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Hipster dining

(article, Culinate staff)

As Culinate contributor Charlotte Freeman noted on Facebook, Salon's recent article about hipsters dining well off food stamps is problematic. Here's a quote from the story:

bq. "I'm sort of a foodie, and I'm not going to do the 'living off ramen' thing," he said, fondly remembering a recent meal he'd prepared of roasted rabbit with butter, tarragon and sweet potatoes. "I used to think that you could only get processed food and government cheese on food stamps, but it's great that you can get anything."

Freeman thought the article was snarky, but that the sentiments expressed by the so-called hipsters — why can't we eat real food on government assistance? — are bona fide. As letter-writer Gerry Mak pointed out,

bq. I don't insist on craft or expensive goods, I try merely to buy healthy food. I'm on food stamps because I need them. I've been basically unemployed or underemployed for over a year, though I have been looking for any sort of work that is available. I have pared down all of my expenses and I've moved to a cheaper city. I cook for myself because it's cheap and I can choose what ingredients go into my food. I also happen to love cooking. I don't want to be diabetic or sick because I don't have health care.

For more about the recent expansion of food-stamp benefits and usage, check out the New York Times'_ article on the subject.