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Extreme Couponing – A Very Disturbing Television Show

Last night, I got home late and put the television on. Since there is something wrong with my cable box (I keep forgetting to call Time Warner), it was on TLC and I could not change the channel.

So, I found myself watching a show called Extreme Couponing. The camera follows very, very serious coupon collectors as they prepare for and go on a massive shopping trip to the supermarket.

Don’t think for one second that these individuals are casual coupon collectors. After all, there is a reason why TLC calls it Extreme Couponing.

They keep coupons in 3-ring binders, have elaborate filing systems, create spreadsheets of their shopping lists, bring full notebooks to the market, jump into dumpsters looking for coupons and steal coupon-laden newspapers from nearby foreclosed properties.

And let’s not forget the dozens of storage racks that they have in their homes to keep thousands of tubes of toothpaste and other food items.

These people are shrewd and dedicated. They will spend up to 35 hours per week couponing and can purchase $500 of goods for $27.

For some items, they will actual receive cash back. They’ll make money on purchases!!

Now, I am all for coupons and saving money, especially in this economy. I think that it’s fantastic. In no way do I have any problem with this. None.

What I found very disturbing was watching what they were buying and going to eat for the next several months — heavily processed, genetically-modified food that was filled with artificial flavors, growth hormones and pesticides.

This is food that is heavy in calories, high in sugar and very, very low in nutrition. This is the food that is making our country sick. This is the food that major agricultural corporations want people eating.

As someone who cares tremendously about health, Extreme Couponing was very painful to watch. I felt badly for these people because no one, including our government, has properly taught them how to eat.

In the end, they pay for it with their health and we pay for it with massive health care costs.

If you haven’t seen Food, Inc., The Future of Food or Forks Over Knives, please do so. It will show you how Big Ag and other major corporations have influenced our government and the USDA, which has resulted in Americans continuing to make very unhealthy food choices.

Also, please watch my interview with Andrew Kimbrell, the Executive Director of The Center for Food Safety, as he details how President Obama continues to heavily promote a genetically-modified food agenda.

Fixing our country’s health problems is a complex issue but organic food, not genetically-modified food, needs to be part of the solution. However, Congress continues to dedicate nearly all of its food-related resources to GMOs.

Organic food is slightly more expensive because the industry is not being subsidized by our government. It is simply not a level playing field, and this is something that we absolutely need to change.

If they ever do an episode about an extreme couponing organic food shopper, please let me know — because I can assure you that I won’t be watching this program anymore.


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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink