Monday, September 12, 2011
Hunger Challenge; prep and day 1
Late last week, I learned the San Francisco and Marin Food Bank would be hosting the Hunger Challenge, from September 11-17, wherein participants must eat on only $4.72 a day, for an entire week.
As anyone who eats anywhere knows, one would be hard pressed to spend only $4.72 for a single meal, let alone an entire day.
Foraged food, harvested food and free food are all strongly discouraged, if not completely prohibited.
DH and I were intrigued, albeit slightly terrified. $4.72 a day essentially meant NO coffee, NO cheese, NO wine...oh my! But it's only a week, right? And anyway, if we can do burrito challenges and 'A Month of Arizmendi' (an upcoming ButterDate food challenge), we ought to try out a more socio-economic challenge.
After all, the $4.72/day figure represents the average amount a Californian receives on food stamps. The Hunger Challenge is meant to bring awareness to this disparity.
Since we agreed to do it from Monday, 9/12 through Friday, 9/16, we would have only $47.20 for the entire week.
Since Berkeley Bowl has an extensive bulk bin, I was able to buy only the legumes, beans and spices we would need for the week. The grand total of the groceries came to exactly $47.12.
The biggest expense was the olive oil, ringing up at a whopping $9.59 for 1 Liter (actually, a very good price for Italian cold-pressed EVOO). Since we won't use more than 1/2 the bottle for the week, I'm accounting only $4.75 for the EVOO. Sticklers would consider this cheating but I won't loose sleep about it.
This $4.75 leeway allowed me to incorporate the last of the summer squash and heirloom tomatoes I'd picked up at the farmers market last week. I figure its better to be a little flexible in order to keep good food from going to waste.
For breakfast Day 1: oatmeal with cinnamon but no maple syrup or walnuts is a very different thing. I often add a spoonful of peanut butter to my oatmeal but this was not an option either. Bland but edible.
Lunch, Day 1: vegan mashed potatoes and a hard boiled egg. the lunch of champions.
Dinner, Day 1: summer squash fritters with yogurt, mexican red rice, pink beans, mixed greens & heirloom tomato slices. this is a Sol Food inspired meal is one we would eat any day of the week. hopefully, all the dinners can be this flavorful!