On the 28th April I will be starting my 5 days of Living Below the Line - that's only a week tomorrow, so I've been limbering up!
1.2 billion people are currently living in extreme poverty. This is defined by the World Bank as living on less than £1 a day ($1.25 US Dollars). By joining the Live Below the Line campaign, I will be doing my little bit to raise awareness of this issue and hopefully raise some funds for my chosen participating charity, Action Aid.
Next week for 5 days, 25,000 of us will be eating and drinking only what we can buy for £1per day. We are not allowed any donated food - that would be cheating! - but we are allowed unlimited tap water (which is of course a luxury which many people living in extreme poverty do not have).
I really wanted to try and do this as healthily as possible - try and keep up my five a day and not fall too far off the diet wagon and so on. So, here are my provisions for the whole five days ...
It will be a little monotonous, but it looks pretty healthy and nutritious. Here's how it added up ...
- 250g lentils (3 bags for £2, I have two kinds for variety) 33p
- 500g rice (not my usual fragrant basmati) 20p
- 2 cartons tomatoes with garlic and olive oil (on special) 60p
- 1/2 bag pasta shapes 17p
- 6 free range eggs (couldn't compromise on FR) 1.00
- 10 veg stock cubes (I plan to have some of these as hot drinks) 20p
- Large bag carrots 89p
- 10 onions from a 1kg bag 50p
- 5 fair trade bananas 58p
- 4 yoghurts (can't believe how cheap these are) 33p
I'm also going to allow myself some herbs from the garden - if you eat home-grown produce, you're supposed to take the cost of production out of your budget, but these herbs have seeded themselves in our garden so to my mind they're wild food and therefore free ...
These are sorrel leaves - they make a lovely sauce with fish and suchlike and I reckon they might add a little interest to rice and pasta. Thyme grows like a weed in our garden and will be lovely with the lentils ...
I'm experimenting with a handful of the whole green lentils to see if they will sprout, which would add some extra nutrition and help to relieve the monotony ...
Even if they don't sprout, if they're soaked for long enough I could add them raw to rice with some grated carrot for my packed lunch. If this batch sprouts successfully, I'll start another lot during the week with lentils from my rations, so they'll be ready next Monday.
So, there you have it - I'm ready! I'm looking forward to the challenge - after all, it's only 5 days out of my life. I know I won't really be experiencing extreme poverty - my rations will be delivered by Sainsburys to my nice safe warm home, where I have electricity and gas to cook them with and clean water on tap - but if it helps even a tiny bit in the campaign to end extreme poverty, that has to be a good thing, right?
If you would like to know more, offer support or make a donation, please check out my page at Live Below the Line.
Wish me luck and watch this space :o)