Guest Blogger

Linda Watson

Linda Watson

Do you want to eat like it matters but think you can't afford to? Linda Watson shows you how in Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet--All on $5 a Day or Less. Visit her Cook for Good website for free recipes, videos, and tips. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to her free weekly newsletter with recipes and food news.

Linda is a cook and researcher who started the Cook for Good project in the summer of 2007. She and her husband Bruce lived on variations of the Food Stamp Challenge diet for over three months, beginning and ending with a week of $1 meals. For two months they kept under the actual food-stamp allowance in their home state of North Carolina, which was then $1.53 a meal. The final month, they followed the thrifty menu from the previous month but ate nearly all organic, locally grown foods. Amazingly, those "green" meals averaged just under $2 per person.

After a rough start learning how to cook all their food from scratch, Linda found a way to make most of their food for a week in just two cooking sessions that last about 5 hours total. The results were so good results were so good and had so many positive other benefits that they've never gone back. Linda continues to track prices and tune the program, so in May 2010 the average thrifty meal cost just $1.18 and the average green meal cost $1.83 per person.

Linda may be the only person in the world who is a member of both the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the Project Management Institute. Her background in project management and procedures writing helps her write and test recipes and optimize shopping lists and cooking plans. She's taught cooking classes in seven states in a wide range of venues, from Whole Foods, Slow Foods, and co-ops to food banks and clinics. She gives cooking demonstrations at farmers' markets and speaks to groups who are interested in losing weight, cooking great food, raising healthy children, controlling their expenses, and reducing their impact on the planet.


Blog Posts by Linda Watson

  • Cook Once, Enjoy Many

    Cook Once, Enjoy Many

    It’s great to be here on on the 15th anniversary of this terrific site! I hope you’ll follow my posts this week to get tips for one of the key ways to save  in the kitchen: cooking once and enjoying the results many times.

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  • Cook for Good Resolutions for 2010

    Cook for Good Resolutions for 2010

    Pick a few of these resolutions or do them all. Eat green this year to save money, eat well, and make a difference!

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  • feeding-america01

    Help the Hungry: Donate to Feeding America Today

    Last weekend, I found myself unexpectedly weeping at a sustainable agriculture conference. A session on helping farmers’ markets accept food stamps started with part of the 1968 documentary “Hunger in America,” which showed a tiny, premature baby literally dying of hunger… in our own country. This TV show triggered outrage that led to big and […]

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  • Feeding your Freezer

    Feeding your Freezer

    Feeding your freezer is one of the easiest ways to save money and time in the kitchen, making an organic diet downright affordable. Double or triple the quantities of a recipe that you cook, then eat one yourself right away and “feed” the rest to your freezer. It will feed you back when you want […]

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  • Keeping It Organic Away from Home

    Keeping It Organic Away from Home

    When Dr. Greene’s story first appeared in the New York Times, I read it with great interest, nodding in agreement at this line: On the road, life was more challenging.

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  • Cooking with the Seasons: Easy and Joyful at the Farmers' Market

    Cooking with the Seasons: Easy and Joyful at the Farmers’ Market

    Make a practice of cooking with the seasons. When you shop at your farmers’ market, you won’t have to do any research first to see what’s in season. If your local farmers have it, it is in season!

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  • Beans, beautiful beans!

    Beans, beautiful beans!

    The best, easiest, and fastest way to Cook for Good is to cook a pot of dried beans every week. Dried beans are one of the great food bargains, costing about one third the price of canned beans. Home-cooked organic beans cost much less than canned, conventionally grown beans.

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  • eating organic chart

    Cooking Organic Food from Scratch: Not hard. Not expensive.

    About two years ago, I started the Cook for Good experiment as a response to the Food Stamp Challenges so popular that summer. Good people working to end hunger and strengthen sustainable food systems were trying to eat on a dollar a meal … and failing miserably. One congressman in particular formed the chorus for […]

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