VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s time to get creative!
As part of the Welfare Food Challenge to survive on $26 for week’s worth of food, News1130′s Andrea Macpherson is finding out rice and similar ingredients can be pretty bland… and boring!
DAY 3 – Mixing it up
I’ve been taking what little food I have to the Internet and coming up with recipes I can use.
For example, I made some decent banana-oat pancakes for breakfast by grinding the oats in a blender. But I recognize this isn’t something everyone on “actual” welfare would have access to.
Bill Hopley with Raise the Rates says it’s pretty tough without a kitchen. “People who have kitchens have the advantage, just the same as they have reserves of energy from starting this.”
“People that are doing this are doing this for one week, so if they are short on nutrients and trace elements… they are going to be okay after one week,” he points out.
Hopley points out I’m pretty lucky, especially since I can maintain my wheat-free diet.
“I know people on welfare that say ‘I walk this line, I need to eat this food, but I can’t afford it. At the end of the month I am short of nutrients or I’m running risks with some of my allergies or some of my intolerances.’ It sometimes has the consequence that they are ill during the last week of every month,” he explains.
The group claims $26 is all that is left after people on welfare pay for housing and hygiene.
The Vancouver Food Policy Council is holding a forum to discuss this topic; it happens at 7 o’clock tonight at Vancouver City Hall. Several challenge-takers will be on the panel.
(Today’s dinner of pasta and spinach)
What kinds of food are you trying to avoid?
People without kitchens, maybe they’re couch surfing… may be limited to pre-packaged kind of foods; you heat them up in the microwave or you add water… a lot of times they are a lot more expensive and not as healthy. I’ve been trying to avoid that as much as possible.
What food are you missing the most?
Cheese, milk, yogurt… basically, dairy. I love dairy, and I put it on everything. It’s very expensive compared to vegetables, grains… that sort of stuff in the supermarket. I’ve been craving a lot of peanut butter, too. But mostly, it’s the dairy. I’ve been missing the cheese, and when this thing’s done, I’m going to eat a block of it!
Has the change in diet affected your energy levels at all?
I’ve noticed that I’m a lot hungrier, quicker; I’m eating a lot more than I normally do, quantity-wise. I normally don’t eat that much, but the stuff that I eat, it stays with you a lot longer.
Because this is all sort of empty carbs, so to speak, I’m hungry every couple of hours. I’m not used to that, and I don’t like it. And I’m sure people legitimately living off of this, I can’t see how they could like it, either.
You can follow my progress on Twitter @AMacOnAir