Suzanne Moore, writing in The Guardian, speaks out on behalf of Britain’s poor, living in a country where food has become (though hasn’t it always been?) a class signifier:
We are the seventh richest nation in the world, but there were increasing reports of teachers forking out to feed hungry pupils. This was also the year when people went baking-crazy. In grand marquees, people made gingerbread houses, madeleines and sugar swans, which were oohed and aahed over. Indeed, I see dough-boy from that show has now got a whole series on bread. Wow, how much can you say about bread when you have the charisma of a Kingsmill loaf – but carbs ahoy!
In this world of endless gastronomy, the superstar chefs say eat seasonally and simply. Again, this requires dosh. Choice costs. So what so we do for genuinely poor people? We take away even the most basic of choices. We infantilise them. They are not our problem any longer, but charity cases.
Ms Moore is referring to the limits on what can be purchased with food stamps, though certainly here in Australia everything from high alcohol taxes to attempts to introduce a fat tax to calls for the government to keep milk from being sold too cheaply also hit poor people who must get the most caloric bang for their limit buck, disproportionately.
But that’s beside the point: Check out The Guardian editorial page from the same day:
The thought that Cypriot halloumi could be the latest casualty of the crisis, admittedly not the most serious one, is sad … The cheese itself little deserves its current marketing difficulties in Europe. With a higher than normal melting point, it is generally dismissed as a culinary cheese and is usually to be found grilled on the barbecue, consumed with lunza (smoked pork loin) and Greek bread. But wrapped in mint leaves and aged, it becomes both drier, saltier and stronger. Either way it is a great cheese.
Comment may be free, but a great cheese is priceless.
Once food is made to be a moral choice (or a political one), then the next logical step is to attempt to control it if it doesn’t fir with yoru moral (or political) view.
It gives me the shlts, but I’m surprised anyoen is surprised.
Having said all that, I’m not adverse to welfare being targetted at its intended outcome. It annoys me that the govt stopped requiring receipts for school-related tax credits, and the “baby bonus” is ruotinely spent on consumer or entertainment items (as opposed to baby needs/food).
woo speling checkr reckwired
I think one commenter in The Guardian article summed up the result of the use of food stamps, as against the normal cash handout:
“Sell your shares in bskyb, philip morris and diagio”