21 Ways to Eat When You Can't Afford Food • Six Dollar Family


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  • Abhishek Mishra

Nov 24, 2020

    Abhishek Mishra Nov 24, 2020

    “I love this because this article helped me to a good healthy food, I learned so much from it.”

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It doesnt have to be local/beyond organic/environmentally sustainable/hippie or nothing

Activist groups, the health food industry, and many health/food bloggers would like you to believe that, when it comes to what you’re feeding your family, it’s an “all or nothing” deal.

It’s time to let go of the guilt and embrace Real Food anyway!

Dear Momma, you’ve been scouring Pinterest and Instagram and mommy blogs for years, praying your heart out to be able to afford the foods you see on those sites and heaping guilt on your head because you can’t.

You are convinced that your kid’s ear infection or your husband’s indigestion have come about because you’ve been feeding them inferior, non-organic foods.

You presume that your family will never be as healthy as all those families on social media who can afford to shop at Whole Foods and who rave at how Real Food has transformed their lives.

Well, I give you permission to let the guilt go.

Have a good cry as you wave goodbye to it.

It’s time to stop looking through the lens of what you can’t do/buy/afford, and start looking with fresh vision at what you CAN do!

Matsutake Mushrooms

Price: About $55 per pound The most expensive mushrooms in the world, matsutakes grow in North America, South Korea, Canada, Finland and Sweden, but most are exported to Japan, where there is a high demand. Matsutakes have cultural significance in Japan, where they symbolize fertility and happiness. Other notable symbolic foods include horse meat sashimi (for strength) and the sperm sacs of cod (for virility).

Densuke Black Watermelon

Price: About $6,100 per melon Densuke black watermelons — one of which once sold for more than $8,000 — took a price hit around 2011, though one melon will still cost you a lofty $6,100. First-harvest Densukes come with a hefty price tag, and you can even find the same species of Densukes — but not first harvest specimens — in Canada for around $200. What’s so special about this watermelon aside from its color? Densukes have crisper flesh, more juice and more sweetness than regular watermelons. That said, a blind taste test by the Toronto Star indicated the juiciness and seed quantity — Densukes aren’t genetically modified for seedlessness like supermarket varieties — negatively affected tasters’ experiences. Find Out: How Much Money You’ll Spend on Food in Your Lifetime

Dollars and cents

Someone who is food insecure needs an average of $43 more per month to buy enough to eat. The national average cost of a meal was $3.02 in 2017, down from $3.06 in 2016 after accounting for inflation.

Forty-three percent of U.S. counties’ meal costs are higher than the national average – some as much as double.

How does your Black and indigenous heritage factor into how you farm?

I’m not focused on owning land. I think that’s actually one of the big ways that my indigenous heritage expresses itself in the way we do business – I’m not looking to own or accumulate. I just want access to that land in order to feed people, because for us, that’s the point of landscape – to sustain people.

Sylvanaqua Farms sells pasture-raised eggs and chickens. Photograph: Chris and Annie Newman

The rest of it is probably a bunch of weird neuroses around farming and agriculture, because people of color, especially Black people, ran away from farms for a reason. We were chased away at gunpoint, basically. My maternal grandfather, who was the last farmer in my family, was determined that none of his kids would be farmers, even though he was very successful at it. He had people paint swastikas on his tractors.

Help your neighbors: Groceries, babysitting, video calls

If you’ve got elderly neighbors who can’t make it to the store, check on them regularly by calling, video chatting or sending a text. Offer to pick up groceries and other supplies and offer to bring them meals several times a week — you can arrange to leave them on the porch so you don’t risk spreading germs. 

You can also offer to take them to doctor appointments (sanitize your car first and have them sit in the back to practice social distancing) or ask if they need you to go to the pharmacy to fill their prescriptions (they’ll need to give the pharmacist their permission). 

If your neighbors have kids at home and need babysitting help due to work or appointments, consider making an offer to help, whatever that is — watching them for an hour, loaning them board games or even helping your neighbor with errands. Note that not everyone feels comfortable asking for help, so approach the subject lightly.