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On a Dollar a Day: One Couple's Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America

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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 ...

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On a Dollar a Day: One Couple's Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America

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Overview

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?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401310189
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 2/9/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    Cannot be 100% accurate

    This book is not 100% accurate on how the average American would live on a dollar a day. It was over a year ago that I read this book, but from what I remember is the couple were vegan. With that being a small portion of the population, you cannot take into consideration how somone who is a meat eater would do in this situation. It's still really well written and goes in-depth, but for those of us who make up the majority of the population, it doesn't cover how we would do in this situation. I do however recommend the book for others as a learning guide into the worlds hunger problem.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2010

    I almost felt their hunger.

    Christopher and Kerri gave such detailed descriptions about their experiences that I almost felt as if I were there. I can't imagine watching what I spend on food as closely as they did. In one instance Kerri is at a school function where there are cookies; she calls Christopher and asks if she can eat one, but it is decided that she shouldn't. He then bakes cookies that will fit into their budget and brings her one. I found that very moving, but I also was aware of the fact that this was an experiment for them that they could have discontinued at any time. It was a very well written book.

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