It seems like everyone is going on restrictive diets. If they aren’t restricting their calories, they’re restricting their purchases of food produced within 100 miles (registration required), or just restricting their food to Jenny Craig meals.

Now the politicians want in on the act.

Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski is calling attention to his state’s hunger problem by spending a week living on the average amount a food-stamp recipient would get. His wife is going along for the ride, giving them $42 to spend for a week’s worth of food.

‘I’m going to have to learn more about potatoes. I have a feeling I’m going to be eating a lot of them.’

That’s the governor, on a trip to a Salem-area supermarket, as reported in The Oregonian. In addition to tubers, Kulongoski also toted home such little-pocket-money staples as macaroni and cheese, ramen, and peanut butter. The rest of his haul is documented here.

Judging by his supermarket jaunt, it is easier to eat frugally if you have some help:

The governor’s shopping trip was full of obvious ironies. He was driven to the store in a state car. Two bodyguards followed him through the aisles, as did a small throng of news media. In the checkout line, aides rifled through file folders to bring out coupons he could use.

Still, this isn’t the first time in his life Kulongoski has eaten frugally. He was raised in an orphanage.

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