Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Guvnor speaks true..

I haven't posted in a while as the last few months have been a time for determining my raison d'etre for this blog. At times, I felt a sense of inadequacy. Does the world need another food blog in addition to the gazillions out there? And no pictures as well! (as some wag complained). Also, what was I doing this for, who was reading it besides the occasional cricket?

In the end, I worked on my actual cooking for some months, read heaps of books and Gen Mac said " I have returned". And I care not a spitoons worth of saliva whether this blog is read. :-)

The Guvnor is a very smart bloke. We were discussing "Hugh's chicken run" on the AFC and were debating the affordability of organic, range free chooks as opposed to those mutant, Borg like things they farm these days. Understand that it's not a matter of taste or even perceived taste. I tried and tried but I still can't really tell the diff between organic veggies and their chemical filled cousins. However, I do get meats. In fact, I'm organic beef's greatest supporter now

Now, the TESCO and Carrefore mob always bring up price as the issue. And seriously, it's a valid argument. If I drive my SUV and do my shopping at Bangsar Village, it is the height of rudeness and uncivility to pompously declare that someone with minimum wage buy organic at nearly twice the price. So, that would have been end of the argument, no?


The guvnor cut through all this with the panache of a latter day Alexander facing the Giblet Gordian knot.

"Well, Mike. They can always cut down on their chicken consumption and eat more vegetables"

Exactly. We had been so obsessed with the argument that everyone needs to eat meat that we wasted hours debating on how to bring the costs down, or improve farming for existent birds. The solution is akin to family members debating on which vitamins their cancer stricken father should take while the doctor has already recommended the only viable solution: surgery

In other words, we want our cake and eat it too. But if you do so, you'll grow fat. And there's no use complaining one day when you get offers to appear on 'the biggest loser' and Ad agencies want to rent the space on your gut.

It's not politically correct. Lower income families will be incredulous that they have to give up their roast chicken while the bourgeousie continue eating it. But it's correct in that it's an elegant solution. Eat less processed chook, more veggies. The environment is happier. You are healthier for eating your greens. Occasionally eating chickens (the organic variety) increases overall demand which increases the supply, which brings competition, and brings down the prices. It's one of the few solutions which has a win-win component

But I don't see this flying, sadly. Once people have a taste for meat (even bad meat), they'll want it, no matter the cost. And tragically, most of the price we pay is unseen