Make cuisine not compost for dinner
Dee said my first Great Recession dish looked like compost: leftover rice, lettuce, tomatoes, hamburger, and who knows what else.
That was circa 2009 in the depths the most significant decline in economic activity since The Great Depression. I traded my coffee for another friend's cigs, started a Port Hope's first "car share" program until the repo man rolled into town and planted seeds for a community garden. Times were tough. Many of us felt the pinch of poverty for several years after the The Great Recession. According to Investopedia, North America's household incomes did not meet their pre-recession levels until 2016 -- nearly a decade later.
Save on your grocery bill as food prices soar
Global food supply shortages and inflation have inspired me to dust off my proverbial book of "recession recipes" so I can stay healthy and save money instead of spending all my hard earned dough on pizza when hunger strikes. Food prices rose 7.4 per cent in February this year from the same month a year earlier. This is the biggest jump in more than a decade. While 2022 is certainly a time of economic uncertainty, and food insecurity, we are also living on a planet that needs us to be more cautious of what and how we consume. Everything. Gone are the 99 cent TV dinners of 2008. Tough times call for more taste in the kitchen and consideration for the planet. This means thinking outside the grocery bag:
Securing fresh food in Toronto
The global food crisis isn’t just about lack of food. Food insecurity can result in poor health, family breakdown, isolation, loneliness and many other negative outcomes. Inadequate or insecure access to food due to lack of money affects almost one in five Toronto households, and soon more thanks to inflation.
Fortunutately, in Toronto, there are a number of food programs that aim to reach those who need it most for whatever reason.
A cheap and cheerful chick pea salad your belly (and best buds) will love.
My favourite salad which evolved (significantly) out of the recession will easily feed four as a meal. Feel free to add other ingredients like tomatoes and cucumbers, or try your chick peas with rice and cumin. Bring style to your recipe with a vintage pyrex bowl. The options are endless and inexpensive and, in many cases, ingredients like dried cranberries and walnuts can be stored for months.
As a person who lived through the Great Recession, I can tell you that hunger is a real pain but also a lesson. Since then I swore, I'd be in a better position to deal with any financial crisis that tries to enter my kitchen. I grow some of my own vegetables now, make most meals, side dishes, dressings and desserts from scratch, and eat leftovers for lunch. While my refrigerator is virtually empty, my cupboards are stocked with rice, dry lentils, kidney beans and chick peas, pasta, nuts, oats, spices and other pantry staples. Likewise my freezer is packed with frozen produce and leftovers of yesterday's cooking. Low-cost cuisine. Not compost.