Asda, a UK supermarket chain (and a wholly owned division of Wal-Mart), spurred no doubt by recent news about scarily rising food prices, has launched an attention grabbing product: the 2 p sausage. You do have to buy it in packs of 8, but a pack is still just 16p. In US cents that’s about 4 cents a sausage.
The sausages have been reduced, from 56p per package of 8. Even at that price the thought of what might go into such a cheap sausage makes me shudder. At 2p per sausage, it makes my stomach take a queasy flop.
Surely there are better ways of eating frugally than stuffing yourself with lumps of dubious chopped up mystery meat? (I love a really good sausage, but bad sausages are a very different matter.) If you’re in the UK, have you tried the 2p sausages, or would you consider trying them?
Elsewhere in the world, you can have a $175 burger topped with gold leaf and foie gras, which may not even be that good. Something’s off kilter somewhere.
The food prices poll has just concluded, and the results show that 43% of the people who votes are ‘very concerned’ and 45% are ‘a little concerned’ about rising food prices. That is quite a lot indeed.
I’ve been thinking of ways in which our household food budget can go on a diet. Given that we are rather passionate about good food around here, there are compromises we are not willing to make. But there are lots we can do without feeling like we are depriving ourselves too.
I rarely get political on this blog, because…well this is a blog about food, and I hate all the strife that surrounds political discussions. However, this article about the new head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP link) made me pause - especially since this is the organization for which the Menu For Hope III event raised money.
I’m not saying that the WFP won’t continue to do good work under this new head - but, her background makes me want to pound my head on my desk. Hard.
Following up to my previous post about food stamp budget experiments:
Rebecca has left a comment, where she points out she is following the USDA Thrifty Meal Plan, on which food stamp benefits are based. This is where her budget figure of $74 per week for 2 people (not $74 per day as I erroneously typed…that’s sort of generous!) comes from, which comes out to $5.30 per day per person.
Actually another blogger did a month-long Thrifty Meal Plan experiment 2 years ago, though she did not stipulate organic/local as Rebecca is doing. Half Changed World ate on the Thrifty Food plan for a month (followup posts are here, here, here, here and the final wrapup.) She had the additional challenge of feeding her two small children, including one who was (is) a picky eater, as well as her husband.
(It seems quite illogical to me that the food budget or food stamp allocation is the same for all people, whether it’s a tiny baby or a growing hungry teenager. But I guess that’s government for you.)
[The following has been edited to correct some things from the original posting and add a couple of links. Serious Eats lists some more congresspeople participating.]
Last year the most popular food plan experiment was “eating local”. This year so far it seems to be “eating on a food stamp budget”. The main reason for this is upcoming debate on the 2007 farm bill. Bush administration is proposing to make big cuts in food assistance for the poor, a large part of which would mean cuts to the food stamp program. [Edit: as an anonymous commenter pointed out, that was a link to an article about the 2005 farm bill cuts.] (A NY Times editorial about the subject [Edit: this actually is about the 2007 Farm Bill :)].) So a number of politicians are doing the Food Stamp Budget Experiment at least in part to protest against this.
Here are the ones I’ve found so far (Note, some of these links were already posted to my del.icio.us, so my apologies for the duplicates if you follow that also.)