Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What a WASTE

It's not often I rant and rave about something on this here blog. In fact, I'm not sure I ever have... Perhaps someone who's familiar with my archives could check?

Can you guess that this post will be me ranting and raving about something? Well? CAN YOU? Obviously you can cus I've gots me some smart readers, eh? This post will be about food and about oil.

OT; don't worry, there'll be bird pics at the end of this.

I'm sure everyone is aware of the global food crisis that's going on. Is it because there's not enough? Well... not really... YET... Yes there are some regions where there is an actual food shortage, but most regions and countries with food crisises have more to do with the fact that food staples are sky-rocketing in price.

Why are basic foods getting really expensive? A lot has to do with high oil prices which in turn sends shockwaves throughout every food distribution network worldwide, countrywide, statewide, citywide, etc (anyone who's been in any facet of the transportation business will verify this). It's also estimated that about 25% of the high price problem has to do with biofuels. There's plenty of sites out there where you can verify all this, BTW. Commodity speculation also accounts for a slice of it. Developing countries wanting (demanding) a US lifestyle when there are ten times as many of them as there are US'ns has a heckuva lot to do with it too. Corporate induced supply shortages are also said to be blamed.

So, it's a variety of factors. Add em all up and you've got really high food prices.

What does this mean to you? Well, if you're a blogger that means you won't starve, but you'll be paying a lot more for food. But don't worry, YOU can afford it.

If you don't have internet and broadband access, then that probably means you don't have much spare money, or time. Everything you do is just to make ends meet. If you live in a "first world" country you won't starve, but you'll definitely not be eating out very often and you might have to learn how to cook. But if you are in a second or third world country and 75% of your family budget is for food which you prepare yourself... well, let's just say that hard times are ahead.

BTW, I've always told the household not to make us rich cus I'll give it all away. I'd really like to sponsor a soup kitchen or something like that down here and I give loads to various charities. Oh yeah, rich celebrities making headlines by doing miniscule work for the poor and the beaten down make me want to puke; hope you feel good about yourselves while hanging out in your mansions!

So is this going anywhere and what about the oil?

Yes, it's going somewhere and here's about the oil. Now, I could easily rant and rave about the SUV's and gasguzzling habits (and cars) of many drivers. I could also offer tips on saving energy and walking or biking to places. Public transport, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. But I'm not going to. Why not? Cus you've heard it all before and if you aren't already fairly energy conscious by now then I'm sure as heck not gonna change your mind.

But what about the price of oil... Obviously everyone is aware of oil company profits so there's no need to beat that dead horse. And we also know that various kings and royal families in the Middle East are getting richer. But does it really sink in just how rich they are getting? Does the extra 500 billion dollars a year one monarch is getting really mean anything? How can you relate to numbers like that? Well, here's how...

3 weeks ago the local paper ran a story about a chef who has just returned to Adelaide. He was the Head Chef for the King of Bahrain Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa Abdullah for 3 and a half years. The chef had servants attending his every need, drove a porsche, and lived in a fine home. All provided for him. Cool so far, no worries, perks of the job. He oversaw a kitchen staff of 550 people. Yes, that's a kitchen staff of 550 people for the King's Palace. Now, the King would host various foreign dignitaries and diplomats (all probably kissing his ass so he keeps the oil flowing, ahem) so I can understand having extravagant functions and feasts. Again, no worries... but some grumbling.

The chef would travel with the King on his private jet with hundreds if not thousands of bodyguards (hmmmmm, do you think the peasants might not like him?????). He made sure the King had every gastronomical experience he could desire. Ok, no worries, that's his job... right?

Here's the kicker: This is a quote directly from the article!

"We would prepare up to 14 tonnes of food for a guest list of maybe 10 people. The fact that most of it was going in the bin wasn't a consideration."

WHOA!!!! Read that again! Go on, scroll up and read that quote again!

Firstly, "bin" is aussie for TRASH BIN. As in thrown away. Recycle? What's that?

Nextly, a tonne is a metric ton which is 1000 kilos, or 2,205 pounds. That's 30,870 pounds of food that was delivered and prepared for a feast to feed 10 people.

Folks, this is seriously WRONG!!!! Do I need to explain how WRONG this is? No, I didn't think so.

Don't believe me? Well, read the whole story RIGHT HERE.

Just think about this next time you fill your SUV.

And now to get back to the regularly scheduled programme of bird pics:

Even cockatoos like to watch the sunrise

"Ahhhhh, pretty... Now gimme some sunflower seeds before I rip your thumbs off!"

For you dirty minded folk:

"Ahhhhhhhhh... faster baby, faster."

"Ok, that's fast enough."

Notice how I got the horizon line to be perfectly angled at 8 degrees off true? Pretty difficult.


Deirdre Helfferich said...

I would call waste like that the very definition of "obscene."

Mel Keegan said...

The situation is less disgusting than frightening ... but not by much. Makes you want to DO SOMETHING about it, but for the life of me, I can't think what could be done. Public awareness is a good place to start, but how do you get it through the dense skull of the mega-rich on the Persian Gulf that people are starving right on their doorstep?! They have to know that people are starving outside the gate; the real problem is, they don't care. Now, what the [expletive deleted] can you do about that???

Mon said...

i dont understand how people afford to live nowadays its disgusting!

Letty Cruz said...

Yes, when I got to that part -- about trashing those tons of food made so 10 grossly pampered people can pick and choose from -- I felt the nausea I usually feel driving winding roads.

Beautiful birds btw :)

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

deirdre: yup "obscene" pretty much covers it.

mel: I think the only way to get it through to them is to stop buying their oil!

mon: yeah, it can be pretty darned rough especially when crap like this happens regularly (but not reported).

letty: I felt not only the bile rising in my throat too, but some really pissed-off anger. I actually reread the article several times to make sure I wasn't misreading it. Glad you like the bird pics :)

Everyone else: I've got 25 or so regular readers of this wee little blog. I'm very surprised that this post didn't elicit more of a reaction from y'all. BTW, that's elicit, not illicit; different word, different meaning.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

I was expecting a large amount of letters to the editor in the next paper about this disgusting waste. Nope, not a single one. Two weeks went by and not a single letter about this article. That's why I decided to put it in my blog so y'all could see where the oil dollars are going and what they are going for.

I guess the chef in question just felt like he was being paid and the job padded his resume; so what if poor people starve.

Seems to be the attitude lately: I've got mine, so others can go f*ck-off.


But I'm happy that at least 4 of you are outraged :)