Synopses & Reviews
Fifteen percent of the world's population feeds themselves for under a dollar a day. As a way to encourage their students to think about food choices, consumerism, waste, and poverty, high school teachers Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard embarked on an experiment: They would live for one month on a food budget of one dollar a day each, and blog about it.
Their blog, OneDollarDietProject.com — in which they honestly discussed the challenges of eating plain oatmeal every morning (occasionally dressed up with one-third of a pat of butter) and of abstaining at a Rotary luncheon, where the tables groan under piles of food, much of which remains untouched — grew in popularity with lightning speed, soon reaching 1,000,000 readers. Major national media, including CBS's Inside Edition and the New York Times, took notice.
Equal parts social commentary and wake-up call, On a Dollar a Day examines how Americans eat and at what cost. With sections on eating the food stamp diet, what it really costs to eat healthfully and organically, and how to find the best buys at the grocery store, it's the ideal book for these challenging economic times.
"Struck by the fact that people worldwide subsist on a dollar a day (or even less), San Diego high school teachers Greenslate and Leonard decided to see how well they could feed themselves on a similar budget. After establishing some ground rules (no accepting donations, any guests must eat from the one-dollar-each supply), the couple make a month-long experiment of eating as well as they can, with as much variety as possible, on a dollar each per day. Taking turns telling their story, it quickly becomes apparent that the cumulative effect of the diet-tortillas, rice and beans, and desserts like a spoonful of peanut butter-is increased stress, more fights, health problems, and (of course) hunger. Even when they increase their budget to better reflect the state of the American poor ($4.13 per day each), they still find it a struggle to stay nourished. Anecdotes on class, race, America's reliance on corn, and thoughtful epilogues on budgeting and fighting hunger give the book political and practical value, making it a sobering, personal consideration of hunger and poverty worldwide and in our own neighborhoods." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"On a Dollar a Day" examines how Americans eat and at what cost. Sections on eating the food stamp diet, what it really costs to eat healthfully and organically, and how to find the best buys at the grocery store make it an ideal book for these challenging economic times.
What happens when two high school teachers get fed up with their soaring grocery bills and decide to try to feed themselves on one dollar each, per day? Authors Kerri Leonard and Christopher Greenslate describe how they did it — and also include sections about eating on a little more than $4 a day, as well as on the actual costs of eating a healthy diet. On a Dollar a Day
also includes fascinating facts about the way our food gets to the table and the hidden costs — both personal and financial — along the way:
- How food companies "short size" packages so that you pay more for less food
- Why one tablespoon of salad dressing costs as much as a whole orange
- How grocery stores auction off foods past their "sell by" dates
- Why processed foods have a higher markup than fresh foods
- Why it takes so long for food prices to drop, even after fuel and shipping costs go down
- How 36 million Americans have limited food options, even during a national obesity epidemic
About the Author
Christopher Greenslate teaches English, Social Justice, and Journalism to high school students in San Diego. He founded the Social Justice program in the school district as a forum for students to discuss important issues of the day. The dollar-a-day project grew out of his desire to show his students how to get people to see an issue with a new perspective. He was the 2008 Reynolds Institute Fellow of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He has led workshops at large events such as the annual Teachers for Social Justice conference and the National High School Journalism Convention. Christopher was selected by Rotary International to travel to East Africa as part of a group exchange in 2009.
Kerri Leonard grew up in Northern California in a family of grocers and worked at a grocery store for six and a half years. Kerri teaches English and Speech and Debate in San Diego County. She was named Speech and Debate Coach of the Year in San Diego.
Christopher and Kerri live in Encinitas, California.