"He who knows what sweets and virtues are
in the ground, the waters, the plants, the
heavens, and how to come at these
enchantments, is the rich and royal man."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

What the World Eats in a Week:

A Dollar A Day! $1/person/day

A Dollar A Day!  $1/person/day
We were blown away by all the Coke and other multi-national labels in the hungry planet video clip above that seemed to permeate the tables and kitchens all over the world! It would appear us Earthlings can't live without our sugar water (or make that high fructose corn syrup water). Our backdrop is the only Pepsi you'll see in this month's photos. Aleli has nicknamed this old half of a tin sign, " Food Shortage".

Friday, August 1

One, two, three.... GO

Happy August all and welcome to our first day of fun with food. Before we share some points of the day though, we'll tell you a bit about our little experiment.

Most months this year our family of six has conducted some unofficial life experiment. One month we went without television, another month we expressed a daily gratitude, etc. In all our brainstorming, we somehow thought it might be interesting to attempt to eat for a dollar a day per person. Food is just that basic common thread among ALL living things and so there are limitless possibilities to learn, explore and understand.We agreed that there would be no dumpster diving and that we will tap into every resource available to OUR family. We realize not every family would have the exact same resources at their disposal, but most US cities are abundant with untapped goods. Enough about that for now.

Sticking with the classics for breakfast day one.


Our first day was definitely a learning day. We started by using what we had on hand along with some staples we had purchased especially for this quest. Nothing should go to waste. MMMmmmm, mmmmm goood oatmeal! Goes down smooth with brown sugar, maple syrup, raisins, cinnamon butter and milk. Although one serving costs us about .07 cents per person before all the comfort fixins', we still came in at around $1 for the entire family meal, complete with a shared grapefruit, some free toast (day old restaurant bread) and a tall glass of crystal clear water.

No hat, no spoon.... no service!

Lunch at home with Aleli and the kids was a simple pasta with pesto and some tomato from our patio garden (nicknamed the food jungle). Lunch for five cost about $2.25. James ate a little something at work for free. By this point the kids were already craving sweets. So we whipped up some chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough to freeze (Pillsbury log style) with the promise that we would use it only when absolutely necessary. For the moment, licking the bowl and spoon was enough.

Stalling with cookie dough. Baby absolutely LOVED all the mixing, pouring, tasting and chatting that are integral to cookie "doughing".

Bonding and sugar, both deeply important in the baking world.

Things were looking...... "absolutely necessary" by snack time! Fortunately James walked in the door with some oooh so lovely Belgian brownie samples from a ribbon cutting ceremony that was just starting at a new shopping center in the heart of our village. The plan was to go there in the early evening and enjoy as much free food as possible right around dinner time. And that's just what we did! The free Jamba Juice smoothies, Coldstone icecream cakes, gourmet burgers and fries (blanched in duck fat and absurdly tasty!) from a new pub, italian osteria cookies, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf teas, organic breads, macaroons and other snackies completely hit the spot. We even came away with a pack of sugarless gum for each kid, courtesy of the new dentist in town. There was hardly any mention of "what's for dinner?" (even from the 10 year old growing one) after that free glut of random yumminess. Thank you corporate America!

The girl enjoys the first "fruits" of our scavange. Not giant scissors in the background.

After walking the lively, music filled streets of our corner of the world (Friday night Art Walk), we headed home for a simple light meal of brown rice, grilled corn and a sprinkling of cheese. Wash it all down nicely with organic grape icey ( a classy way to water down any juice. The kids think it's special.) Dinner came to about $1.50 with plenty of rice to spare for tomorrow's breakfast or maybe even some rice pudding in the near future.

After dinner James did a quick pick up of leftovers from a restaurant soup pot and bread shelf. Plenty for tommorow's lunch perhaps.

In the next couple of days we'll be harvesting some fresh fruits and veggies for free from organic gardens at our local colleges and maybe some zucchini from a friend"s yard. Unfortunately, I think we may have missed our opportunity for 10 bunches of free grapes from our local "freecycle" yahoo group. We'll check in the morning to see if there are any still available. For today, please enjoy the food for thought video when you get the chance. It's totally worth the time for a bit of inspiration! LOVE that Dervaes family!

Peace, Love and Abundance!

A food for thought video. A must see for all! Enjoy!

And now a word on organics. "Grocery Store Wars"

Food, Glorious Food!

A Dollar a Day is all it takes: Plumpy' Nut...... a life saver.....please watch and think