Cheap Eats

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard, founders of the One Dollar Day Diet Project Blog, talk about what it’s like eating a diet that only costs one dollar a day.


Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard

Comments [23]

Karla from Michigan

We invite everyone to track our progress of our "Dollar-A-Day" Challenge.

Bit different approach...strict guidelines...and having to work around a gluten allergy so no wheat, rye, barley, or oats.

Good cause...


Jan. 19 2009 12:21 AM
rh from NYC

Guess what..this is not a "diet". it is about survival. It is one thing to do it as an experiment, quite another when it is a reality...(I was thinking the latter). Yes there are cheap veggies and I agree cabbage is one of them. Also, when in survival mode, you have to know about food, nutrition and how to cook. New Yorkers (and other city folk) are too used to having everything prepared for them.

Dec. 31 2008 04:15 PM
Isaiah from Philadelphia

Come on -- they didn't even mention cabbage. Amateurs, clearly. You want cheap veggies, cabbage is the answer: You can boil it, stir-fry it, curry it, eat it raw, pickle it in vinegar (a la Central America), whatever -- it's what lettuce should be. Cabbage.

Dec. 31 2008 01:52 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Maybe these guests should have joined the Freegans!

To O: 1) Nobody's claiming this diet is healthy or can "work for all people." 2) Type 2 diabetes doesn't mean not being able to eat carbs at all--most can have complex carbs (in fact I've never heard of their having any problem w/them). If you have celiac disease too, that's another story (& I'm sorry you have to deal w/having both). As for heart problems, eating meat is more likely to contribute to them than to help w/them.

No one diet works for everyone, & not even everyone who has (the same type of) diabetes has the same dietary restrictions/requirements.

Dec. 31 2008 01:15 AM
rh from NYC

I listened to the show and believe these people could have eaten more healthfully for the money. If they were serious they would have abandoned veganism and obtained free bones from a butcher to make gallons of a healthful broth. Cheap greens such as the outer leaves of cabbage, collards etc could then be added (they wasted money on broccoli,once,... too expensive, so I listened). To this broth one then adds the cheapest bean and grain (probably pinto beans and rice) then aome tomato paste and potaotes (also pretty cheap). The whole thing could be thickened with a little flour. Bread could made from cheap flour and cornmeal could be dunked into this good soup. This could be eaten at every meal. Jelly (for PB & J) also a waste of money since the diet is sufficiently carb heavy. I believe they key is to create enough bulk, protein, fat and veggies (the soup will do it) so that one can always feel full.

Dec. 30 2008 03:10 PM

I am interested in the vegetarian plan.
There is a social responsibility aspect to a vegetarian or a vegan eating plan, and given what a HUGE problem that Type 2 diabetes has become for state budgets, it would be interesting to learn more.
Please note that T2 diabetes is growing into a problem not just here but in industrializing nations, such as China, where there is both a genetic component and a rapidly changing diet and lifestyle.
It is also a disease that is preventable with education and activity. Instead, we have invited big pharma to address it with all sorts of nifty insulin delivery devices, etc.

Dec. 30 2008 12:09 PM
rg from San Diego, CA

Judging from the comments already posted, some listeners miss the point. It seems the purpose was to have a learning experience that in some gross way similates what more than a billion people worldwide have to do every day. That is, eat on less than a dollar a day. This learning experience demonstrates that it is impossible to eat a healthy and nutrionally sound diet for $1 a day. It does not take into account the availability of having a place to cook, the fuel to cook with,the utensils or the means to shop for the lowest price.

Dec. 30 2008 11:59 AM

If you have time, please share some details of your vegetarian plan.
Do you think Type 2 patients would fare just as well on your plan?
There is a recent study showing how well the T2 patients have done on a specific type of low-glycemic diet - even avoiding whole wheat bread to focus on nuts and (this is obviously non-vegan) cheese.

Dec. 30 2008 11:52 AM
draron from nyc

there are many who are "white middle class "who live off $1 a day!
personally I put myself through medical school on loans
(which amounted to something in the neighborhood of.....with 18000 divided by rent electricity, rent gas, OOOOps forgot to say--- and 8 kids,one was on the way,sneakers on ocasion for at least their feet...well suffice to say there was always "bread and salad" on the table,milk in their cups and a dream in OUR hearts

Dec. 30 2008 11:51 AM

are you serious about the free oxtail on the UES. I'm scared to draw so many people there, but is it a gourmet supermarket on the south western side of the block? please do tell.

Ox Tail Man

Dec. 30 2008 11:50 AM
O from Forest Hills

People with type 2 diabetes with insulin resistance which is different from type 1 diabetes and the insulin resistance that makes them fat can't have any carbs so they have to live with meat and vegetables, no sugar at all, not even diet soda.
Don't discount that other people have other dietary requirements. I get so sick of people touting they are vegetarians and we should all be one. Try living with the hell of being type 2 diabetes and having to avoid all carbs due to diabetes and celiac disease so they can't have the carbs!

Dec. 30 2008 11:44 AM
Meg Howard from NYC

As a fellow-vegan, I can't help but wonder why this couple had such trouble incorporating more vegetables into their diet. My husband and I eat very inexpensively on fewer carbohydrates and more vegetables than have been mentioned. When you can buy 3 hearts of romain lettuce for $3.00 in most NYC delis, it seems that you should be able to make this stretch even better than the vat of refried beans....

Dec. 30 2008 11:41 AM
Andy from South Georgia, on the Coast, in the US

Based on what I've heard from both of them, Christopher and Kerri need to hurry up and have some babies.

Earth needs more sharp folks, and both Kerri and Chris sound as if they'd make some great ones!

Best of luck!


Dec. 30 2008 11:41 AM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

O from Forest Hills:
I have been diabetic type 1 for over 40 years. For almost the past twenty I have followed a vegetarian diet and according to my doctor I am in EXCELLENT health. He says whatever I am doing to take care of myself to keep it up.

Dec. 30 2008 11:41 AM
Amy Ramirez from NYC

interesting topic! one suggestion to augment the menu - grow your own vegetables. i live in NYC and grew more tomatoes, jalepenos, basil, cilantro, sage and dill this summer than my husband and I could eat!

Dec. 30 2008 11:40 AM

There's lots of cheap/free food out there! On UES I found a great smoked fish place selling smoked salmon scraps (great for omelets!) for 99 cents a pound; soup bones and even oxtails FREE at a major gourmet market. And don't get me started about those catered art openings!!

Dec. 30 2008 11:36 AM
Nathan from Saint Petersburg

Comparisons to global poverty are a bit distorted because of the variation in purchasing power of a dollar here vs. the developing world.

Dec. 30 2008 11:35 AM
O from Forest Hills

This is ridiculous. Some people have diabetes and heart problems and need to eat meat and vegetables and no carbs so this is totally unrealistic to work for all people.

Dec. 30 2008 11:33 AM
Thom from brooklyn

what's a "social justice" teacher? I've never heard of such people before.

Dec. 30 2008 11:32 AM

Funny -- I assumed this is what President Bush meant in 2003 when he mentioned "retraining" American workers to compete with those in India and China.

I pictured Teamsters in retraining centers learning how to slurp noodles.

Glad to see this movement taking reality.

Dec. 30 2008 11:32 AM
Thom from brooklyn

one suggestion: make a bloody great lentil/vege/potato soup, and eat it for days.

Dec. 30 2008 11:28 AM
O from Forest Hills

Even a doughnut and twinkies cost more than $1.00

Dec. 30 2008 10:28 AM
A. Mohan from Manhattan

On the blog, the authors discourage others from replicating the experiment, saying that "it isn't healthy and could be dangerous". What was the impact on their health at the during (or at the end of) the project?

Dec. 30 2008 10:02 AM

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