Oscar Winner Ben Affleck Eats on $1.50 a Day


Academy award winning actor and director Ben Affleck is eating “like a poor person” to help shed light on the world’s poverty issues.

Living on $1.50 a day is unthinkable for most of us. But what if you were a multimillionaire actor? That’s the commitment Ben Affleck made to The Global Poverty Project, an organization that aims to to “increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action to see an end to extreme poverty,” according to its website. The organization says that $1.50 a day illustrates the issues accurately that nearly 1.5 billion people around the world face every day.

Affleck tweeted about the challenge a few weeks ago, and is joined by other celebrities including Sophia Bush, Josh Groban, Debi Mazar, and Hunter Biden, reports US Weekly.

What exactly can Affleck eat on $1.50 a day? That’s a pretty darn good question, as you can’t get find too much out of a vending machine for much less than that, let alone a legitimate meal. Hopefully he’ll use his skills to track down some cheap beans and rice that he can portion out according to his budget. We’re not sure if he’s allowed to glean fruits and vegetables from neighborhood fruit trees or gardens in order to add free nutritious food to his diet. That would certainly help. But, if he’s looking to emulate the daily experience in many impoverished parts of the world, their aren’t too many lush fruit trees or gardens, so he’ll probably skip the fruit-hunting.

But what he does have, is the reality that after his few days of living on next to nothing are up, he can go back home, open up his fridge and eat most anything he likes. That certainly isn’t the case for the world’s poorest communities. The project hopes to raise awareness as well as funds. Last year, more than $3 million was raised.

And it’s not just third world countries where hunger is an issue. Right here in the U.S. millions of Americans face food challenges. One of the biggest ways to help is to decrease your own food waste. Professional estimates indicate that as much as 40 percent of the edible food in the world goes uneaten due to factors including poor transportation, expiration and home waste. Do your part and be conscious about your food intake and help route edible food to shelters, food banks and soup kitchens.

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Image: Erin Lassahn

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.