If you have not heard the statistic that about half of the world’s population lives on just 3 dollars per day for food then you will probably be surprised when reading this but it is true. And if you are not surprised you are probably thinking, “well that’s not a lot but I could do that just fine if I needed to” like I did when I first heard that fact. Well let me just say that it is not so easy and it is an even bigger deal than it sounds.
I embarked on this assignment thinking that it would not greatly affect my daily life, but I was wrong. After living off of just 9 dollars for a three-day period I found my energy level much lower than normal, my focus harder to maintain, my attitude not exactly positive and my emotions and outlook regarding food extremely disheartened.
After the first day I was sick of the food I was eating and I never felt completely satisfied. I did not buy any meat since it was way out of my budget range so I found myself striving to get the protein I needed to stay full long enough to function throughout the day. Instead, I ate mostly beans and rice and salad, and drank only water (of course). I bought a couple stray vegetables, and tried to find ones on sale to stretch my dollar even further. I had absolutely no room in my budget for things like salt and pepper, so my meals tended to feel a little bland overall.
The biggest problem I found with this assignment was the fact that we had to buy all of our food at once, and we could not for instance buy a bag of flour but only use 1 cup of it and split the price up that way. This “all or nothing” rule was extremely limiting because we could not buy things to make other things like spices, baking goods etc. BUT I also realize that in a lot of ways that was the purpose of this assignment: for us to see what it is like for people who truly only have 3 dollars a day to spend and how limiting that can be both nutritionally and emotionally. If I found myself fatigued, grumpy, and unexcited about existing on 3 dollars a day after only three days total, I can’t imagine how people feel when that is their life on a daily basis. This assignment just gives me a million more reasons to want to become a Dietician and try to help with food insecurity.