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The Price of Potatoes and the Value of Compassion

Discussion in 'Personal' started by coffeekid, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter


    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Totally. Veg is the new super-food. " Zest up your turnips " " Add Pazzaamm to your sprouts" " " Spark up your libido with the humble mangelwurzel"
    rosievoice likes this.
  3. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

  4. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    Oh, thanks Gainly. I wonder why my link didn't work? Too late for me to edit now.
    Jamvic and rosievoice like this.
  5. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Anybody who has a reasonably sized garden could also grow veggies relatively easily on a 2m x 10m plot.
    If you do eg Spinach, Chard, lettuce, Kale, you can cut outer leaves, which grow again. You can freeze excess for later in the year.
    There are so many other benefits too, to growing outdoors, both for adults and children.
    But I guess that it is too much like hard work when you can buy a ready meal for £1.50
  6. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I’m with her. Those that have never experienced food poverty see it as an interesting challenge to plan meals for £5 a week or whatever. Taking advantage of special offers, buying in bulk and loading it all into the boot of their car. What they don’t get is the sheer desperation of knowing that they’re going to be doing it every week, or the worry about what will happen when the kids need shoes or there’s a school trip.
  7. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    And if you’re living in a flat? If you have a garden but no tools, money for seeds etc?
    jubilee, lizziescat, Jamvic and 6 others like this.
  8. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    I think you might be the type of person she refers to.
    "And if your response to people in crisis is to simply lecture paternalistically about how you would be better at being poor than they would, I suggest you put your money where your flapping great mouth is, and give it all away."

    Did you think about any of that, stopwatch? To freeze things you need a freezer. It will come, no doubt, as a huge surprise to learn that damp bedsits seldom contain a freezer. To grow things, you need basic equipment, which has to be purchased and stored. The author now has a large garden but bedsits, B&Bs and shared houses generally don't. And leaves do not fill you up or make you grow.
    I'll stop now but only because of the t&c.
  9. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Thanks for this, Coffeekid and Gainly (for the link).
    Jamvic, agathamorse and coffeekid like this.
  10. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    A really fascinating read - thanks @gainly and @coffeekid

    We have to get the housing situation sorted out: with somewhere half-decent to live a lot of the issues the author mentions would be less problematic, I think. It's interesting to note how often she talks about the need and desire to have a place to call "home".

    I detest unscrupulous inner-city landlords: I've never had one for long, fortunately, but I know of some genuine horror stories about them.
    bonxie, Jamvic and LunaBlue123 like this.
  11. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

  12. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    I'm wondering if you read any of that article, tbh.
  13. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Depressingly believable stuff.

    The main point of the relentless grind of being poor is well made and can't be understood fully by those who have never lived it.

    I often feel those who give helpful suggestions of which veg are cheap and so much better when freshly cooked as "advice" to the poor don't have to live it. That lunch that cost 44p was coincidental and not a deliberate decision, the cost calculated afterwards in a self-congratulatory "I'd cope well being poor" manner with the knowledge that it was a choice, not necessity and won't probably be repeated for a couple of months or more instead of having to repeated every day for the next 5, and maybe at "dinner" too.
  14. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

  15. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Remind me of an old Panorama from the late 80s (or was it the ITV' s equivalent) episode,where a Tory MP and his family lived on benefits. Yes,we can all live on cheap pasta/rice for a week but what happens when you/your children need more clothes or the washing machine/other breaks down?
  16. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Me too. I only knew the name in passing but got interested in the blog when Jack Munroe was co-presenting a morning food show on BBC 1 at the start of the Covid crisis.
  17. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Health - mental and physical- is often inextricably linked with low income - you only have to look at COVID deaths which are higher in high density, low income areas where people have had to go out to work during the height of the pandemic— often cramped housing

    In the long term, it’s not only being on a low income - as Jack says, their arthritis which was made worse by living in damp housing - their metal heath has been badly affected by being in debt , insecure rented housing , the threat of bailiffs - this has caused them to have PTSD - and this has also affected relationships

    As Jack said, they have , through working really hard, now been able to earn a living building up her career - I’ve worked with many university students who were single parents and were determined to get a qualification so that they could get out of the poverty trap but it isn’t easy and not everyone is able to break out of the cycle of poverty.

    Jack also has loads of abuse via social media - they are quite fragile I think but I love that those people abusing them from behind their keyboards, don’t stop them from being brave enough to share what they has been through and the effect this has had upon them long term - unfortunately many people will lose their jobs over the next few months and could well find that once this happens , it can lead to events spiralling downwards beyond their control
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
    agathamorse, Jonntyboy and vannie like this.
  18. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    carrots and bananas. Cake is often cheaper than bread. Cheep cheese. Pasta, rice and lentils if you have cooking facilities. Bovril with everything. I lived it for more than a decade!

    Interestingly, I became obese while not being able to afford to eat 3 times a day.
    pittrivers and agathamorse like this.
  19. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Having had parents who sometimes had to skip meals-one when she was pregnant-when the yards were on strike, and worked with families in deprived areas, I don't take a simplistic view.
    The shipyard families did grow things in allotments, but these days, even if every family without a garden were to be provided with one, some wouldn't bother-and some destroy what the others have grown. It's very simple (for some) to lump all 'poor' families together, but some people are very interested in doing their best for their families, some are not. Some have been through horrendous things that many of us wouldn't cope with, and yet sacrifice so much to make their children's lives better-my own granny was one of them!
    But it is true that a lot of these families really appreciated learning how to cook, when they were offered family courses at their child's school (not offered in my childhood!). They also spoke about how it made them feel better-which cost aside, makes a massive difference. Often the people who have been through it themselves are the most critical of those who don't want to try to improve things, and continue to spend all their benefit money on things for themselves, instead of their children. Whether you think they should feel that way or not-a lot do.
    Jonntyboy likes this.
  20. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    I think it was Matthew Parris but I only remember him - no family.

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