I recently stumbled upon a very interesting blog: http://theworkingpoordiet.blogspot.com/
The fundamental purpose of this blog is to raise money for the Edmonton Food Bank. These 3 or 4 individuals each survived 30 days with a food budget of only $80 while attempting to adhere to Canada’s Food Guide. The point they hammer home is that Alberta’s minimum wage is inadequate to allow for proper nutritional choices and portion sizes. They conclude that while they did not physically starve on the working poor diet, they certainly were not able to consume the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. I can tell you as a mom, that even when I effortlessly spent $38 a day on food, my 3 kids did not actually consumed their daily 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables (although it was made available to them). I was, however, very inspired by some of their posts and comments from those who followed their 30-day odyssey. Check it out.
I’m now also further convinced of the economical, social and nutritional benefits of communal kitchens. Money, food and fun can really be stretched when you pool your resources and talents. Some months ago my Gourmet Club went to one of the many meal preparation sites that are springing up across town (Google Dinner Essentials if you wish to learn more). A variety of stations are set up according to a pre-established monthly menu. You assemble several meals, pay for them and store them in your freezer or refrigerator at home until ready to make and enjoy. The meals cost more than what they would to make at home but certainly less than a restaurant meal. Furthermore if you consider the cost of additional ingredients you may not have handy at home, it is also a great way to try new meals. Aside from the convenience of having some fairly epicurean weeknight meals ready-to-go at home, it was a pretty fun evening with wine at the ready and great deal of laughter and light-hearted conversation.
With BBQ season coming up, imagine the cost savings of buying a significant amount of meat and/or vegetables, preparing huge quantities of marinade, assembling, dividing among a group of families and storing for future use.
A-ha! I sense a new project in the making! This time I may subject my Gourmet Club to my social awareness program as opposed to my family!