Food, Inc. is a full-length documentary, talking about the consumption of unhealthy hood and the health of Americans. The YouTube video talks about the documentary and shows a clip from the film that portrays a family who has to buy fast food. The father and mother are hard-working people with extra-long day hours (from 6 in the morning to 9 or 10 at night, allowing only 8 hours or less of sleep). They have no time to cook, so they need to eat something convenient and fast to feed themselves. With so much stress in their lives, obviously, the adults find it difficult to think straight. I believe that there must be some sort of national effort to educate busy adults how to make quick, healthy meals on the go. That way, people don't have to resort to eating unhealthy fast food.
Tip #1: Go to Dollar Tree
Dollar Tree do not always have the healthiest or cheapest of selections, but the general year-round trend is affordable, and one can definitely find some healthy varieties at Dollar Tree. Sometimes, one can find cheaper deals and bargains in other places by browsing the weekly ads in several grocery stores.
Given that I define "healthy" as "using simple ingredients and keeping the ingredients list short", it is possible to find some healthy food in Dollar Tree: long-grain white rice, canned vegetables (check the ingredients label), canned fruits (again, check the ingredients label), dried fruits, dried beans, canned beans, frozen fruits, frozen vegetables, milk, eggs, and even raw frozen chicken drumsticks. I do not recommend always shopping at Dollar Tree to find cheap deals on these food products, because occasionally, you can find even cheaper deals at other grocery stores. It just depends on the time of year and the whim of the grocery store to promote a product.
Tip #2: Buy a Can Opener
A can opener is a life saver. If you buy a lot of canned fruits and vegetables, then you need a can opener. With a free spoon from a restaurant, you can eat the food straight from the can.
Tip #3: Use the Driving Time as Food Preparation Time
The first YouTube video shows a clip from Food, Inc. In that clip, the family is fortunate enough to own a car. Many poor families in the United States are stranded in food deserts without a car. Having a personal vehicle means one can travel anywhere, anytime. What the family should do is use the driving time as food preparation time. The family may pick up some tortillas and canned beans at Dollar Tree. In the car while the husband is driving, the wife may prepare bean burritos on a cutting board and send them to her family members. She may do this until everyone has something to eat. If time is really tight, then everyone grabs tortilla and spoons some beans into the tortilla.
Tip #4: Save Money on Electricity
The family probably doesn't cook, because the husband and wife wake up so early and come home so late. In that case, they can save money on their electric bill by unplugging the kitchen appliances. Now, the saved money can be allocated to the father's own medical bills and healthy food products that can be eaten quickly.
Tip #5: Get the Kids to Look Up Weekly Ads at School
The older daughter appears as if she goes to high school. In high school, students may have a study hall period to do homework and stuff. She may get a pass from the teacher to go to the library and log online, so she can look up the weekly ads at several grocery stores. She jots the notes down on paper and communicates her findings to her parents. Her parents, who have the money and driving experience, will buy the healthy food that is currently being promoted at a good price in the stores.
Tip #6: Reward Kids for Finding Healthy Food at Low Prices
To encourage kids to make smart and healthy food choices, the parents can reward kids for finding the healthy food at acceptable and affordable prices. The experience will bind the family together as a solid unit and will help the kids mature into smart, money-saving adults.
Tip #7: Park Somewhere and Use the Car Engine to Cook Food
Normally, people use their own cars to cook food, if they are homeless or if they are an extreme cheapskate. For poor people who own cars, they may use their cars to cook food. That's a way of going out to eat.
Tip #8: Use Glass Bottles to Store Water from Water Fountains
Sometimes, pickled vegetables would come in glass jars. In that case, people may consume the pickles, discard the acidic solution, and refill with water from the water fountain. That saves money on buying water in bottled form or getting a cup of soda from a Drive-Thru.
Tip #9: Sleep Together, with Kids in the Middle
To save money on the electricity bill, the family members may sleep together in one room, with the kids in the middle. This form of sleeping will keep the kids in the middle warm and cozy.
Tip #10: Shower Together, and Limit the Time in the Shower
While nudity may seem a bit awkward, there is no room for modesty when you're saving money on the water bill. I believe more families should become like these extreme cheapskates and shower together. The shower time must be limited to 2-3 minutes.
Tip #11: Churches Must Take Action
Individuals and families can't live healthier alone. They need a full community. The United States is a bit peculiar, because it is a developed nation with a relatively high religiosity. Many Americans value faith, and that faith is usually a form of Christianity. Christian churches provide a level of community to families and individuals. Historically, there was always a struggle between the powers of the secular state and the church.
But honestly, I believe that if the secular state is not helping the people and controlled by lobbyists who want profit over public health, then the church should step in and take care of the flock. On the other hand, the danger of having a church that has too much political power is that some unscrupulous people would take advantage of the powerful church and corrupt it, making the church appear ugly and immoral. Well, at least churches are doing their best with providing soup kitchens and charities, but long-term dependence on the charities is a sign that the government is not doing its job in helping the people become more self-sufficient.
Tip #12: Make Smart Choices in the Cafeteria
Kids need to learn to make smart choices in the cafeteria and the importance of identifying and choosing healthy food. Then, they take the knowledge home and make their families healthier by demanding healthy food from their parents and rejecting junk food.