Today I found a wonderful article by Jerusha Klemperer, the Associate Director of Programs at Slow Food USA in New York City, with regard to the realities of trying to make healthy choices for ourselves when it comes to food.
I found this article both inspiring and very informative as she admits the challenges of trying to follow a healthy diet that includes local, sustainable and organic foods. Now, if you’re not an avid shopper of local, sustainable or especially organic, your first thought is probably “Wow, she must spend a fortune on food!”
While I am not here to argue whether these foods are cheaper or more expensive, I will say that if you’re willing to take the time to find what’s in season and where the deals are, your health and your wallet will thank you. One of the questions that she asks in this article is why eating healthy has to be so hard? But seriously. Why is it that eating healthy is so much more expensive than the $5 value meal from McDonald’s. While some of us are aware of WHY, there are some that don’t and many that just don’t care (and those, I am sad to say, I just cannot help). However, if we are convinced that eating healthy should be as cheap as eating junk food, than why not take on this challenge? Rather than filling our bodies with chemicals and science experiments created in laboratories, why not figure out how we can eat food that tastes good and is GOOD for us that won’t break the bank.
So, where am I going with this? I would like to introduce you to Slow Food USA (if you are not already familiar with them). What is Slow Food?
“Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.”
Slow Food is the brains behind the $5 Challenge that is taking place on September 17.
This September, you’re invited to take back the ‘value meal’ by getting together with family, friends and neighbors for a slow food meal that costs no more than $5 per person. Cook a meal with family and friends, have a potluck, or find a local event.
Because slow food shouldn’t have to cost more than fast food. If you know how to cook, then teach others. If you want to learn, this is your chance. Together, we’re sending a message that too many people live in communities where it’s harder to buy fruit that Froot Loops. Everybody should be able to eat fresh, healthy food every day.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
Go to their website Take the $5 Challenge and submit your entry. You can cook a meal with friends and family, find a local event, or host your own event. When you sign up, they’ll send you $5 cooking tips.
(Above information can be found on their website)
So now all you have to do is sign up and get your friends together for a meal that costs less than $5 per person. I think we owe it not only ourselves to eat good food, but also to our local farmers. Who knows, you might learn some great tips out of it!
If you need to find a local farmers market, this is a great website that you should check out.
TANGENT: For my thesis project, I am hoping to get people comfortable with the individual ingredients themselves to understand the building blocks of dishes, in order to help people become more confident when combining those ingredients together. In the end I hope that this will help people to become more comfortable with whole foods and how to use them rather than passing them up in the supermarket and heading for the canned goods and frozen meals, or worse, the drive-thru. This challenge highlights how this knowledge of ingredients would come in handy when trying to compose simple delicious dishes.