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Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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On a Dollar a Day: One Couple's Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America Paperback – February 9, 2010

3.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From 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.

About 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401310184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401310189
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,607,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I was hoping for something more like the lively and engaging book "Plenty" where the couple wrote about eating locally. Not the same subject but the same sort of "couple takes on a challenge" aspect. I found this book disappointing. The inequality between the two people was more than disquieting. The episode of her begging him to be allowed to eat a cookie was sickening. His ability to manipulate her while he did pretty much what he pleased was really unpleasant. I've been poor and have had children to feed on very, very little money. Playing at poverty is playing. There is very little new information here. There wasn't much difference between their thirty day/dollar a day diet and the kind of thing that some misguided high school girls do to lose weight before the big dance.
I didn't give it one star because they did stress not wasting food and because the premise has some milage.
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I found this well written book and easy and informative read. The two high school teachers resolve to try eating for one month on each of three different diets. The first section of the book they limit their expenditures to one dollar each per day. During this month they lost weight. They had little energy and felt like they barely made it through the work obligations. The second month they were not hungry and had enough energy as they followed the food stamp program or as it is now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Using U.S.D.A figures they calculated under this program they could spend $4.13 each per day. They follow the suggested recipes with the exception of using meat substitutes since before they tried either experiment they had been and continued to be practicing vegans. They found constraints during the second month both unappetizing and possibly not as healthy as they would normally be. In the third section of the book they did not limit themselves to a particular dollar amount but tried to develop a healthy diet. By the third section of the book they had become mindful of both portion size and the economies that could be introduced by purchasing in bulk and by comparative shopping practices.

I found the personal anecdotes about the stresses experienced during the first two experiments extremely interesting since I have worked for a number of years with persons living in a low income housing situation. Clearly instruction in how to provide adequate nutrition on a tight budget is a need for people living on the edge of poverty. I believe that this book teaches people some important facts about consumption patterns in America and the need for education across the population. I am recommending this book to friends and other persons involved in ministry to the poor.

Some important suggestions for action appear at the end of the book.
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What an excellent book. I was really looking forward to the release - and the authors didn't let me down. I enjoyed the connections made between how much we spend on food, our health and why we choose certain foods in the first place.

The authors are very honest about their history with food and tell funny and insightful stories.

I'll be recommending this book to clients and using my notes to help generate some of my own nutrition articles.

One line in this book became an instant classic:
"We decided that buying a bell pepper from Holland makes about as much sense as flying there to poop it out."
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20%-Thrifty Food 30%-How much work it is to be thrifty 50%-Couples interpersonal communication

Buy it for 1/2 the book. If you want to save your money. They ate flour tortillas, rice, beans and peanut butter. No recipes. Mainly about how impractical it is, how ghettos don't have good food and how lucky you are if you're not on food stamps.
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The 2 authors embarked upon 3 monthlong food projects- to eat on $1.00 a day day per person, to eat on the typical food stamp allottment, and with no budget constraints, attempt to eat a healthier diet. The authors educate themselves on the business and politics of food as well as nutrition, and attempt to live their convictions on a budget. Some may consider this book gimmicky, as they did not HAVE to eat with budgetary constraints, but these experiments did lead them to make changes in their attitudes and habits and few of us would be willing to try this ourselves.

A lot of the concepts covered in this book are not new, but the authors do put their own stamp on topics covered in other books like "The Omnivores Dilemma" and "Plenty". The authors alternate their chapters and this allows us to get differing viewpoints on the project, and they include not always flattering self-portraits. This is an honest book that touches lightly on many aspects of our food system, and may inspire readers to do more in depth reading, or make changes to their own diets and shopping habits.
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I loved this book. I have actually read it over again which is something I do not often do with books of this type. This book will really remind you of how fortunate you are and maybe give you some ideas to cut back on your food bill. Take a better look at how many of the nations poor are forced to live and take a look at your own diet. This is an excellent book that I would highly recommend.
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