Skip to comments.Could you eat on $5 a day?
Posted on 09/23/2013 1:20:00 PM PDT by wbill
In my work, I see more people who want to focus on losing weight rather than gaining weight, so I dont often stop to think about the problem of hunger.
Its easy to overlook the fact that hunger is still a big problem in in the United States. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2011 about 50 million Americans were living with food insecurity 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.
What is food insecurity? Its the inability to provide adequate food on a consistent basis. For adults, not getting enough food can have harmful effects, but it can be especially harmful for children who need adequate nutrients for proper growth and development.
Im familiar with the Good Shepherd Food Bank so I know hunger exists in Maine, but to what extent? Maine ranks 18th in the nation and second in New England in terms of food insecurity. Since 2004, the number of Mainers facing hunger has increased 50 percent.
The population of Maine is about 1,328,371 the food insecurity rate is 14.7 percent of households, or 200,000 people.
Food insecurity can lead to nutrient deficiencies, delayed cognitive development, asthma, decreased immune system function and increased fatigue. A contributing factor to childhood obesity is the lack of access to healthy foods for children living in food-insecure homes.
My office is situated such that I have a big window facing the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant. There is a pretty steady line of cars going through on a daily basis. Fast food once in awhile isnt a big concern, but eating a quick meal from a fast-food restaurant or a convenience store on a regular basis is expensive and the food is usually higher in fat and sodium and lower in vitamins and minerals. If you were to price the items out compared to what you could purchase at a grocery store, it wouldnt be such a deal.
When grocery shopping, nutrient-rich staples such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, steel-cut oats, corn tortillas, dried beans and peanut butter are good choices. Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy choices but can be expensive if not on sale. Canned fruit packed in its own juice or frozen fruit or vegetables are great choices. If you buy canned vegetables, drain and rinse them to remove sodium before consuming.
If you are affected by food insecurity, there are many resources available to help. One way to find them is to dial 211 and ask for resources in your area. Food banks, soup kitchens, etc., are located in communities throughout the state, usually staffed by volunteers. If you dont live with food insecurity but want to help others who do, perhaps volunteering your time at a food kitchen or donating money or food to these organizations would be within your means. Every little bit helps.
SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program previously called the food stamp program. SNAP provides $5 a day to help those unable to purchase food. To see what it is like, try to eat off of $5 a day. Youll get a little more perspective on how difficult it can be for some families in America and right in your home town. Remember that $5 has to include your morning coffee.
Want to do more? The Good Shepherd Food Bank has a calendar showing 30 Ways in 30 Days to help solve hunger. Some of the suggestions include: » Volunteer at a local food pantry or meal site. » Watch the films A Place at the Table or 30 Days on Minimum Wage. » View poverty statistics for your county by googling Map the Meal Gap. » Make a financial contribution to the food bank.
For information on the Good Shepherd Food Bank go to www.gsfb.org. For information on food insecurity in the U.S., check out www.feedingamerica.org.
Georgia Clark-Albert is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at Penobscot Community Health Care in Bangor. She provides nutrition consultant services through Mainely Nutrition in Athens. Read her columns and post questions at bangordailynews.com or email her at GeorgiaMaineMSRDCDE@gmail.com.
Read all 160 plus posts...alot of inexpensive ideas some with great nutrition and some w/downright scary non nutrition.
My DH is mid 50s was a Type2 diabetic whose condition has gone (in last year) to Type 1 insulin dependent. Due to the Diabetes he has heart issues having stents and one major (100% blockage of LAD) heart attack.
So, when I hear ANYONE over the age of 19 eating Spam (high fat & sodium); ramen noodles or commercial canned soup (sky high sodium); etc i cringe. Just a diet high in rice/noodles/pasta (yes cheap) but can tip someone who is insulin resistent into full blown Type 2 diabetes. Same w/buying the cheapest deli meat (bologna and low end hams full of fat & sodium). Again, not at all good for anyone even approaching middle age.
For the record, my DH and I both grew up in houses where bacon grease was a treasure; we ate Spam; alot of white (cheap) bread. Alot of potatos & rice. I can’t help but believe that this helped his pancreas to slow down & stop working.
We still have 2 teenaged sons @home. Left overs are a rarity. I am frugal but there are certain things we no longer buy that are cheap...even eggs now for us are expensive. We use Great Value liquid eggs (same as the name brand more expensive Egg Beaters) it’s a high protein source that doesn’t spike blood sugar levels; low sodium turkey sausage; whole wheat bread. Our still at home kids eat like that too (trying to outsmart our apparent bad genetics)...
But anyways...please look at the lables on the items some of you have mentioned...you’re not doing your health/longevity any favors.
Boy, that is a pretty weak diet. You can live on it, but not for long.
Sounds like my granma
BJ’s has very good meat in large quantities. It’s remarkably inexpensive when compared to regular food market prices.
Now, it'd be tricky. You'd certainly be sticking to staples and leftovers.
I spend less than $3 per day for a healthy diet (high calorie for high altitude, extreme cold and the like). Careful planning, buying in bulk and real cooking are required (baking all bread at home, etc.). No soda pop. No salt-filled Ramen noodles. Avoid sugar. Think proper food groups and a varied diet (’60s style).
Absolutely. I often eat on LESS than $5 per day. My secret-—coupons. I do AMAZING things with coupons including a lot of FREE food. Some weeks I actually spend less than $5 for the entire week on food. This thursday and friday I will be scoring about a hundred bucks in FREE food plus I will be getting over a thousand bucks worth of air freshener refills for FREE. Many of those will be bartered into Grey Goose vodka which is sort of a food.
Those were the days.
Remember these are low info voters mostly. When they see an add that says Kraft Macaroni and cheese is healthy they believe it.
...less than $3 per day per adult here, that is (family).
I hear you. My husband is type2. Imho, a nutritional diet is an investment. Yes, rice, pasta and grains are inexpensive, but they are not as healthful as vegetables, fish and meat.
I saw a guy’s SNAP card rejected at Costco when he tried to buy $380 of just meat.
Great Value Liquid eggs zero cholesterol; low sodium; high protein. Many mornings (I work retail so I go into work at 10a) I make omelets (GV low eggs, my own cheap yet low sodium homemade salsa, sm portion of cheese, side of turkey sausage, wheat toast); I also pack all of our lunches (though our SD tries to hunt me down each year to have me apply for discounted lunches). Dinners have to closely monitored for carb levels and we do alot of stews/chili for that reason. I did some quick math on supermarket receipts I have w/me and we are closer to $30 per day for the four of us, but due to dietary issues we scrimp elsewhere.
BTW, I will soon be presenting the James Jones and Genesis Show on YouTube which will be mostly about cooking and they (my niece and nephew) will show you how to eat on the cheap.
As a sneak preview I will tell you now that they will change how you eat breakfast with their "corn floppies" recipe.
Right now I am sipping FREE OJ. Via coupons I picked up six 50 oz containers a couple of days ago. And in a few days when I start to get low on the OJ, I will use coupons to score six more FREE cartons of OJ.
Yes, easily, with some planning.
OK, they’re not lazy; they’re lazy and stupid. ;-)
A few years ago we had a Prime Rib buffet with lots of side dishes at the Seminole Casino for just $5.99 but they have since upped the prices to $7.99 on weekdays and $9.99 on weekends.
I was fine with your comment until the "'60s style" aside. The thing I remember most about eating in the '60s as a kid was when my dad worked 4-midnights (he was a cop) and mom was in charge of dinner - hamburger and tuna helper and tuna potato chip casseroles was the norm, unless there were leftovers from the Sunday roast my dad or grandmother (mom's mom) had cooked.
My mother actually had to learn how to cook, starting when her mother moved to Florida in '73 and really had to learn when I moved out in '82. She thought it "quaint" when I would send or bring her food stuffs I had grown, cooked and canned myself, but she also loved when I would come to visit because she knew I would take over the kitchen and do all the cooking while there. My dad appreciated and enjoyed it, my mother expected it.
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