Gwyneth Paltrow gave up on her Food Stamp Challenge, went out to lunch


I guess I’m an idiot, because I didn’t realize that everyone would want to talk about Gwyneth Paltrow deigning to try the Food Stamp Challenge, so I dumped the story in Friday’s links. So, let’s talk about it. Apparently, Gwyneth’s dear friend Mario Batali convinced her to try it – the official name for the stunt (it’s a good stunt, but it’s a stunt, let’s call a spade a spade) is the Food Bank NYC Challenge. Batali got Goop and other people to try to live on $29 a week, which is what families living below the poverty line get in food stamps (SNAP) in the real world to spend on food. Gwyneth posted this photo on her Twitter:

Many of you were questioning all of the limes. I don’t really get it either. Maybe she was making a Key Lime pie? Or something like that. Something nice: it’s good to raise awareness of these issues of food insecurity, food inequality and how people below the line actually get to very little money to spend on food for their family. It’s good when a celebrity with a huge megaphone calls attention to those issues.

Something not nice: Gwyneth really isn’t the best advocate for this or any cause involving food, hunger or anything relating to peasants. She blows all of her imaginary SNAP money on limes and then she goes out to lunch at Tavern in Brentwood. These photos – of Gwyneth in what looks like navy and white pajamas – are of Gwyneth going out to eat on Saturday. Yeah, way to raise awareness, girl! “I’ll just post some photos of all my lovely limes and then go out to eat. I’m famished! Trying to care about fat peasants is exhausting.”


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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141 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow gave up on her Food Stamp Challenge, went out to lunch”

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  1. Hope says:

    I was wondering about the limes too. I’m guessing to flavor the greens? I have no idea. That said, none of this surprises me. Goop is an elitist snob. She would never actually want to put herself in others’ shoes. She already knows what regular peons go through, after all, she has a human body too!

    • puffinlunde says:

      She probably squeezes one lime per day into a glass of hot water and calls it breakfast

      • Hope says:

        Please, that’s dessert and it’s only on Saturdays to wash down her “one” cigarette for the week. Peasant!!!!

      • Belle Epoch says:

        Somebody worked out the calories. It comes to less than 1,000 a day. I think she thought the instructions were for a tortilla dinner party. Stupid cow succeeded in getting attention – for herself.

      • Hope says:


        Ugh. A THOUSAND? No wonder all those welfare people are fat. Clearly they’re being given too much!

        (ALL the sarcasm in that ^ in case it wasn’t clear.)

    • Zoe says:

      Ha! I knew it.

  2. Joy says:

    $29 per week? Is that per person? I know in my state people get way more than that. Source: I used to work in the social service field.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      That is the average weekly allotment per person for SNAP in NYC. That’s not far off for RI or MA either.

    • Tiffany27 says:

      Yeah I could have sworn they get more than that, but Idk.

    • TX says:

      I think it is per person.

    • MC2 says:

      We have WIC in Oregon (women & children) on top of food stamps which is a great program & they are supposed to ask every woman who gives birth if they need it. It covers certain pantry items- milk, cereal, bread, fresh fruit & veggies. Where the hell is the milk & bread in her pic?! She has no clue even when she’s trying.

      • Lucinda says:

        Additionally, in our county in Oregon, when you go on Food stamps, you are also given a list of other resources in the area, at least two of which were free food when we were on food stamps. So while $29 per person per week is not much, at least here, it is not all you get or have access to.

      • atrain says:

        To my knowledge, WIC only applies if your children are under 5. Since her children are older, she wouldn’t qualify.
        Additionally, the Food Stamp Challenge is specifically for SNAP benefits, not other benefits that someone might qualify for.
        Now excuse me while I eat a lime or seven.

    • Delta Juliet says:

      They definitely get more than that in Maine too.

      • lobbit says:

        The average SNAP benefit in Maine is 123.00 monthly, per person. That’s about 28 per week.

    • msw says:

      In my state, it varies greatly based on your income and family size. A lot of my clients get $10 a month and don’t even bother reapplying the next year because it isn’t worth the hassle. (I’m a social worker)

      I’m not saying I agree with it, but I think people more often than not misunderstand the idea behind SNAP benefits. It isn’t designed to be your food budget. It’s designed to keep you from starving. Not that they do it very well, at least where I practice.

      • leannel says:

        Yes, finally someone explains that it’s a hassle. That’s why I’m against drug testing in addition to the huge form they have to fill out. Also, I have a friend who is definitely below the poverty level, but single. With no kids I don’t think you get anything.

  3. kri says:

    I would like to slap her ego, but I think I would break some fingers. Really, she is awful. And also and P.S..I have sheets that look just like her outfit.

  4. lower-case deb says:

    did she eat lunch at the Tavern or merely sitting there and watch people eat and breathe in the heavenly scent wafting from the kitchen.

    reminds me of that folktale where this very poor person lived next door to a very rich gluttonous person. every supper the poor person would sit under the rich person’s window with a handful of rice, savoring the scent coming out of the kitchen. he would satisfy himself by imagining that he was indeed eating roast game etc etc with his rice. one day after a fruitless day at the field, he couldn’t even afford rice and no one could even spare him leftovers, he just sat there as he usually did and mimed eating and chewing to the kitchen scent….
    and now i can’t remember the rest of the story.

    • taterho says:

      I think the guy sitting under the window later went on a picnic with Jennifer Lawrence.

    • Lizzie Babette says:

      The rest of the story: The greedy restaurant man took the poor man to court to try to force him to pay for enjoying the aromas. The judge listened and delivered his verdict…the poor man would pay by letting the restaurant owner listen to the sounds of coins being clinked together. I love that story. 🙂

    • Egla says:

      the rich one sued him in court and asked compensation because he “gave him food for the day”. A lawyer defended the poor guy but ultimately he “lost” and he was forced to pay what the rich asked BUT the judge was smart and he made the poor guy drop the coins on the table. When the rich guy went to pick the coins the judge told him he couldn’t take them because as the poor guy got only the smell of his food he would get only the sound of his money…. Eh childhood stories
      oops someone wrote it better. Eh well i remember correctly then

      • lower-case deb says:

        thanks @lizzie babbette and @egla!
        i tried googling but i guessed i used the wrong keywords. it’s a fun ending and nobody died, that’s why i like it 🙂

  5. Livealot says:

    Lol. She sounds like me trying to diet. Riiiight.

  6. Cannibell says:

    Bet her lunch cost more than $29.

    • BooBooLaRue says:

      Gosh I hope she is a good tipper, but somehow. . .

      • Debbie Do says:

        She’s one of those people who would leave a little card with some kind of spiritual saying about how the best things in life are free instead of leaving money.

  7. nell says:

    For me and my two kids in California, we get $550 a month– more than I ever spent on groceries when I had a good job. No idea where $29 comes from, but I get way more. I was honestly shocked and a little appalled when I got my papers.

    • Nick says:

      so that works out to about $46 per person per week. I assume that extra $17 makes a world of difference.

      • nell says:

        I don’t know if they take into account the age of the children. I suppose for teenagers it would probably be about right; however, mine are six.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @Nell, the children’s age is only a factor when they hit 18. They factor in your income, rent, and some utilities.

    • meh says:

      Where do you live in CA? I lived in SF for a time and then the east bay before moving away, and that would be barely enough to survive there. It is a big state and cost of living varies greatly from region to region.

    • leannel says:

      That’s crazy! California is generous. My cousin has two kids and even when completely unemployed, i think the highest was about $350.

  8. longhairdontcare says:

    Posting the pic was a good thing to do. I think its pretty obvious she couldnt/wouldnt follow through with it. Limes are cheaper than say oranges. That much money wont get you very far. On a tight budget i did 40-50 a week for one person. No juice or milk or anything. Not easy

    • PrincessMe says:

      Yeah, I think posting the picture was a good way to raise awareness. Just hearing a figure might not be as “jarring” as seeing what you actually get for that kind of money (aka very little). I wouldn’t be able to do it though, and I’m not going to judge her for not being able to do it either.

      • Debbie Do says:

        But the limes … I think her only goal was to get an attractive picture out of it and try to be all creative.

    • Alex says:

      College kid living alone here. If I try, a $30 shopping trip is doable though not fun, but I can make it happen. When my finances are in-check, my average trip is $40-$50. $50 is a very comfortable budget for me and I can get all the amenities, but I’m also a vegetarian which cuts costs a bit.

  9. Minu umrani says:

    Nope ! This is her going to her sons birthday party some jumpy place i think Daily mail publised it 2 days back . chris martin was there too. facts incorrect i think

  10. TX says:

    My guess? She took a few items out of her fridge that she guessed were about $29 (or made her assistant run to the store and get $29 worth of food) and took a picture …then went back to live as usual.

  11. Talie says:

    She missed the point that most people buy stuff in boxes with that money because the greens go bad too fast or they are simply to exhausted to cook a full meal. Quick and easy. It’s a bad cycle. But that’s the truth.

    • Lori says:

      That’s a really good point. Prepackaged foods are an essential part of the poverty diet. Where’s the Kraft dinner? So many families are filling up on things like that.

      • Talie says:

        Yes, I think a better move for her would’ve been to show which prepackaged foods are the lesser evils and what you can serve with them to punch up the health value.

      • Denise says:

        Talie – that would have been a smart move. Goes to show her brain and her heart were not really in it. Empty token gesture.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Also many poor people don’t have access to proper food storage. I did poverty law for a while and many of my clients did not have refrigerators or if they did, they often lost power. Ovens were scarce too; they had cooktops but no ovens

    • tealily says:

      I don’t know, man. When I was on food stamps, I didn’t suddenly start eating a bunch of packaged food. Lots of beans and rice and pasta. Cheap per pound proteins. Packaged foods are too expensive. If you shop frequently, you can use your produce while they are fresh. It’s not like you have to shop for the entire month in one day! And I do actually have a refrigerator. Maybe some do not, but I would wager most people have refrigerators, even if they are on foodstamps.

      • yep says:

        Tealily…if you dont have a grocery store nearby, or transportation, you have to rely on the “little” stores nearby.
        That means crappy choices.
        Plus, if it was just you eating what you say you purchased, thats great. But kids could not choke that down, day in, day out. It makes for absolutely miserable children. Sure, they get their protein, but there would be no variety.

      • tealily says:

        I get what you’re saying, I’m just saying that her choices are not unreasonable. I ate in a similar fashion for a while. Not everyone on food stamps lives in a food dessert, though some do. Shopping frequently was possible for me and I took advantage of that. There is no uniform set of rules for “How People on SNAP Benefits Eat.”

      • tealily says:

        Also, I’d argue that buying individual proteins, grains, and vegetable provides more variety than packaged foods, not less. You can use the same ingredients to create a lot of different foods. For example, roast a whole chicken with some veg on Monday, Use some of the leftover chicken, tortillas, veggies and beans to make burritos on Tuesday. Boil the bones and add veg and some pasta for soup on Wednesday. It will probably get repetitive no matter what you are cooking, but I think you can at least vary the flavors more with ingredients rather than prepackaged food. Of course, it does depend on how much time you have to cook and what your kids will/ will not eat.

      • Sarah says:

        A lot of people can only make it to the store a few times a month, especially people in “food deserts “. If you have kids, bad or no mass transit, and like live not within walking distance of a store, it makes it really difficult.

    • Jessica says:

      The challenge isn’t about copying other people’s dietary choices, it’s just about trying to live off $29. TBH posting a picture of the cheapest packaged food you can buy doesn’t really get the point across, because you can get a lot of junk for $29. Of course you’ll be terribly malnourished though.

      I think she did ok. When I was on a tight budget (tighter than $29 a week) dried beans, frozen peas, eggs and leafy veg were staples. I didn’t buy milk (goes off too fast if you live alone) or bread (cheap bread’s only filling for about 2 hours). I always bought something like limes or lemons, maybe a chilli or some garlic or ginger, because you get to a point where you just can’t eat another bland meal. One garlic bulb cost’s about $1 and made my meals edible for weeks. Easily worth it.

  12. Cindy says:

    I know goop is harmless. Compared to, say the Tom cruise Scientology posts, Jon Hamm, etc etc. she hurts no one, she’s likely a good mom and generally decent person. It’s just, sometimes, when I am having real life concerns (and don’t we all), I want her to not be on my radar. Just to please go away. She is so oblivious it makes me tired and I want her off my celebitchy. Alas, she never ever leaves.

  13. Lori says:

    Sorry Foreigner here. Is it $29 /person or /family. Coz there’s not enough there to make one meal for a family.

  14. Algernon says:

    I don’t know, limes are a good source of vitamin C and fiber, so I kind of see why she got them. I would go for oranges or a citrus I can eat out right, but if you cooked the rice with lime juice, throw in some beans, that’s not a bad meal. That’s carbs, iron, an important vitamin and fiber in one sitting. I question the jalapeno and garlic more. Skip the flavor and get an apple or something.

    • Algernon says:

      ETA: I think food challenges have become a losing proposition for celebrities. Have been listening to co-workers bitch about Goop’s food challenge all morning, but how else is this issue supposed to be raised? Remember when Tom Hiddleston got crap for this? SNAP and other assistance programs are being gutted in a time when the cost of living is spiralling out of control, but it’s not a topic of conversation for most people. Celebrities are actually an effective way of raising awareness, but it just seems to make people mad. What else can be done, though? Politicians start talking about it and everyone zones out.

      • Rosalee says:

        I ran a poverty challenge for the food bank I worked for years ago. At that time it was $20.00 per week – transportation was not included – but personal care items such as toilet paper, shampoo etc. was – one of our “celebrity” participants had a light blub burn out in his washroom, he called me in a panic because he couldn’t afford to buy a new blub I gently told him it wasn’t cheating if he used a blub from another light fixture. We received positive public reaction, because the celebrities allowed cameras to follow them during the week. There were politicians who also took part including the Minister of Family Services…a few months later the food budget was increased by $20.00 a month not a big victory but a victory nevertheless.

    • Denise says:

      Sorry but limes are expensive in this context and such a limited food budget simply does not allow for the luxury of spending any money at all on flavoring, healthy or not.

      • TrustMOnThis says:

        Try eating beans and rice with no flavoring forever! Even the Sea Org has better food than that!

  15. Jen says:

    I don’t know, I think Gwyneth is pretty insufferable, but I feel like her life has just become “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” I hope her point was if you want to eat fresh food and avoid living on a mostly processesed diet, food stamps make that pretty impossible. Yes, she got a little carried away but she’s Gwyneth Paltrow, she’s always been out of touch. She reminds me of Anne Hathaway at this point- annoying, a little smug, sure, but wow, people really love to hate her!

  16. jen2 says:

    Posting the photo is nice, but if it is $29 per person/week, the caption is not accurate and she is giving out false information. This is not helpful. $29 per person is still frightfully low and is probably why people on food stamps are not healthy. Processed foods are cheaper than all her lovely fresh vegetables, which I am sure cost more than the stuff in the frozen food area.

    I am sure her heart is in the right place, but she (and others who probably don’t shop for themselves on a budget) really does not understand what it means to have to live on food stamps and the struggle to feed yourself and your family on limited funds.

    • Michelle says:

      “Processed foods are cheaper than all her lovely fresh vegetables, which I am sure cost more than the stuff in the frozen food area.”

      I thought this exact same thing when I saw that she had to buy all fresh vegetables. If someone were on that tight of a budget, they would buy frozen vegetables, or even canned. She is so clueless, she really isolates herself from the real world and real people. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ll never understand how any average people find anything about her relatable. She is the epitome of that “rich white woman out of touch with reality” stereotype. I agree with you about not being able to fault her because she just cannot relate to poverty or struggle.

  17. Gazelle37 says:

    Although I do not personally know GP, I do live in the exact same neighborhood and see her and her ex around town every now and then. They are withdrawn, but polite, in that “above the fray” way. It is sad to see these pics, because I was truly rooting for her to gain some perspective with this misguided, yet well meaning experiment. I live this challenge every day. Personally speaking, my child has been in & out of hospitals for nearly three years, reducing my ability to work to almost nil, and as I’m a single parent, there is no other means of support. My “rainy day fund” was tapped out after two years, and last year I had to apply for public assistance. With food costs what they actually are these days, It is not even enough money to be considered a supplement. We shop at the 99cent store and I skip most meals, so my child can eat. Don’t even get me started on health care. Awareness is important, but why oh why would she go out to LUNCH- at the most $$$$$$$$ place in town????

    • mimif says:

      Hoping for better times (soon!) for you and your child, Gazelle37.

    • Lori says:

      So sorry to hear of your family’s struggle. I’ve had a sick child myself but here in Canada at least I don’t worry about mounting medical bills. And we even have a caregiver section in the employment insurance program. One of the things that stands out to me in your post that few articles highlight is that moms go hungry to spread the food further for the children. Breaks my heart to know you and so many other moms are going without.

      • kai says:

        @Gazelle: I hope my question isn’t insensitive, but how can you live in her neighbourhood when you’re struggling like this? I had imagined that she lives in a pretty homogenous “posh” area, but then I don’t know L.A. ?! Anyway, I wish you all the best. I’ve been on benefits myself, but I’m single and childless and I can’t imagine how people raise families on this sort of budget. I have a lot of respect for you.

    • pk says:

      I’m sorry too Gazelle37. May you and your child seem brighter days ahead.

      • Gazelle37 says:

        Thank you so much for insight and kind comments… Not an insensitive question, logically ones mind goes there, because yes, we are fortunate to live in “the poor part” of one of the “best” (demographically speaking) neighborhoods in L.A.. We have a tiny rent controlled apartment, but even that has been raised to the point where I can no longer afford it. Looking for a place to live is equally challenging when you are financially bankrupt. Poverty is a vicious cycle.

    • laura in LA says:

      Hey Gazelle37,
      I’m on CalFresh, too. It’s nice to admit because I feel so much shame about it, but COLA here is hard enough – and doing much of anything at all when you’re hungry is next to impossible.

      After going long periods of food insecurity, days here and there with nothing at all to eat and finally a two-week water fast last year (during which I passed out twice and hit my head), I couldn’t deal anymore. I started visiting the nearby food pantry, but oftentimes there were no fresh fruits or veggies, and it’s hard to subsist on only rice and beans for long, even as a vegetarian.

      So I finally applied a few months ago, and though it’s still hard, I can only imagine how much harder my situation would be with children. You have my sympathies, and know that you’re not alone.

      As for GOOP, I couldn’t care less, fine if it brings attention to the problem, but for some of us, this is not some fun “challenge” – it’s very real and scary. The person on foodstamps is not a stranger but someone you might see everyday, even the person next door.

  18. L says:

    The limes are clearly for margaritas which she will need to imbibe to get through this ‘challenge.’ (Obviously, the tequila was purchased before the challenge began.)

  19. Michelle says:

    Someone please explain to me how this insufferable woman has any fans. Everything she does turns out to be eye-roll inducing and pathetic. I can’t fault for her on being clueless about how to survive on food stamps. This challenge only proved how far off she is from relating to anyone who struggles, and how can we blame Gwenyth for not being able to relate to the real world or poverty when she grew up rich and remains rich today? Technically, she could live off of what she bought for one week, and she did prove that people can make healthier choices, but just as everything else she does, she managed to come off looking like a stuck up moron.

  20. Funner times says:

    She can’t win, but I admire her as a food personality for drawing attention to a real problem…. On another note, this is a paltry amount of food, but I imagine in Brentwood $29 doesn’t go very far…..

  21. tealily says:

    I don’t understand why everyone is giving her so much grief about these limes. Limes are a cheap way to add some flavor and some vitamins to your food. I would probably shop very similarly to what she did if I had to eat on $29 for the week. Might cut something to add a whole chicken though.

    And for the folks saying it’s cheaper to buy processed foods, I want to know on what planet? Veg is about as cheap as it gets. Unless you’re talking dollar menu, maybe. Source: frequently shopping while broke.

    • annaloo. says:


      Processed foods are the devil. That said, here’s the break down I would have spent on them:

      5 packs of ramen = $1
      Home Pride bread = $2
      Hot dogs (8pk)= $4
      Jello = $1

      That would probably do it for prepackaged food for me, the remaining $21 would go towards:

      Eggs (dozen) = $3
      Frozen veggies (broc, spinach, )= $3-4
      Rice= $3
      Chicken =$5
      Milk (1/2 qt)= $3
      Fruit (whatever is cheapest at the time)= $3

      That is the best way I could see to stretch that $29, and as a freelancer, it’s been reality several times. I choose those foods bc sometimes you just need to feel full, though im sure it woukd be better to trade out thr ramen and bread for something like rice, but i was trying to be honest about how I would eat. I dont know how I could raise a family on this, tho.

      Honestly, she is the worst messenger for this challenge… Gwyneth advocating for the poor is right up there with Dick Cheney advocating for peace in Iraq – it feels disingenuous and like a vanity project for her. This is the same woman who does weekly juice fasts and sells t-shirts at $200. Who is her PR team, and is she really helping the poor by doing this?

      • littlestar says:

        Wow, that is cheap for hotdogs. Where I live in Canada, hotdogs are like $11 for a package of 8. Limes are about $1 each here.

      • Solanaceae (Nighty) says:

        Ok,I went shopping today, and this is in euros:1kg of rice – 0,96, you have a kg rice for 0,54 also,other brands…
        spaghetti, 500 g – 0,75
        vegetables price per kilo –
        pumpkin – 1,79
        onion- 0,69
        carrot – 0,65
        strawberry – 2, 50
        zucchini – 2,59
        cabbage- 0,99

      • Drusilla says:

        Where I live in Canada (GTA), you can get a 12 pack of tofu dogs for $5 (even cheaper for meat hot dogs) and limes for 33-50 cents. I pay $1.25 for a block of frozen spinach,and can get 2 lbs of carrots for around $1. Large tins of tomatoes often cost less than $1.

  22. anne_000 says:

    The DM said that photo showed about 1,000 calories per day for the week. Isn’t this the same amount of calories Penn of Penn & Teller took to lose a huge amount of weight?

    Anybody in the US in the real world with only $29/week wouldn’t have bought what she did, especially with the higher cost vegetables instead of basic things like milk, bread, margarine, etc.

    And of course, she went out to eat where it probably costs over $29 for food, drink, tip, valet, etc. Not even Gwen can stay committed to her 1,000 calorie per day food decision.

    • tealily says:

      Things like milk and margarine/ butter and things that you probably have in the house already. I know I don’t buy them every week. I know some folks who do the SNAP challenge assume you are already going to have a certain number of staples (spices, etc.) on hand already, and some use only what they can purchase within the weekly budget. They are different sets of “rules” for the challenge, but equally valid and acceptable.

      I am by no means a Goop apologist, but I don’t think this particular flight of fancy is not something we need to be criticizing her for, necessarily.

      • anne_000 says:

        If she posts a photo that she says proves it can be done for $29/week, then she should stick to it, because that’s the whole point. Can someone reasonably live on a regular basis (more than just a week) on $29/week on that little bit of food?

        It defeats the purpose of the challenge to post a 1,000 calories per day food purchase then go out to eat at presumably a high-cost luncheon that would finish off that $29 budget in an hour.

        I guess you can buy milk and other staples not mentioned between our posts every other week instead of weekly if you ration it out properly, but then that means that what Goop shows in her photo is not realistic for the following week, because she’s going to have to buy whatever staples some time soon.

        Yes, it’s a “flight of fancy” for her and the way she went about it is insulting. For her to presume that people should live on that sparse amount of food and calories week after week at the same time she can’t keep herself from sticking to what she publicly ‘advertised’ means she can’t take it seriously for herself yet thinks others can and should. Shows a lack of empathy on her part.

      • tealily says:

        On the contrary, I think her post shows just how hard it is to live on $29/week. As you point out, it isn’t that much food, and it would require a lot of repetition of meals. I don’t think she’s saying people “should” live on that, but she is showing us that this is all she was able to buy for that amount.

    • laura in LA says:

      You know, I think she actually proves how hard it is to spend that $29 wisely to get sustenance, nutrition and flavor. If she wants to blow it on limes, maybe she can use them in many ways, though I think a $1.99 bag of lemons would’ve been better!

      But seriously, as someone who’s really on foodstamps, you want to also include cooking oils and seasonings in that budget. Just because you keep them in the cabinet, doesn’t mean they last forever, though if you’re not careful, those can take up the budget. I shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods mostly, and while that may sound too expensive, they’re the only stores within walking distance from me, and I know their prices by heart.

      For instance, there are plenty of bulk food options and choices, and pasta can be bought for $1.00 a bag. The only problem with this is that carbs do not keep you full and only make you crave more of them.

  23. Lara K says:

    It is WAY easier to feed three people on $90 a week than one person on $30 a week.

    Singles get shafted hard again.

    And yes, I speak from experience (before and after marriage and child).

    • Easypeasy123 says:

      People get foodstamps once a month. You can get a lot more food with $116 a month than $29 a week.

  24. Nicole says:

    She lectured poor people instead of bringing awareness to poverty and then went out to lunch. What an aszhole.

    • jwoolman says:

      She wasn’t lecturing poor people. She just showed what $29 would buy for her recommended eating plan. The text attached indicated she felt $29 was too low to feed people healthily. So she’s obviously advocating for more money in the program.

  25. Eleonor says:

    My bitchy brain says: Goop can live even with less than 29$, she doesn’t eat.

  26. jc126 says:

    In any discussion about food stamps, there is always someone chiming that it’s supposed to be a supplement to one’s budget, not the sole source of funds for food, which I think is a ridiculous notion. Trying to feed yourself on food stamps is difficult at best.
    If you really, really only had $29 a week, or thereabouts, would you REALLY choose fresh produce over processed foods that are cheaper? I wouldn’t. I’d probably be eating lots of peanut butter sandwiches, which is what I had to eat back when I had very little money (though no food stamps). It was years before I could even look at peanut butter again.

    • Ash says:

      “I wouldn’t. I’d probably be eating lots of peanut butter sandwiches, which is what I had to eat back when I had very little money (though no food stamps). It was years before I could even look at peanut butter again. ”

      I went through something similar. I ate peanut butter sandwiches often. I also ate some frozen dinners.

      I lived in an efficiency that came with a small refrigerator that had a frozen food shelf. In other words, you couldn’t keep anything in there for more than a day or two before it would go bad.

      Don’t even get me started on fresh produce. Same situation.

      If your money is going to rent, public transportation, and to pay what bills you have, then you don’t have much left to purchase food and other necessities. SNAP supplemented what little money I had leftover, but you’re not living ‘high on the hog’ while you’re on SNAP.

      You have to be judicious in how you spend.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I am too ashamed to say here how much I spend on food for two people. Goop is superficial, but this at least made me think about the issue and what I can do in my state.

  27. Carol says:

    Maybe I don’t understand this challenge, but I am not sure why everyone is so upset at the groceries she chose. Was she really supposed to spend $29 the way she thinks poor people should? What is the point of that? Every picture in the challenge would then be about the same, which doesn’t raise awareness of anything.

    I think the challenge makes more sense if you are supposed to do your ordinary shopping and then take a picture of $29 worth of that stuff.

    • tealily says:

      I think an awful lot of people seem to have an opinion of “how poor people should eat,” but the truth is that no one knows how they would successfully feed themselves for $29 a week until they give it a shot. I think her choices are as valid as any.

    • laura in LA says:

      Yeah, I’m no GOOP fan, but I have to agree w/what you’ve said here as I think she actually shows how hard it is to choose wisely and stretch a strict food budget.

      What offends me more are the politicians debating and scrutinizing how poor people spend our benefits. I’m a vegetarian, but last week, my senior dog got very sick. I was very scared because I can’t afford the vet right now. So I bought him a $13 organic whole chicken, fed him stock and meat for days, and now my boy’s back to health again.

      Anyone who questions my food choices can go eff themselves, especially those complaining congressmen whose salaries my meager taxes pay!

  28. imjustme says:

    Ok, her pic is ridiculous. If you have $29 per person a week, you are not buying that much produce. However, if cooking almost entirely from scratch is feasible, you can stretch a food budget much further. It is possible to cover dinner for a week for a family of 5 on $70. When money is tight, I use the menus offered here The recipes are good but you do have to cook nearly everything.
    Goop had the opportunity to call attention to the plight of hunger in this country and could have actually been useful, for once, but apparently living amongst the peasants was too overwhelming for her after taking a picture.

  29. TwistBarbie says:

    I’m by no means low income but $20-$30 for groceries per week is what I typically spend, I don’t find it difficult at all! Fresh veggies are ridiculously cheap.

    • Easypeasy123 says:

      I am low income and this is similar to what I would buy. i at least get bananas, lettuce, and lemons (5/$1) weekly. I got a pineapple for $1 last week and that went pretty far. You would see the stuff she bought in any Hispanic mother’s cart. Not all poor people eat crap. I plan ahead,ad match, and use coupons. i buy beef when I find it “reduced for quick sale”. Whatever fresh produce is in season is usually quite inexpensive. I live in Texas though so I bet produce isn’t as affordable in NY.

      OAN You can buy seeds and plants to grow your own food with SNAP benefits. Which is kind of cool

      • jwoolman says:

        Just to show how different prices can be: I’m in the Midwest, in a small city (pop. 45,000 within city limits, up to 100,000 if you count outlying areas) and at my local grocery store, lemons are usually at least $1.29 each for large ones, sometimes on sale for $1: smaller ones in bags are a little cheaper nominally but not actually since there are always bad ones or nearly bad ones hidden in the bag. Limes are usually $0.50 each or so. Avocados are typically $2.50 for a small Haas avocado, but they go on sale periodically for $1.68 each and very occasionally for $1. Apples are often about $3 per pound (that’s equivalent to about two very large ones), sometimes on sale for $2 and when local apples are available, maybe even for $1 per pound. Pears are really pricey, but recently there brought down the price to $1.99 per pound (about 2 pears max per pound). Stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums) have been very high for years, $2.99 per pound is typical with occasionally sales for $2 per pound and rare sales at $1 per pound. Melons have been very high also for ages, sometimes sales In summer but there’s a risk in getting uncut melons (they may or may not be any good), it’s easier to tell if they’re sold cut. $3 or $4 for a small canteloupe is not unusual. Tomatoes are typically $2.50 per pound, but in summer usually some are on sale for $1.99 per pound or rarely even $1 per pound when local tomatoes are available. A sale price of $1.50 per pound is considered a bargain. A green bell pepper is typically $0.89; orange, red, or yellow bell peppers are normally as high as $2.50 each but sometimes $2 each, occasionally on sale for $1.68 each and very rarely on super sale for $1 each. Amazingly, though, my store does have coupons for produce sometimes and once or twice a year runs a 20% discount sale on all produce.

        This is not a rich area, lots of unemployment and lots of people on food stamps. The average yearly income in my state is $25,000. I don’t have a car so I can’t bounce around town comparison shopping, but just go to the regional chain supermarket in my neighborhood within a block’s walking distance. Gas prices are really high, though, so the prices would have to be a lot cheaper to be worth a car trip. Also car repair costs are high, a friend who is relatively low income recently was hit with several thousand dollars of repairs to his car and van (both needed for the kind of work he and his wife do, they have to haul big stuff around). That’s another big source of credit card debt in the U.S., car repairs can’t be put off because a car is a necessity here, not a luxury. We don’t have much (if any) mass transit, just tiny buses that run limited hours and don’t go everywhere, just one taxi company, and no intercity buses anymore. It is assumed that most people have a car. All the other supermarkets are located far away from me at two ends of town, walking to them would take a couple of hours each way (I used to do it in my youth). Walking is perilous because for quite a bit of the distance, there are no sidewalks and local drivers don’t notice pedestrians at best or take aim at us at worst. Bicycles are an even more hazardous mode of transportation here, so I dropped the bicycle fairly early and just walked (easier to avoid getting killed that way).

        During some of the year, there’s a farmer’s market on Saturday mornings but it’s too far away for me to walk there now and there usually was hardly anything left by the time I would get there anyway. It’s a long walk for a few tomatoes. The people working the graveyard shift at factories and such would pretty much clean them out on their way home at 6am. It’s not a huge market anyway.

  30. Tessa says:

    I know we pay 3 times as much for food in uk as u guys, but is that actually 29 dollars worth? Looks more like 60.
    Plus I bet she chucks them yolks away

    • JenniferJustice says:

      The yolks are for her hair.

    • Alex says:

      I can’t fact check, but that looks reasonable for a 30-dollar shopping trip. I’d be really concerned if that cost someone $60 lol. I have a $50 budget and I come back with way more than that.

  31. Katija says:

    Oh my God, the limes.

    It’s clear she’s making some vegetarian taco/Mexican-inspired dish. The lime used in the actual food would never exceed the juice of one lime. When I make guac I just use the juice of 1/4 of a lime, even for a big bowl.

    Gwenny, darling, it’s painfully obvious that your tasy vegan Mexican-inspired BS tacos will be accompanied by margaritas or mojitos or Coronas, AKA the ONLY reason any human being ever buys more than two limes at once. Let’s be real: Limes primarily exist to be garnishes on drinks. They only OCCASIONALLY serve as a real food item.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      I use limes to cook with chicken, but Gwyneth would feign at the thought of eating even hormone-free chicken.

    • Telicity says:

      I just bought 6 limes because they were on sale for ridiculously cheap like 6 for less than $2.

  32. Anon says:

    My niece is disabled, gets $90 a month on SNAP. She cooks her meals, doesn’t buy expensive items and runs out by the end of the month. Keep in mind, paper and cleaning goods and such must come of the cash money they receive. Low income housing isn’t so low cost anymore either.
    Because the governors have changed the laws on what can be purchased on SNAP, families that bought food that was marked down A LOT at the store….yes, sometimes steak that was cut up for stews and such, will no longer be available for people on SNAP. There are people that do use SNAP that are very wise in their cooking and usage because they have to be.

  33. JenniferJustice says:

    Happy to have awareness raised by any means, but seems those grocery items were selected to make a pretty picture. I only see one possible meal – rice and beans. Silly girl – most kids are not vegan, so a pound of ground beef would have been more realistic – or just to humor her – ground turkey…something. Come on.

  34. ican'tsnap says:

    She is still (always and forever) out of touch and ridiculous, but these photos are NOT of her going out to lunch.

    I saw them posted elsewhere, described as her attending her son’s BIRTHDAY PARTY. There were photos of her in her car (in the same outfit) with a “Martin” placard in the visor to indicate she was with the party.

    You should update your story!

  35. jwoolman says:

    I don’t know why people are still yelling at her. She just posted a picture of normal food for her way of eating that would amount to the allowed $29 per week per person. Where did she say that was what she herself was going to eat that week? It seems to be just an illustration of how she would be restricted IF she were on the program, trying to eat reasonably normally although not with much variety, not a prescription for how somebody else should eat. Why would she include peanut butter or hamburger meat if she doesn’t eat those things? It’s just an exercise to show how the $29 limitation would affect her. I’m sure other people come up with different collections of food, illustrating their own eating habits scaled down to the restriction of $29.

    As for the limes- they’re a good source of Vitamin C, nicely alkalizing if you have a UTI, and really cheap where she lives. Maybe they were the best bargain for citrus fruits. Besides adding them to the greens or rice/beans, she could just drink water with lime juice (no sugar needed). One quarter to one half of a lime in a glass of cold water is quite tasty. I include the pulp. An avocado is an excellent source of vitamin A and fiber, and also very cheap where she lives.

    • annaloo. says:

      If she really was committed to this cause, do like Angelina Jolie and put your money and actions where your mouth is and make some moves that actually COUNT. This is a waste of celebrity attention… Gwyneth posting a $29 haul on Instagram bc friend Batali challenged her to it, or Gwyneth working with local representatives and politicians to implement real change by way of speaking to the issue in an official capacity and putting hands on the problem to solve it?.,… REAL CHANGE COMES FROM REAL WORK

      She’s a cheap, fly-by-cause type… the only this thing has done was raise her profile, again- – another faux good feeling for essentially doing nothing. Do you think any real change will come through this?

      Go back to shilling your $15 lip balms and $200 t-shirts, Paltrow. You waste so much already.

      • Sara says:

        With all due respect, what is the point of bringing awareness to poverty when one lives in a 70 million dollar chateau? I’ve always found Jolie’s methods perplexing.

  36. Arthur says:

    The $29/week thing is bunkum.

    Mentioned nowhere here is that SNAP is an acronym, and the first word is “SUPPLEMENTAL.”

    Is in, SNAP money supplements your food budget. It is not supposed to BE your food budget.

    • Rej says:

      And what about people who HAVE no food budget? Where SNAP is all they have?

      • jc126 says:

        You’ll wait forever for an answer to that one. There’s plenty of people who only depend on SNAP, certainly.

    • laura in LA says:

      Excuse me, Arthur?!

      What you just said here is meaningless…

      If I had money for food, I wouldn’t need benefits. For some of us, it’s NOT supplemental; it’s survival.

      Take your acronyms and eat ’em.

  37. Nikki says:

    Thank you, Talie. People sometimes show how you can make the $ stretch, but so many folks are WORKING poor, often at exhausting labor, and having to piece together transportation and child care, AND often don’t have easy access to a wide selection of food. Big surprise that someone in that situation will rely more on processed foods. Goop hasn’t a clue, and I have run out of my last shred of tolerance for her stupidity!

  38. kelly says:

    Come on, no she didn’t. The rules are you have to buy about $29 worth of food for the week to consume. It doesn’t say anything about others treating you to a meal out.

    Try again.

    • Elle says:

      Actually the challenge is that you can’t use food you already have or have people give you food. Or it was when I first saw the challenge.

  39. Solanaceae (Nighty) says:

    Minimum wage in my country is 582 dollars .. Paying all bills, house, and giving food to kids is a nightmare with that salary… Old people get pensions of less than 200$, … I’ve seen people stealing bread, (10 cents) or milk, because they couldn’t afford it and this project of human being is too selfish to actually do the challenge for 5 days?
    At least some famous people took it seriously (remember TH and Amanda Abbington?) ..
    She should be ashamed, but of course, she’s not.. I can’t stand people like her…

  40. Grace says:

    I think she uses those limes for her taco and guacomole recipe. I tried it once and it was pretty good. From what she bought at the store, it looks like she is going to do her taco and guaco recipe.

  41. Iheartgossip says:

    Dumb azz beezy doing dumb azz things. Just go live in your bazillion dollar mansion, with your million dollar colonics, while your children attend a $100,000 a year school – and leave us Poors alone. What an unaware a-holz

  42. Kiyoshigirl says:

    Does anyone know if she actually ate anything at the lunch on Saturday? Regardless, I’m a local elected official and one of our mandated duties is to provide assistance for the needy. Easily 85% of our clients are seniors (due to the fact that we have two large over 55 housing complexes within our district). It breaks my heart to see them come in needing everything from energy assistance to food. Truthfully I wonder if some of them tell their kids that this is how their getting by. They have a lot of well deserved pride. The food pantry policy approved by our board allows clients to come in once a month (believe me, if I was in charge it would be at least two times per month) to pickup groceries. We have a good supply of items and receive a lot of donations from the larger community. Nevertheless, we provide mostly shelf items. Occasionally we can provide meat and fish, but we only have three refrigerators/freezers, so space is limited for perishables. Several years ago we established a community garden which operates from late April to late October. Clients can come in any time they want for fresh produce. Our garden volunteers are beyond awesome. The produce is all organic and there’s a wide variety. In the beginning many of the clients passed on the fresh produce. We found out a lot of them didn’t know how to prepare the items, or didn’t like the taste of bland produce. We began handing out recipes to prepare the produce in ways that would be healthy, but delicious, and the clients began asking for more kale, Swiss chard, beets, leeks, etc. It’s incredibly fulfilling to contribute to this sort of program, but it also wears on the heart to know that so many seniors cannot afford to buy their own groceries. We all need to do more to make sure the needy are fed and have options to eat healthy.

  43. Denise says:

    Nice to see Goopy is not above curating poverty.

  44. lily says:

    Looks like the paps may have been calling her out on the challenge. She almost looks embarrassed.

  45. sa says:

    I buy limes 10 for $1. And since the part of the challenge is that you can’t use any food in the pantry, which I assume includes spices, a lime seems like a pretty cheap way to add flavor. I feel like there are a lot of things to criticize Gwyneth Paltrow for, but buying limes on a limited budget? That seems seems like a stretch.

  46. Veronica says:

    The way I’ve seen SNAP work a few times is that people go out and buy what they usually would – and then stop once they hit $29. In that view, it works because it highlights the unrealized luxury of good eating. I can’t really bring myself to shit on her one way or another for it? Like, obviously the woman is out of touch and nobody would mistake her for someone in need, but the shot of her paltry haul still holds a visual punch as to how expensive fresh food really is.

  47. Me too says:

    To some people, bread, milk, and butter are not staples. I don’t buy or eat either on a regular basis. Maybe we need to rethink the traditional American diet instead.

  48. J.D. says:

    It’s clear from the picture of the food she purchased that she has no clue of how low income people eat… Most women on limited food budgets would probably buy pasta (on sale), ground beef, Hamburger Helper, cereal, Mac n Cheese, peanut butter, bread, canned soup…. Dinners are probably spaghetti, sloppy joes, hot dogs and baked beans, chilli…. … Things not likely to be in Paltrows pantry…. Probably not in the home she was raised in…….
    There’s a reason so many low income people are overweight or have health issues….. They have a poor diet…. They can’t afford to shop at whole foods

    • Drusilla says:

      The point of the challenge isn’t to try to get much food you can for $29. What would be the point of Gwyneth Paltrow showing us a picture of how much ramen you can get for $29? It makes far, far more sense for her to take a snap of how little of her normal diet she can actually buy on $29.

  49. raincoaster says:

    People, people, the reason the limes are in there is that this was CLEARLY designed by a stylist to give an impression of fashionable freshness. It’s not what any one would eat in a week.

    Here’s the lunch menu for Tavern, by the way. Basically anything she could order would burn through half of the weekly budget

  50. D says:

    Hypocrite Poopy Paltrow !!! Most Pretentious Hag in Hollywood … She’s VILE !!

  51. Pamela says:

    Oh no!! An elitist trying to be noticed for giving a crap and failing, like that wasn’t obviously going to happen!! Gwneth. Are you to stupid to realize $29.00 a week means $29.00 a WEEK? Who ever told you to try this was an idiot because you (like many people) don’t understand living on welfare. You can’t do a photo opp and then go eat a real lunch because even your skinny ass realizes your hungry! I would bet top money you made your nanny or maid eat what you picked and had them comment for your thoughts. Unfortunately I have been on welfare and I personally know whats it like to feed me and a child on $30.00 per week, ONLY!! Being on welfare is not a good experience: from the stares you get at the check out for every item you buy, to your own family saying you are nothing because you don’t have a job. You are nothing but a joke, try being real and people will respect you!

  52. Helo says:

    Good Lord…!.

    Goopy, Goopy, Goopy…you elitist nimrod.
    Goop has held the record for saying/doing the dopiest things in the shortest amount of time.

    Now, Goop has just broken her own record.

    Congrats, Goopy.

  53. Blackbutterfly says:

    Her choices are very smart. Healthy and nutritious. However, where the heck does she shop that those groceries cost $29.00
    I live in California and that would cost around $14.00- $16.00 at any of my local grocery chain stores.