The $5 Challenge
Most of us are on a food budget. Whether consciously or unconsciously we are used to cheap food prices in America and making the shift to local food can seem unattainable. With the economy down, and our stress of time and money at a high point – how does eating locally make sense?
This past week, I met a mother who was sharing with me what she bought that day as part of the Eat Local Challenge. Several things were below the grocery store prices, but some items were more expensive. She shared with me her struggles of being a mom of 3 small children, and getting to the Market was a challenging task. She was committed to this challenge, and wanted to make this more of a lifestyle – but wasn’t sure if she could actually budget it in for the long run. I sympathized with her, and encouraged her that I whole heartily believe it could be an affordable option. There are people all across the country learning how to stretch their dollar when buying locally, coming up with quick and healthy meals, and reducing their stress in the kitchen.
Slow Food USA has encountered the argument of time and money when it comes to eating slow food, and have set forth the $5 Challenge Campaign. On September 17, they are challenging families to create a slow food meal that costs no more than $5 per family member. In an attempt to take back the “value meal” they believe that you can eat healthy and locally for the same price you would pay to run through McDonalds. The challenge encourages families to get together with other families and host a potluck, community dinner, cooking contest, workshop, or simply a family dinner and come together to swap tips and tricks to making this an everyday possibility. It is a way to move towards a world where everyone can eat fresh, healthy food every day without the stress of it burning a whole in your wallet. As Jerusha Klemperer of Civil Eats says, “The idea is to embrace this crazy conundrum (the one I call the “It’s easy, it’s hard” conundrum)—to find ways to make eating ”slow” easier, while also acknowledging what makes it hard. Understanding the hard part and how to fix the hard part… is the hard part. And it’s where we’ve all got our work cut out for us. Let’s start by taking the challenge.”
So I’m signing up: “On Sept. 17, I pledge to share a fresh, healthy meal that costs less than $5 — because slow food shouldn’t have to cost more than fast food” and hope you will join me! Let’s brainstorm ways to get together and create healthy, local, and affordable meals.
For more information: visit SlowFoodUSA.org