30 day Food Challenge on a Poverty Budget

And so I begin. My attempt to live on about $4.00 per day of food. Not just any food but eating as well and as nutritional as I possibly can. Why? Well for one, I was inspired when I read about San Franciscan Chef, Karl Wilder a few weeks ago, who had been doing the same, living on 1.33 per meal to draw attention to what someone living on food stamps can eat.

It was great reading his entries and getting a feel for how and what he ate. He is a professional chef with a nutritional background. I am confident and somewhat arrogant that I can do better from a health perspective..but we’ll just to see if I can back that sentiment up as the week/month goes by.

It will be a study in the social economic status of food and health in this country. Additionally, I would like to teach others how to eat nutritionally. I want to show then it is possible to eat well even if you are poor. Living on the $1 meal at McDonald’s or on soda just isn’t necessary. If I follow a career as a chef or a nutritionist, likely I won’t be working for the poor (although I am not opposed) but I hopefully I can say to many that there really is no excuse for eating at least semi- decently and hers is how you do it. I think it will be a good thing to put on my resume-heck maybe I’ll even become famous. Chef Wilder made the Huffington Post.

I may fail. I may only last a week. My intention is to go for 30 days. I admit that I also see it as somewhat of a cleanse–as it will be eating simpler and less quantity of food then I normally do. I do hope to loose weight– and therefore it may prove that it is not a diet that one can sustain over time and get enough calories.

Even if you are not eating on $4 a day, I hope that my recipes and information about food choices during this journey will inspire you to make the extra effort and prepare a healthy meal for yourself. I hope to kill about four birds with one stone.

I spent a good portion of the day going to Rainbow Grocery, Food Co. and Trader Joes. Taking notes on my options. I am fortunate that I live close to inexpensive food markets in the city. Food Co is one of the cheapest supermarkets in SF, The Mission district is a beacon of cheap produce and while organic is mostly out, Rainbow Grocery is a hop skip and a jump. I had to research because most of the time– I do not price compare when I buy food. Even these last six months being unemployed, I generally buy what I feel like eating, within reason. I know that Trader Joes is the bomb on certain items. But I have noticed recently that at least at the Ferry Building farmers market, which features trendy organic food–the prices are getting ridiculous. Maybe it’s just a living wage for the farmer which I would support.

I will blog daily about providing my recipes, enthusiasm and most likely the difficulty of getting enough sustenance without living on meager meals. Recipe one to follow!

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