Consider this: 1 in 4 U.S. kids don’t know where their next meal will come from. In our country, we subsidize the wrong products. Millions of Americans live in food deserts without access to healthy ingredients. The foods we should be eating—fruits and vegetables—are more expensive than the chips, sodas, and processed foods that are available. We currently spend a mere $1 per week per child in school meal programs. Food stamp participants are only allocated $4 a day to survive.
Last year, in response to a local hunger challenge, I did a series of blog posts on How to Eat Healthy on $5 a Day. My goal was to demonstrate that $5 a day (close to the allotment provided by the SNAP food stamp program) can go a long way towards healthy food (as opposed to cheap processed food). And that even takes into account Bill’s food allergies and our preference for happy food (local, organic, sustainable, humane). The experiment lasted five days.
I’m one of more than a hundred bloggers donating today’s post to raise awareness about hunger. It’s all in support of an initiative called Food Bloggers Against Hunger, which was created in response to the new documentary A Place at the Table. It’s also in partnership with Share Our Strength‘s efforts in Washington to protect SNAP funding and make anti-hunger legislation a priority.
When the government subsidizes products like soy beans, wheat, and corn instead of fresh produce, the most affordable food is often the unhealthiest. One thing I learned by Day 5 of my experiment last year was that legumes are cheap. And, of course they’re healthy!
So today I’m sharing some of my favorite cheap and easy recipes that could easily take the place of processed and fast food to help keep Americans fed and healthy.
Split-Pea Soup in a Crockpot
Cuban Black Beans and Brown Rice
Nutty Rice Porridge
Use leftover brown rice to make this next recipe for breakfast. Buy apples from the farmers’ market when in season.
Kale is fairly ubiquitous and seems to be available much of the year. Kale chips are a great alternative to potato chips. Much healthier, and easy to make!
Red Lentil Soup
I recently watched A Place at the Table. And one thing I learned is that hunger in America cannot be eliminated by creating bigger food banks. The only way to stop hunger is by changing policies, so it’s important we make our voices heard. If you’re inspired by the trailer for A Place at the Table, go see it. (You can also watch it on demand through iTunes and Amazon.)
If you’re moved to action, please consider sending a letter to Congress to support anti-hunger legislation.
Let’s obliterate hunger in America!