At school today it took me all of lunch to eat half of my PB&J sandwich. I did not eat the second half until after school. This is not because I was not hungry, but more because the bread was dry and this has become my least favorite meal. I am tired of PB&J (although I do still enjoy my peanut butter on a spoon in the evening).
The bread that we have been eating is homemade. However, we do have the luxury of a hand-me-down bread maker ( I am pretty sure my mom got it when I was in 9th or 10th grade… I won’t tell you how long ago that was, but trust me it was a while). It is old, but it works well and makes great bread. That is until it has been around for a few days. Then it starts to get dry and my whole chewing process slows down. Despite the pace of my chewing, this bread does have advantages. It has very few ingredients and I can pronounce every one of them. Had we bought cheap bread at the grocery store, I do not think I could say the same thing.
I touched on this the other day, but it is amazing to me that the cheaper food is, the more ingredients it has. It seems that it should be the other way around. One thing that makes this different is the amount of cheap fillers that are added to make the food seem like there is more. “Natural” and artificial flavors are taking the place of actual food. Corn syrup and hydrogenated oils are in almost everything we eat. At one point we discussed (never with any seriousness) the idea of trying to completely avoid corn syrup. It would be a much more difficult undertaking than our current endeavor.
I attempted to look up the ingredients in a can of refried beans so that I could compare it to the ingredients in the beans that I have been making (pinto beans, salt, garlic, chili flakes). I had a difficult time finding them. Of course I only looked up Rosarita which is the brand I ate growing up. I could not find the ingredients online, only the nutrition facts. I also realized that, prior to becoming vegan, I used to only look at the calories and fat and not at what I was actually eating.
Packaged products that contain whole foods and little filler are much more expensive than items filled with unpronounceable contents. Sometimes we don’t even know what we are eating. The maple syrup acquired from McDonalds had 6 ingredients, and real maple was not one of them . The one we bought prior to this month had one: organic maple syrup. It was far more expensive.
I do, of course, realize that I have the time and resources to worry about this issue. In all reality, even though we are eating on a dollar, I know that I am going to have three meals everyday. I also know exactly what is in each meal (unless we have a day where we need to eat the ramen). I know that if one of us had a health related issue we have the option to change what we are eating. Not everyone is as fortunate.
A friend of mine is an elementary school teacher. Lately when we talk we discuss this project, but also other related issues. I learned today that in her second week of school she has already had two or three of her students telling her that they don’t have food at home. From one of the students she got the impression that many times school lunch as the only meal of the day. If I was in this situation, food labels and whole ingredients would not be the first thing on my mind.
These were my thoughts today,
P.S. I ate two cherry tomatoes from my garden today (Thank you, puppies for not eating those). We have not yet nailed down how to calculate those yet as they are not available to everyone. The cost/totals for today may change. Also, Christopher was in bed by the time I got home. I am guessing his totals. I will revise if necessary tomorrow.
Breakfast: 1 Cup cooked oatmeal w/ 1 TSP margarine – $0.09
Lunch: 2 Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (homemade bread, 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1 TBSP Jelly) – $0.36 popped popcorn – $0.07 (Kerri only)
Appetizer: 2 Cherry tomatoes from backyard-$0.10
Dinner: 1/2 Cup refried Beans – $0.07, 1 Cup Spanish Rice – $0.11, 1 baked potato with 1TBSP butter-$0.16
Christopher Total: $0.89
Kerri Total: $0.96
Donation Total: $150 (THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING TO DONATE!)
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