Thursday, December 11, 2008

For Just a Dollar a Day...

Could you feed yourself for a dollar a day? That's the question two social justice teachers in California asked themselves in September, and they blogged the month long results.

This might not be news for a lot of people, since it seems like the couple received some pretty significant press. But I can do a good job at hiding from the media when I want to, and I managed to miss this particular story. In part, I find myself intrigued by the idea of cutting cost and unhealthy ingredients from my diet, as well as reducing portion sizes. It's hard to argue with the idea that as a country and on the whole, we eat too much, and too much of the wrong things.

The things Christopher and Katie discovered won't be a shock to anyone who's read Michael Pollan. Fresh fruits and vegetables will disappear from your diet, and if you want to genuinely find something even moderately healthy, you will have to make it - from scratch - yourself. It takes time and saps energy.

While this might just seem like a stunt to get attention, keep in mind that living in poverty is defined as living off $1 a day for food. Also keep in mind that Pablo Monsivais and Adam Drewnowski of the University of Washington have recently determined that as junk food becomes cheaper ($1.76/1,000 kcal), the cost of nutrient-rich, low calorie foods continues to skyrocket ($18.16/1,000 kcal).

The holidays tend to be a time of excess when it comes to food, so it might not be the best time to suggest looking at your own grocery budget. But it might be eye opening to figure out just how much it costs you to live per day, at least when it comes to food and liquids. Eye opening doesn't necessarily mean change, but a spot of awareness never hurts.
-Kelly Hills

1 comment:

dharmicmel said...

I mistakenly posted this comment in the blog post “Engage with Grace about end-of-life wishes.;” my apologies

one thing I have observed is that if you have any kind of social interaction at all, that it is quite difficult to follow a good diet, especially one that is sensible for your well being; food in America has become an exaggerated obsession; I don't see any significant changes anytime soon, collectively speaking, because of the overriding obsession with stuffing our faces with things we like; also, there are a lot of mouths to feed on this planet, and that will always shape and inform the decisions we make, both good and bad

still, I think there is hope for the individual, both in terms of selecting the lesser of two evils, as it were, and also in caloric restriction