Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dumpster deli- poverty of imagination


Left with just $50 for food some are risking their health or being arrested for stealing from supermarkets and shops to provide for their families.
One Masterton woman has admitted to dumpster diving and stealing food and local advocates say she isn't the only one resorting to breaking the law to feed children..."
I recall tales of the depression era from grandparents who lived through them. Hard times are not exactly a new phenomena, nor will they ever totally go away. What I heard was that kids did not starve- they just had to eat what was set before them and that meant cheap and little variety. Hell, variety then meant what was seasonal for almost everyone.
Staples were home-grown vegetables- spuds, silverbeet and cabbage. Bread was replaced with fried scones and the only sweetening was golden syrup. Meat was a luxury if you didn't hunt or fish- or trade with somebody who did.
Fried scones can be made for next to nothing and sure beat an empty stomach. Id you must have drink or tobacco, both can be had for very little. Tobacco is easy to grow (it's just a weed) and to cure. Seasonal fruit can be fermented (windfall apples are available for the taking)
Come to think of it, if the washing machine breaks, there is always the bar soap and washboard that has served for many generations.
It's just a fact of life that if you are poor, you are not entitled to the luxuries of the more affluent.
Televisions, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, SKY TV, microwave ovens, dvd players- these are not essential for life. Nor do you need pre-prepared food.
Go the the local library and get a few historical books on how people lived a century ago. Learn how to work with what you have- which is much more than your great-grandparents had.

2 comments:

Paranormal said...

Absolutely.

I recall my grandmother wouldn't eat bacon, roast pork or even ham at Christmas because she'd had her fill of it during the 30's when they lived on wild pork from the bush. Power is not even essential. My mother had left home before they had power on.

the conservative said...

Oswald, my mum used to feed us kids tripe and onions, cow’s tongue, and pig’s trotters. The pig’s trotters were quite good, but man that tongue was nasty.
But I can guarantee you those so-called dumpster divers are buying booze and cigarettes. I remember once speaking to a guy who was working and got an accommodation supplement. As he was smoking he told me without the supplement he couldn’t afford to live in Grey Lynn (where he was living at the time). For him he had no qualms about the rest of us subsidising his packet-a-day cigarettes and a good living standard and Grey Lynn—a pretty good area.