Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Ethical eating project: day nine

Sorry for the late update.

Today I had my study group over, so I'm counting what I fed them, too. I skipped breakfast and the lot of us ate a box of quinoa pasta and half a jar of organic spaghetti sauce.

Quinoa ...............................4.39 (The CSO had some, but I'm charging myself for his too.)
Half jar of Organic pasta sauce.......1.48
Cheese bread..........................3.25

I drank skim milk......................47
One of my friends had a coke...........60

The other friend brought her own beverage. They also brought rice crispy treats and strawberries.

Luckily quinoa really sticks to one's ribs, so I just had two ears of corn on the cob and some more milk for dinner:

2 ears corn on the cob @ .50 ..........1.00
2 cups skim milk.......................94

Total for day: 12.13

Remaining money: 25.17

So I entertained and everybody ate pretty well. But I still have several days left and not a lot of money to spend on them.

In the comments a few days back, Dancin' Hippie pointed out that I have been getting a lot of my protein from peanut butter and that a lot of people with kids can't send them to school with peanut butter sandwiches. I thought that was a really good point and wanted to share it.

Also, Heather suggested I eat more eggs as they are a cheap protein. That was a good suggestion and I'm planning to eat more eggs in this final stretch when the money is really tight.


1 comment:

PG said...

So glad I saw your link to this post on Twitter -- I hadn't realized you were blogging again, and with such a cool project! I have thought about trying to do the "live on food stamp" money before and I generally tried to do the "ethical eating" after becoming more conscious of the problems with factory-farming etc., but wow I had not thought of trying to combine the two.

Ethical eating is really expensive in the U.S.; less so in poorer countries where local/organic is just how people have to eat because they don't have access to a lot of hormones, chemical fertilizers or cheap imports. E.g. we could cook at home cheaply the month we were in Marrakesh and because it was late spring, there was a ton of gorgeous produce from nearby farming areas. However, I didn't cook meat because I was squeamish about picking out a chicken for slaughter and never felt entirely certain about the cleanliness and freshness of the dead fish and slabs of lamb, beef and mutton. (And the bunnies! I couldn't stand even to look at the rabbits in cages in the markets.)

Along those lines, I've always thought Indian food should be good for healthy, inexpensive eating. With the American sedentary lifestyle, it's probably better to eat more chapatis and less rice (for fewer carbs), but it's very heavy on vegetables, still gets lots of protein from lentils, and once you have the herbs and condiments necessary (e.g. you've made your garlic paste), it doesn't cost much. If you cook South Indian style, you don't even use much dairy.

When I attended a school where a family friend taught and kept a mini-fridge and microwave in his classroom, my mom sent me with home-made Indian food, which I'd store in his fridge and nuke for lunch. The friend has Type II diabetes and likes Indian food, so she started sending some for him as well (with chapatis instead of the rice I got). It helped him get off insulin for several years. (Downside: some of the kids at school didn't like the smell of Indian food and were vocal about that fact.)

Count me among those who are impressed you're doing this simultaneous with bar-prep. One of the things we were told the first day was "Don't try to change your habits now." The big example was not to try to quit smoking -- which sounds horrible (because superficially everyone should always be trying to quit smoking), but I guess if that's your stress crutch, it's insane to put your body through withdrawal while your brain is overloaded. But they also said not to try to be losing weight, which cut closer for me as I was starting to try for wedding dress size and I'm more of a food-as-stress-crutch person. I decided that I'd keep eating what I wanted, but started exercising more regularly, which was also helpful in keeping me from getting sick.

I hadn't heard that some schools had totally banned peanut products even for kids' own lunches from home. I hope canned tuna is still an option. I suppose peanut butter can be a dietary concern for some folks also because it's high in fat.

Eggs are great for cheap protein, but I can eat them only in an expensive way (only the egg whites) because I have high cholesterol and thus avoid egg yolks.