Can a person eat a scrumptious meal with Rs. 12? – A Data Backed Analysis

Potatoes are one of the most used staple foods.

Recently many politicians have remarked that a scrumptious meal can be eaten at Rs. 12, Rs. 5 and even at Rs. 1. Let us try to scientifically analyze these statements with backup data.

As per Indian Council of Medial Research[i], the average daily calorie need for a working man (ie. Labourer) is 3490 Kcal. For a scrumptious meal atleast the daily calorie requirement needs to be met. Let us assume that the labourer eats only the staple food, say wheat.

1 Kg of wheat totals to roughly 3400 Kcals[ii]. Therefore every day the labourer would require a minimum of 1.03 Kg of wheat to just fulfill his daily calorie requirement.

The wheat flour price is about Rs. 20 / kg[iii].  For the recommended dietary allowance the minimum spent is about Rs. 20.60 per day. Just the basis raw materials cost over Rs 20 in a day.

By no standards is this scrumptious meal. A well-balanced meal needs to contain fat, proteins and other various minerals. Therefore, cooking oils, pulses and vegetables are also required in the daily diet to fulfill a minimum dietary requirement. Further, the cost of cooking the meal also needs to be included.  Adding those to the equation would increase the bare minimum cost of just satiating the hunger let alone a scrumptious meal.

It would be interesting to know the calculation method applied by these politicians.


[i] Nutrient Requirements and Recommended Dietary Allowances for Indians, ICMR, 2009. Page 66.

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2 Responses to Can a person eat a scrumptious meal with Rs. 12? – A Data Backed Analysis

  1. David M. Green says:

    I’d like to see these politicians forced to eat exactly like they expect others to eat. 🙂

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