We had french toast for breakfast today. I know what you’re thinking. “WHAT?! FRENCH TOAST?!”
If you think about it though, its a pretty cheap thing to make. Most folks just use bread soaked in a mixture of milk and eggs, and it originated as a way to use stale bread. It could be argued that it was invented by those who couldn’t afford to waste food. We used our own recipe that doesn’t call for eggs, but it was still an inexpensive breakfast treat. However, this morning meal wasn’t our idea.
As some of you know, we’ve started our next experiment, in which our meals have been laid out for us by the USDA. We’re on our way to finishing the first week, and so far so good. Mostly. We’ll detail all of it in the book, but with the amount of money we’re allowed to spend, we’re a little worried we won’t make it through the month. That being said, it is much easier than eating on a dollar a day.
However, my middle of the night runs to the bathroom weren’t very pleasant.
Even though this experience has been much more enjoyable than our jaunt in September, today will be a challenge.
We’re participating in “The Rescue“, an event organized by the San Diego based non-profit Invisible Children. The event requires that we show up in downtown San Diego at 3 p.m. and march to our “camp” where we will wait, with thousands of other people, to be “rescued”. The event is taking place in 100 cities, and in 10 countries, in order to bring awareness about the child soldiers who have been forced to kill in Africa’s longest running war. Most of the participants in today’s event will camp out until they are “rescued” by politicians and celebrities. The goal is to get these moguls on board to help rescue the child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s murderous Lord’s Resistance Army.
Participating in something like this while maintaining our economically reduced diet is a challenge, as it forces us to prepare food in advance, and plan meals that are portable, while making sure that we are getting the right type of nutrition (as prescribed by the USDA).
Breakfast today was a nice treat; much better than the cooked rice cereal we had earlier in the week.
Yet, most of our nation’s poor don’t have this luxury. Hopefully folks in need will have breakfast as a result of the Kellog Co’s recent efforts. The world’s largest cereal maker has pledged to give $10 million dollars worth of Rice Krispies, Frosted Mini-Wheats, and others cereals to food banks in order to help meet the 30 percent increase in demand, according to Bloomberg.
While this is fantastic, it’s not going to make a meaningful shift for the hungry in our nation. According to Joel Berg, the author of “All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America?”, food banks and charities feed only two percent of our nation’s hungry. The other 36.2 million people need access to efficient government run programs that are serious about ending food insecurity in our country.
In considering federal involvement in the United States food supply, and the budgets that guide the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps), it would be smart to consider a report released earlier this month from the Congressional Budget Office which shows that the rising cost in food cannot be blamed solely on the production of corn-based ethanol. Corn manufacturers and other industry folks are calling for an investigation in to why food costs have continued to climb despite lower fuel costs. This report puts the brakes on the “food vs. fuel” debate that was popular last year. I posted a link a while back about how food manufacturers claim that lower fuel costs just need to work their way through the system until consumers start to save.
In other news, the USDA will conduct their first wide-spread survey of organic agriculture this spring; the results of which will help shape the future of the industry according to the trade publication Farm and Dairy.
If you’re looking for something to do tonight, consider joining “The Rescue” in a town near you. If you’re looking for a relatively cheap and great tasting breakfast, consider re-purposing that old bread in your fridge.