The Working Poor Diet

Twila

Nanah Potato
Mar 26, 2003
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Tofu provides the same level of protein as well as other things essential to the body, but at way less cost.
 

karrie

OogedyBoogedy
Jan 6, 2007
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Okay, so, the broader purpose of the working poor diet blog, is to illustrate the struggle that families face, and thus how important the food bank system is. Those who can afford it giving to help them meet those last few days, helping them get some fresh veggies, etc., into their diet, so they're not rationing their kids to the point of starvation to make it to the next month.

With more and more families being laid off, I found it to really hit home for me.

Does it change your view of the importance of a food bank to read the struggles people faced trying to make that last week?
 

TenPenny

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Jun 9, 2004
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The reference to poultry was an interesting example. I wonder how many of 'the working poor' know how to cook a small chicken, then make soup from the carcass?

I think there's so much reliance on food banks and prepared foods that people don't have a clue what to do. Breakfast cereal, for example. Who needs it? Buy oatmeal, and cook it. Costs a fraction. There's a gazillion ways to eat at less cost, but it requires effort, and that's what most people don't want to spend.

Instead of paying someone a thousand miles away to cook your food, package it, and then deliver it to you, you could take the basic ingredients, and do the work yourself.
 

Twila

Nanah Potato
Mar 26, 2003
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as meat? Ummm. No. Nowhere near it

3 oz beef = 20 gram protein
3 oz chicken= 25 gram protein
1/4 cup peanut = 9 gram protein
Kidney beans1/2 cup = 9 gram protein
Tofu per 2.55" X 2.25" X 1" chunk -9.39 grams
Total daily protein needed for an average person=90-110grams
\
My math skills aren't very good. Anybody got a formula that can convert a chunk of tofu into oz?
 

karrie

OogedyBoogedy
Jan 6, 2007
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1/2 cup of tofu (apprx 4 oz, or one serving), has roughly 20 grams of protein according to caloriecount.com

That puts it at on par with meats.
 

Tonington

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Oct 27, 2006
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The reference to poultry was an interesting example. I wonder how many of 'the working poor' know how to cook a small chicken, then make soup from the carcass?

What was also interesting about the first half of our project was the emerging trends. You could see as the database moved forward, the increasing diversity in cuts offered. In the 80's, it was pretty much just whole chickens. Then chicken thighs, then boneless breast started to appear, and breasts with bone in and skin , etc.

Buy oatmeal, and cook it. Costs a fraction.

Ahh. I remember cooking myself breakfast before elementary school. A little bit of water, some oatmeal, milk and brown sugar. Yummmm.
 

karrie

OogedyBoogedy
Jan 6, 2007
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and non of the cholestral

But lots of estrogenic properties which are linked to cancer, and phytates, which can block mineral and vitamin absorption. It's not the holy grail necessarily. It still needs to go into a balanced diet, not totally replace other protein sources.
 

Twila

Nanah Potato
Mar 26, 2003
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But lots of estrogenic properties which are linked to cancer, and phytates, which can block mineral and vitamin absorption. It's not the holy grail necessarily. It still needs to go into a balanced diet, not totally replace other protein sources.

I'm beginning to think that the reason food has both good and bad properties is so we don't eat only that item all the time...
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
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In the News daily, we keep getting told that so far Saskatchewan has
been an island in this economic turndown. My salary has held steady
(not up but not down) but the cost of everything in the grocery stores
has jumped up, and many things quite significantly in the last year.

Dexter Sinister could verify this, but here in Regina grocery shopping
has gotten much more painful than it was just a year ago...it's ugly. In
theory our economy is doing very well out here, and inflation is hitting
hard.


Saskatchewan's inflation rate highest in Canada: StatsCan
By Annie McLeod, Leader-Post and Canwest News ServiceFebruary 20, 2009
Saskatchewan's inflation rate highest in Canada: StatsCan

Doug Elliott, publisher of SaskTrends Monitor, said the province’s relatively high inflation rate is mainly due to an 8.7-per-cent increase in shelter costs during the 12-month period. Those costs include rented and owned accommodations and the price of water, fuel and electricity.

Another factor in the CPI increase was food prices increasing 8.5 per cent in the province. Grocery food prices went up 10.5 per cent, driven mostly by higher prices for fresh fruit and vegetables, and bakery and cereal products.

How meat isn't mentioned above, I have no idea. I'm doing OK, but I know many
are having a tough go of things out here due to this inflation.
 

tracy

House Member
Nov 10, 2005
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But lots of estrogenic properties which are linked to cancer, and phytates, which can block mineral and vitamin absorption. It's not the holy grail necessarily. It still needs to go into a balanced diet, not totally replace other protein sources.

:lol:I figured it couldn't be worse than the birth control pill, and at half the price of chicken I was sold on it!:lol:

The broader topic gives me mixed feelings. On the one hand, I feel terrible for anyone who has trouble feeding themselves or their families. On the other hand, I wonder if those people had ever given a second thought to the billions of people who had been struggling for food long before the economy got bad. Compared to the poor around the world, our poor are rich. When someone in Canada says they're starving, they mean they're hungry. In many parts of the world that statement can be taken literally. So my summary is help your neighbours with donations if you can and even in the hardest of times remember your blessings...
 

karrie

OogedyBoogedy
Jan 6, 2007
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:lol:I figured it couldn't be worse than the birth control pill, and at half the price of chicken I was sold on it!:lol:

So my summary is help your neighbours with donations if you can and even in the hardest of times remember your blessings...

I'm a mom and wife. I always look at the issue from the viewpoint of trying to feed a family, which includes a husband and son. Feeding them more estrogenics on a regular basis just doesn't appeal. But, it doesn't mean it's not in our diet sometimes.

As for your concerns... I have to agree. I can't help the question coming to my mind of how many really NEED the food bank, and how many are just using it as another method of loafing instead of putting some work into buying on the cheap. But, ya know, for those who really do need it, I want them to have access, even if they're the minority.
 

Twila

Nanah Potato
Mar 26, 2003
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Feeding them more estrogenics on a regular basis just doesn't appeal. But, it doesn't mean it's not in our diet sometimes

Sometimes? They use soybeans to make vegetable oil. It's in almost everything.

Soybean oil
 

SirJosephPorter

Time Out
Nov 7, 2008
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I have been a working poor, though mercifully only for a short time. Back in the 70s, for a while I was the only one working (my wife didn’t have a job), and I was getting 700 $ per month after taxes (which wasn’t a whole lot of money, even back in 1978 ).

Anyway, I did some careful research in how to eat cheaply, and I carry many of those habits even to this day (even though now we are very well off indeed).

Offhand, I can see a couple of things wrong with the ‘working poor diet’. Chicken wings, pork chops are expensive. In fact, any kind of meat is expensive. An equally good source of proteins is the lentils. And not only Soya beans, these days a wide variety of lentils are available, black eye peas, chick peas, moog beans etc. Some of them have more proteins that beef or chicken.

Lentils are very cheap, certainly a lot cheaper than meat. When soaked over night in water they swell up to three times their original size, and a small amount of lentils goes a long way. An excellent source of proteins and they are also tasty.

Another way of eating lentils is to germinate them first (it takes two days and is very easy to do), so that each bean has a sprout growing from it. Germinating lentils are also rich in vitamins, in addition to proteins.

Another cheap and nutritious item is brown rice. Again, brown rice swells up when cooked (while to cook white rice you need equal amounts to water and rice, to cook brown rice you need three times as much water as rice). Brown rice is full of roughage and vitamins, which are removed during the processing to obtain white rice. Brown rice costs about as much as white rice.

And what about oatmeal? Why only half a cup of it for breakfast? I eat oatmeal for lunch many times. Again, a little bit goes a long way, oatmeal swells up substantially when cooked. Oatmeal costs about 10 to 15 cents per 100g, so you can have lunch literally for pennies.

As for fruit, apples and oranges are expensive, why not bananas? Full of vitamins, excellent source of potassium, carbohydrates and a lot cheaper than apples, oranges or grapefruit.

Thus many times my breakfast consists of about 100 g of low fat cottage cheese (a cheap and excellent source of proteins) and a banana.

There are many ways the working poor diet could be improved, made cheaper and more nutritious. But it does need a little bit of research.
 
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karrie

OogedyBoogedy
Jan 6, 2007
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SJP, you do get that the blog is all sorts of different people winging it with trying to live on $80 a month, right? There is no 'diet' to tinker with.
 

SirJosephPorter

Time Out
Nov 7, 2008
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SJP, you do get that the blog is all sorts of different people winging it with trying to live on $80 a month, right? There is no 'diet' to tinker with.

karrie, I was commenting on the working poor diet which started the thread. However, whether there is a diet to tinker with or not, the suggestions I have given will go long way towards feeding oneself for 80 $ per month (I assume you would need more than that to feed a family).
 

karrie

OogedyBoogedy
Jan 6, 2007
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karrie, I was commenting on the working poor diet which started the thread. However, whether there is a diet to tinker with or not, the suggestions I have given will go long way towards feeding oneself for 80 $ per month (I assume you would need more than that to feed a family).

what you're referring to is just one blogger's tally for one day. They all vary.
 

talloola

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Nov 14, 2006
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Meat can be part of the working poor diet, by putting a generous quantity of ground beef, and a little ground pork into the large quantity of spaghetti sauce, made from scratch freeze in 'one meal' quantities. The meat will make the meal stay with you longer,won't get hungry so fast.
Pasta is cheap, and often on special, a little cheese sprinkled on top is good, but
expensive.
Chopped carrotts cooked in the spaghetti sauce is good too.
I grew a large quantity of green beans, so I cook them for just a few minutes, and
lay them across the top of the spaghetti on the plate, delicious and healthy.

brown ground meats, add onion, tomatoe sauce, tomatoe paste, chopped carrotts,
simmer for a couple of hours, a very basic pasta sauce recipe.
transfer to plastic freezing containers, and use when needed.
I add white wine, garlic, a little paprika, italian seasonings, butter, sauteed mushrooms, but the sauce is fine without all these ingredients, unless you can
afford them.