A Place at the Table: Day 27

Tuesday – This was my first day cooking with the lentils. Like the chickpeas, a small amount (2/3 cup dry) made quite a bit prepared.  This one batch might carry me through to the weekend.  The stir fry was okay.  I made it with only lentils, rice, a little onion, and soy sauce.  It definitely needs the tomatoes I bought. Some green beans would be nice, too.  I might see if I can get some frozen ones with my remaining $1.01.

I have about 1/4 of my onion left which I’ll have to make stretch through this week. I cooked the last of last week’s white rice, so I shouldn’t have to cook any of this week’s brown rice until Thursday.  I’m glad for that.  Two pounds of brown rice might get me to Easter yet – and not having to buy rice will free up funds for other things.

This evening, I’ve been humbled by an article  in the Washington Post by Michael Fletcher called “Research Ties Economic Inequality to Gap in Life Expectancy.”   You can read the article here.  I can’t stop thinking about the despair and disparity exposed in this piece.  It seems to me that poverty works like a perverse kind of interest: it has a compounding effect on the balance of one’s life.  But rather than adding anything, it slowly drains everything away.  Meager income leads to a meager diet which leads to meager health and on and on and on.  The article highlights where such a cycle ultimately (and, we must confess, naturally) leads.  Where else could it lead?  And how can it be that, in 2013, the single most accurate predictor of an American’s overall health and well-being is their income – not race, not gender, not genetics, but income?  Technologically we may be soaring to unprecedented heights of wonder and seemingly endless possibility, but our socio-economic development has crash-landed somewhere in the Gilded Age.

Lord, help us to rise and walk toward a better tomorrow. And help us to ask (and answer!) the difficult questions we will need to confront on the way.  Amen.

Leave a comment


  1. Jill Andrews

     /  March 14, 2013

    Another enlightening update . . . So respect you for what you are doing . . .

  2. David Chastain

     /  March 14, 2013

    I may have missed this but where are you shopping for your food? Aldi? Shoppers? Amelias Grocery Outlet? Run of the mill grocery chains (Giant, Safeway, etc.?)

    I ask because jen and I were trending prices from different stores for the same product/item and usually priced it out by cost per item, cost per ounce, cost per gallon, etc. It was an attempt to assess the true nature of “buying in bulk” — I started thinking of this exercise when you said you had 1.01 left and wanted to buy some frozen green beans…

    • Hi David,

      I am shopping at Giant and Target. I chose them because of their proximity to my house. One of the compounding challenges the poor often face is the distance they have to travel to shop. So, I decided to limit myself to these 2 locations because, if I did not have a car, I know I could get there by bus or even on foot if needed. The freedom to shop around and compare prices is a blessed thing.


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