miss_s_b: (Mood: Vyvyan Twos Up)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I wasn't going to blog about this, because "man wants to generate publicity for his TV programme" is not news, but honestly, the naked bigotry on display by Jamie Oliver today takes some beating. So I'm going to go through a few of his "points" and try to explain why he needs to pull his head out of his arse.

Why can poor people afford big TVs but not good food?

A TV is something you purchase once. Food is something you purchase every day. Perhaps the people with the big telly had a reasonable income until recently, maybe someone lost their job IN THE BLOODY RECESSION, or has had to take an hours and/or pay cut? But even if the people with the big telly have ALWAYS been poor, it's still explicable: when you're poor, you do tend to get the odd occasional windfall - maybe someone close to you dies, or you get a bulk payment after a benefit cock-up, or something similar - and when you get an occasional windfall, you NEVER save it. Money is a transient thing, and if you don't spend it, someone will take it away. It'll slip down the endless chute of debts and gas bills and council tax. So when you get a big windfall you buy something big, so you have something to show for it. Otherwise the money just disappears and it's like you never had it.

So you'll scrimp and save every penny every day to make the food budget go further, but if you get a big windfall you'll spend it on a nice telly because a nice telly will last, and keep you entertained for years. Whereas splitting the money so you have an extra tenner a week to spend on food for the next year doesn't feel like a big difference to your life.

Why do poor people spend money on ready meals at the supermarket, and not fresh food at the farmer's market?
  1. Fresh food goes off quickly. If you can only go shopping once a week, or once a fortnight, and you're buying all the special offers and reduced stuff to stretch that budget further, something that might go off before you can use it is a luxury

  2. Some of us don't have cars and have to use the shop nearest to us. Being able to drive out to the farm shop is a luxury.

  3. Certain TV chefs have taken millions of pounds from certain supermarkets for FUCKING YEARS to persuade people to shop at said supermarket. When that TV chef then turns round and says "I know I've been saying in public for years (and for money) that you should shop at the supermarket, but honestly, if you believe that, you're stupid" that's just a big slap in the face.

  4. Cooking is a skill that takes time and energy to learn. Cooking STILL takes time and energy to do once you have learned the skill. If you're working all the hours god sends just to keep a roof over your head (and these days, even being unemployed means working full-time just to not lose your benefit) you often don't have the emotional or physical energy to cook, and that's before you even take into account that many people have never learned to cook either from their parents or from school.

  5. Maths is a skill. Working out that ready meals often work out more expensive than home-cooked takes maths
Those are just a few reasons off the top of my head.

Why does it matter if Jamie Oliver buys in to Daily Fail-style poor bashing?

Sadly, it matters because people listen to the mockney git. If he was pressing for cookery lessons in schools, like he pressed for better school dinners, this might be forgivable. But he's not. He's after viewers for his new TV show, about how to cook on a budget. If you want to ACTUALLY know how to cook on a budget, when you don't have a car to get to the Farm Shop and you only have a Sainsbury's (oh the irony) within walking distance, and you feel guilty and bad because of the shame of poverty perpetuated by tedious wankstains like Jamie Oliver, look to Jack Monroe, who has actually LIVED IT, not some mockney celebrity chef who is trying to further shame and exploit you.

ETA: Jack has now blogged on this herself, well worth reading: http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/08/27/save-with-jamie-get-rid-of-the-massive-fing-tv-and-shop-at-markets-instead/

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 11:41 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
Totally appropriate icon!

or you get a bulk payment after a benefit cock-up, or something similar

This is how I bought my rail concession card one year when I was sick and on benefits!

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
londonkds: (BLOOD AND TITTIES FOR LORD CHIBNALL!!! ()
From: [personal profile] londonkds
It really was incredibly disappointing given the intelligence things he's said in the past.

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 11:54 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
He's been bashing poor (and especially fat and poor) people for a few years now. This isn't new, just taken to a freshly unpleasant level.

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
gominokouhai: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gominokouhai
When?

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 12:07 pm (UTC)
gominokouhai: (Khaaan!)
From: [personal profile] gominokouhai
Oh god I hate him. Hate hate hate I hate him so much. You could caramelize a creme brulee with the heat from the force of my rage.

> Food is something you purchase every day

A fact which has escaped the mockney fucker, since he's whinging now about how poor people loooove their supermarkets so much because they spend so much money there. YES BECAUSE WE NEED TO EAT FOOD you cretin.

This stupid bullshit about "how dare people own TVs" comes from the same rotten, morally bankrupt source as Osborne and IDS's claim that you can determine the social worth of your neighbours by noting the position of their curtains at different times of the day. It is perverse and repugnant and must be stamped out.

> When that TV chef then turns round and says [...] big slap in the face

I had three promoted twits in my timeline by 11am today from The Sun, pimping the fat-tongued tosser's recipe cards. I don't know what's worse. The mockney cloaca decrying poor people while taking his shilling from their organ of choice, or the content-free gigglesheet thinking anybody gives a fuck about Jamie fucking Oliver. Aaaargh.

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From: [personal profile] gominokouhai - Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 02:01 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
hollymath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
He should be lucky some poor people have nice tellies or they wouldn't be able to watch his patronizing, lecturing show.

"Cooking on a budget" is never what people who aren't on such a budget think it's like, anyway. Is he going to show you how to hide the fact that the food's gone off a little bit? Is he going to talk about how much use-by dates can be ignored? About what you can make out of stale cornflakes and a basically empty jar of Marmite?

I bet he won't talk about food deserts or dietary restrictions or sensory issues (Andrew's always telling me he'd rather eat vegetables than processed meat, ready meals and fast food, but his digestive system dictates otherwise) or how harmful this kind of "foods are good or bad" stuff is to people with eating disorders...or indeed the rest of us who have our food choices judged and policed.
Edited Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 12:11 pm (UTC)

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
Excellent post.

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Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 12:16 pm (UTC)
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplecat
I'm not even 100% convinced that ready meals* are cheaper than fresh ingredients (let alone fresh ingredients from farmer's markets) because PRICE OF FRESH INGREDIENTS!!!! It breaks my heart a little that Jack Monroe spends so much time eating tinned and/or frozen vegetables but no one can claim she's doing so because she can't figure out it would be cheaper to buy fresh ingredients.

*I mean, obviously not fancy chef-promoted ready meals, but the bread-and-butter of packet noodles, tinned soup, baked beans and pasta sauce inna jar.

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 12:33 pm (UTC)
gominokouhai: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gominokouhai
> because PRICE OF FRESH INGREDIENTS!

Jamie's all, "it's so much cheaper if you just take your landrover down to the farmer's market and negotiate a bulk discount because you own fifteen restaurants". Hatehatehate.

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Date: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 03:27 pm (UTC)
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
Living where I do there are lots of "ethnic" greengrocers of the "kilo of slightly wonky peppers for what Sainsbury's will charge you for one" variety. They don't really exist where I grew up however, and your only option is the supermarkets. So in some places fresh fruit and veg is no problem to get hold of, (its knowing what to do with it that's the hard part). But for people anywhere else? They're basically screwed.

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Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (pissed off)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
Not to mention how huge of an outlay it if to equip yourself with a usable kitchen. Hey Jamie Oliver, your 'eating on a budget' show better only use one oven/stove, no electronic or specialized equipment, and require two square feet worth of counter surface.

Oh, and nothing that needs to be kept in a freezer, because that space has to be economized.

Try comparing the cost of a kitchen to the cost of a big screen TV, why don't you?
Edited Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 12:47 pm (UTC)

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Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
uninvitedcat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] uninvitedcat
I think it was you who first flagged up that Brighthouse only does flat screen TV, and a quick look at their website shows some pretty big TVs available.

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Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 07:10 pm (UTC)
blazingskies: (Hate)
From: [personal profile] blazingskies
I also notice that he fails to take into account that fact that electronic luxuries can be given as presents (such as wedding presents etc), bought ludicrously cheap off ebay or from similar second-hand sources. Mine was. Less than £200 for my 45" HD TV.

I don't consider myself 'poor', really, but I still can only rarely buy fresh food, since its incredibly expensive and doesn't keep, and tends to come in amounts that means it's hard for just me and my husband to get through it all before it goes off - and wasted food is wasted money.

I also have to laugh about all the recipes he has involving stale bread. I haven't seen a stale store-bought loaf since I was a small child - it goes mouldy instead.

Basically, Oliver can, in fact, fuck right off and die in a bin.

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Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 07:30 pm (UTC)
missdiane: (Janeway is queen)
From: [personal profile] missdiane
I had big intentions this year of going to the Farmers Markets and getting nice fresh fare and everything but it seems lately that they're becoming entirely too bullshit "gourmet" and expensive - at least around here. I'm crossing my fingers that the one that starts actually ON our college campus - the ag campus, even - is decently priced enough for me to bother.

I'm one person (not counting my kitties that no, don't get fed an all raw/organic diet) and most of the time even for one it's not cost effective to try to buy fresh stuff at the farmers markets that are around one day a week. Things go bad too quickly and in my one bedroom apartment, I don't exactly have the freezer room for making big batches of whatever. What I save that room for in the freezer is for some relatively healthy convenience meals that actually work out considerably cheaper than trying to buy all of the ingredients and make it from scratch.

I was kind of in support of Jamie Oliver's trying to improve school food but since he doesn't get as much press here, I didn't know quite the level of a blind jackass that he is.

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Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
veganhothead: (Emma shocked)
From: [personal profile] veganhothead
Ugh, I never did like that guy. I like your icon, though.

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
king_touchy: Samantha Bee asks "Why?" (why?)
From: [personal profile] king_touchy
Surfed in via my reading circle. Excellent post, and something I hadn't considered -- not the challenges of eating on a budget, eating well, all that stuff, because I do consider that -- but how it relates to Jamie Oliver. Wow, I hadn't paid attention to him in years; what disappointing behavior! And yeah, I HATE HATE HATE asshats who dish out the judgment on people living in poverty, on welfare. My mother receives benefits and it kills me when she, as part of the demographic, is accused of laziness, taking advantage, living high on other people's taxes, all that crap. Which is less on topic here, but damn.

Yes, well said, and we have a couple fandoms in common. I subscribed to your journal.

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC)
lizbee: (B5: Delenn & Neroon)
From: [personal profile] lizbee
God, yes. My mum's on a disability pension, and she can only afford nice fruit and veg since my sister ... started working in a fruit and veg store.

Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
You know, I've got enough money now, but I remember what it was like being poor.
I remember needing to borrow a tenner so I could get the bus to work for the next week, but I had to get into town to borrow that tenner, and getting caught bunking on the tram, because I didn't have the money to pay for a ticket, because I needed to borrow a tenner. And then not having the money to pay the on-the-spot ten pound fine, and then still not having the money to pay the *twenty* quid fine, because I still had no money. And then bailiffs coming after me, that twenty quid having gone up to four hundred quid with bailiff charges, and having to take out a payday loan in order to pay that four hundred quid off, and then having to take a second job, working nights, in order to pay off the payday loan (and in the time between those two jobs doing some freelance work, because this was when I was trying to get stuff together to get married).

The odd thing is that when I was sat in my one-room mouse-infested flat with floorboards that had literally rotted away, trying to write computer code for a freelance client in between working an eight-hour minimum-wage shift at a clerical job and working another eight-hour minimum-wage shift as a nursing assistant, I *wasn't* thinking "You know, I really shouldn't have spent the last two weeks living solely off those packets of past-their-sell-by-date Sugar Puffs the corner shop was selling for twenty pence each, it's not good for me. I should definitely stop doing my third job, that way I would have enough time to travel the three miles to the nearest organic grocers and buy some mange touts, whatever the fuck those are, and have a healthy nutritious dinner", but more "actually, I don't really *need* to pour milk on those stale Sugar Puffs, do I? If I eat them dry I can have milk in my coffee tomorrow morning"...

I don't think anyone should be allowed to have an opinion on what poor people should eat unless they've had at least one day of their lives when their dinner has been a packet of custard cream biscuits, because that was all they could buy with the 15p they managed to find by moving their bed and looking under it.

Even then, they shouldn't *actually state their opinions in public*, because what business of theirs is it what anyone else chooses to eat? But at least the opinions they're keeping to themselves like a decent person would be *informed* ones...

Date: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 11:30 am (UTC)
naath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naath
Ugh, that's so obnoxious (him, not you)

He could give actual helpful advice; except of course he really can't, because I doubt he's ever been in that position. If only Jack could have such a high profile TV show, her advice would be much better and less preachy shit.

I also have thoughts about TVs; they mostly revolve around "but aren't all TVs flat screen these days"? and "maybe there are lot of Last Year's Shiny TVs second-hand" (there are with phones, computers, and other gadgets - a reasonable chunk of people with money to spend on such things choose to spend it forever chasing the latest New! Shiny!).

Oh, and we have a market, it's pretty good and competitively priced and everything; but it's open really annoying hours if you work (and I work a 9-5 job 5mins walk from said market... presumably if you work all the hours you can find it's all that much harder to get to). I'm super lucky in that I don't need a car to do things like "go to the shop", housing costs in this city are Sky High - if I had to live somewhere cheap then... yeah, that'd be miles and miles and miles from the nearest useful anything.
(here via andrew ducker)
Edited Date: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 11:35 am (UTC)

Date: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
dalglir: Default (Default)
From: [personal profile] dalglir
Wonderful. On the nail.

Date: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 03:18 pm (UTC)
akicif: Slightly 'shopped stonehenge pic, summer solstice 2001 (Default)
From: [personal profile] akicif
See also the Vimes' Boots effect: someone elsenet suggested that it was cheaper to make good healthy home made pizza than to eat cheap supermarket ones. They kindly priced it all out, too.

So:
...You may very well be able to make a great many pizzas for less than 50p a pizza, but 39p per pizza (from your own numbers) only works if you can afford to buy enough groceries at a time to make 64 pizzas (and don’t mind going a little short on olive oil for the last half dozen – but by that stage any variety at all is probably an improvement – if you can taste anything through the metallic tang of week-old tinned tomatoes).

Yes, if you make 64 pizzas you can do them for £25, rather than the £64 you’d need to buy the supermarket stuff – BUT you’d need the £25 all at once, and oddly enough, that can be all but impossible.

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