More with Less

Doris Janzen Longacre, in her best selling More-with-Less cookbook wrote that more-with-less ideology is “not about cutting back, but instead it’s about living joyfully, richly, and creatively”.   She urged her readers to think about world food shortages, and how fuel prices, modern agriculture and world politics affect others in less prosperous nations.  In terms of world statistics, she reminded, North Americans use five times as much food resources as their less affluent brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world – most of this excess is grain, used to feed animals raised for meat.  Some of the ways that we can correct this imbalance is to carefully consider what and how we eat.  Choosing our meals carefully, amongst other things, can leave more of this world’s resources for others that need them to simply live.

We can choose to live simply, so that others may simply live.

  • Make an effort to spend less
  • Be calorie conscious
  • Be protein conscious
  • Be sugar conscious
  • Be conscious of processed foods
  • Simplify our lives

All of these ideas work together hand-in-hand.   By being conscious of processed foods, and instead cooking from scratch, we are naturally led to become more conscious of the ingredients we use in our meals and we spend less money, too.  Maybe we can grow some of our own fruits and vegetables to supplement our meals and cut back on grain and meat consumption.  If we can do this in community, we can enjoy many benefits:

  • We can improve our health through exercise, fresh air and sunshine, and fresh and nutritious, local food.
  • We can build community, by forming community garden clubs.
  • We can teach our children (and others) about gardening and the environment, exercise, healthy food choices, and how to work together in community.
  • We can enjoy a new hobby that pays benefits instead of costing money.
  • We can improve our environment and save limited natural resources.
  • And we can have more nutritious meals all while spending less money so that we may reach out and help others too.

Another way to incorporate More-with-Less ideas and ideals into our meals is to get to know how others, eat by trying out their foods and recipes.  In this spirit, you will see that many of the meals and recipes, and ideas that I use are from lands where folks truly understand how to live on very little.

Longacre quoted one of her contributors, writing, “Simplifying meals to reduce food expenditures has been a joyous experiment”.

It is my intent to share with my readers my version of this ‘joyous experiment’.

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