Katherine Deumling is a native of Portland, Oregon, who grew up in Germany and has lived in Italy and Mexico; her culinary leanings have been shaped by these places and cultures. She runs the small cooking school Cook With What You Have and is passionate about helping people cook more often and have more fun in the kitchen. Katherine is a board member of Slow Food USA and the former chair of Slow Food Portland.
How hard is it to cook a meal from scratch with whole ingredients that costs no more than $5 per person?
If you know how to cook and have access to fresh vegetables, grains, beans, and other whole, unprocessed foods, then it isn’t hard. If you don’t have that kind of access, are on a very limited budget with little time, and don’t know how to cook, then it’s a major challenge.
Slow Food USA is launching a new campaign to bring attention to these issues with a national Day of Action in September.
We organized the $5 Challenge Campaign in response to increasing rates of diet-related disease, a lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and the decline of the family meal. Too many people live in communities where fast food is the only option, and there is no access to fresh, healthy ingredients. Our nation’s food and farm policies subsidize the foods that are the worst for us. It should be easier and cheaper to buy fresh, unprocessed food than fast food — but usually, that’s not the case.
So if you plan on having dinner on Saturday, September 17, take the challenge! You can use it as an opportunity to share tips on frugal, creative cooking with friends and family. And this time of year — at the height of the season’s bounty — we’ll have many options. The more expensive items like meat and fish won’t be missed with all the beautiful veggies.
Slow Food USA will be collecting recipes for the $5 Challenge and has many resources for the campaign online.
Join thousands of people nationwide who believe food and farming should serve everyone. To be part of the day’s story, make sure to register your event online — every event counts!
Katherine Deumling is on the board of Slow Food USA.
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Change in our kitchens
Reflections on cooking — and a career that’s based largely at the stove.
Flatbreads from around the continent
Beyond a supporting role
The great Sicilian-Neapolitan kitchen rivalry
Five ideas each month for eating better