It’s very comforting to think we’ll be able to solve America’s nutrition crisis by building more grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods and educating low-income families on how to cook healthy, nutritious meals.

But the unfortunate truth is that more grocery stores and nutrition education (while helpful to some people) doesn’t address the larger problem — which is that eating is expensive.

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of low-income families is increasing. The report defines low-income working families as “those earning less than twice the federal poverty line.”

In 2011, the low-income threshold for a family of four with two children was $45,622. If you estimate rent at $1000/month, which is quite low for a family of four, that leaves about $33,000 for health care, transportation costs, clothing, and groceries for four people. That’s $687.50 per person per month for every single expense except rent.

Let’s do some more math.

Gala apples are among the cheapest fruit nationally. The USDA lists them at $1.16 a pound at the time I’m writing this article. There are about three apples to a pound, so if you wanted to buy your two kids an apple for each day of the week, you would spend $5.80 just on an afternoon snack for your kids. And let’s keep in mind that apples are relatively low-calorie, which means they aren’t very filling.

Six bucks doesn’t seem like much to someone with a middle class salary, but when you’re working with a weekly budget of under $700 per week for everything you need, including car repairs, gas money, winter clothing for constantly growing children, toilet paper, laundry detergent, electric bills… $5.80 starts to look pretty hefty for a snack that won’t even satisfy.

“I look at this list and can’t help but wonder how she’s supposed to do it. If $11 of apples equals two snacks, but $3 in Ramen will feed her entire family for dinner, how can she possibly pick apples with her limited food stamp budget?” McClay wonders.“And how will she ever afford to fill half of every mealtime plate with fruits and veggies, the amount recommended by the same government that issued her food stamps?”

It’s a good question.

The US government heavily subsidizes some foods, such as corn and soybeans. The result is that processed foods that are heavy in these ingredients end up being cheaper than fresh produce, which is not as heavily subsidized, if it is at all.

There is a serious disconnect between what we should be eating to stay healthy, and what the economic reality is.

Why Judging People for Buying Unhealthy Food Is Classist by 

(via navigatethestream)




Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman-Hughes, 1972 and 2014

Both by Dan Bagan

Wanna see my cry like a baby? Ask me who these women were.

Hughes’ father was beaten nearly to death by the KKK when she was a kid, and what does she do? Become an activist to try and stop that from happening to other people. She raised money to bail civil rights protesters out of jail. She helped women get out of abusive situations by providing shelter for them until they got on their feet. She founded an agency that helped women get to work without having to leave their children alone, because childcare in the 1970s? Not really a thing. In fact, a famous feminist line in the 70s was “every housewife is one man away from welfare.”

Then she teamed up with Steinman to found the Women’s Action Alliance, which created the first battered women’s shelters in history. They attacked women’s rights issues through boots on the ground activism, problem solving, and communication. They stomped over barriers of race and class to meet women where they were: mostly mothers who wanted better for themselves and their children.

These are women are who I always wanted to be.



What Gallaher and his NSIDC colleague Garrett Campbell had discovered was both the largest and the smallest Antarctic sea ice extent ever recorded, one year apart, as well as the earliest sea ice maximum ever just three years later; it was an inexplicable hole in the Arctic sea ice even while the overall extent agreed with modern trends; it was the earliest known picture of Europe from space; it was a picture of the Aral Sea with water still in it. 

It was, as Gallaher puts it, like looking at “the Precambrian of satellite data.”

The “worth billions” in the title refers to the amount of money expended by the U.S. government to capture the images initially, adjusted for inflation.

click through, this is totally awesome. 





This is Susan Robinson, one of the last people in the country who can preform late term abortions after the murder of Dr. George Tiller. This is from an awesome documentary called After Tiller, about the last 4 late-term abortion practitioners in the country. It’s a great watch and available on Netflix, would strongly recommend. 

warrior woman

This is what a hero looks like.


a collection of links for locking down your shit


I don’t do anything especially high profile, but after now WEEKS, MONTHS, YEARS of watching women get bullied offline for like, having opinions in public, I’m starting to lock my online life down a little bit. Some links:

Note that Spokeo will throttle you after a few requests for removal, and probably after far fewer listings than actually exist for you if you’ve moved around a bit or ever changed your name. So you’ll need to stick with it. Most of the Spokeo info is indeed available from other sources, but it’s a common thing for trolls to use because it’s cheap and easy. Why should harassment be cheap and easy?

A fantastic guide. Sadly necessary but fantastic. 





The goal is to enable women who want to continue focusing on their careers without sacrificing their chance to have children later on.

WTF. This is NOT the answer.

I can see both sides of the argument.  To those who are in “disgust” over this have never had to do IVF or other infertility treatments that put them into debt.  Some women are unfortunately in a situation where freezing eggs might be their only chance to have biological children yet these women do not have the financial means to even have these procedures done. 

I am 100% in favor of companies supporting IVF and other fertility procedures and covering them under their health insurance policies. That is not what this is. This is companies paying for women to delay having children so they can give their “best” years to their career without losing traction. This isn’t offering a choice; it’s another attempt to control women’s bodies and choices.

There are many things these companies could (and should) do to actually support working parents and help retain women in tech: offering generous and equal paid parental leave for men and women, encouraging all parents to take their entire leave, lobbying for national paid parental leave laws, offering true flex time support for all employees (not just mothers), and supporting and enforcing equal pay policies for a start.

I’m so goddamned tired of women being told that the burden of their dual responsibilities to society (work to make money and be productive! have kids and take care of them [and your spouse]!) is a burden they placed solely on their own personal shoulders. Why don’t we celebrate and support women and motherhood (separately!) on an institutional level? While workers are fighting for a decent minimum wage right now all I can think about is how we’re still not recognizing that women do the bulk of completely unpaid work, here and around the world. 

We’re supposed to be hot and fit to get a man, then clean up after him in both literal and metaphorical ways the rest of our lives. Or we can break boundaries and be career-oriented and make less money and receive fewer promotions and get shit for trying to Do It All! And we should have kids, but shouldn’t need assistant in raising them, jeez, stop free-loading and work harder.

It’s a goddamn trap being a woman and I don’t see one way men are making it better instead of worse on an institutional and cultural level, for women of any background.  

We’ve fractioned off our causes. Every line item is a fight that’s worth winning, but constantly fighting isn’t a way to live.