Emily Roberts tries to Live Below the Line for charity

Andover Advertiser: Pound a day food challenge for chief reporter Pound a day food challenge for chief reporter

FOR £1, you would struggle to buy a cup of coffee, but that will be my entire budget for food for a day when I take part in a charity challenge to help raise awareness of world poverty.

I will join thousands of other people who are participating in Live Below the Line for Restless Development, when for five days I will live on just £5 in total.

The event aims to raise awareness of those living in extreme poverty, and to raise funds for development agencies which support these people.

Restless Development’s belief is that to eradicate extreme poverty, we must first understand it.

Now in its third year, the challenge asks people to eat and drink for £1 a day, for five days – the extreme poverty threshold beneath which 1.4billion people worldwide must survive on each day.

I don’t think I have ever been extravagant when it comes to buying food, but I do often opt for convenience, choosing to buy pre-prepared vegetables, salads and sauces.

With a busy lifestyle, they obviously save having to scrub, peel, chop and stir in the kitchen, but this will not be a luxury I can afford when I live below the poverty line for five days. Instead, my week will need to be meticulously planned in advance if I am to continue to eat healthy, balanced meals three times a day.

Taking part has certainly made me question and think about the food I buy, particularly that which goes to waste.

I throw out items which are out-of-date, and chuck away left-overs without thinking twice, rather than planning in advance to freeze them.

However, as a child I was taught not to waste food, and I think part of this has stayed with me, as I always finish what is on my plate.

I am lucky in that I don’t have to worry about what I spend on food – I don’t even have a budget to stick to. Food isn’t just about survival, but more about enjoyment and comfort.

But it seems unfair and wrong that what to spend is a big concern for so many people, particularly when there is more than enough food to go round.

For five days, I will have to come up with some creative ways of making food go further, carefully comparing prices to find the cheapest products, and foregoing taste in favour of foods which will fill me up and give me energy.

I love food, and I look forward to eating, so it will be a tough challenge. A sample menu created by Restless Development sounds unappetising, with options such as pasta with frozen vegetables and tomatoes.

The charity recommends that participants spend the entire budget of £5 at the start of the week.

It suggests researching and creating a shopping list, and sticking to generic staples such as pasta, lentils, rice, bread, vegetables, potatoes and oats.

Follow me on Twitter @erobertsgazette to find out how I get on.

And to sponsor me to live on just £1 a day, visit livebelowtheline.com/me/emilyroberts.

Comments (11)

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9:45am Fri 19 Apr 13

laurence86 says...

Emily has clearly never been a proper student. Value noodles are the way forward they used to be 18p each
Emily has clearly never been a proper student. Value noodles are the way forward they used to be 18p each laurence86
  • Score: 0

10:42am Fri 19 Apr 13

Emily Roberts says...

I have been a student actually, when I used to buy noodles for 9p.
I have been a student actually, when I used to buy noodles for 9p. Emily Roberts
  • Score: 1

11:24am Fri 19 Apr 13

laurence86 says...

Hmmm, whilst I am all for raising awareness for charity’s I fail to see where the challenge lies here. Especially when you consider that the average human can survive three weeks without food, five days just seems like dabbling.

Good luck raising awareness
Hmmm, whilst I am all for raising awareness for charity’s I fail to see where the challenge lies here. Especially when you consider that the average human can survive three weeks without food, five days just seems like dabbling. Good luck raising awareness laurence86
  • Score: 0

11:48am Fri 19 Apr 13

Emily Roberts says...

Perhaps you could try the challenge to find out for yourself how difficult it is? I haven't done it yet, so I can't judge what it will be like, but I anticipate that it won't be easy. If you think it's too easy, you could go one step further and give yourself 50p a day? The idea is to raise awareness, not to starve the body and put yourself in danger.
Perhaps you could try the challenge to find out for yourself how difficult it is? I haven't done it yet, so I can't judge what it will be like, but I anticipate that it won't be easy. If you think it's too easy, you could go one step further and give yourself 50p a day? The idea is to raise awareness, not to starve the body and put yourself in danger. Emily Roberts
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Fri 19 Apr 13

Ding says...

Don't bite! Excuse the pun.
Don't bite! Excuse the pun. Ding
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Fri 19 Apr 13

laurence86 says...

That is exactly what one of my friends said last year when this fad went around. I did do it to prove it was easy, £5 a week for a month (71p a day). You will find that getting hold of carbs and vegetables is easy. The main challenge is getting hold of protein, the reduced meat section and freezer bags to separate packs of meat in to portions will become your new friends. The challenge is a lot harder if you have a physical labour job, as the amount of food you need to consume rockets. The only thing I missed was beer.

I was not suggesting that you starve yourself. I am stating that five days is well within you bodies safety zone.

As someone who has done this, my main suggestion would be to do one careful shop for the week. Think carefully about what every item you buy will give you in terms of slow release energy and nutrition and you will be fine. It’s probably good practice for everyone to do this once in a while because if you do it long enough it changes the way you think about food.
That is exactly what one of my friends said last year when this fad went around. I did do it to prove it was easy, £5 a week for a month (71p a day). You will find that getting hold of carbs and vegetables is easy. The main challenge is getting hold of protein, the reduced meat section and freezer bags to separate packs of meat in to portions will become your new friends. The challenge is a lot harder if you have a physical labour job, as the amount of food you need to consume rockets. The only thing I missed was beer. I was not suggesting that you starve yourself. I am stating that five days is well within you bodies safety zone. As someone who has done this, my main suggestion would be to do one careful shop for the week. Think carefully about what every item you buy will give you in terms of slow release energy and nutrition and you will be fine. It’s probably good practice for everyone to do this once in a while because if you do it long enough it changes the way you think about food. laurence86
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Fri 19 Apr 13

Emily Roberts says...

Thanks for the advice. I hope it will be an interesting experience.
Thanks for the advice. I hope it will be an interesting experience. Emily Roberts
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Fri 19 Apr 13

Sam_Walker123456 says...

laurence86, do you think that the 1.4 billion people surviving on less than £1 a day have the luxury of using the reduced meat section of their local supermarket? They will hardly ever get protein in the form of meat. For the long term good of our planet we need to reduce the amount of food we process through animals because it is a waste of resources.
laurence86, do you think that the 1.4 billion people surviving on less than £1 a day have the luxury of using the reduced meat section of their local supermarket? They will hardly ever get protein in the form of meat. For the long term good of our planet we need to reduce the amount of food we process through animals because it is a waste of resources. Sam_Walker123456
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Fri 19 Apr 13

laurence86 says...

Sam_walker if its there then it is clearly not being used by everyone. It was a tip from my own experience. Your body doesn't actually need protein as long as you are getting enough vitamins your body will break everything down in to glucose and then uses that to build proteins like fat. Your body is a very clever bit of kit, that will burn whatever fuel you put in it.
Sam_walker if its there then it is clearly not being used by everyone. It was a tip from my own experience. Your body doesn't actually need protein as long as you are getting enough vitamins your body will break everything down in to glucose and then uses that to build proteins like fat. Your body is a very clever bit of kit, that will burn whatever fuel you put in it. laurence86
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Fri 19 Apr 13

Sam_Walker123456 says...

laurence86 wrote:
Sam_walker if its there then it is clearly not being used by everyone. It was a tip from my own experience. Your body doesn't actually need protein as long as you are getting enough vitamins your body will break everything down in to glucose and then uses that to build proteins like fat. Your body is a very clever bit of kit, that will burn whatever fuel you put in it.
Your body actually does need protein. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids. Your body is very clever but it cannot build protein from glucose but it can build fat. Fat is not a protein, it is fat.
Our body needs amino acids and there are two main ways we can get these: one is by the body building them; and two is by the body breaking down proteins. The body cannot build all the required amino acids, so these have to be ingested in the form of protein. These esential proteins are present in many of the foods we eat including bread, pulses, cereals, nuts, etc. So leaving out the relatively expensive animal proteins from a diet is a sensible way of saving money. When you consider that Emily probably needs no more than 45 grams of protein a day, she can get most of this from other sources.
Most of the developed world is consuming more protein than is healthy..
[quote][p][bold]laurence86[/bold] wrote: Sam_walker if its there then it is clearly not being used by everyone. It was a tip from my own experience. Your body doesn't actually need protein as long as you are getting enough vitamins your body will break everything down in to glucose and then uses that to build proteins like fat. Your body is a very clever bit of kit, that will burn whatever fuel you put in it.[/p][/quote]Your body actually does need protein. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids. Your body is very clever but it cannot build protein from glucose but it can build fat. Fat is not a protein, it is fat. Our body needs amino acids and there are two main ways we can get these: one is by the body building them; and two is by the body breaking down proteins. The body cannot build all the required amino acids, so these have to be ingested in the form of protein. These esential proteins are present in many of the foods we eat including bread, pulses, cereals, nuts, etc. So leaving out the relatively expensive animal proteins from a diet is a sensible way of saving money. When you consider that Emily probably needs no more than 45 grams of protein a day, she can get most of this from other sources. Most of the developed world is consuming more protein than is healthy.. Sam_Walker123456
  • Score: 0

10:54am Wed 24 Apr 13

Upontheroof says...

I personally think this is good for highlighting the amount of food wasted. Although I do think that supermarkets contribute towards this by dominating and forever changing the size of packaging - usually in there favour!

Good for you and well done.
I personally think this is good for highlighting the amount of food wasted. Although I do think that supermarkets contribute towards this by dominating and forever changing the size of packaging - usually in there favour! Good for you and well done. Upontheroof
  • Score: 0

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