Saturday, June 04, 2011

Extreme Rain, Extreme Couponing

Item 1: This fucking rain. Enough. Already.

Item 2: Extreme Couponing. I grew up with a coupon-clipping mom who took the Sunday ritual of rifling through the circulars seriously. Scissors in hand, she would file coupons into her blue alphabetized accordion file which we were not to touch except to retrieve for her en route to the grocery store.

Extreme Couponing is nothing like this. The goal of extreme couponers is not to save a little on things you need this week but to pay as little as possible for as much as possible, whether or not you need it or can possibly use it within this millennium. Extreme Couponers strategically apply coupons, rebates and grocery store discount cards for things they don't need like bags of Nerds and fistfuls of Mentos to apply savings to things that they do need, like cases of soda, valu-paks of hot dogs and pallets of instant mashed potatoes. The goal of every Extreme Couponer is two-fold: to walk away from the grocery store with hundreds of dollars worth of items for less than $50 (less is ideal) and to grow their stockpile--a beloved collection of neatly arranged items warehoused in spare rooms, closets and garages. This show is like Hoarders cross-pollinated with off-the-grid survivalists with a sprinkling of Oprah fairy dust. The sheer determination and organization of these women made me wonder why they weren't applying their prodigious talents running global businesses instead of amassing bottles of Febreeze and Olay Body Wash, but that question is beyond the scope of this ranty post.

Item 3: The FDA issued new eating guidelines last week to address the growing obesity epidemic, called MyPlate.

Pretty straightforward, right? Much easier to look at how your plate is divided than to figure out how much 3 ounces of meat is or how many green beans are in a half cup. If you've even watched ten minutes of Extreme Couponing you'll know that no one on that show is filling half their grocery carts with fruits and vegetables and the most prominent grocery item featured on the show is soda, nowhere to be seen on MyPlate.

Check out nutritionist and food activist Marion Nestle's reaction to MyPlate but if you're not feeling clicky here's a hint of what might need to change to ensure all Americans have access to affordable fruits and vegetables to cover half their plates:

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