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13 January 2009

Food Experiment Day 1

A lot of my data is incomplete due to a lack of packaging for certain products, free food, and the grocery store not stocking soybeans... the third largest cash crop in the US (behind marijuana and corn respectively).

Breakfast: 410 calories, $0.86

1.5 C skim milk - $0.28
2 C cereal (honey nut cheerios and honey bunches of oats) - $0.47
1 T ground flax seed - $0.11

Lunch: 560 calories, free (about $1)

2 pieces of wheat bread - $0.50
some celery and 3 T peanut butter - $0.50
strawberry jelly, hummus, salsa 1 T each - $?

Late Lunch: 550 calories, $2.77

2 potatoes - $0.50
1 large onion - $0.85
1 T olive oil - $0.21
1 clove garlic, 1/2 jalapeno pepper - $0.10
1 PBR beer - $0.53
1 granny smith apple - $0.58

Dinner: 600 calories (maybe?), free + $0.53

1 cup white rice
chicken, carrots, snow peas, and bamboo stir fry
1 PBR beer - $0.53

Late Dinner: 330 calories, $0.67

1.25 C skim milk - $0.23
1.5 C cereal - $0.35
1 T ground flax seed - $0.11

Total: 2450 calories, $4.80 plus 2 free meals contributing about 1000 calories to my diet

First, this seems a little high. Add in the 2% food tax and my bill today was $5 (tax is included on alcohol as it's expensive). Cheap, sure but I can do better. I need to buy onions in bulk and if I were really serious I'd cut back on the beer. Other than that the rest was as expected: fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive and not calorie dense and starchy carbohydrates are cheap.

It's also worth noting that its actually quite hard to get enough calories if you aren't eating processed food. If I were to omit the oil and beer from my diet I would be on track to lose about a pound a week (450 calories a day, 3150 a week, 3500 calories in a pound of fat). Replacing those calories is the equivalent of 4 potatoes (110 calories each). I guess cereal counts as processed too... hm. Getting enough calories requires that you eat a bit on the unhealthy side. An egg is about 70 calories, but I always throw out the yolk... which leaves you with 17 calories of egg white (a 75% reduction). Or skim milk, just as expensive as whole milk but 60% fewer calories (skim 90, whole 150 per cup)

Then there's the problem of free food... I'm not sure how to deal with it yet.

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