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Eating & Poverty: Miss South in the Observer Food Monthly

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Image from NorthSouthFood.com

The food magazine that comes with The Observer once a month is always impressive, but I was really impressed by the piece in last Sunday’s budget special by blogger Miss South of northsouthfood.com.  With admirable dignity and restraint, she tackles many of the lazy assumptions that people make about what it’s like to try to feed yourself if you are living below the poverty line.

It’s not a simple matter to ‘just shop around’.  You can’t always just get a slow cooker and put lots of meals in the freezer.  Sometimes there are very good reasons why you have to eat something cheap, processed and unhealthy; and those reasons are often out of your control. Read the piece. It’ll really make you think.



4 Comments

  1. There’s also a post on her blog which is really worth reading – it’s about the moralising about diet that’s so rampant these days:

    “It’s just not that simple. Everybody is doing at least one thing right in the major responsibilities of life. It might be teaching your kids great manners and reading skills, doing well at work, going to the gym 3 times a week, looking after your elderly auntie or feeding yourself a healthy balanced diet. But no one is doing it all perfectly and without effort. Something has to give. ”

    http://www.northsouthfood.com/food-for-thought/#more-5587

  2. Thank you for this lovely piece! Am so flattered that one of my favourite blogs has done this…

    I’ve been really heartened by the debate and discussion it has opened up. I’ve been given some great tips and ideas and it’s all been very civilised!

  3. Fair play, Miss South. I really enjoyed your article and it made me think twice about “food poverty” and the ‘useful advice’ you might give to people when you are not in that position yourself. I’m making a conscious effort to spend less (or rather spend better), cook everything from scratch and so on. But at least I have enough to afford the ‘scratch’ to cook from. I also have a slow cooker which turns all kind of pulses and leather (sorry, meat) into a delicious stew, but I never realised that my investment (25 euros for something that has been saving me already a good deal of money) was out of reach for the very people who would benefit from using one. Sure, we have our ‘cereal and toasts days’, which the kids actually love, but they are not the norm.

    I just think the government would do many a great saving in the long run if they introduced dinners at school, where kids would get a proper dinner every day, i.e. not just a sandwich and a carton of milk. The parents who could afford it would subsidize towards the price for people who couldn’t. Kids would be less susceptible of malnutrition, which is all very real even in our developed country. Thus less health issues, and thus a lesser public health bill. The same could work for adults who could get ‘dinner tickets’ as part of benefit payments, ensuring that they would get enough for food.

  4. Not sure if this is good or bad but aims to make the food box thing affordable and, I guess, the food bank thing sustainable:

    http://www.hopehamper.com

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