I don’t have a lot of time to blog tonight, but I thought I’d mention an interesting book I’m reading: On a Dollar a Day by Christoper Greenslate and Kerri Leonard. They decided to live on a dollar a day for a month as an experiment. They blogged about their experience, got some press, and eventually turned it into a book.
It’s an interesting read. First of all, it’s entertaining to hear them individually describe their various struggles with budgeting, time constraints, and boredom with eating the same thing over and over throughout the month. About half-way through the book, they conclude the experiment and start planning another one—this time using money equivalent to what they would have had to spend with food stamps, and trying to follow the USDA’s “Thrifty Food Plan,” which is meant to be a nutritionally well-balanced meal plan, but in all practicality, is not. The food they ate in both of these experiments ended up being heavy on processed grains and pastas, beans, and meat substitutes, with few fresh fruits and vegetables. Even though the couple is vegan, the emphasis of the book is not on their veganism. However, they do talk about the types of substitutions they needed to make to keep as close as they could to the meal plans.
Christopher and Kerri are sure to point out again and again that these were just experiments and that they realize they are privileged and have not experienced food insecurity themselves. They live within driving distance of a handful of health food and grocery stores from which they can choose to shop, they have transportation, and they are choosing to live this way for a short period of time. It’s obvious that the experiments have had an impact on the way they see issues of food and poverty in this country and the world. I’m not quite finished with the book, but I’d recommend it so far—take a look if you can.