Written by Travis Koch, Posted: Thu, April 26 2012 at 5:54 PM, Updated: Thu, April 26 2012 at 7:00 PM
Oregon has the top spot in the category that no state wants to lead. the number of people who have turned to food stamps in order to survive. Today, nearly one-in-five Oregonians are using them and the program is at risk of being defunded in congress.
In today's world of unhealthy eating, fast processed food reigns supreme. It's cheap and appealing especially if you only have three dollars a day to eat. At a time when more people are without a job, homeless, or on disability many are on supplemental nutrition assistance- fighting to get the bare necessities. As a result Oregon ranks number one in the nation for the number of people on food assistance. So I wanted to see what it's like. Could I eat healthy on the amount of food stamps i would get? The average amount I would get would be $96 per month. Or just over three dollars a day on the healthiest meal I could find. day one of the food stamp diet and i was feeling pretty good about it. The only problem is I ran out of money before I could get all of the food groups i need. Sticking to basic food groups I had to be flexible with all the ingredients. Most days I stretch my breakfast items out. The two eggs I had planned for breakfast I ate closer to lunch to keep me from being hungry. Rice cakes and peanut butter. At dinner, organic free range chicken with organic greens and brown rice. But im still not getting all of the nutrients I need, and im really hungry. but i've already spent my money. actually i went over by five dollars wanted to find out how things got this way. Why are all of the bad foods so cheap, and the good foods so expensive? so I headed to the growers market to find out about commodity crops. Every year billions of federal dollars are given to farms through the farm bill. the farmers get compensated for growing huge amounts of corn, soy beans, wheat, cotton and rice. to make hydrogenated oils, trans-fat, high fructose corn syrup. which is in just about everything theses days .But these farmers growing local fruits, vegetables and free range meats don't get those federal dollars. It's more expensive as a result. Now it's all starting to make sense. I'm hungry so I couldn't miss out on the sample dishes at the market. For me the food stamp diet long term would be nearly impossible. I couldn't afford all the necessary food groups, I was hungry, I couldn't concentrate or even sleep well.
News at Sunrise Co-Anchor Travis Koch started his career as a filmmaker. He wrote and directed documentaries about traveling and extreme sports.
Among his many life experiences, he was a dog musher in Alaska and a baker in Minnesota. Travis began his career at NBC5 News as a weekend photographer and has continued to follow his dreams in television broadcasting and multimedia.