Actress Gwyneth Paltrow sent the Internet into an uproar recently after she accepted the Food Bank NYC Challenge -- to survive on a food budget of $29 a week -- from close friend and celebrity chef Mario Batali, who chairs the program's culinary council. The 42-year-old mother of two tweeted a photo of the items she purchased on a grocery run, which included an avocado, a bag of whole grain brown rice, six limes, some cilantro, eggs, a sweet potato, an onion, a tomato and an array of leafy greens. Critics said Paltrow’s oft-reported devotion to healthy eating just isn’t practical on a food stamp budget – which comes down to about $1.48 per meal.

The Food Bank Challenge is an ongoing national campaign to raise awareness about hunger by challenging citizens to survive on $29 per week. Musical artists Sting and Blondie are also supporting the cause. "Congress cut food stamps twice since 2013, and soup kitchens and food pantries saw an immediate increase in visitors," according to the challenge website. The amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits a person can get is based on a federal plan that estimates how much it costs to buy food, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.




Paltrow is not exactly known for living modestly. The Los Angeles-born actress, singer and lifestyle blogger regularly recommends on her Goop website expensive products that the middle class can only dream of purchasing. A few of the 2014 holiday gift recommendations were a $1,090 watch and a $1,025 leather bucket bag.



Many angry users felt that Paltrow’s selection of healthy foods wasn’t practical – and that a large family wouldn’t be able to survive on such a small grocery haul.







Last week, The Frisky, a women's lifestyle blog, analyzed Paltrow’s purchases and estimated that her items added up to around 1,000 calories per day, significantly below the recommended 2,000 calories per day. 

Paltrow stars as Tony Stark’s love interest Pepper Potts in Marvel’s “Iron Man” movie series. She is also married to Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, though the two are separated. Paltrow launched her Goop website in 2008, a blog that encourages readers to “nourish the inner aspect.”