Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points


Interesting Information: Walmart’s Campaign to Fight Hunger

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Interesting Information:  October 22, 2012

Walmart’s Campaign to Fight Hunger

A Walmart insert came in our local Camden, Maine, paper last week.

I was horrified by its contents.  And, saddened.

The front page of a four-page sale flyer announced–in big capitals–“ONE IN SIX AMERICANS STRUGGLE WITH HUNGER.”

The background picture (I would try to photo it, but I’m afraid of their copyright laws) shows four children (two African Americans, one with dark hair whose face is turned away, and in the center of the page, a blond white child with big blue eyes) and a “mom” or “teacher” adult.  So, unspoken is that we really have to do something about hungry children, not just hungry Americans.  (The last time I looked, childhood hunger was one in five children–and if Walmart paid better wages, they could help that problem immensely.)

In the foreground are 2 apples, four raspberries, six oranges, and a bunch of about 6 bananas.  Behind them–and filling the rest of the pages–are boxes of horrible, fake, sugary, unhealthy foods:  Honey Nut Cheerios, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Country Crock margarine, Jell-O Oreo Dirt Cup, Knorr Pasta with Chicken, Knoss Rice with Cheddar and Broccoli, a box of Hamburger Helper that promises seven meals, Kellogg’s Special K (really, there’s nothing in that box that’s good for you–see my Mainely Tipping Points essays), and Nature Valley cereal bars.

The other three sheets are more of the same kind of fake foods.  The only fresh foods are the token fruits on the front page–and they aren’t on sale in the flyer.

The logos of General Mills, Unilever, Kraft Foods, and ConAgra Foods are on the cover page.

Meanwhile, the government and the medical community and all the public health folks are running around screaming about the obesity epidemic.  Really, they don’t need to look any farther than this Walmart flyer.  Here’s what is massively wrong and why so many folks are obese.  They’re eating TOO MANY CARBOHYDRATES and fake foods, like the ones “on sale” in this ad.

Don’t for one minute think that Walmart cares about obesity or children.  Or, that Walmart is NOT making a huge profit on a sale like this one.  There is not one philanthropic bone in this corporation’s structure.  And, according to Tracie McMillan in THE AMERICAN WAY OF EATING (more on this book later), Walmart already controls 25 percent of the grocery market in America and is now threatening expansion that will harm inner city markets and urban farming efforts.  Don’t think Walmart will always keep prices low as they get more of a market share either.  They won’t.

So, don’t fall for this kind of appeal.

Don’t be a part of feeding hungry kids or your kids or yourself this kind of unhealthy food.  Find other ways to help feed the hungry and to eat yourself.  There’s plenty of help out there for you to learn how NOT to use these boxed fake foods.

Most of all, don’t shop at Walmart.  Yes, some things may be momentarily cheaper at Walmart, but there are huge costs in all kinds of ways in the Walmart model.  Walmart is part of why we have hungry children in America in the first place.

Written by louisaenright

October 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: July 2012 Read Pile

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  July 26, 2012

July 2012 Read Pile

Here’s my current read pile:

Actually, I’ve been working this one since May, when I took this picture.


I’m also reading THE TIGER’S WIFE, Tea Obreht, which I’m really enjoying.  It was ranked one of the top ten books of 2011 by the NY Times.

John just finished IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS, Erik Larsen, the memoir of Ambassador Dodd’s family in Hitler’s Germany, just before WWII, when the Nazi’s come to power.  He loved it, and half my book club has read it and did, too.  We read Larsen’s earlier book, THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, I think.  It was really good too.  It was about a serial killer operating in the time of the huge world fair held in Chicago, as I recall.

QUIET was a gift from John.  It’s about the special place introverts occupy in society.  He gave it to me because I am an full-blown introvert, and he’s a full-blown extrovert.