My Big Discovery: Saving Money on Food can Save Your Life and the World
Welcome to Cook for Good, where you can learn to afford and cook delicious, vegan food that makes a difference. My recipes and techniques work well for anyone who wants to eat more vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Let me help you save money by cooking with LOVE:
- Local, seasonal vegetables and fruits
- Organic beans, whole grains, and spices
- Vegan ingredients and recipes that help you live without cheese and other animal products
- Engaged and mindful, using the power of food choices to make the world kinder and greener
As this short by Casey Toth shows, it’s all about shopping at farmers’ markets, buying vegetables and fruit in season, and eating plants.
SAVE MONEY. EAT WELL. MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
I made a shocking discovery while trying to live on a dollar a meal as part of the 2007 Food Stamp Challenge. The more I squeezed my budget, the better the food was. I was forced to cook fresh, local food from scratch.
Within a week, we noticed that we were losing weight without feeling hungry. We slept better at night and felt more cheerful and energetic during the day. My husband loved it. He asked me to keep cooking that way, but with enough money so we could enjoy peach cobbler.
It turned out that the actual food-stamp allowance for someone with no other source of income here in North Carolina was $1.53 a meal, plenty enough for peach cobbler.
My cooking now supports my values and makes me happy in ways I’d never imagined before. After a vegetarian start, we went vegan in 2011 after a friend told me how it saved his life. Kicking dairy and eggs let me goodbye to migraines, arthritis, knee pain, and 10 more pounds. I felt 15 years younger, as you might guess from the birthday pix below, taken almost five years later.
Update on 12/12/2022: My Taster and I have now been vegan for 11 years! It’s easier than ever, with so many great new ingredients and more options in restaurants and grocery stores. The alignment with our values is clearer every day. And at 66, I still feel great!
SEVEN KEY BENEFITS OF COOKING THE COOK FOR GOOD WAY
- Save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on your grocery bill and possibly much more on your medical bills
- Enjoy amazing food, full of fresh flavor and seasonal variety
- Feel and look great, with loads of energy, a sense of purpose, and vibrant health
- Help your family thrive with nutritious food free from agricultural poisons, questionable food additives, and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
- Support local farmers and safe farm practices
- Show your love for all beings, including cows, pigs, chickens, and fish
- Live more lightly on the Earth and slow climate change
COOK FOR GOOD CORE PRACTICES
- Use organic, pure ingredients instead of processed foods
- Focus on local, seasonal vegetables and fruit
- Add spices, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and a little healthy oil
- Balance your scrimps and splurges to fit your budget
- Shop and cook mindfully
- Celebrate the way food connects and empowers us
The Cook for Good project is here to help you develop these skills yourself and, if you want, to help you teach others to do the same.
I’m the author of Wildly Affordable Organic: Save Money, Eat Fabulous Food, and Make a Difference–All on $5 a Day or Less and Fifty Weeks of Green: Recipes and Romance. My husband and I created the Wildly Good Cook videos.
I strive to give you the tastiest recipes and most useful information I can. To do this, I’ve earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Collin Campbell Foundation and eCornell. To keep it clean, I earned a ServSafe Food Manager Certificate. I’ve attended four national Plant-Based Prevention of Disease conferences, many VegFests, and two years EcoSattva training. I’ve got a background in procedures writing and user interfaces that drives me to explain things clearly and test them thoroughly.
Bottom line: I want you to be happy and avoid suffering in our crazy, beautiful world. The best way I know to do that is to share my cooking skills. We can make a real difference by cooking like it matters. I hope you’ll sign up to learn more. Drop me a note with any questions or comments.