Thursday, April 17, 2008

How the Other Half Lives
Eating on $2 a Day...or Less.

Someone I respect...
Has challenged me to eat for 5 days on $2 a day or less.

I can do that.
Can't I?

Approximately 1 billion people live on even less—only $1 per day.
I'm exaggerating, right?
Wish I were.

Head on over to Bright Hope for more information.
I have volunteered there in the past.
I love Bright Hope...and the way they help and empower others.

$2 a day.
My breakfast at BK this morning was $4.51

If I'm gonna do this...
April 21–25...
I'm gonna need a plan.

Well, if I decide to mirror what most of the world eats, then my meals would consist mainly of plain oatmeal, or a tortilla. Or, rice and beans. Or, rice with small bits of fish or chicken. Perhaps a vegetable.

More starch.
And, a bit of protein.

And, we're not talking a HUGE bowl of said starch either.
We're talking small.

Portion sizes are much smaller. One cup (8 oz.) is a generous portion. Meat is a luxury, with the average African consuming about ¾ ounce per day—the size of a small chicken nugget. Fresh fruit is rare, available only if locally grown and in season.

Can I be honest?
Really... honest?

I am not sure I want to go that far.

I wonder what it would look like to eat on just two American dollars a day.
For example, I usually buy a box of pasta when it's on sale for $1.
So, checking the box, each holds 6 servings.
Okay, so each 56 gram serving is .17.

Well, I have a digital scale.
I can measure that out.

(Interestingly enough...
That 56 grams of pasta is prolly the entire day's portions for many.)

So, I think I might do that.
Use the threshold of $2 a day or less...
In terns of what $2 costs me.

I don't think I'll count spices. Or, condiments.
Though, I might make homemade mayo just to make myself work for it.

If I roast a some chicken I can make the protein go a long way. Might be a good time to pull out the chicken adobo recipe - chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, and a bay leaf slow cooked and eaten over rice.

Come to think of it.
I bet it was created out of necessity.

If someone had an old hen - slow cooking it would break down the fibrous muscle. And, the vinegar, that's made with fermentation, right? So, could be made cheap. Soy sauce, is that more fermentation?

I've digressed. I'm avoiding the truth.

So, I'm making concessions.
HUGE concessions.

I'm making choices, allowances, for myself that most can't.

I'm not eating the sparce way a huge portion of the world's hungry eat every day.
But, I'll at least become MUCH more aware of the cost of food.

And, I have a feeling that even WITH the concessions, I'm gonna be hungry.
Considering the reduction in total volume - likely very hungry.

Oh, coffee alone costs $1.87.
This is gonna be a long 5 days.

But, sometimes it's good to be reminded...
"How the other half lives."

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Jules said...

Not food related but in regards to seeing what you can make with what ya' have when ya' have to - you keep this up and I'll kidnap you and bring ya' to East Biloxi to come work alongside me for a week.

Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D said...

Jules - LOL. Well, I've been to the D.R. a few times, and Guatemala once. It's about time I did something Stateside. ;)

Unknown said...

I'd be down for this. Is it 10 dollars at the beginning? Or do I have to go shopping every day?

Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D said...

Bryan, it's however you want to do it. (It was presented to me as eating $2 or less a day for 5 days.) But, I'm beginning to think it's much more about the head and the heart than the methodology. ;)
Hope it's a good experience for you.

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