Forget the fact that we are in a historic presidential race for the white house. Forget that Joe Biden is courting Green Bay Packers fans. Forget that the creationist, anti-choice Sarah Palin is now gracing the cover of women’s magazines nationwide. Forget all of that.
What really matters is that today marks the one week anniversary of our quest to eat on one dollar a day. While it could be argued that the discussion about which president will answer that 3 a.m. phone call is more important, I can guarantee that it won’t be as immediately painful as my 5 a.m. call to the toilet. I’m not sure if it was all the tomato based dishes, or just my body in protest, but it was not the best way to start a Monday.
Just when I thought I was starting to get the hang of this, I find that I’m finally beginning to struggle. Today I was fine until I got home, but upon entering the kitchen, it took everything I had to not tear open the closest container of food and pour it down my throat. I was not just “hungry”, I was bordering on frantic. After a day of foraging samples from our local natural foods store, and eating half of a no-cheese pizza for dinner (who knew pizza was so cheap to make), I guess my body was just expecting more.
Upon cooking up a large batch of Spanish rice, I scooped $0.70 worth of food on to my empty dish. A villainous laugh erupted from my taught stomach as I surveyed the landscape of my plate. A gentle sloping mountain of refried beans, the jagged ridge atop the mounds and plateaus of my Spanish rice, and canyons upon canyons descending through the depths of my split open baked potato. It was nothing short of breathtaking. The BBC television series Planet Earth aint got nothin’ on this, and I mean nothin’. I should have taken pictures, but to play shutterbug at a moment of such gravitas would have been unforgivable.
So I mark today as a new holiday. A holiday that celebrates the geography of food. A day where we turn the page on mindless gorging. A day when we stand up and embrace the foodscapes that so often go unnoticed. Today is the day when change comes to our dinner tables. Today will forever be known to all people of this earth as: International Beans and Rice Day.
Mark it on your calendars and vow that from now on September 8th will not live in the shadows. It will not be a simple date that comes and goes like so many others. It will be a day when we celebrate the simple beauty in a mound of rice, and the delicate texture of a pile of beans, so that all who come after us will know how seriously we take our food.
While us rich folk usually sit around with the luxury of deciding on which of the thousands of possibilities we could choose from for dinner, one billion people have no choice at all. For while we do this as a challenge to explore the depths of our habits and our relationship to food, there are those who couldn’t fathom the idea of having food and not eating it.
Breakfast: 1 Cup cooked oatmeal w/ 1 TSP margarine – $0.09 (Kerri only), 2 small pancakes w/ 1 TBSP Peanut Butter and foraged syrup – $0.15
Lunch: Pizza (2 slices for Kerri, 3 for Christopher) – $0.10 and $0.15 respectively, 2 Cups popped popcorn – $0.07 (Kerri only)
Dinner: 1.5 Cups refriend Beans – $0.14, 1.5 Cups Spanish Rice – $0.22, 2 Baked potatoes with 1 TBSP butter each – $0.32 (Christopher only)
Christopher Total: $0.98
Kerri Total: $0.78
Donation Total: $150 (THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING TO DONATE!)
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.