article she talks about how people can still eat well for that same amount of money. The BBC article specifically mentions the £10.

I'm glad she has been able to use her experiences to show others how they can prepare food on a low budget. I just don't see how someone can write a blog post along the lines of 'I can get all this food for £10 per week and it's really quick and easy to prepare it all. I don't understand why others don't do the same', yet they have been quoted elsewhere as saying that when they only spent £10 on food they were referred to the food bank because they were so hungry. It seems like such a contradiction.

TenaciousOne Fri 14-Jun-13 10:02:28

Her prices on below the line are disingenuous. You can't buy half an onion and also it assumes that you have an ASDA near by. Our local shop is a Waitrose we can walk there and do, if I didn't have a car it would cost £30 in taxi's to get to our local ASDA. I'm not living on £10 for two however, I hate seeing the break down of prices at 3p for half an onion, 10p for one egg. If you're going to do that compile a week meal plan that uses all of the onion and the bulk of the eggs.

WireCat Fri 14-Jun-13 10:11:49

What she says is right though.

If someone came on here saying they only fed their family ready meals & McShite people would be pulling up their judgey pants!

TenaciousOne, this post shows what Jack bought for LBTL13. Her blog over that week shows how she used it.

Coppertop IO think you're looking at it from the wrong end. It's actually "I was hungry living on £10 a week and had to be referred to the food bank - UNTIL I learned how to do this".

Quangle Fri 14-Jun-13 10:30:35

I didn't think it was smug and I tend to call smug bullshit on people if they think they know how to tackle obesity when they have never experienced it.

She's right. But she's obviously resourceful and dynamic and focused. Being very poor and struggling for every penny is depressing and I think that if poverty does lead to obesity it's probably because it leads to depression first and that in turn makes it hard to be resourceful, dynamic and focused. It's what makes it so stupid when politicians etc say they could live on £10 per week. Of course they could, for a week. Because they are energetic, engaged, focused, resourceful - having had a decent life where hard work pays rewards and having plenty of social capital to hand. They could do it for a week. Once life has ground them down and they fall into depression and lose access to the other connected, resourceful, engaged people around them, they will get depressed and feel as though they are stuck forever and then they won't find it so easy.

But agree that £10 per week sounds hmm

coppertop Fri 14-Jun-13 10:47:20

Flouncy - That makes much more sense. Thanks. smile

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