Poverty is only a part of the school lunch problem by David Penberthy is a good read, which throws together a lot of issues around nutrition, education, consumerism, income and welfare. However, its conclusions aren’t supported by the research it refers to - Not enough to eat, our national study into food insecurity among people seeking Emergency Relief.

$5 a week for lunch is a laughable figure. Photo: Jeff Darmanin

Most of the people we spoke to – especially parents – know what good food is and how to cook it. For many of them it’s when a big bill comes in or the rent gets jacked up, or the car needs repairing, that food becomes their only discretionary item, and it runs out.

Without a doubt lack of income is the key problem these people face. And it’s very hard to get past this to tackle the next set of problems and issues affecting their health, wellbeing or employment.

It’s also worth pointing out that food insecurity is more severe for people who don’t have a working fridge or stove, who are a long way from shops, or who don’t have transport.  Social and family obligations can also put an inordinate strain on parents feeding their families, and that doesn’t mean they are indolent or selfish.

And while suggesting that not having enough to eat is the consequence of people choosing to spend up on a carton of cigarettes is an easy line, research we commissioned from NATSEM shows that people on the lowest incomes spend more on essentials such as food and rent, and less on alcohol, cigarettes and other discretionary items than the rest of the population.

Mind you, for those addicted to cigarettes, it is expensive. The NSW Cancer Council working with Anglicare Sydney has found that people living on the lowest incomes want to break that addiction at least as much as the well to do. But tobacco is insidious, and to dismiss the problem in such a snide manner (“parents who would sooner stock up on a carton of Longbeach Ultra Milds than a box of cornflakes”) suggests contempt rather than insight into people’s circumstances.

I enjoyed reading Mr Penberthy’s prescription for a healthy lunch for a poor kid: a green apple (why green exactly?) and a vegemite sandwich (white bread from the servo) along with a refreshing drink from the bubbler. Leaving aside the real price of green apples and sandwiches for a week (truly more than $5), we can also be sure it’s not what everyone else will be eating. There are a few complexities about being poor in a rich country that could bear a bit of unpacking.

In Mr Penberthy’s stream of consciousness there was also quite a discussion of Australia’s generally unhealthy habits, and the growing distance most people in our consumer world are from the source of the food they eat: not recognizing potatoes in their natural form, for example. Those are good points, although the implication that this somehow makes people without enough to eat complicit in their food insecurity, and less deserving, conveniently steers us away from any broader perspective on food policy at a national or community level. And sure, some people don’t know much about cooking and suffer accordingly, but in our sample that was mostly single men.

I commend our report to those readers of the Punch who would like to go a bit deeper. One of the essays talks with mothers doing it tough who take food in their families very seriously. Among their many challenges they highlight is the added task of getting their children to eat what they can provide, in the face of a fairly universal view that everyone picks and chooses what they want to eat these days. Another essay looks precisely at the links between food production, community strength and wellbeing, while the people surveyed themselves talk about never inviting friends home nor sending kids to events because of not having a biscuit or being able to take a plate.

While it is obviously easy to simply blame the poor for choosing to not eat well, our research pointed to income, access to good food and living conditions as the drivers. The underlying purpose of income support and welfare is to give everyone a chance to participate in (and make a contribution) to our society, but not having enough to eat robs you of that chance. And a part of the problem is that the consumer economics of our affluent country is steering us all away from cheap and healthy food, which just adds to this exclusion.

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    • Mahhrat says:

      06:36am | 30/10/12

      I made a curry last night that could easily feed 8 people.  If you ignore the cost of the pots, pans and power, the ingredients themselves were about $14:

      Rice - It’s $4 a packet, but I only used 2 cups out of the packet.
      Onion - We get them for $3 a kilo, usually 8 onions, so 40c?
      Cauliflower - $2.85 for a whole one.
      Chickpeas - Two tins, $1 each.
      Coconut milk - Two tins, $1.50 or so each.
      Curry Paste - $4.

      I also used a little oil, which is expensive but at a tablespoon per big meal, it goes an awful long way.

      $2 or so a serve, and you could stretch it further if you liked.

      Thing is, that is a hell tasty, easy and nutritious meal that is not expensive. It can be done.  While this article makes good points, the problem isn’t just a lack of money, it’s a lack of education.  People go buy $5 worth of chips, because they literally don’t know how to throw all that mess together in a pot and call it dinner.  You can’t poke fun at that; I watch people be blown away just learning how to make things we teach our kids in Grade 8 Home Ec classes. 

      As with most things to do with poverty, it’s usually a lack of education and opportunity.  Teach better, have better methods.  There are always going to be those who fall by the wayside - some people just cannot function in society, and they need our help.  That number would be drastically reduced if we could just build better education systems.  They exist, we just don’t use them.

    • Philosopher says:

      07:59am | 30/10/12

      that’s right Mahrat, don’t bother reading the study the author refers to, which effectively refutes your pat little generalisations. Please continue to take us on a cook’s tour of Tassie.

      PS You should be using dried chickpeas, much tastier, cheaper and less salt. I know, you have to soak them… it’s worth it.

    • Gregg says:

      08:29am | 30/10/12

      I do meals like that regularly enough though I’d not be using the coconut milk and chucking in a bit of mince or maybe even use a can of tuna and some grated cheese over all.

      However, you kind of miss the point for it’s not always about education but for many the lack of income or disposable income as the article refers to.
      It is no doubt very hard for those of us with income to imagine what it is going to be like with income so little we cannot make food choices.

    • Lenny says:

      08:34am | 30/10/12

      Do you have any idea how much saturated fat there is in coconut milk?

    • Rhino says:

      08:44am | 30/10/12

      I’ve done brown rice, frozen vegies & chicken for lunch & dinner for the past 2 months. Not because it’s cheap but because of the good nutrients. Also takes 30 minutes max to have everything dished out. Want cheaper go veal! Nom nom nom

      You have got to factor in the cost of toilet paper when creating curry dishes. wink

    • PsychoHyena says:

      09:44am | 30/10/12

      @Mahhrat, I’ve lived below the poverty line, $50 to spend after rent and power, didn’t have a phone (couldn’t afford it), I was in college (to continue my education). Given the distance I was from a supermarket I had to make the choice of walking (free) or catch a taxi ($10) to get home with my groceries. Here was my daily menu:

      Breakfast: 2 weetbix with 1/2 cup of soy milk (lactose intolerance)
      Lunch: Usually a peanut butter sandwich or just straight bread.
      Tea: Pasta (1 cup).

      This was back in 2000 when a small box of weetbix was around $4; soy milk (long-life) was $3 a litre (for a fortnight this works out to be about $6); bread was $2.50 a loaf (min) so that was between $5 and $10 depending on whether the cheap loaf was available; peanut butter was $4 a tub; 1 500g pkt of pasta was $2 and would need around 4 pkts to last the fortnight so $8. This left $13 to buy cleaning, hygiene and toiletries, etc oh and cover any medicines that I may unexpectedly need ($5.60 on HCC).

      I’ve been there, done that and that’s why piece’s like Penbo’s the other day drive me nuts. They never take into account real-world application, it always seems a case of “Can’t feed your family? Here’s a bunch of ‘cheap’ and healthy recipes.” but doesn’t go into how you could spend $5+ on a meal each night AND still have money left to actually cover unexpected expenses like medicine, even worse if the medication is essential to your continued survival and functioning in the real world.

      Seriously I challenge everyone to have a look around, find the cheapest rental in your general area/city, find out the costs of obtaining foodstuffs, cleaning and hygiene products in relation to that rental, power prices and come back with a plan on how you would survive on $280 a fortnight on NewStart Allowance (back when I was on it, it was $160 a fortnight).

    • Gregg says:

      09:59am | 30/10/12

      Make sure you check those frozen veges for the missus was making a comment the other day about some frozen veges looking as though they were ex New Zealand and they were but ex New Zealand, ex China complete with use of pesticides banned in Australia.
      Yep, just packaged in New Zealand.

      Remember that cargo ship that went down over there about a year ago and all sorts of stuff being washed up as containers got all bingled, even mince meat amongst it from memory and I was thinking then, why is all that stuff going from China to New Zealand when New Zealand has a significant agricultural industry?

      The answer is likely that there could be a heap more NZ products or what we assume are NZ products that we consume and in fact are just packaged over there.
      At least the reclaimed stuff should be well salted after being in the briny!

      The same goes for here too, lots of processed/packaged stuff done in Australia of produce that originated abroad.

    • Mahhrat says:

      11:06am | 30/10/12

      @Philosopher:  The point wasn’t whether the poverty line is appropriate - it’s the poverty line because you can’t afford to live.  My point is that options are not being taken because a lot of people struggling with poverty simply don’t have the education necessary to realise they even HAVE those options.

      I work with a lot of people from low socioeconomic backgrounds.  They literally can’t cook.  They buy takeaway most nights because they think it’s cheaper, when it isn’t, but they don’t know that.

      As to surving on the line, I’ve done it myself.  I once had half a loaf of bread and some sliced cheese for a week.  That’s all I ate, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

      It was at that point that I realised I had to make some hard choices to better my health.  I realise now (though I didn’t then) that I’m lucky to have the education I needed to be able to first realise that, THEN make the changes that had to be made.

      Most people - particularly stuck in the generational poverty cycle - simply don’t have the education they need to make those changes.  Throwing more money their way is not going to help, just delay the problem.  Educating people is the best solution, and why we don’t do it is totally beyond me.

    • AdamC says:

      12:03pm | 30/10/12

      Hey, the Punch mods blocked my cheap, easy cheat’s cassoulet recipe. Fascists.

      Suffice to say, it is a great way to fill out some Toulouse sausages.

    • maria says:

      01:26pm | 30/10/12

      it’s a lack of education…..Teach better, have better methods…..

      Isn’t it the main prerequisite of any autocratic society .

      That number would be drastically reduced if we could just teach the benefits of teaching of direct democracy and we could have a better society than stay what we are the slave of our servants.

      Under a direct democracy we wouldn’t have to accept irrelevant subject to stay irrelevant.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      02:28pm | 30/10/12

      @maria, and boom you have just proven exactly why the majority reject direct democracy. Proponents of direct democracy wish to control the minority, to quote yourself “the slave of our servants”. That line in and of itself is feudalistic, tell me, who would you say are the servants? In any society I cannot see how any particular group of people are servants and another group of people are masters. Sure an employee relies upon their employer to provide them with money, however an employer relies upon their employees to provide them with goods AND money.

      Politicians rely upon the public to keep them in power, however we the people rely upon politicians to guide us through thick and thin. Hell even the “binge-drinking, tobacco smoking dole-bludgers” are an important part of society, without them there would be less alcohol and tobacco products being purchased, reducing the number of jobs required, increasing the number of people receiving benefits.

    • neo says:

      03:58pm | 30/10/12

      Just go to Costco, plenty of prepared meals there for a fraction of the price of what ingredients would have cost at Woolies. Bought a coleslaw for like $5, I would be able to get just the cabbage for that price normally.

    • Ashlea says:

      07:44am | 30/10/12

      I’ve met people who have been unable to pay their water bill, have you watched water flow out of the tap at a rate of two litres per hour? It takes a long time to fill a rice pot. Sometimes running water, electricity and having a roof over your head is more important than an apple (80c each) a day.

    • Gregg says:

      10:11am | 30/10/12

      I reckon that ought to be where initiative takes over Ashlea and you find a reasonable size clean container, preferably with a lid or several ex two litre fruit juice bottles or whatever and make a trip to the nearest available public or friendly neighbour water tap.
      Knock up a little fire place and you can cut down on electricity and then if people live near shops, there’s always getting your dumpster diving degree on Freganism and I’m sure they’ll be surprised what they can get.

      I had a bunch of goats once who were really so useful in demolishing blackberries and a whole heap of sagging and cut cypress pine branches but then a time arrived when they still had to be fed.
      I found by visiting a couple of store areas and talking to some proprietors they were happy enough for me to make use of the dumpster bins for thrown out fruit and veges etc.
      There was even plenty of stuff that was still quite good and edible by humans.

      The thing a Billy Goat got most enjoyment out of was an about 10L container of ice cream, still half full but a little soft.

    • gnome says:

      08:20am | 30/10/12

      If you were poor you’d use one 75 cent tin coconut cream, saving $2.25, and a full half Kg of onions instead of a cauliflower, saving another $1.35.  Not sure about the chickpeas, they sound awful.

      Spend the savings on something meaty- a bit of cheap lamb or beef, some chicken on special.  It doesn’t need to be very attractive to go into a curry, but it makes it edible.

    • Nick says:

      09:33am | 30/10/12

      Chick peas are one of my kids favourite foods - they literally fight over them.  Lucky for me I’m big enough to get my share.

    • sami says:

      02:27pm | 30/10/12

      Chickpeas are bloody delicious! Give them a red hot go wink
      My fave curry combo is potato, chickpea and spinach. Being vegetarian makes things a lot cheaper:

      2x tins chickpeas - $1.50
      2x tins tomatoes - $1.00
      Couple spuds (unpeeled) - 50c
      Bag of baby spinach - $3 (though there’s cheaper options like english spinach, frozen spinach, etc)
      A bit of curry powder and a stock cube - $0.25c, if that
      Couple cloves of garlic - $0.25c

      That’s about $6.50 for what normally amounts to 6 meals. If you cook if for a while and add a heap of water to it it ends up quite flavour-y and saucy and goes nicely with a bit of rice.

      I remember having to feed myself, partner (at the time), a cat and 3 med-large dogs on $60/week for a long while and it wasn’t much fun but we didn’t starve. And the ex is not vegetarian, he’s insist on meat at most meals. I learnt a lot during that time.

    • Gregg says:

      08:45am | 30/10/12

      You do make some relevant points Kasy and none less than
      ”  And a part of the problem is that the consumer economics of our affluent country is steering us all away from cheap and healthy food, which just adds to this exclusion. “
      If I go back half a century or so, I suspect our family would have been considered as hovering about the poverty line with our parents separated from when I was fairly young, mum doing what she could with likely limited financial support from my father and I can recall a lot of pumpkin variations, perhaps why I have something of an aversion to it now though a spicey pumpkin soup can be tasty enough.

      That was an era when times were certainly different, all the whizz bang computer games etc. hardly thought of and having a crystal radio set was the go and then along came transistors as they were called, the start of consumer economics you could say but there was still much enjoyment of self driven activities of may types and then selling newspapers etc. to bring in your own money to be able to save for a bicycle.

      I do not know whether it was just being more resilient or that there was not the mixing with more affluent types but as a kid it was certainly never a case of feeling poor and as much as I did not like pumpkin, I can never recall ever being hungry and porridge for breakfast and a vegemite sandwich for lunch was probably what kept me going.
      Certainly, I was really unaware of fish and chip shops until my early teens when one came into the shopping area of our suburb and I think it is easy enough for addictions to fast food to form but then also easy enough to do fast food at home when you’re a distance from shops as now.

      I try not to be too concerned with the latest whiz bang electronics and will only upgrade my stuff when it stops working and is going to be near as expensive to fix as replace and get an upmarket version, but from what I see of new releases and people queuing etc., it certainly seems that there are plenty of people with consumer addiction and not just for alcohol or other drugs etc.

    • nihonin says:

      09:09am | 30/10/12

      Still, no matter what we as a society try to do to assist, most poverty stricken families will stick with the Macca’s diet.  It’s not just smokes, grog and gambling that reduce the money available in the family ‘kitty’.

    • Anna C says:

      10:19am | 30/10/12

      I agree nihonin, if people refuse to help themselves there is not much more that we can do for them.  People have to take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming everyone else.

    • Rose says:

      05:14pm | 30/10/12

      Neither of you read the article or the study did you? You continue on with your blinkered view regardless of the facts put out there for you to see.

      Here’s a tip though, remember the next time you see a family in crisis, remember it’s easy to see the symptoms and the outcome, but underneath the external presentation is a story you couldn’t possibly understand on sight.  Everyone can see the problem, few care enough to look for a real solution, most just use what they see to reinforce long held prejudices rather than looking past the ‘obvious’!!

    • nihonin says:

      05:47pm | 30/10/12

      Aww Rose, can’t you try and slap a little harder, or is your high horse just a little too high.

    • Anna C says:

      09:16am | 30/10/12

      I think a lot of people just have their priorities wrong.  When I worked at Centrelink I saw many people come in asking for referrals to charities for food parcels but these same people didn’t seem to have any problem paying for their cigarettes and alcohol.  Of course you can blame some of it on their addiction but people have to take some responsibility for their life choices.  Give up the booze and fags and learn how to cook from scratch.

    • Ally says:

      10:21am | 30/10/12

      Sometimes it’s not that they’re putting cigarettes and alcohol above food, but that they’re putting crap food ahead of proper food. I worked in a supermarket and every fortnight you’d get people coming through with trollies full of coke, chips and frozen meals. No fresh food.

    • AdamC says:

      09:56am | 30/10/12

      “I enjoyed reading Mr Penberthy’s prescription for a healthy lunch for a poor kid: a green apple (why green exactly?)”

      Er, because green apples are better for you than red ones. Even I know that and I still cook with butter and stuff. Maybe health education really is the problem.

      Aside from that, I would have to read your report to comment on it. However, I find it hard to believe that poor families have decent cooking skills, given that many well-educated people with otherwise good life skills cannot cook to save themselves. Also, assuming you can cook, being unemployed would allow you to do stuff like grow some of your own herbs and vegetables, as well as preparing nice, home-cooked meals each night. In that context, food would cost very little.

    • James1 says:

      10:15am | 30/10/12

      Also green apples are cheaper usually.

      I have several problems with this article.  Last week, I did some research and found it is entirely possible to make lunches for a week for a child on $5 if you pack them a vegimite sandwich, an apple and several wafer biscuits.  Indeed, those lunches aren’t far removed from what I feed my older child when she goes to school, and she is perfectly healthy and average in almost every way.  If other kids eat something different, that is hardly a cause for a change in government welfare policies.

      Secondly, I don’t buy this idea that some kids won’t eat certain types of food.  It isn’t the kids or the food that is the problem - it is the parents.  When a kid is hungry, they will eat what you give them.  If they won’t eat it, they aren’t hungry and the parent simply needs to wait until they are hungry.  This might mean putting them to bed without food one night, but by the next day they will be ready to eat what they are told to eat.  Kids are only fussy when the parent allows them to be fussy.

      Overall, none of what the article outlines is a reason for welfare to be increased.  If some people are struggling on Newstart, instead of seeking to increase Newstart, those individuals that struggle should seek to get off Newstart.  If an individual on welfare can access the exact same luxuries and comforts for their family as a person who works, then any incentive to actually improve their lot in life is removed, and the burden on the productive elements of society is increased and entrenched. 

      The report identifies some real problems.  However, the answer is not to throw more money at it, it is to encourage these people to find work and live like the rest of us.  Personal responsibility should be considered the key.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      10:56am | 30/10/12

      @James1, one flaw with your plan re: getting kids to eat. If they then go to school and state that you didn’t feed them, you have children’s services sticking their nose in and I quote ‘You have a responsibility to ensure they are fed, if they don’t eat what you give them you must find something they will eat.’

      Tell me James1 though, if you were near death from starvation, would you eat a pile of droppings (if that was all that was available)? Extreme example I know, but it goes to showing that there are some things people will refuse to eat regardless of how hungry they are.

    • AdamC says:

      12:12pm | 30/10/12

      James1, I broadly agree. However, my sense of middle class guilt compels me to stress that I do not think the rate of Newstart should intentionally immiserate welfare recipients. Maybe an alternative would be to change the method of Newstart indexation from CPI to average wages, like they did with the pension. That will set the relativity and work incentives about where they are now.

      Of course, they should only do that once the budget is in better shape. Governments raising the dole at a time of persistent deficit is akin to a board of directors voting themselves a pay increase when their company is insolvent.

      PsychoHyena, I doubt James1 was advocating feeding children excrement. I suspect he was thinking more about cauliflower and stuff.

      (I actually do a baked cauliflower, which adults like. I would have thought you could get kids to eat it by service it with a gooey cheese sauce or as part of a macaroni cheese dish. No need to thank me, PsychoHyena.)

    • marley says:

      12:16pm | 30/10/12

      @Psychohyena - I’d have said that the “eat what’s put in front of you” ethos should be well ingrained in kids by the time they actually start school.  My own folks didn’t have the money to waste on throwing out perfectly good food, or trying to satisfy kids’ finicky eating habits.  I still recall refusing to eat porridge for breakfast one morning, and getting it cold for dinner that night.  I ate it, and I never refused to eat porridge again, I can tell you.  Tough love, maybe, but it was an important message.  More kids today need to learn it.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      12:59pm | 30/10/12

      @marley, I went through the same thing myself as a kid, but with how things stand when I took the same approach with my kids, I had Children’s Services asking why I hadn’t ensured they were eating 3 meals a day and my explanation of “they refused to eat what they were given” wasn’t good enough and I got hit with a warning.

      Even in recent times, where my two older kids are making their lunches for school (12yo and 10yo), if they forget we have the school breathing down our necks asking why they didn’t take lunch on any particular day.

      So really the system wants us to teach kids self-sufficiency while also doing everything for them and this is where parents are getting stuck.

    • PJ says:

      11:18am | 30/10/12

      The international price parity index shows Australians pay $65 dollars more for the same basket of goods available to US shoppers.

      We are in the top 3 most expensive places to live.

      So manufacturers, growers and suppliers carbon taxes was a welcome addition to our cost of living.

      SA reported a 35% increase in the number of families being cut off from electricity supply because they could no longer pay the bills.

      Slowly we are all to giving up things we previously enjoyed and apparently up to 65% of us are worried about losing our jobs in the Gillard Governments two speed economy.

      You can imagine my exasperation, when after waiting 5 years for the Labor Party to share the Mining Boom, they bring in a tax that collects nothing, at a time when the mining boom is off to Africa. What clowns!

    • TheRealDave says:

      11:27am | 30/10/12

      All i hear is waaa waa waaa….I don’t want to give my kids a vegemite sandwich for lunch I want to give them King Prawn bloody felafels…if you’d like to provide higher cost and socially awesome foods then get a bloody job to pay for them, like the rest of us do. The taxpayers of Australia aren’t here to provide you with a 5 star dining experince every day.

      There is a major difference between not being able to afford to feed yourself or your family and not being able to afford the luxury foods you want. Contrary to popular belief they are not actually the same. Plenty of gainfully employed people are eating cheap meals each night while paying off mortgages and other living expenses. Put the coke and chips away, put the ice cream away and other unecessary crap and buy the staples you need.

      Maybe as part of being on the dole or Newstart there should be mandantory ‘Life Education’ classes which teaches people about basic nutrition, budgeting, shopping to a budget, paying your bills etc

    • ?? says:

      11:42am | 30/10/12

      There is no such thing as poverty in Australia. I’m from a country that gives you nothing from the government and most people who are in dire straits, beg in the street.

    • Nick says:

      12:11pm | 30/10/12

      I’m sorry but I think that’s wrong - at its most simplistic it’s a bit like saying my broken finger doesn’t hurt because someone else has a worse injury.  It also fails to recognise that a society can set what it considers to be a minimally acceptable standard of living for its members, and define a standard of living below that as poverty.

    • ruru says:

      12:30pm | 30/10/12

      A recent study found 70% of men and more than 50% of women in Aus are overweight or obese.
      Bad eating habits are not solely a poor persons problem.
      I think mollycoddled kids who have not been shown how to peel a spud let alone make a curry are on the rise. It’s like we have become slaves to instant gratification in all aspects of our lives and can’t be bothered to put any effort into food preparation
      A glaring exam for me - I grow my own veggies and when in season I harvest the fruit from our trees.
      I have invited neighbours, who have kids and are on a low income, to help themselves to the fruit, but they can’t be bothered. They will however, gladly accept veggies and fruit I have picked and bagged.
      When I suggested they grow their own veggies they rolled their eyes and said it was easier to buy stuff from the shops.
      It’s scandalous for a rich country with an obesity problem to have our poor people falling through the cracks.

    • SAm says:

      01:23pm | 30/10/12

      Its easy, ‘unhealthy’ food (and I use that term loosely) is far cheaper than ‘healthy’ food.
      Add to the fact that just about everything these days is ‘premium’, or ‘gourmet’, just getting the basics at a reasonable cost is becoming harder and harder.
      Thank god for Aldis

    • reneel says:

      02:48pm | 30/10/12

      This morning I went into my supermarket, Broccoli was $4.98/kg and a box of Cheezels were $1.
      It wasn’t that long ago that a punnet of strawberries were over $7, but chips and chocolate snacks are 3 packs for $2.
      Sadly the cost of fresh produce is ridiculous compared to cheap snacks and crap food, and unfortunately if someone walks in with only $5, its a bit hard to see value AND nutrition.
      It just makes me extremely grateful that we can afford to choose the vegies and fruit for our family, and be able to whip up a meal, when so many can’t.

    • tez says:

      02:57pm | 30/10/12

      This may sound corny but the basic Home Economics that my high school taught in the 60’s was very usefull This was in Darlinghurst so there were not any rich kids there then.

    • Bitten says:

      04:51pm | 30/10/12

      If anti-poverty advocates in Australia were more open and honest about what they arbitrarily determine to be ‘living in poverty’, I’d be more prepared to give a sh*t about what they have to say about why it’s never the consequence of a person’s actions that they wind up short of cash every week. Until they openly draw attention to the fact that their measure of poverty in this wealthy developed nation is a bloody rich one, I’m not all that interested.


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From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



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