Thursday, May 27, 2010

After Playing WITH the Rations Game, I Discovered...

...we pretty much already ARE living on rations every day! With the addition of two regular meatless days per week, some more work fine-tuning the sugar and egg consumption, and the adherence to USDA serving sizes and portions for non-rationed foods, all we need is for availability of off-ration foods to dry up to really test our meddle.

I figured ration living would be worse than what we're doing now, but it isn't. It's almost the same (except for the constant availability of off-ration items).

I suppose now I need to move onto gas rations--3-5 gallons/week for household use, and 11 gallons/week for commuters. Thank God we only live 12 miles from Hubby's work.

After seeing how the meat ration works out perfectly to the prescribed USDA serving size, I'm convinced rationing is the birthplace of USDA portion sizes, and that maybe the Food Guide Pyramid is also set to accommodate ration and off-ration food portion sizes. Now, if only the Food Stamp and WIC programs were set up like the rationing program...but no--they rely on shelf-stable foods, convenience foods, and foods from the Farm Subsidy program.

Alternating chicken between beef, pork, and turkey, while throwing in Meatless Fridays made it all work. I could add Fat Tuesdays (veggie days) to it, I suppose, cutting in half my reliance on off-ration, theoretically-hunted turkey.

Also, grinding meat makes it feed more than just 1 person for every 3 oz.--casseroles, meat loaves, chili, and the like make meals feed more with less. Combining beans/legumes with grains also forms complete proteins, so nobody has to worry about not getting enough protein or calories.

I thought I'd come away feeling deprived and hopeless. I haven't even begun the game, and come away happy and satisfied that when rationing comes to America, I'm already ready for it. So many of us won't be. So many of us just eat what's in the box, or what's handed to us through a window. Many of us don't even know what the Food Guide Pyramid is.

But then we black-belt frugalites have been living this way for years, even decades, and are ready to help others if needed.

I've canceled my participation, but you don't have to. I live it every day, but intend to make improvements.


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