Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Cure for Ignorance?

Now that we're finished with turkey a la Carrien, I want to go back to the discussion generated by this post from last week, No Money, No Problem.

There were some great comments and ideas so check them out.

This comment from Michelle Smiles has been rattling around in my brain since then.

I will say that I think some of the issue, especially for those in the lower income brackets, is often lack of knowledge. They don't know HOW to eat well. They don't know how to bake their own bread, cook dried beans, use fresh produce in dishes their children will actually eat. Their parents often fed them mac & cheese and twinkies so that is all they know. I used to work in a women's shelter and would have loved to have had someone come in and teach the ladies those things - nutrition on a budget. (And the staff - working at a shelter pays poorly and often the staff doesn't know how to do those things either.)
One of the things I am trying to do with this blog is be the kind of resource that will help with this problem. I'm learning as I go to make that easier for people. I'm trying to keep posts shorter now, and clearly labeled for content and categories so that it will be easier for people to find what they are looking for, and the information they need. Any helpful suggestions would be most appreciated.

I've tried volunteering for WIC to teach moms some frugal and healthy tricks but the combination of my lack of Spanish and scheduling has kept something like that from happening so far.

What I was thinking today was to take it a step further this holiday season. Many of us donate to food banks and the like to help out those less fortunate. Lots of the stuff that is donated isn't all that great nutritionally because it's mostly dry goods, and processed snacks because they don't go bad. A lot of times, people wouldn't know what to do with wheat berries or dry beans that I would most want to give, so here's what I'm thinking. I want all of you to tell me your favorite, most accessible frugal and healthy cookbook. And you favorite recipe in it. Let's get a list going. And then how about if each of us bought one, or two, or three, (sometimes these books are only a few dollars on Amazon), and included them in our food donation. We could even bookmark a favorite recipe and include all of the needed ingredients and package it all together so that whoever got it could make it right away. Or, if you can't afford a book, what about compiling the ingredients for one healthy recipe and slipping the recipe in with the package written out by hand with a note?

That's what I plan to do this year anyway.

So, here are two of my favorite frugal books. Two of you already mentioned More With Less, which is a very comprehensive resource. Amazon's best price right now is $9.

For moms of younger children, my absolute favorite is this very thick tome called super baby food. It has everything. How to make healthy food fun for kids, how to make baby food, how to decorate birthday cakes, how to make bread, how to make yogurt, how to make sprouts, how to make play dough. If you can only give one book to mothers of small children, I highly recommend this one. It's worth every penny. And right now you can get a copy for just over $5.

So, now it's your turn.


a. borealis said...

Hey! I think that is a really good idea. I've always been a little depressed by the stuff I've seen at the foodshelf or donation bags at the grocery store. It's mostly a bunch of crap. I think a hand-written recipe (or recipes) is a good idea, even in addition to a cookbook. It would give things a more personal touch.

I know of a program in Minneapolis called Sister's Camelot that I think you would be excited about They do exactly what you're talking about: getting good food out there to people who wouldn't necessarily have access to it.

From their website:


Sisters' Camelot is a collective that distributes free organic produce and dry goods to neighborhoods all over the Twin Cities.

Anonymous said...

I will do this! Great suggestion.

Robin said...

I love American Harvest: Regional Recipes for the Vegetarian Kitchen by Nava Atlas. It's currently available for as low as .78 on amazon!
And, I agree with you. I have friends who know nothing of nutrition, and they have education and support systems.

kidmissionary77 said...

The problem with quality over quantity is that you don't get very much.... but the flip side is it's soooo good. I often feel overwhelmed because I can't afford save the world. But that's when it hit me one day, 'Just love one person at a time well'. My battle field is my mind, if I can slow down I can live more fully.

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