Tag Archives: The Daily Show

Return from Gotham City.

On our trip to the United Nations in New York City, we learned about Plumpy'Nut, a high protein, peanut-based food used in famin relief.

On our trip to the United Nations in New York City, we learned about Plumpy'Nut, a high protein, peanut-based food used in famine relief.

Kerri and I were in New York City recently, and during that time we spent far more than a dollar a day on food. In fact, I had restaurant outings planned before we left for the trip. Having traveled to the big apple before, there were a few places I wanted to make sure that we visited: Hangwai, Red Bamboo, Candle Cafe, Blossom, and Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, just to name a few.

Yet, what we learned during our visit to the United Nations about feeding programs around the world stood in stark contrast to our extravagant eating patterns as trendy jet-setting idealists. While we were eating seared seitan on my birthday, millions of children were eating Plumpy’Nut; a peanut-based food used for famine relief which was invented by French scientist in 1999. I had never heard of Plumpy’Nut before, and assume that most folks haven’t, so I’ve re-printed some of the basics,

“The Plumpy’nut product is a high protein and high energy peanut-based paste in a foil wrapper. It tastes slightly sweeter than peanut butter. It is categorized by the World Health Organization as a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).

Plumpy’nut requires no water preparation or refrigeration, making it easy to deploy in difficult conditions to treat severe acute malnutrition. However, it must be used under medical supervision and the nutritional status of the children has to be clearly identified by a doctor or a nutritionist. It has a two year shelf life when unopened. The product was inspired by the popular Nutella spread. It is manufactured by Nutriset, a French company based in Normandy Rouen, fully dedicated to humanitarian relief, specialized in products to treat malnutrition, used by humanitarian stakeholders (international organisations and non-governmental organisations basically) for distribution. The ingredients are: peanut paste, vegetable oil, powdered milk, powdered sugar, vitamins, and minerals, combined in a foil pouch. Each 92g pack provides 500 kcal or 2.1 MJ.

Plumpy’nut contains vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K, and minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, iodine, sodium, and selenium.”

As I held the pouch in my hand, I wanted to taste it, but unfortunately they don’t sell Plumpy’Nut at the U.N. coffee shop. However, during our tour of the U.N. we were reminded of the millions of people who are barely getting enough to eat, and the millions more who get sick and die as a result of global poverty.

However, while we live a life far from poverty, New York City isn’t exactly a cheap place to visit.

Traveling can make it difficult to eat affordably, but we managed to pick up a box of cereal, soymilk, and orange juice to eat each day for breakfast. We definitely could have done more “home” cooking, as our hotel had both a refrigerator and a microwave, but part of the experience on holiday is to enjoy the foods available in the part of the world that you’re visiting; and enjoy them we did.

In addition to eating well, seeing some sites, going to The Daily Show and watching the Yankees sweep the Boston Red Sox, we were also lucky enough to sit down with the folks at Hyperion who are working on the release of our book for January. We are very pleased with everything we learned from them, and we’re really excited to have such a supportive group of people to help us bring the book to all of you.

As of now, the first draft of the manuscript is complete, and we’ll be doing editing from here on out.

– Christopher



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Day Four

While the nurse jabbed her needle into the soft part of my upper arm, I hoped I would not be the one in one hundred and thirty thousand that has a serious reaction to a yellow fever vaccination. Staring at the pictures of happy globe-trotters in the small room of the travel clinic, I wondered not about the life-changing experience that travel brings. Instead I contemplated whether eating one of the Jolly Ranchers in the waiting room would be a violation of this project.  

I had less energy today than previously, and right now I can feel a headache coming. It would be unfair to assume that my headache has anything to do with my food intake, but I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation. It could even be a reaction to the shot. Either way, my day with students was fantastic. While helping them look for ways to make their writing different of better than anyone else, my thoughts of food faded to the background. During lunch time I was so engaged with my work that I almost forgot to eat. 

Yet the beast that resides in my stomach (who I sometimes imagine is like the overgrown venus fly trap in the 80s film Little Shop of Horrors), was screaming “Feed Me, Seymour!” by the time I got home. When I arrive home from work in the afternoon I often have a customary after-school snack; usually chips and salsa. Today I felt those “old” habits rise up with a fury.

My response to the feeling, and the emotional need to stuff my face, was simple: I shall overcome.

Instead, I took a breather and watched The Daily Show online which then segued into correcting some student work. I’ve found that if I keep myself busy, working on things I care about, that ignoring the cravings of my mini Audrey ll becomes much easier. Besides, if Ode Magazine is going to tell readers about our project on their website, I have an obligation to deny that determined little beast in my stomach. 

Another day, another dollar…



Daily Totals:

Breakfast: Oatmeal – $0.06, 1 TBSP Peanut Butter on 1/2 piece of bread – $0.10 (Christopher only), 1/3 TBSP of margarine – $0.02 (Kerri only)

Lunch: 1/2 Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (homemade bread, 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1 TBSP Jelly) – $0.26, 2 Cups popped popcorn – $0.07 (Kerri only)

Dinner: Chana Masala – $0.25, Baked Potato w/ 1 TBSP Margarine – $0.16, 1.5 Tortillas – $0.08

Desert: 1 TBSP Peanut Butter – $0.05

Kerri Total: $0.90

Christopher Total: $0.96

Donation Total: $145

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.

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