Sunday, December 01, 2013

Today's Steaming Pantload Award

Today's award goes to Grant Bosse for his column in the Concord Monitor about food and hunger. 

Some of the highlights: 

The New Horizons food pantry is limited to low-income Manchester residents, handing out $200 worth of groceries each month to about 900 families. Sherman says that wouldn’t happen without the program’s largest donor, Hannaford Supermarkets.

But - later in the same piece:

Big city unions fight to keep Walmart, now America’s largest grocer, out of town. 

"America's largest grocer" isn't the largest donor to NH food pantries. In fact, once "America's largest grocer" comes to town, they drive out the competition. That's exactly what happened in Gorham, NH - a town that once had several markets to choose from, including an excellent Shaws. Not any more. "America's  largest grocer" is the only choice. It's shabby and dirty, and not  overburdened with healthy choices. 

 If we can get people into the supermarket, food has never been cheaper.

Food has never been cheaper? Has Grant Bosse EVER been inside a supermarket? 

According to the USDA, food prices went up in 2011 anywhere from 2.5 to 9%. Prices were expected to rise again in 2012, just not as much. We who shop for food can testify that prices did go up over the last 2 years. 

Raw ingredients like sugar, flour, rice, potatoes, onions, celery, carrots and bananas are cheap, and the start of a good pantry. Now, it’s too cheap to meter. Eggs, milk, chicken and beef are reasonably priced. Every supermarket offers fresh fruit, greens and seafood all year long. If you were to plot the cost of a calorie over the last hundred years, the line would be approaching zero.

For an overpaid purveyor of agitprop, the price of food may seem "too cheap to meter." For the ordinary underpaid workers, however, this is  hardly the case. Housing costs are outrageous in NH. Low wage workers can spend as much as 50% of their income on housing alone.  Add in utilities, transportation, clothing  - and one can assure Mr. Bosse that the cost of food is very, very visible on the meter. 

Food is cheap. But meals are expensive. Prepared, packaged and preserved foods cost a lot because we’re not paying for the food. We’re buying time. It’s when we stop cooking that food prices soar. Naked DC writer Emily Zanotti took the SNAP Challenge, feeding two people on $63 a week, and managed to eat like a “full-blown foodie hipster.” Her first meal was “Chicken Milanese with frise salad and shredded parm, mushroom and herb risotto.”

Naked DC is a right wing blog. Emily Zanotti is the editor. Emily Zanotti also works for Hynes Communication - the company fronted by NH's very own Pat Hynes. Try as I might, I couldn't find the actual story of Ms. Zanotti's SNAP challenge. She posted a picture of  the "full blown foodie hipster" meal that Mr. Bosse was so impressed with. She didn't post the receipts from the supermarket. Zanotti claimed she fed 2 people on $63 a week - but she provided no proof of her claims. I looked. It seems shills of a feather flock together. 

Bosse works for the far right fringe "think" tank known as the Josiah Bartlett Center. It is his job to churn out craven nonsense like this. That the Concord Monitor would both pay for and publish it is an affront to their readers. 


Anonymous said...

What's with this "SNAP challenge"? Is $63 'supposed to be enough' but is suspected of being 'more than enough'? How horrible. Just awful! Giving someone more than the bare minimum!
But seriously.... either $63 a week is less than that blogger usually spends, which means the challenge is to make a dollar stretch further, or $63 is more than she usually spends, and the challenge was to be able to afford it.

Anonymous said...

If Bosse can cook 3 meals a day for an average of $1.50 a meal (63 /7 / 3), I am very confused as to why he is not a rich restaurateur. That would be an unheard of margin on materials I think.

I suppose he just hates business and capitalism, and loathes making a buck.

Brian Loudermilch said...

"Too cheap to Meter" was the Huge LIE that the nuclear power industry used convince everyone that it was a great idea.

I can only assume that Anyone using that phrase nowadays is attempting to achieve the same results.

susanthe said...

Indeed, Anonymous. If Grant Bosse can feed himself 3 meals a day for a week for $63, I'd be mightily surprised.

Brian - absolutely right. Too cheap to meter is why we have that nuclear nightmare on the NH coast. This is also way we have some of the highest energy costs in New England. And yes, anyone using that phrase is a guano faucet stuck in the on position.