Shocker: Gwyneth Paltrow Failed the Food Stamp Challenge

Posted: Apr 17, 2015 12:02 PM

In a move that should surprise nobody, actress Gwyneth Paltrow has failed the #FoodBankNYCChallenge just after the halfway mark. The challenge, posed to her by celebrity chef Mario Batali, was to live on a $29 food budget for one week. Before the week began, Paltrow tweeted her $29 grocery haul, which included, among other things, seven limes.

Paltrow was criticized by many on both the left and the right (including yours truly) for her laughably poor meal-planning and budgeting skills. (Seriously, SEVEN limes?! WHO NEEDS SEVEN LIMES?!)

The limes are perhaps the best example of how hilariously out-of-touch Paltrow is with grocery shopping and budgeting. Given that the black beans are from Safeway, and Safeway is currently selling limes at $0.60/each, Paltrow spent $4.20, or nearly 14 percent of her food budget for the week(!) on limes. Limes are not filling, given that they're mostly used to just flavor food. A seven ounce bottle of lime juice, which does the same essential function as seven limes, is sold at Safeway for $1.70. She could have spent the nearly three-dollar savings on something more filling, like oh, I don't know, nearly two pounds of chicken drumsticks, thighs, or quarters, which are sold for $1.69 per pound. Or, if Paltrow were willing to skip the limes entirely, she could have purchased two and a half pounds of chicken, which would have been good for at least six meals.

Paltrow grew up wealthy, and has likely never had to budget or scrimp in order to eat for a week. It makes sense, and I'm not going to fault her for having a privileged background. It is, however, rather ridiculous for her to attempt to score political points by exposing how out-of-touch she is to not only the struggle of people enrolled in SNAP, but also the lives of everyday Americans living above the poverty line.