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15% of Brits are starving scream the headlines and the Metropolitan bien pensants at the Food Foundation: That is, of course, complete hogwash

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 27 February 2024

What a pathetic country we have become. Someone living entirely on welfare in the UK is in the top 2.5% of global earners but today we read that 15% of UK households were so poor that last month they had to skip at least one meal a day. Really? 4.5 million households? 11 million people?

It is of course nonsense. Food poverty is created. There are three million folks using foodbanks. As I have noted before, if something is free demand will always grow  Miss Piggy can fund her foreign holiday by using a Food bank . How many of those three million smoke, vape,  drink, play the lottery or have Sky TV? I don’t know but can any Guardian reader out there, lambasting me for being such an uncaring bastard, promise me that it is a low number as I bet it is not.

With those on low incomes or no incomes having housing costs paid for with this country’s housing benefits system which can splash out up to £500 a week and so only serves to push up house prices making accommodation ever less affordable for the working poor, nobody should be starving. What was instructive in this report by the liberal elitists at the Food Foundation is how those in poverty are spending their dosh. According to the Guardian which lapped up this horseshit in an unquestioning manner:

Nearly two-thirds (60%) of food-insecure households reported buying less fruit and 44% bought fewer vegetables as they struggled with the ongoing cost of living crisis. By contrast, just 11% of food-secure households bought less fruit and 6% purchased fewer vegetables.

Although the foundation has previously reported the amount of vegetables bought by UK households has fallen to a 50-year low, the latest tracker data shows the situation is far worse for low-income families.”

In this household I do most of the shopping by bulk and, in part driven by my own type 2 diabetes, buy a stack of loose and unpacked vegetables and fruit and then some own labelled tinned and packaged products such as baked beans, tuna, chickpeas, lentils and, for the rest of the family, pasta. The Mrs does only a bit of shopping by bulk, purchasing ready meals and other processed food for her convenience when she is cooking.

By bulk, number of meals cooked, my contribution is far greater than that of the Mrs but by cost the gap narrows massively. Buying vegetables or even fruit is a very cheap way of feeding your family. Two big bags of apples arrived from Tesco, their cheapest on offer. These are what my 7 year old now snacks on rather than expensive biscuits.

That low income families opt to buy more expensive processed food and chocolate biscuits is their call but it is not yet another reason to lambast the evil Tories for screwing the poor. The poor are screwing themselves both financially and in health terms with their own lifestyle choices.  The declining overall consumption of vegetables suggests that more well off customers are also the architects of their own diet related diseases and cost of living crisis.

I am lucky in that I have fields which I have laboured to turn into vegetable gardens and fruit orchards and using my own compost heap and seeds from last year’s fruit my outlay is minimal to supplement the family diet with stacks of home produced fruit and vegetables. I understand that you might have to wait two years to get an allotment but anyone can put themselves on the list and that means that for a relatively low cost, anyone can provide even more vegetables for their families.

But all of this requires a bit of effort in the garden or in the kitchen. Even without home produce, I can provide a perfectly decent meal for the family of meat and two vegetables for less than £2 but that involves prep time.  If the poor or not so poor are having to skip meals it is overwhelmingly their fault, their lifestyle choices, their laziness.

I guess times have changed and instead of dealing with facts, folks just make more and more demands of the state and if those demands are not met they cry foul. Any anyone daring to challenge those demanding more and more handouts is just a heartless old bastard. I plead guilty.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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