Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Living on a dollar a day

Tara Parker-Pope recently blogged about a couple in Encinitas, California who spent one month living on just a dollar a day each for food in order to find out how difficult it is for people with limited income to eat a healthful diet. According to the World Bank, nearly a billion people worldwide survive on a dollar's worth of food a day. The average American eats about $7 worth per day. The couple, Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard, lived on raw beans, rice, cornmeal and oatmeal bought in bulk, made their own bread and tortillas and budgeted for Tang orange drink mix out of fear of a Vitamin C deficiency. Fresh fruits and vegetables were out of the question. So were canned foods and bread. From Parker-Pope's article:

Last year, Dr. Drewnowski led a study, published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, comparing the prices of 370 foods sold at supermarkets in the Seattle area. The study showed that “energy dense” junk foods, which pack the most calories and fewest nutrients per gram, were far less expensive than nutrient-rich, lower-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables. The prices of the most healthful foods surged 19.5 percent over the two-year study period, while the junk food prices dropped 1.8 percent.

Read the full article here and check out the couple's blog here.

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