Food Prices and Food Poverty

Part of Opposition Day — [Un-allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:20 pm on 23rd January 2012.

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Photo of Mary Creagh Mary Creagh Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 4:20 pm, 23rd January 2012

I do not know the answer to that question. I am not sure whether it is the role of jobcentres to pass people on. There is a question mark over whether it is appropriate for a Government agency dealing with people’s welfare and benefits to outsource the food element of that to charities, so I throw that question back to the Government.

I went with the centre manager, Gareth Jones, to make up a food parcel. It contained cereal, tins of beans, four tins of meat and four tins of fish—all nutritionally balanced by a health visitor who advises the centre. The hardest part for me was choosing the four treats. Would the children prefer a pot of honey or a treacle sponge pudding, meringue nests or another pot of jam? Those are treats that we all put into our shopping trolleys without a second thought.

Gareth told me that it was important to put in a mix of branded and non-branded goods, so that when people opened the bags at home, they would feel valued. He told me how he holds pampering sessions at which mums can enjoy a hot chocolate while someone minds their children for half an hour. He described how the type of person coming to the food bank had changed from the homeless and destitute to the working poor. He said that families were referred to it by charities, social services or even—as Robert Halfon said—the jobcentre. When the state does not provide, the big society is left to pick up the pieces.


David Kirkby
Posted on 8 May 2013 8:00 pm (Report this annotation)

Dear Mary Creagh,

The health advisor you're quoting is behind-the-times and in the dark-ages; with respect to nutritional advice.

Dr Terry Wahls gave a historic TED speech about how a hunter-gather diet of copious greens; mushrooms; onions; and colourful phytochemical vegetables and fruits; cured her of the incurable multiple sclerosis.

It was her United States processed food diet that presumably led to her tragic Western illness; a much rarer illness in the so-called poorer nations. She was a cross country skier and a taekwondo champion.

I have omitted her recommendations for eating kidneys; livers; and fish high in Omega 3 & 6; because you can source these nutrients from the Plantae group of life; which have a much lower ecological footprint than farmed animals (more biomass can be harnessed as nutrients with less water and resources; than from farmed cholesterol producing animals).

The vegan lifestyle has the lowest ecological footprint; and the greatest health benefits; Carl Lewis; the five-times Gold Medalist; was and still is; a super-healthy vegan.

Your recommendations for sugary treats; are setting children along the wrong path; with respect to future nutritional hygiene; and importing sugar cane (or any food item for that matter) is wasting time; effort and resources; with respect to our common ecological footprint responsibilities.

The current carrying capacity of Mother Earth; is currently 2.1 global hectares per person.

The United Kingdom average is 4.89; USA is 8.00; UAE is 10.64 (the greediest population); with Cuba tallying in at a gracious and sustainable 1.85.

We should be growing nutritionally dense vegan food in this temperate latitude; within the Commonwealth of this country; in order to achieve domestic and local food security; in the same way that the Permaculturists; Australia and New Zealand; helped Cuba become nutritionally independent; from the rest of the World.

We sourced nutrition domestically before the avaricious colonisation of the World.

We should recede the vines of exploitation; and return to our God-Given soil; with more space-time for our communities to enjoy the lush cornucopia of our Commonwealth Natural Habitat: in the Sunlight.

Yours sincerely,
David Robert Kirkby.