The right to food, or the right sort of food?
21 October 2013
There have been many interesting contributions to the debate triggered by Geraldine van Beuren’s fascinating guest post on the right to food.
But one comment deserves prominence in a post of its own. It comes from veteran blogger 1923thebook and he has this to say:
Growing up in the North of England in the 1920s and 1930s, I knew hunger as did my ancestors who despite the “charter of the forest” lived miserable, hungry, short lives while Britain’s ruling classes grew fat on the spoils of Empire. What I experienced as a lad along with the rest of my working class generation was famine and despite recent news reports, we are not experiencing the wide spread hunger that occurred in my youth when there was no social welfare state.
This is not to say that there is not hunger in today’s Britain because as joblessness increases poverty creeps back into this nation’s villages and cities like an ebb tide. But malnutrition today is not caused by want of food but the type food on offer to the poor which is empty of nutrition but rich in fat, sodium and chemicals that only a food scientist without a moral conscience could devise.
The issue in this country shouldn’t be about one’s right to food, the issue must be about one’s right to food that has quality and that is not going to happen unless we neuter the food lobby’s influence on parliament and change the way food is farmed, processed and delivered to our stores. Don’t get me wrong because what we face today is a crisis and too many lives have been ruined by this austerity. But no matter how real 21st century want is to those who must endure it,they still don’t know, thank god, the ravenous despair of the Great Depression. Yet if we continue down this road of cutbacks who knows, perhaps my yesterday will be everyone’s tomorrow?
Thank you for those thoughts, and it is important to be reminded that we should focus not simply on the fact of food but its quality.
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