So today I was called by two different casting departments in Hollywood. That’s right, there’s a chance I might be making my way into your homes via satellite. For my students who are reading this, there is no escape, I am everywhere.
I got to thinking about these new television opportunities today while we ate dinner. We sat there eagerly chomping away on our bean and rice burritos, and I imagined how funny it would be for those who know me to see me squeezed between Taco Bell and Burger King commercials. The vegan who normally eats only organic food, appearing on a network program paid for by the ads of multinational corporations, whose CEOs rarely eat the junk they pass off as food.
Then I started thinking about how often we’re told to eat. Television, and Radio commercials offer us $1.99 Super Value meals with fast moving images of food set to snazzy music. The message is clear: EAT. Most of us in the United States eat three squares a day without really giving it a second thought. We are surrounded by an empire of cereals, sodas, and snacks. Colorful boxes line the shelves of brightly lit big box stores, each package proclaiming how healthy its contents are. Most folks walk right past the fresh fruits and vegetables. We eat a salad and we feel holy. I never knew how much I would miss fresh fruits and vegetables until now.
The idea of continuing to eat the same staple ingredients for a month feels daunting. We’ve done some brainstorming; looked at mexican, chinese and indian cuisine, and have some ideas about how to keep things interesting. Yet, without bell peppers in our fajitas, or cauliflower in our aloo gobhi, the next few weeks seem bleak already.
On a hopeful note, I felt more energetic than usual today and everyone I’ve talked to concerning what we’re doing seemed enthusiastic about it. I had some great conversations throughout the day. My students had all kinds of questions, and some even told me about a place nearby where there are orange trees waiting to be picked. One student stayed behind after class to ask for tips about how to stretch her own food budget. We then got to talking about the privilege of eating high-end natural foods whenever we wanted, and then touched on how indigenous peoples sustain themselves. My colleagues sent encouraging emails, and a few were generous enough to sponsor our efforts. The Institute for Humane Education added our project to their monthly email newsletter, and even posted about it on their blog.
Unfortunately, when I go to Hollywood for my audition I won’t be able to take advantage of all the great food in the area. This is annoying. I’ve been waiting to check out a new place in Silverlake called The Vegan Spot since it opened earlier this year. Maybe that will be our first meal-on-the-town when we’re back to our typically luxuriant relationship with food.
Breakfast: 1 cup cooked oatmeal – $0.06, 1 TBSP Peanut Butter – $0.05 (Christopher only)
Snack: 1 mug of Mint Tea – $0.01 (1/2 TSP dried mint flakes, foraged lemon – Kerri only)
Lunch: PB and J sandwich on homemade bread – $0.36, 4 Figs – FREE (Foraged from a tree in front of our house – Kerri only), 2 cups popped popcorn with salt – $0.07 (Kerri only)
Dinner: 2 Bean and Rice Burritos – $0.42 ( Beans – $0.07, Rice -$0.11, Tortillas – $0.05ea., small strips of Lettuce – $0.07, 1 TBSP taco sauce – $0.12)
Dessert: 1TBSP Peanut butter – $0.05
Kerri’s Total: $0.97
Christopher’s Total: $0.95
Donation Total: $135
NOTE: If you think what we’re doing is interesting, inspiring, or just plain nutty, consider SPONSORING our efforts. Simply enter in an amount, click “update total” and follow the prompting. If you don’t have PayPal, it will let you use a credit card. At the end of the of the month all proceeds will go to the Community Resource Center (here in Encinitas, CA) and/or the ONE campaign. We will post evidence of donations at the end.