Saturday, February 6, 2010

After 14 days - What is the real luxury of my eating lifestyle?

Two weeks in and the average daily expense for eating only REAL FOOD FROM REAL PEOPLE: artisan made, sustainable and whenever possible locally farmed runs to 8.82$. As mentioned in an earlier post, I now include eating out (once), dinner party with friends, the occasional coffee on the go and some nice wine in order to be more in line with US statistics that are assuming 50% at home and 50% out of home food expenses.

For the quality of food I am eating I think this is very reasonable, because the wines I drink and cheeses I enjoy are not of the cheap kind. And I rather spend more money on delicious food that popcorn at the theater. But that is a personal choice.
The days on which I eat at home without anything super fancy – like my beloved bean & grain soups with some yummy root veggies and drizzled with great olive oil from The Scrumptious Pantry– I spend as little as 3$.
So what does this tell us (if it tells us anything after only two weeks)?

A reader had sent me a link to a recent experiment a group in Seattle is doing to raise awareness for hunger in the US. The participants are trying to live on the budget a family using food stamps would have available – six dollars a day on average. (see Although the experiment in Seattle has nothing to do with indulging in artisan, local & sustainable food, there was one important take-away in the comments by the paper’s readers: they were all stating that one can happily feed a person on around 3-5$ day if ONE COOKED. That was the recurring comment: “get in the kitchen and cook from scratch – that is healthier and is cheaper”. So how does this relate to what I am doing? Well, if you knew how often I heard “but no one eats like this” in the last two weeks. Bean soups? Roasted root vegetables? Cornmeal for breakfast? Heaven help! It does not come in a box that you tear open and pop in your microwave…

Is the real luxury I am living not the money I spend on wholesome ingredients and artful food crafted by family farms & fine artisans, but the time I spend preparing these simple but delicious ingredients? I wonder…

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