Food Insecurity Is Decreased by Adopting a Plant-Based, Olive Oil Diet
"Approximately 40% of households in the United States with incomes below 130% of the federal poverty line were food insecure in 2009. Food insecurity means that at least some household members cut the size of meals, skip meals, and may even experience hunger because there is not enough money to purchase adequate food. When a family does not have enough money to buy sufficient food, they tend to purchase less expensive food items that are energy dense but low in nutrients. For example, 19% of low-income households do not purchase fruits or vegetables in an average week. In addition, fruit and vegetable purchases do not increase with slight increases in income; however, beef and frozen prepared food purchases do increase.4Meat purchases represent the largest portion of the food budget for a low-income household, with up to 50% of total food costs devoted to meat. Educating food insecure individuals on the preparation of meals that do not contain meat has the potential to extend their limited dollars for groceries. Furthermore, vegetarian meals are healthier than meals made with animal products due to their higher phytonutrient content. Vegetable-based meals may also improve the diet of food insecure individuals and, subsequently, their health. The objectives of this study were to demonstrate (1) that individuals with incomes less than 130% of the federal poverty line will adopt plant-based olive oil meal for at least 3 meals per week after participating in a 6-week nutrition intervention that includes a weekly cooking demonstration; and (2) that the prescribed healthy diet is affordable and, when followed, reduces food insecurity."