August 9, 2010

Eating a Balanced Meal on a Tight Budget

Having traveled to developing countries worldwide, I routinely see people of all ages malnourished as a result of a poor diet. Moreover, given the current economic climate, poor nutrition is a systematic problem in industrialized nations as well with the primary obstacle caused by the high cost of food. To help people overcome this obstacle, Gopal Kapur launched FamilyGreenSurvival™, which according to his website, “is designed to build a deep commitment to green living, develop knowledge and empathy for the world’s low income and poor population, deliver a program of healthy nutrition practices to combat obesity, and to provide education scholarships for students from low income families nationally and internationally.” The organization’s goals are:
  • Deliver a program of personal practices designed to develop deep commitment to ‘green living’ to save energy and reduce packaging waste;
  • To help develop knowledge and empathy for the world’s low income and poor population;
  • Deliver a program of nutrition education, smart food shopping, healthy cooking and eating skills to help combat obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer;
  • Deliver a national and international program of school, college, and university scholarships for students from low-income families; and
  • Partner with local, national, and international organizations, communities, and government agencies in support of green living, nutrition education, healthy cooking and eating, and financial support for low-income families.
FamilyGreenSurvival offers a variety of programs for good nutrition at a very low cost. For example, the EatingGreen™ program is based on the adage: “Think Globally, Act Locally,” and asks people to pledge to eat only raw ‘green’ foods one day a month. ‘Raw’ foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, honey—all of which have been minimally processed after harvesting—and water from the tap. The guidelines for Eating Green include:
  1. All food is eaten raw, choose foods that have been minimal processed and shipped after harvesting; visit local or nearby farmer’s markets;
  2. No wood or charcoal fires, gas burners, or barbeques;
  3. No electrical appliances – micro wave oven, blender, juicer, coffee maker, stove, or oven. Use only mortar, pestle, and manually operated devices;
  4. No disposable plates, cups, napkins, paper towels, or plastic utensils;
  5. No bottled water, no soft drinks, no alcohol, no coffee or tea; this is the opportunity to drink just water or hand squeezed juices; and
  6. Minimal TV, telephone, and computer use; it’s a day to reflect, talk, walk, exercise, garden, sing, dance, relax, and frolic.
FamilyGreenSurvival’s EatingRightWhenOurBudget’sTight™ program consists of healthy, tasty, and easy to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes where the cost of the daily menu averages around $6 per person. When this shopping and cooking program is followed diligently, it will go a long way in helping to reduce the obesity problem and related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The following program components are provided free of cost to program participants:
  1. Nutrition education, smart shopping, and recipe tasting sessions conducted through churches, food banks, and similar public service organizations;
  2. Selected recipe ingredients distributed to session participants;
  3. Recipes featuring breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack dishes, with cost per serving and nutrition analysis information; and
  4. Nutrition education and cooking demonstration videos (DVD/CD).
Here is an interview of Mr. Kapur about the EatingRightWhenOurBudget’sTight™ Program on Sacramento, California’s KTXL-TV:

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