There has been a lot of back and forth over the internet today after Jamie Oliver’s comments about budget and austerity cooking. It’s kicked up quite a storm of controversy around modern cooking, family life, budgets, the economy and whether people live in real ‘food poverty’. I have watched quite a few documentaries this year on food poverty in modern Britain and I can say, Food Poverty exists in Britain today. I know and have known people who live on next to nothing or nothing. In the last few years of her life my Grandmother was continually on the breadline and her and my brother were always up against it financially, though he often worked over 60 hours a week. He also had friends who lived on just about nothing.
My gran had taught us both how to cook and his friends who lived on a low income luckily also knew how to cook from scratch. There have been times when I have had very little spare money but I ate okay as I knew how to do it on a budget. Whilst there are people who genuinely don’t have even nearly enough, and that number is on the rise if you look at how many people are using food banks which have sprung up across the country over the last couple of years. There are also people who have enough money to buy and cook healthy food from scratch but choose ready made food as it easier to do, people who might have little knowledge of cooking themselves and are sorely in need of a little bit of food education.
Cooking a meal from scratch can seem daunting if you don’t know how and I do bemoan the fact that today so many people don’t know even the very basics of cooking, people who left in a kitchen full of food would starve for want of just a few simple cooking classes. There are people who seem genuinely surprised that me an Hana cook from scratch just about every evening, and I find that surprising. I always grew up in a home where my Gran and Grandad cooked every evening when they came home from work. There was never a word of complaint about being too tired or their not being enough time, it was just what you did.
I am lucky enough that I don’t have to worry about having enough food; I say lucky but I believe everyone should be in that position. I have seen quite a few documentaries this year and read a lot of articles on budget living and I have decided to set myself a challenge. Though I am lucky enough I don’t have to do this, next week I am going to try and do all our cooking, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on a budget of £20. I know this is far higher than a lot of people have as a budget for two people but I think this is still a bit of a challenge.
So next week I will be blogging from Monday to Sunday as I find out just a little of the reality of living and cooking on a budget.