Let Them Eat Barbeque: Gwyneth Paltrow Ends Food Stamp Challenge With $80 A Plate Meal

Days after admitting defeat in a widely publicized challenge to subsist on a $29 a week food stamp budget, actress Gwyneth Paltrow was spotted at an $80 a plate barbeque restaurant in Los Angeles with her celebrity friends, according to the National Monitor.

Paltrow was reportedly dining at Animal, a trendy meat-focused restaurant with boyfriend Brad Falchuk, actor Jon Favreau and Jimmy Kimmel, and David and Victoria Beckham.

The challenge – which she accepted from celebrity chef Mario Batali – was expected to last one week. But actress broke down after four days, succumbing to a craving for chicken, veggies, and licorice, according to Paltrow’s post in her lifestyle blog, GOOP.

“As I suspected, we only made it through about four days, when I personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice),” she said in the post.

“My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget, even for just a few days—a challenge that 47 million Americans face every day, week, and year,” she added.

Paltrow – who reportedly boasts a net worth of some $140 million – said she accepted the challenge to shed light on the plight of millions of Americans who struggle financially, tweeting that she was “walking in their shoes to see how far [her family will] get.”

The star faced criticism after posting an Instagram photo of how she spent the $29, with a grocery bag full of perishable green produce, including seven limes.

Critics say most families living on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) can’t afford to buy limes, and choose filling foods with high caloric intake such as canned goods, peanut butter, oatmeal, and frozen foods.

Families who have no choice but to subsist on a food stamp budget will likely use it for small cuts of meat, milk, eggs, and basics that will stretch throughout the week, critics add.

Gwyneth Paltrow has ruffled feathers in the past with comments alluding to her empathy for blue-collar Americans. In an interview with CNN Money, the actress said she felt “incredibly close to the common woman” and expressed in an interview with E! Online that “Acting can be tougher than having an office job.”

Do you think Paltrow should be criticized or applauded for her efforts to shed light on the issues that poor and working class families face?

[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]