When you walk through the supermarket or scan the menu at a restaurant how many of your decisions are affected by monetary concerns. Whether you’ve got a six figure salary or have been recently laid off, there is no question that nowadays we are all thinking about money. And unfortunately, when money is tight, it’s too easy to reach for the affordable options available. Were surrounded by cheap food, most of which has been manufactured to take advantage of our inherent desire weakness for sweet and salty, rich and fatty…
As I mentioned before, this is one of the focal points of the documentary Food Inc. which is still out in select theaters and is the impetus for the $15/15 meals challenge. As people across the country continue to struggle with the economy, the epidemics of obesity and diabetes become more and more prevalent. The health of the nation is faltering. And you couldn’t possibly argue the two are unrelated. But what about the tough choices you and I are forced to make? What can be done when McDonald’s offers cheeseburgers for a dollar? Or when processed and frozen options are more readily available and more affordable then local and organic. Can consumers really afford the crucial vitamins and nutrients they need?
As with any complicated question, the only way to find a reasonable answer is to do the grunt work. So here it is: Starting tonight (now last night as I finish writing this), a small group, myself and two others (Sarah and Nancy), have $15 for food until Friday evening. 3 meals a day for 5 days: $15/15 meals. We’ve allotted ourselves a few exceptions. We won’t be counting olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper being that these are items almost everyone has in their pantry continually. And as you could probably guess, no stealing, borrowing, or begging is allowed (at least not encouraged). But the price fix is only half of this experiment. How healthy could our diet truly be? How much variety will be have? And how will this diet effect our energy levels? These are the more important questions I’m looking to answer. I know I can eat at McDonald’s three times a day and stay within my budget… but therein lies the problem…It’s going to take some creativity and certainly a lot of organization but I’m excited to see how we do! So check back in throughout the week for our updates and join the discussion by leaving your comments!
As incentive we have planned a celebratory dinner on Friday evening. We will celebrate our accomplishment, discuss the details of our week, and more importantly pay thanks for being able to make this process an experiment and not a basic survival necessity.