Hipsters – college-educated, creative, often unemployed 20-somethings – are cashing in on the government's recently relaxed eligibility rules for food stamps, says Salon.com. But they're not just buying bread and milk: They're using public aid to purchase trendy high-end foods like Japanese eggplant, mint chutney, and wild-caught salmon. "I'm sort of a foodie, and I'm not going to do the whole 'living off ramen' thing," says one "hipster" interviewee. Should the unemployed be shopping at places like Whole Foods?
This is a racket: These "trust fund babies" might live in million-dollar mansions, says XXL columnist Byron Crawford at BryanCrawford.com, but as long as they're unemployed, they qualify for food stamps. "You can tell they don't really need the money" because they're shopping at "Whole Foods, aka Whole Paycheck." Frankly, I'm outraged and — as someone who works hard for a skimpy salary — "jealous."
"Oh hell no — hipsters on food stamps"
Wait, healthy food is a basic right: The "hipsters" in question are just being smart, says Gerry Mak at Lost at E Minor. Eating healthily is one of the best ways to guard against illness — and that's a serious concern for unemployed, uninsured individuals like me. "Good friends and good food are the last things keeping me healthy, happy, and sane."
"Hipsters on food stamps"
Sure — but within reason: The "central problem" here isn't that "hipsters" are using food stamps to buy healthy foods — it's that they're buying exotic ingredients at specialty grocers, says Dan Mitchell at the Big Money. Obviously, "the answer lies" in somewhere in the middle: Buy fairly priced, nutritious food at a normal grocery store. But "wait until you're back on your feet before you shop at Whole Foods."
"Using food stamps at Whole Foods"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Are there too many good shows on television?
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- The NFL is terrified of the culture war
Subscribe to the Week