Friday, 29 November 2013

Food for thought

You can tell Christmas is close when Manx religiots and their government chums, along with the business sector, kick off a bogus charity initiative.
Take for example, which as usual, avoids all the important questions.
For example, what percentage of material in landfill is foodstuffs? 25%... 50%.... more?
Obviously, even with highly sophisticated 'just in time' computerised ordering, major supermarkets operating on the island cannot avoid throwing away food. Tons of it ... probably daily. They cannot even reveal how much waste there is or make some deal to give it all away without lots of awkward questions. They are, after all, businesses, not charities or the social services. The real problem is, neither are Manx charities or social services.
We also cannot make the island self-sufficient, and to my mind half the problem is that government refuse to admit they are not trying - just pretending - to. Despite the homely cover story, Manx agriculture (our only real nationalised industry) is (just like its old school communist role model) geared up to high price export, not the home market, and food fairs etc. are just a way of getting us to market test and subsidise this.
But it gets worse....
To my certain knowledge a large supermarket chain gave a Manx religious charity as much leftover food as they could carry every weekend for over 30 years on the understanding it would be discreetly redistributed to the needy. Also to my certain knowledge that charity did not distribute most of what it was given (because their workers regarded many potential beneficiaries as too feckless) but regularly gave away box-loads of tinned goods to well-heeled worshippers instead. In time, after successive Saturdays on which the charity could not even be bothered to turn up and collect it (but still blocked an attempt by a pensioners support group to use it instead) the supermarket broke off the arrangement.
So, seems to me there is a simple logistical mismatch here. People dispossessed by the government of the island where they were born lack food or the means to pay for it. Supermarket chains tied in by necessity to UK and European models of fast, massive food distribution and sale must throw away tons of the stuff and cannot be seen to give it away instead. In particular they throw away enough fresh fruit and veg to feed an army of pensioners and other paupers. A government agricultural policy is based on marketing and exporting Manx luxury foodstuffs hardly anybody local likes or can afford, but not the production of cheap staple foods for local consumption.
So, (sighs deeply), rather than untangle this mess or put things right...
Supermarkets (basing their campaign on another UK idea that is not locally appropriate) encourage shoppers to buy extra stuff they would never eat themselves which (under the supervision of a social services network which isn't social … or of service .... or a network) is handed to religious Klingons who have already proved they are too idle, incompetent or bigoted to distribute it and .... need I go on?
It's like a massive pass-the-parcel game amongst career chancers and the socially irresponsible, but with rotting fruit.
Here's an idea.. why not buy up all the old eggs and rotting tomatoes on the island and throw them at twerps and hypocrites who are also well past their sell-by date? That won't solve anything either, but it would be fun, and one less trip to the landfill at public expense.

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