Home > Uncategorized > Day 15 – Bit Discouraged…

Day 15 – Bit Discouraged…

Maybe I need to step back and rethink…
Have I really offended anyone by doing this challenge? Who can I possibly offend by doing this?
These are the questions I should have asked myself before I had proposed this challenge. There have been actually few concerns from people outside.
For example…

“There are plenty of people who *don’t* have a choice. They have to eat really really cheap food just to get by. It really annoys me, people “playing poor” so they can show how much better they can can do poverty than people who actually live in poverty. Then they blog about it, get a book deal and pat themselves on the back for their job well done. When you don’t have a safety net and the consequences actually matter, then get back to me. Until then? Pfft to you and your cute little project.”

This was done very recently by a couple who did a cutsey blog chronicling the whopping thirty days during which they spent a dollar a day on food. I was astounded by how much media attention they got for doing something that billions of people do without any choice and without a deadline allowing them to return to spending $30 a day.

Personally, it strikes me as an affront to those suffering from actual poverty and hunger that you would willingly starve yourself for a viral marketing campaign (especially one with such seemingly limited reach). Isn’t this sort of like Jared going to Subway before losing the weight, and wanting to get paid for it?

There are plenty of excuses I could make and plenty of counter arguments that I could bring up, but I would like to just to start by apologizing first if I have offended anyone during the campaign. They all have good points and I understand where they are coming from.
I’m going to recap this campaign at the end of the 20th day and have a blog post about what I have learned. Besides the viral marketing which was the real reason behind this campaign, I also wonder what positive influence this challenge have in my life.

Yeah.. I am bit discouraged… but I need to finish what I have started. I need to go back to the kitchen and take some more pictures.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Angela
    August 31, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Don’t be disappointed, David! Cheer up! You’ve been doing a great job so far~^^ Keep it up!

  2. August 31, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    People do this sort of thing once in a while. The Vegan couple happened to get a book deal out of it, but they were not the first to try it, or even the first to blog about it. They also got a few negative comments, and I have to think most of those people were just jealous. Then a couple of women up north did it, and then tried to follow it with projects to help people. I’ve seen them in the news from time to time. A third woman heard about it and did her own project, cause she said that the first couple did it all wrong.

    People are entitled to their opinions, but you shouldn’t give up on your project just because you’ve heard from a few negative people. You’ve done the important stuff like no stealing and no eating food from a charity that could go to someone who really needs it.

    Well, I can’t remember getting negative comments about that. From other stuff, which surprised me, but not about that. But then, I didn’t do it for that long, and I’m sure nobody really cared if I did it or not.

  3. September 1, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Are the people that complain about what you are doing taking steps themselves to help people who are hungry and “have no other choice”? I feel like there are a lot of people out there who talk big but then do nothing about it other than complain about people like you. You are conducting an experiment. I don’t find this offensive at all. If anything, you are making people think more and are helping to put things into perspective. I would love to see the real difference and effort the complainers are making out there. Your blog and your experience can help people and yourself to come up with new ways to help.

    Plus, the haters are just bringing you more press 🙂

  4. September 1, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Oh and “I also wonder what positive influence this challenge have in my life.”

    That says enough. Never apologize.

  5. Lyndee
    September 1, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Actually, this should be showing how far the dollar can stretch. I haven’t taken it as a self-destructive “woe is me” challenge, but more so showing how you can handle your money in an economical way and still make it through happy and healthy. Thank goodness you finally got the spinach!

  6. Kukulkan
    September 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

    As for the person who is offended, they need to lighten up. If you’re able to, “play poor” better than those who have no choice – maybe you’ve given them some tips on how to stretch their money. What an absurd thing to complain about.

  7. Brian
    September 1, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Do you know who usually offends a lot of people? Successful people! So don’t stop what you’re doing b/c of a few idiots w/o any perspective.

  8. Jen
    September 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm


    I want to explain why people think you’re being offensive, for all of those people who support you blindly. First of all WHY are you doing this? If the reason is “Just for shits and giggles” or “I want to be a viral sensation” or “I want people to pay attention to my blog,” then people have every right to be offended by your tasteless cry for attention. If the reason is because you want to make people more aware of the plight of poor people around the world, then you need to do a better job of advocating for a cause. You could be a real inspiration to people, a real force of change if only you tried to send a positive message with what you’re trying to do. I hear that you go to the UT at Austin. I graduated from that school and would like to encourage you to join Oxfam at UT. They always host a Hunger Banquet each year, where people come to eat beans, rice and water in order to experience what it’s like for people around the world. Maybe you could join your efforts with theirs. Anyway, I hope this helps you understand why people, myself included, may be offended.

  9. September 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm


    It’s really interesting to see you are offending someone who is living behind the curtain of anonymity.


  10. Jen
    September 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm


    Who are you referring to? I provided my name and email address in order to comment on this post. The author of this post has every right to reply to me and share his views. Plus, what is wrong with anonymous postings? That is the nature of the internet…

  11. djteknokid
    September 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    here is my view.. the reason wasn’t “Just for SHITS and giggles”. My reason is simple and clear. I had actually posted my reason in who & why section of the blog. I am not advocating anyone nor I am pretending doing this for a good cause. If I can come out of this challenge with an enlightenment, and learn something from this experience, why should I really care what everyone thinks? Why should YOU be offended? Are you really sure that poor people will be offended by my blog? Don’t you think there is a chance that you are the one who is offending them by thinking that way?
    That reminds me of a good blog entry from here..

    This blog isn’t about being hungry and being poor, it’s more about saving money and spending it wisely. It’s more about the creative way to cook under the budget.

  12. Tony
    September 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Right on, David! I think what you are doing is very beneficial to everyone out here especially in times where we are suffering under the nationwide recession. I don’t have one iota of anger in me about this project of yours. I especially think if young people look at this they will have a sense of how far their dollar can stretch too, since kids these days are so materialistic.

  13. J.B.
    September 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I think the blog is entertaining and interesting. If people do not like the blog, just don’t read it. As a person that is actually concerned about poverty, I donate food and volunteer at the food bank. Let me tell you, the food bank is not turning away a rush of people concerned about the hungry. I would be curious as to whether any of the people rushing to criticize you have stepped into a food bank in the last month or even year.

    I guess the people on your case never eat in restaurants, spend money on frivolous things, watch anything on tv except for frontline, only get books and movies from the public library, and take public transportation everywhere.

    If your experiment was eating only what you stole from homeless people or soup kitchens, then I think these people would have cause. But how is this affecting anyone but you in a negative manner?

    I love that stuff white people like post. It is so true, there is a certain arrogance about how everything will be perceived by “the poor.”

    This experiment coincides with Ramadan and I am fasting right now. I see fasting as a great test of spirituality and will power. Is my fasting insulting to people who do not have food elsewhere in the world?

  14. September 3, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Wow David, I think people really need to stop being haters. Looks like u have more support and the negitve comments only contribute to the success of this.

    • djteknokid
      September 3, 2009 at 11:00 am

      Controversy and negative criticisms only reveal the depth of benefits it seems.

  15. September 3, 2009 at 10:24 am

    You know what – those people are being really silly. Yes, there are people who are really poor and have no choice, but why does that make you a horrible person if you try to live like that for a few days? It’s as if you should apologise for being able to afford something better.

    Anyway, I think what you’re doing is great – I don’t think I’d be able to live on $1 a day, whether by choice or forced.

  16. CaliforniaGrl86
    September 3, 2009 at 4:12 pm


    If anyone is upset with you over this, all I have to say is that it is an act of malicious ignorance, and that no one should be upset with you over this. If at all people should admire and commend you for what you are doing! People shouldn’t take what you are doing in an offensive way, they should look at you and appreciate the fact that you are putting yourself in the same shoes as the less fortunate, and experiencing what they do on a day by day basis (not to mention you are offering people simple, inexpensive food ideas). For anyone to be upset with you over this is so absurd. That’s the problem with our society now David..people always want to find someone or something to be mad at, and that’s why our world is so negatively influenced now a days. You have my support all the way…and I am rooting for you David!

    To all those who want to say something negative to David or leave hurtful comments, all I have to say is this: Stop, think, and touch base with what’s real and what really matters in life..simplicity, and the pure joy of being content with the bear minimum. Why can’t we be happy with that anymore? There used to be a time! Im sure my words mean nothing to most of you,so please watch Into The Wild, or read the story of Christopher McCandless (he survived off of rice alone in the Alaskan wild for over two months). Did he do it because he had to? NO (in fact, he came from a very wealthy family)..he did it to stip away from all the material things in life, and appreciate the simple things in life, which is JUST that…Life! And what David is doing, I belive, is a little chunk of what all of us should be doing from time to time. So stop and reflect on you…not David..and quit being so judgmental..and if you don’t like it, then occupy yourselves with something else. Congatulations David..and thanks for going where others won’t. 🙂

  17. michael
    September 4, 2009 at 8:43 am

    My criticism is with the execution of this. If the goal really is not “about being hungry and being poor” but about “saving money and spending it wisely. It’s more about the creative way to cook under the budget,” then you would have done more research beforehand about the foods available to you, how to prepare/cook them, and other sources of food. It’s as if you’ve gone fishing with a worm and a piece of string, no real fishing gear, and no map, yet want to be taken seriously as a fisherman, and want the things you learn on your fishing trip to be important lessons for us all. In that regard, I haven’t learned a thing from this. Maybe it goes to a definition of “creative”: if you think being creative means being whimsical and unprepared, then David’s your guy.

    I’m all for living, and eating, intentionally, as CaliforniaGR has encouraged, but I think it’s also important that the intentional living be structured in a way that’s sustainable over a long period of time. We have much more impact over a lifespan of decisions than whatever burdens we may lift in a shorter span. The comparison to McCandless is apt, I think: here was someone who tried to live off ideals, not practical knowledge or relevant tools, and his venture was not only unsustainable, it got him killed. For those of you who think he is a romantic hero, you’re fools. For those of you who want real models of thoughtful, sustainable, alternative work and life, take a look at the lives of Helen and Scott Nearing.

    • djteknokid
      September 4, 2009 at 8:58 am

      There is no you “should” do this for what I am doing. Why would any tell me what I should do for the challenge that I created and that I accepted. If people are learning something from my experience, that’s great, if not, I really don’t care. It was never in my intention to be influential.
      Could you not tell from the videos and picture I take? I am not trying to be a role model nor super hero.

  18. September 25, 2009 at 8:51 am

    I think your blog is interesting and it’s clear to me that you are not trying to be some sort of guru or make some sort of sweeping pronouncement about poverty, food and consumption in the United States.
    You might want to check out this post from Everyday Trash about food waste: http://everydaytrash.com/2009/09/23/food-trash-insanity-rant/. One of the themes I’ve picked up from your entries is that in the past couple weeks you’ve been surprised about the value of the food that is thrown away each day by many people… for example, realizing how pricey rice actually is.

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