Yoga Journal’s Idea of a Well-Stocked Kitchen /// Plus, “Broke Ghetto Fatties”

[That random Yoga Journal that keeps showing up at the BabaHQ came today. So, let’s get to it.]

As I’m sure is the case for you, whenever I need some tips on how to better my home, the first place I check is Yoga Journal. Whether it’s figuring out how to make my altar speak more “abundance,” knowing which rose gold thumb rings would best fit my twiddling thumbs, or figuring out how to better arrange all my yoga tights in my walk-in closet, nothing says happiness like a home filled with over-priced simplicity. And, so it goes with this little one-pager in the February 2013 issue:

kitchen3

And, in case it’s a bit hard to read, you will specifically need:

kitchen2

So, basically, in order to eat healthy and not have that healthy taste like shit from a dog who ate sand all day you’re gonna need to shell out roughly $800 on the amount of items that make sense, most of which you really would never “need,” per se.

kitchen1

I mean, really. It’s statements like the above that make YJ just so darned write-off-able. And, don’t get me wrong, I think the Vitamix is one of the best things to come out of post-industrialized society, even though it probably makes us weaker, and ironically less industrious humans. But, I definitely have enough of a comprehensive world view to know that it certainly ain’t a necessity. Seriously, if someone asked you what things were needed for a healthy and delicious new year, would the first thing that came to mind be a $40 bamboo bowl? And, who buys one bamboo bowl? No self-respecting yoga mom is gonna go for that. You need at least four, and if you ever wanna invite more than two people over, you’ll need six!

And, as for the kombucha “kit” for seventy dollar bills? Shit, if you can’t find someone in your neighborhood who’s got a zillion kombucha mothers invading their kitchen, just look online. Someone is out there right now dying to send you a mother for free before it takes over your lease!

Personally, I find it strange to think that some people are still convinced that YJ is a magazine for people with less than disposable incomes. Of course, every class of people needs a magazine to tell them how to better be in their class, but this one ain’t for the “simpler” class, that’s for dang sure.

This brings to mind that ridiculously problematic argument, usually coming from well-heeled yoga people, that states that investing a lot of money in expensive health food items now will ultimately benefit you in the long run as you’ll apparently require fewer health bills. As a retort I point you to the article “The Cost Of Food In America, Or, Hatin’ On Broke Ghetto Fatties” found on the very “Holy shit, this is amazing” website, Mythodrome: Stories at the Twilight of Empire. As a tease:

“Here in the ghetto, me and the other broke ghetto fatties who think about these things consciously and deliberately buy as many calories as we can get for our dollars, because we don’t always know when we will be able to buy more calories. When there’s no guarantee that anymore calories will be forthcoming in the future, a candy bar will always be a better value for $1.50 than a couple apples — assuming that a couple apples can be had without a $5 bus ride.”

Mythodrome’s article will no doubt infuriate a lot of people. And, that’s perfectly OK. In my opinion, feelings are often best observed before being expressed. With regards to the above article my advice would be to stick with those feelings for a while before spewing your responses. Let them percolate. Investigate where they come from. And, then remember: sometimes it’s best to just listen and reflect.

Except when commenting on this site. This is a “No Reflection Zone.” So, let’s hear what you gotta get off those hairy sweaty pancake-breasted chests.

16 comments

  1. Wow! If I shared The Cost of Food in America on my blogsite, which is a famous goal-setting site, I might be banned for life! Their experts have linked to Charles Hugh Smith in the past.

    So many over there – unless they DO have the significant other you speak about, or a trust fund, or are retired with a generous pension grouse to ME about going into debt on their grocery bills … (I am sort of a go-to on that subject .. but I can hardly help MYSELF!) All I posit to their protests is: pay your grocer now or your doctor later …

  2. Yoga_Dude

    @amphibi1yogini

    Food = Healthcare
    Doctor = Sickcare

  3. amphibi1yogini

    52 million of us Americans are living in this apocalyptic post-health-insured world … for us that is SO true …

  4. Dyspeptic Skeptic

    No surprise here considering that Yoga Journal is published by Active Interest Media among whose other properties are “Yachts International” and “Dressage Today”.

  5. Let’s break down each item and I can prove a much more economical way to get the same and come out ahead without breaking the bank or your “rich yoga person” persona.
    1) Spices: YJ—>$79.20
    Cheapo—> Go to the dollar store or Goodwill and get funky jam jars with those flip-on lids,$1 each so $15. Go to the Indian grocery shop where you see brown people shopping and get spices there for $1-$2 each per pack, depending on size say $20 total so with the jars—>$35 total, Cut a piece of beige masking tape, slap on jar, write spice name in Sharpie marker or crayon.
    Savings—>$44.20

    2) Bamboo bowls: YJ–> $228 for a 6 pack
    Cheapo—> Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army Store, 1970’s teak salad bowl plus serving bowls set, $10
    Savings—>$218

    3) Vitamix Blender: YJ–>$449
    Cheapo—> ebay or Quibids
    Savings—> if you’re lucky, over $250

    4) Kombucha, YJ—> $70
    Cheapo: You don’t need Kombucha and additional probiotics if you’re eating a somewhat balanced diet and moving around enough in the first place. Your gut has all the microbes it needs to break down your food properly.
    Savings–>$70

    Mythodrome’s article shows that issues of food security, politics and accessibility like health, are now status indicators. It’s just such a shame that status-obsessed yogis have jumped on that bandwagon. (Most of them need to read Alain de Botton’s “Status Anxiety” several times over, I think)

  6. Exactly. Precisely. I tried to explain this to a yoga friend recently and he told me, “But do you know how much big macs cost!? They are $10! That’s not even cheap!” Walking down the street the next day I saw a sign for super duper value meals with ubersizedeverything for $3.49. Sigh. Like most disposable-income liberals, he doesn’t get it and he won’t get it. He doesn’t want to get it. It costs too much.

  7. The advertisement says “well stocked” not “poorly stocked” or “sort-of stocked”, so i don’t see what the problem is, or why anyone should be criticizing $38.00 salad bowls, especially since they come in such nice colors. My 2nd comment is, Mythodrome is being being disingenuous when he writes that he and his fattie ghetto friends “consciously and deliberately buy as many calories as we can get for our dollars.” If they were being as conscious and deliberate as they claim they wouldn’t be buying empty corporation calories. A pound of apples costs about $1.50 and provides approximately 250 calories. A Mars bar costs about $1.50 and provides approximately 280 calories. The business about needing $5 to take a bus to go somewhere to buy the apples is just BS. The real business is the Mars factory packing the candy bar with 27 grams of fat and a Mars-load of cheap sugar to convince you that taste trumps everything, so that in the end the Mars folks can make a boat-load of money.

    • That is all too true. And don’t for one second think that the diet-food industry and the ethically-sourced-organic-food industry are much better. The only thing they do different is appearing “guilt-free” in both pandering to our taste buds (minus the calorie-packing per dollar spent) and pandering to the more chattering classes (and making them feel “guilt free” in socially-engineered ways …

    • A Mars bar has 11g of fat, not 27, and 4g of protein. Apples have no protein or fat, so do not satiate. Your certainty about needing $5 to take a bus being BS indicates you really have no clue what it’s like hand-to-mouth in a low-income area.

      “Low-income neighborhoods frequently lack full-service grocery stores and farmers’ markets where residents can buy a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products (Beaulac et al., 2009; Larson et al., 2009).” http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/why-are-low-income-and-food-insecure-people-vulnerable-to-obesity/

      or: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/nyregion/11carts.html?_r=0

      That corporations prey on people with the least is hardly a surprise. They have little choice. People struggling to meet basic needs of food and shelter really don’t care if they’re supporting the corporatocracy.

    • The $5 bus ride is not BS. Here in Pittsburgh, bus fare is $2.50 one way. There are no apples for sale within walking distance of my house. Therefore, a pound of apples costs $1.50 + $5 = $6.50. I would say that you are so accustomed to having money, all the time, whenever you need it, you can’t comprehend what it means to have to ration either calories or $6.50. What any given corporation does or does not do isn’t a factor when you have $15 with which to feed yourself for a week. I would recommend reading the rest of the article for more clarity on the issues. Oh and for what it’s worth, I’m a girl.

      To Babarazzi — thanks for the linky-link! 🙂

  8. Sorry, you are right, it is 11 g of fat and 27 g of sugar. My mistake. As for my not having any idea of what low-income neighborhoods are like, I live in Cleveland, Ohio, and am aware of the privations that exist in this city. (About my not having a clue, sorry, but you are decidedly wrong about that, although it’s not worth arguing about, I’m sure you will agree.) I do not agree that people lack access to grocery stores. Even in the Hough and Kinsman areas here in Cleveland that is not true. That is not the issue. People in Cleveland (which you can compare by income to where you live in NYC) who live on the near west side (a notable low income neighborhood) shop at the West Side Market (you can google it) which they often travel to by bus. It provides good food at fair prices that even the disadvantaged can afford. I may not have expressed myself very well, but what objected to about Mythodrome was his cynical attitude.

  9. Access to healthy food is a well-known, well-researched public health issue. Low-income areas of Cleveland have been “previously deemed a food desert” and as such, have had a number of public health initiatives to improve access to gardens and farmers markets, as well as economic incentives for urban farmers in the city. Why didn’t you mention those? Further, because you live in a city that has ensured access to healthy food for all (as you say), why do you believe your personal experience extends to all low-income areas of America? There is a massive amount of research that indicates otherwise, including the problems that face Cleveland. You can google it.

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