Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Ethical Eating Project - Day Two

First off, thanks for all the comments and love on the overview post, and thanks for the emails and facebook messages. A couple of general points in response:

-The big one is the food desert. Fresh fruits and veggies are hard to get in the city. Lots of people have suggested farmer's markets and I plan to hit one on Saturday, but while I'm not going to make any serious attempt to simulate a food desert, I'm not going to go really far out of my way to make it to a Farmer's market before one comes to my neighborhood. There are two within walking distance (ok, anyplace is within walking distance if you have the time but these are within three miles) McLean's is Fridays and Falls Church's is Saturday's. I have to be downtown on Friday mornings for bar prep so the Saturday market it is.

-Preparation time is also an issue. I'm studying for the bar. When I'm not studying for the bar, I'm reading Harry Potter fanfic, writing self-pitying emails about how I can't concentrate and having sociological debates on Facebook. I like to cook but I don't cook much for myself. My guess is that folks on food stamps also often have this issue, too, so in a sense not going overboard with cooking is a hat tip to the part 2 analysis.

-TheCSO wanted to know about food that is being thrown away. If someone is about to throw away a sandwich, does that sandwich have to be organic for me to eat it? I've consulted the statement of conscience and decided that it is OK for me to eat the occasional thing that was about to be thrown out, but I may revisit that if I find myself abusing the privilege. (Hey, if I don't drink this can of Ginger Ale I opened and left on my own coffee table this morning, it's just going to waste...) I'm planning to do the same thing for friend's houses. As in, if I go to dinner at someone's house, I'm going to eat what they serve. People on food stamps are dinner guests too sometimes, and I have no intention of showing up and being like "Oh, by the way, this is what I eat this week" because I hate those people.

Honestly, the people most likely to invite me over are Fortiesgirl and Cerulean anyway and they're the sort of people who would regard this eating challenge as a chance to try out this great new recipe they have for gruel.*

Now today had a special challenge, a birthday party for a judge I used to work for. It was in a dive bar I love with amazing grilled cheese sandwiches. (Yes, the buried lede there is that I used to work for a judge so awesome that his birthday is in a dive bar. Indeed, I will venture to guess that this might have been the loudest judicial birthday party DC will see all year.)

My plan was have a beer. Dive bar beers are like three bucks. Guinness calls itself "a meal in a glass," right? So I ate very carefully all day, and like a happy little lamb I marched up to the slaughterhouse that was the Judge's birthday party.

It was right about when I hit the door that it occurred to me.

Per part 1, my beer needed to be organic.

Mother fuck**

I ate nada.

Not even cake.

Luckily I have the fat girl advantage as far as turning down cake. Everybody loves a fat girl who turns down cake. "Bless her heart," they think, "She's trying." I actually saw the skinny wife of another judge pressured in to cake. When I said "no thanks," my refusal was enthusiastically accepted.

Anyhow, here are my stats for the day:

Breakfast, as it were: (190 calories)
Energy bar @ .50

Peanut butter sandwich made of:
Two tablespoons organic peanut butter @ .28 (200 calories)
Two tablespoons organic raspberry spread @ .47 (45 calories)
Two slices of bread @ .20 each (110 each)

1/2 cup organic applesauce .23 (40 calories)

Box nature's promise organic macaroni and cheese: 1.59 (675 calories)
Cup of organic skim milk (for preparation, drank the rest) .47 (86 calories)

Daily Subtotal $3.94

Remaining amount in budget: $88.12

Approximate calories consumed: 1,417

Level of suck: A lot better than yesterday. It's hard to feel anything but awesome when you just ate a huge bowl of macaroni and cheese. Missing out on the grilled cheese and beers sucked at the time, but sweet mother of all that's swell that fake cheese powder over organic noodles made me happy.

Part 1 analysis: Pretty much perfect. Literally ever crumb that went into my body was organic today. I also didn't eat any meat.

Part 2 analysis: I totally get why poor people don't eat enough vegetables.


*Ok, truth is I've been meaning to try gruel since I read "Emma." I love Mr. Wodehouse. My interpretation is that it isn't that he's really a hypochondriac, he just hates change. As often as I advocate for change in things when I think it is the right thing to do, in my heart of hearts I can't stand it, which is why Mr. Wodehouse and I could totally be friends.

** If you're new to the Chaliceblog, you will find that I curse a lot. Most often in my head, but what I write in my head ends up here. I also curse at the youth a lot, but my church will tolerate a lot from anyone willing to spend a weekend sleeping on a floor with the youth group.


DairyStateDad said...

First of all, good on ya for taking on this challenge. DSM and I are trying to be more thoughtful about our food consumption, but not with the sort of discipline you're exercising.

Second, though...I do not understand boxed mac and cheese, even if it is organic or whatever. (I don't understand DSK#1's affinity for it either.) It takes no more time to boil macaroni, grate some cheddar cheese, and stir it in to the hot, drained macaroni with just a little butter...Am I missing something? (I'm really sorry if that comes across as obnoxious...but I really am curious...)

Robin Edgar said...

"I also curse at the youth a lot, but my church will tolerate a lot from anyone willing to spend a weekend sleeping on a floor with the youth group."

Why am I not surprised?

After all the U*U "church" seems to be only to happy to tolerate "less than perfect" U*U clergy meting out corporal punishment in the form of hard kicks to the U*U of "less than perfect" U*U youth.

WVC = equit

Chalicechick said...


Usually the appeal is that we don't keep cheese around because it goes bad too quickly when you don't eat it fast enough. The chemistry cheese in the box will last forever.

Yesterday the appeal was that is was a buck and a half a box.


Amy said...

DSD, what you are describing is not mac and cheese! However, it's true that it's easy to make mac and cheese from scratch and tastes a lot better than the box stuff (though as CC says, it can go bad).

Mama Amy's recipe for fantastic homemade m & c: make white sauce, add ludicrous amounts of cheese, stir into noodles with lots of veggies (peas, cut-up carrots, cut-up broccoli), sprinkle with bread crumbs, bake, devour.

--Amy, a little freaked because her word verification is an actual word: sewing

PG said...

Austen describes Woodhouse just as you say: "He was a nervous man, easily depressed; fond of every body that he was used to, and hating to part with them; hating change of every kind." But I think the hypochondria is there too, because if the hatred of change were the sole element of Woodhouse's eccentricity, then he wouldn't be so fond of getting new medications from the apothecary.