One of the nominees for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars is Les Miserables, based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo. It tells the story of a poor man whose life is ruined because he dared to steal bread to feed his family.
It’s fascinating to follow the evolution of this basic food and how it has been valued over the decades, especially here in what many still regard as the breadbasket of much of the world.
The late Ken Thompson, a British Lord whose son is now co-owner of the Winnipeg Jets, was famous for buying day old bread because it was marked down. As a youngster who was always hungry, my mother’s advice ? .. “There’s always bread”.
More and more people don’t eat bread at all because they’re worried about ‘carbs’, or they pay a premium for bread that’s gluten free. New research in Britain suggests that more than a third of all the food that is put up for sale in grocery stores is now wasted, and bread is one of the most ‘disposable’ of all the foods we eat.
Most of what is tossed, without being eaten is commercial white bread which is past the date on the package. Research suggests it can safely last at least twice as long without any problems.
The more expensive the bread, the less likely we are to throw it away. When it comes to food, Canadians continue to enjoy groceries that are among the most affordable and abundant in the world.
At the same time, food banks are feeding more and more people as the cost of housing eats away at the food budget. So many contradictions.
I’m Roger Currie
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