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What happens when two high school teachers get fed up with their soaring grocery bills and decide to try to feed themselves on one dollar each per day? Authors Kerri Leonard and Christopher Greenslate describe how they did it and also include sections about eating on a little than 4 a day as well as on the actual costs of eating a healthy diet On a Dollar a Day also includes fascinating facts about the way our food gets to the table and the hidden costs both personal and financial along the way How food companies short size packages so that you pay for less food? Why one tablespoon of salad dressing costs as much as a whole orange? How grocery stores auction off foods past their sell by dates? Why processed foods have a higher markup than fresh foods? Why it takes so long for food prices to drop even after fuel and shipping costs go down? How 36 million Americans have limited food options even during a national obesity epidemic?

10 thoughts on “On a Dollar a Day

  1. says:

    An interesting little book that tells the story of partners Christopher and Kerri and their journey of 3 challenges involving eating finances and healthThe first challenge is to eat on 1 a day to get an idea what it is like for many in third world countries The second challenge was to eat using the budget and meal plans of the USDA Thrifty Food Plan which is what is recommend to those who receive Food Stamp Benefits The Third challenge was simply trying to find a healthful thrifty meal plan that fit with their lifestyleI got this book from the library mainly due to my own families desire to stick to a tight budget which includes a food budget that leaves us approximately 1 per Person per meal For our family of three that means eating on 9 a day Thanks to Aldi's Publix's weekly BOGO deals and a huge pantry and outside freezer We get good deals and can buy in bulk when the price is right But often I find what this couple found it's one thing to try to stay in a certain range but yet another to do it while eating a variety of healthy well balanced mealsThis book made me think a lot about Food Insecurity and what it must be like for those who don't have enough to eat or the money to buy it and how receiving Food stamps might keep you from going hungry it's won't necessarily keep you from obesity diabetes and heart diseaseAnd to realize that even though it sometimes feels like we have it tough financially that if we run out of grocery before the end of the month it simply means that we maybe don't put any into savings or can't pay extra on our debt that month or will have to wait even longer before we can afford to get a 2nd car

  2. says:

    This book was sometimes interesting but I found it hard to maintain interest in the authors' experiments in eating frugally I could see the value of exploring the Thrifty Food Plan endorsed by the USDA but the 1day plan made no sense to me My understanding is that someone who only had a dollar a day for food would be eligible for food assistance so it seemed an endurance contest than anything really useful A thing that irked me he authors have chosen a vegan lifestyle but I couldn't help but wonder if a long simmered chicken soup might not have been a better use of their artificially limited food dollars than rice and beans or processed fake meatsThe authors did make good points about the scarcity of good affordable food in low income areas but nothing was really new to me It sounds like the experiments were eye opening to the authors themselves their families their students co workers and friends who we assume haven't had to carefully watch their food dollars If only for that then it seems like the experiments were worthwhile

  3. says:

    I thought of Dina when I was reading this The book started as a blog experiment eating on a dollar a day which is what many people in the world do After this experiment was over the couple tried eating on the food stamp allowance for a month Both this section and the first one are interesting though I would hardly call them an adventure The final section and the weakest in my opinion was their attempt to synthesize what they learned and eat healthfully and cheaply The section lacked structure and urgency and I ended up skimming most of it Still the book is interesting enough and the writers try to contextualize their food experiments by talking about social justice poverty and hunger in America

  4. says:

    Kerri and Christopher conduct a series of experiments around their eating habits first eating on a dollar a day per person for one month This challenge came when Christopher remarked that there are million people around the world who subsit on this amount They found that while doable they both lost weight and were pretty cranky and the variety of food they could afford was very limited Next they decided to go for a month eating on 413 each the average supplemented allotment of people on food stamps in the US They tried to stick with the meal plan that is suggested to food stamp recipients adapated for their vegan diet While there was variety because of the substitutions they had to make to the meal plan because of vegan as well as time and schedules they didn't feel they always got nutritious meals Finally they decided to try to eat healthfully for the lowest cost something they are trying to maintain to this dayThis was a uick read and though provoking I'm awaiting my first delivery of fresh veggies from my CSA Community supported agriculture and I try to be mindful of the food I purchase and prepare and not waste any which makes for interesting meal combinations some nights

  5. says:

    25 3 stars This book illuminates important issues in American food politics a topic I've become deeply interested in by coming from a foodie family and working in state government Poverty issues are important and interesting to me which lead me to reading this book While I'm at it though I will say that Barbara Ehrenreich's 'Nickel and Dimed' does a better job of really exploring these issuesUnfortunately it often reads like a long op ed article andor a vegan manifesto Suffice it to say that most SNAP families are not vegan so I'm not sure this couple was the best example to illustrate their pointWorth checking out but the authors' blog may be a better format for reading about this experiment

  6. says:

    I saw this book in the Journalism Educator's Association book store at the JEA Convention in Portland Ore I blew it off as lame Then I saw them speak in a fantastic session felt like an idiot busted out of the A portion ran to the bookstore and picked up a copy before they told the room where to find it Starting it tonight and I can't waitOk Afterthoughtsmade me hate myself and my local grocery store 35 bought 5 cans of cat food two loaves of bread one jar of peanut butter some Clorox Wipes a Lean Cuisine a jug of milk a camel of water and a bag of chips yesterday I may be forgetting one or two things but Jesus Something has to change

  7. says:

    I really enjoyed reading about Christopher and Kerri's eating adventures They attempted to each on just one dollar a day for a month There next challenge was to use the euivalent of what the average food stamp recipent gets for food a day about 4 Finally the just focused on eating as healthfully and economically as they could while concidering environmentalism and social justice I fun fast read that makes you think

  8. says:

    Stunt blogging aside I appreciated that their book offered some research about the issues and encouraged ways to make a difference I do worry that two teachers shapers of young minds couldn't figure out a smarter way of accomplishing their first experiment

  9. says:

    Divided into 1 a day Thrifty Food Stamp meal planning and health vegan meal planning Well written and great perspective of gender roles within cooking a uick breezy read of how food production and costs affect our health

  10. says:

    Loved it made me think before I went to the supermarket