On a Dollar a Day

On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America, by Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard.  Hyperion,  2010.

 I always enjoy reading about people who care enough to look closely at their values and how well they are incorporating those values into their everyday lives.  This likable California couple takes a close and compassionate look at one of the most powerful aspects of how we live: our food choices.  These two are vegans, so they’re already eating in a way that will require the least resources, but they want to go further, in order to better understand what poor people face.

First they spend a month limiting their food budget to $1.00 a day per person, a project many would not be able to complete because of actually being hungry, not getting enough calories on so little food.  Their efforts, including a blog they maintain to raise money for a hunger organization, attract national media attention.  Later they spend another month living according to the guidelines of the food stamp program.  In each case, they take this on while in the midst of putting in long days as high school teachers.  They attend a food justice conference, and throughout the book, comment on what they are learning as they ultimately determine what their ongoing food shopping guidelines will be.

If you care about the hunger issue, about how food is distributed, and about eating responsibly while still leading a normal American life, you will likely find something to interest you here.

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