Peanut butter days

Day 2 of the Do the Math experiment.

Went to sleep last night with a  headache from being hungry. I think hunger was also the reason behind a stupid argument my husband and I had before bed. (This isn’t the first time either of us have been unreasonable when we haven’t eaten…) A reminder of how much depends on having basic needs—like food—met.

There are so many health concerns related to an inadequate diet (diabetes, certain types of cancer, heart disease, etc. etc.) but I think mental health must also be affected in a big way. I keep trying to imagine how I’d feel if I were a child trying to concentrate in school (a third of Toronto food bank users are children, according to last year’s Daily Bread stats) or someone trying to look for a job living on this diet. It can’t be easy to focus or put your best foot forward when all you can think about is what you and your family are going to have for your next meal.

Speaking of meals, here’s my lunch from today:

Carrot, onion, potato, creamed corn soup with unleavened bread slathered with PB

I made the soup and bread last night. The fresh carrots, onions and potatoes in it are thanks to The Stop’s Healthy Food Fund. Donors contributing to the fund enable The Stop to buy healthy food to supplement the food bank hampers (which otherwise rely on donations and tend to be highly processed, packaged food). As part of the fund, the food bank  also offers a food of the month: apples in the fall, carrots or turnips in the winter, etc. It’s all part of an effort to make the experience of using The Stop’s services more dignified and healthful. I wasn’t sure about adding the canned creamed corn to my soup; the idea of it grosses me out—who needs to add cornstarch, sugar and salt when corn is delicious on its own?— but I rinsed it off in a colander and it tasted fine.

The unleavened bread, on the other hand, I made with only flour and water and it’s completely without a flicker of taste, but satisfies the need for something to transport the peanut butter. Ah, peanut butter. How I have missed thee. With two kids in a nut-free school, peanut butter hasn’t really been on the menu in our house for a long time, but I’m rediscovering a taste for the old standby.

Dinner was gulped down before we all fanned out for various things:

Egg fried rice with canned mixed veggies, apple chips for dessert

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Peanut butter days

  1. Rosemary

    It may be limousine liberalism, but doing something is almost always better than doing nothing, and if this stunt attracts attention to the clawing back of the Special Diet Allowance, then that really IS something. I like how you make the food look good (even if you are kind of snotty about creamed corn).

  2. Candy Corn

    Reminds me of Coolio’s epic song Can-O-Corn:

    A can-o-corn,a can-o-corn
    All I had for dinner was a can-o-corn
    A can-o-corn,a can-o-corn
    Before I went to school I had a can-o-corn
    A can-o-corn,a can-o-corn
    I tried to get full off a can-o-corn
    A can-o-corn,a can-o-corn
    That’s all the f*&% that we had in the kitchen

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Coolio+Can+o+corn&aq=f

  3. It is one thing to do this for a short while, but imagine what it is like to do this all the time. So far it qualifies as a meaningless gesture from you. Sorry, but it looks like limosine liberalism.

  4. I would say mental health is a big issue for people in food insecure households. The stress must be tremendous. Especially when you consider that worries about food are probably one of many other concerns, including housing, employment, and family.

    Thank you for taking part in this important effort to shine a light on the inadequacy of our existing social safety net.

  5. Sophie McCall

    This is a great idea – I think it was real potential to get the right people listening!