The Washington Times Reviews “On a Dollar a Day”…

In what I think is the first official review for “On a Dollar a Day”, Washington Times reviewer Claire Hopley contextualizes what the book adds to the growing discussion about our food system. In reference to our critique about the Thrifty Food Plan she writies,

“The analysis of why this well-intentioned program does not fully meet the needs of its intended beneficiaries is one of the most cogent parts of “On a Dollar a Day.”

Enjoy the review!

– Christopher

PS. We won’t be posting any video footage from our party. But good things are coming, so stay tuned!

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Valentine’s Special in Today’s San Diego Union-Tribune!

Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard expanded the concept of their blog for their book, “On a Dollar a Day,” to include information about the food industry. Photo by Sean M. Haffey of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

While Kerri and I are getting ready for a party with friends and family to celebrate the release of the book, please read this article by Tanya Mannes which was printed in Saturday’s San Diego Union-Tribune. Enjoy…and maybe later we’ll post a video from the party…maybe…

– Christopher

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Jamie Oliver’s Wish is Our Wish.

Today we’d like to share with you a TED talk from the chef Jamie Oliver, in addition to sharing our publisher, he also shares part of our vision. Enjoy.

– Christopher

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“On a Dollar a Day” is in Stores Now!

It’s finally here! Today marks the official release of our new book “On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America”…so please, if you haven’t already ordered a copy online, visit your local book retailer and pick up a copy.

Additionally, the new Web site for the book also went up today. We’ve posted recipes, lesson plans, photos, and more is still on the way, so make sure your next online destination is DollarADayBook.com!

Have a wonderful day.

– Christopher & Kerri

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The Plans of Two Leading Ladies.

I chose this sexy picture of Alicia Silverstone because I know that the folks at PeTA don't care about copyright infringement. And because it's a well composed photo? O.k. so my feminist mind knows that this is questionable. Please forgive me.

I have a thing for Alicia Silverstone. Ever since her leading role in the 90s film classic “Clueless” I have had eyes for her. Kerri doesn’t seem to mind, as she knows that nothing will ever come of it, but when I suggest inviting Alicia to our book release party Kerri’s eyes burn with anger. Not because she’s jealous, but because she’s worried that I might actually do it. While I joke about having a thing for Alicia, my track record for actually attempting goofy stuff is pretty strong.

However, lately its been Kerri who has been talking a lot about Ms. Silverstone. See, like us, Alicia is vegan, and luckily for us she just released a new book called “The Kind Diet”. In it, Silverstone outlines her idea of a superhero meal plan, and for the last couple of weeks Kerri has been experimenting with several concoctions from this New York Times bestseller. Upon first glance it is obvious that her plan is unlike other trendy diet books.

I mean, really, who eats miso soup and collard greens for breakfast?

While many of the meals call for expensive ingredients that are outrageous given our thrifty approach to eating, there are several items that we will continue to make. Like pumpkin seeds toasted with soy sauce as a quick snack, and the krispy brown rice treats made with brown rice syrup and peanut butter for dessert (easy and terribly addicting).

And today, I would have readily traded my oatmeal for some miso and greens topped with ume plum vinegar, or some fried mochi. While we have yet to make a lot of Alicia’s recipes, our time trying out these new meals was well spent, and we’re finally getting to the end of the fresh vegetables that overstocked our fridge; I don’t think I’d ever seen so many plants in there before. Additionally, Alicia has launched a Web site to accompany the growing community of folks who are looking to eat a healthy, and considered diet.

Some of these healthful meals would be perfect for families, and might even be of use for those looking to curb childhood obesity. People like first lady Michelle Obama.

This leading lady has decided to start a national initiative on the issue, and we couldn’t be more pleased. These efforts are absolutely essential, especially now that companies can legally line the pockets of politicians, which might just lead to a political landscape where even more power is wielded  by private economic interests instead of by the will of the people. Just a thought. Maybe the Supreme Court was having a “clueless” moment.

So this week we commend the plans of these two leading ladies, and give a huge thumbs down to the Supreme Court’s decision regarding corporate influence.

Only nine more days until the book comes out. Pre-order now by clicking a link on the right!

– Christopher

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From Our Home to Yours.

Hello everyone. Please enjoy this new video…pre-recorded from our living room.

Warmly,

Christopher & Kerri

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I Have a Dream for Haiti

“The curse of poverty has no justification in our age.” – Martin Luther King Jr., from “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” (1967)

While many remember King for his “I have a dream” speech, and others idolize him as a symbol for racial equality, one of the less canonized memories of this man was his commitment to ending poverty. At the time of his death, King was in the middle of sending black leaders into the communities hit hardest by economic misfortune in order to start programs that would lift people up.

King understood that the problems inherent in racism were also central to poverty; that race and class were fundamentally intertwined. He knew that he could not make progress on one front without trying to make progress on the other. Yet, while there has been marked progress in both areas, things are nowhere near where they could be.

In our upcoming book, we write about both these issues. We talk a lot about the level of privilege that has been afforded to us on the basis of our skin color, and because of our economic upbringing. We recognize that these factors play a crucial role in our own self-actualization, and that in all likelihood  we would not be as successful as we are if we had been born poor, or black, or latino, etc. We write about the access to food in more diverse communities, and the struggles that people face when looking to work their way out of poverty.

We have written about these issues because we have a responsibility to raise our voices for those who cannot. As people with privilege, we have the means and therefore the responsibility to advocate for others, which is why we often call upon our readers to do whatever they can to help those without. And we will do so again, and again, and again.

This past week the horrors unfolding in Haiti have brought us yet another opportunity to stand up and lend a hand. In addition to worrying about which football team is or isn’t heading to the playoffs, please, spend some time (and money) worrying about the people who have the least, and who have been hit the hardest. The differences between football and disaster are many, but with Haiti, you can actually do something about it. I can think of no better way for all of us to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.

– Christopher

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One Month from Today.

The silverback (male leader) of the Habinyanja gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable forest (in the mountains of southwestern Uganda) looks on as we sit with his 18 member family. Photo by Kerri Leonard.

We’re back from our trip, and as we continue to revel in the wonderful memories from our adventures (like sitting with gorillas in the mountains of southwestern Uganda), we’re also shifting gears and getting ready for the release of our book. So, we’re spending the weekend getting some recipes, lesson plans, and plenty of other extras ready for our new Web site (which will launch soon). If you haven’t done so yet, please click on the link and pre-order your copy of “On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures Eating in America“.

However, even though we’re hard at work, I couldn’t help but feel the need to post about some odd food news that came across my desktop yesterday.

In a study  released earlier this week from the International Journal of Food Microbiology, beverages from fountain machines, like the kind you fill your cup with at fast food joints, could very well be squirting out fecal matter with your drink. That’s right, fecal matter. The research looked at 90 drinks from 30 different soda machines in Virginia and 48 percent contained colriform bacteria, or fecal matter.

“More than 11% of the beverages analyzed contained Escherichia coli and over 17% contained Chryseobacterium meningosepticum,” according to the abstract of the study. “Other opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms isolated from the beverages included species of Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Stenotrophomonas, Candida, and Serratia.”

While the concentrations of these contaminants weren’t strong enough to hurt most people’s systems, the mix of bacteria, whose origins are entirely unclear (even to the researchers), is enough to keep me from drinking from these machines for a little while. I don’t drink soda very often anyway, but this is even more reason not to.

Have a wonderful weekend.

– Christopher

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Back to Africa.

Today Kerri and I are heading to the birthplace of humanity. This will be Kerri’s first time landing in Africa, and my third trip back. Although I’m not looking forward to the 25+ hours of travel ahead of us, I am very excited to visit Egypt for the first time, and to see friends in Kenya and Uganda. Of course, our absence means that we probably won’t be posting for the next couple of weeks, but you know what we’d say anyway…

If you don’t. Here it is: GIVE WHATEVER YOU CAN TO THOSE WHO NEED IT.

Your dad doesn’t really need that Snuggie as a holiday gag gift, but there are people on the very edge of survival who do need your help. And they need it right now. This morning I gave $500 to Oxfam, the largest single investment I’ve made in ending international poverty. I’m hoping that some of you will match that, or give even a percentage of that amount. Remember, someone’s life depends on it.

See you in 2010!

Warmly,

Christopher & Kerri

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Action Alert: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

We know that the holidays are a time for thoughtfulness and caring, so today we’d like you to be thoughtful and caring about the future of health in this country. So this post is a call to action for you from our friends at Center for Science in the Public Interest. We wrote to our senators this morning, now it’s your turn. In the season of giving, we’re giving our elected officials our input, and the chance to make our voices heard.

As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Senate health reform bill, we need your help to urge your Senators to champion the prevention provisions! The current provisions have already been cut by almost 75 percent in an attempt to decrease the overall cost of the bill. We cannot afford to lose the remaining funds dedicated to preventing chronic diseases, which account for 75 percent of our health care costs.

Currently in the Senate health reform bill, the prevention funds would increase over time to about $2 billion a year.

It’s time to let Senators know that prevention is not negotiable! For too long, health care has focused on treating people after they have become sick, instead of keeping them well in the first place. The public health investment fund and national prevention strategy would lower disease rates, improve quality of life, and help reduce health care costs for families, businesses, and the government.

The current prevention measures also include a national menu labeling policy. This policy would result in nutrition information on the menus and menu boards at chain restaurants across the country, bringing this popular policy, which has already passed in 16 local and state legislatures, to all Americans.

Please contact your Senators today and urge them to protect and champion the prevention measures currently included in health reform!

Thank you for your support!

Warmly,

Christopher

P.s. If you haven’t pre-ordered our book…do it today! (See the links to retailers on your right)

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