About this Blog

Welcome! Thanks for checking out On Food Stamps.

I created this blog in 2009 when I began working at the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. My work at this organization opened my eyes to food justice issues in America, and I had a strong desire to better understand the difficulties many people face when trying to access healthy food on a limited budget. So, I embarked on my own Food Stamp Challenge, living on $31/week as a vegan. I used this blog to chronicle my experience.

While my Food Stamp Challenge project has come to an end, you can see what I learned from it by reading the Greatest Hits posts linked to the right side of the page. Please excuse any out-of-date links, as I am no longer updating this blog on a regular basis.

Stay Hungry,


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Man Down

Well, I was right. I bought too much produce. I had been sort of afraid this might happen, and it did. This morning I found that one of my pesticide-free oranges from the farmer's market has gone bad.

I probably could have prevented this if I had put them in the fridge, but I really just forgot to. Luckily, I am not overly concerned about running out of food this week. Even so, it is a waste of money that I let one of my oranges spoil, and I am sad about that. Maybe those cents could have gone towards something else.

I also want to quickly share something I found yesterday. The Sierra Club website has a great section where they talk about buying organic "where it counts." I love this because as you have seen so far, buying organic is very difficult for me given where I am shopping. The farmer's markets seemed to have some good, pesticide free options, but no one else does unless I want to pay a fortune.

This page has a section suggesting where to buy organic. They recommend focusing your organic dollars on foods that are usually laden with pesticides, and not worrying so much about those with impermeable skins or those that are less prone to pest problems. The page recommends ponying up for organic on the Dirty Dozen. Check it out:

THE DIRTY DOZEN: Peaches, Apples, Bell peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Kale, Lettuce, Grapes (imported), Carrots, Pears

DON'T WORRY: Onions, Avocados, Sweet corn (frozen), Pineapples, Mangoes, Asparagus, Sweet peas (frozen), Kiwis, Cabbage , Eggplant, Papayas, Watermelons

When I look at their list, I actually haven't been focusing my priorities correctly. I bought non-organic lettuce, carrots, frozen sweet peas (never even thought about organic with frozen food), celery, bell peppers and strawberries so far.

I did buy pesticide free kale and apples, so that is good. But I wasted money buying organic/pesticide free onions and avocados.

Thanks for the great list, Sierra Club.

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