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Poor People Can't Cook!!!!

(131 Posts)
HeeHiles Tue 09-Dec-14 12:00:12

Baroness Jenkin

AIBU to be getting fucking sick of this demonising of poor people? I'm not rich, wouldn't put myself in a poor bracket, but I can cook.......Is it OK for me to say 'Rich can't Cook'-with their maids and servants, blimey! Can the rich dress themselves???

Plebs, Stupid cab drivers, white van man, it's all getting a bit ridiculous now isn't it?.......or is this just the Media stirring things up before an election?

Comito Tue 09-Dec-14 12:03:43

She worded it badly (which she later clarified and apologised for) but I think people are losing sight of her point in their eagerness to bash the Tories. She was saying that basic cooking skills have declined which I don't disagree with.

MellowAutumn Tue 09-Dec-14 12:05:43

It should be a lot of poor/middle-class people have not been given the skills to cook healthy meals from scratch to a budget because of the scrapping or dumbing down/undervaluing of domestic education classes in the last 0 years in school. Middleclass/richer people have the resources to deal with it lots of poorer /less educated people do not. It is all about the 'qualifications'of the statement'

HeeHiles Tue 09-Dec-14 12:08:04

Yes but 'she stupidly spoke off script' hmm

I don't believe cooking skills have declined, there are so many cookery programmes and information out there if anyone wants to learn.....my mum was a terrible cook, but we ate everyday a home cooked meal which always had baked beans! I don't know anyone who can't cook. Rich or poor!

Fallingovercliffs Tue 09-Dec-14 12:08:07

I think she said that part of the reason some families had to rely on food banks was because they had lost the ability to cook, and further elaborated by comparing a bowl of porridge which costs about 4p to a bowl of sugary cereal which costs about 25p.

I think she's making a valid point about cooking skills rapidly dying out and not being passed on to future generations. But the media are twisting the point she was trying to make and seizing on one or two badly worded sentences.

MoDhachaidh Tue 09-Dec-14 12:08:17

This comment from elsewhere is how I feel :

guardian comments

4p porridge along with a nice pricey latte I expect and some fresh juice / fruit and maybe eggs and bacon, what exactly was it that Duncan Smith had that cost the tax payers £39 for his breakfast ? Lady muck will be there with her nose in the publicly funded trough the rest of the time so in a way her 4p porridge just shows a stinginess of nature if she is happy to make do with that at home so she can fill up later and with the better champagne.
We are sailing perilously close to the Marie Antoinette solution here and we all know how that ended.
Some people are better at cooking / housekeeping / budgeting than others but if you have a quick rifle through the bank statements of the better off they often owe huge sums to credit card companies, they have the wherewithal to ride out any financial storms, they have social capital so they can go to friends for a loan or a meal, poverty can be so much more complex than income.
Personally I hope her porridge chokes her in fact I could afford 4p a head for the whole bloody government if it does and let's get rid of the lot of them and get some people in charge who are able to see the bigger picture and not the better menu.
writtenoff 9th dec 7.41am

I too, would like to hear of her choking on her alleged 4p porridge.

HappyAgainOneDay Tue 09-Dec-14 12:09:12

Yes, I think it's not just poor people who can't cook. Most of us learned from our mothers or from domestic science lessons (which included scrubbing wooden tables and cleaning outside drains at my school).

They might be poor and, as someone on TV said this morning in a discussion, some modern social flats have no space for a cooker (just for a microwave) and there's no space for pans and cooking utensils or even ingredients. Ready meals are also cheaper to cook than it is to cook fresh meat and vegetables from scratch. You have to factor in the cost of water, electricity or gas, light.

I wondered if they were poor because they waste money on smoking or drinking beer ...... Sorry.

momb Tue 09-Dec-14 12:09:45

or is this just the Media stirring things up before an election?

Yes, this.
She did say the words 'The poor can't cook' but she was actually talking about the fact that a generation has not been taught to cook and so many of them cannot take advantage of the cheapest ingredients to make good meals.

Fallingovercliffs Tue 09-Dec-14 12:09:55

HeeHiles I think most of the cookery programmes today are more 'entertainment' programmes than educational ones. An old series of Delia Smith programmes was shown on the Food Network a couple of years ago, and there was no comparison.

Littleturkish Tue 09-Dec-14 12:11:10

It was a stupid comment and didn't support what the actual report had come up with as the reason for people using food banks.

She lacks the understanding that the people using the food banks don't always have a KITCHEN to cook in. Shockingly ignorant.

SaucyJack Tue 09-Dec-14 12:11:34

I'd rather starve than eat 4p porridge. I cannot imagine how crap it tastes.

Fallingovercliffs Tue 09-Dec-14 12:11:42

"Personally I hope her porridge chokes her"

I think that says more about the writer than the Baroness.

youareallbonkers Tue 09-Dec-14 12:11:50

Ready meals are not cheaper than cooking from scratch. I think you have singlehandedly proved her point

Fallingovercliffs Tue 09-Dec-14 12:12:44

She's talking about oatmeal SaucyJack which basically tastes the same regardless of brand, and is really cheap to buy.

PanISAButterfly Tue 09-Dec-14 12:12:52

Badly worded but I'd go along with the thrust of what she was fumbling to say. Cooking from scratch is much cheaper etc but it's not something that is promoted - instead the food industry, and certainly the fast end of it, would prefer people to not cook and just consume over-priced take-away from the chilled section. FAAARRRR more profit there.

Also, see where the likes of McDonalds/KFC/Burger King look to open their 'restaurants' - usually in the lower-income areas. There's a really good reason for that, to which the Baroness was linking possibly.

stargirl1701 Tue 09-Dec-14 12:13:28

It was poorly worded, but she does have a generational point. My grandmother could provide meals for her family on a very low budget that was supplemented with wild food. My mum recalls rabbits hanging at the back door which had been shot by my grandfather. I recently read a book offering tips for the home during WW2. I do not have the skills to do some of the things were referencing. Luckily, I can cook as my parents taught me but there are many folk who can't (of any class!). Food deserts are a bigger issue, IMO though.

MorrisZapp Tue 09-Dec-14 12:13:42

I think she made a fair point, but in our present culture it only takes one ill chosen word or phrase for the media to create a shit storm and jobs to be lost.

Porridge is indeed ridiculously cheap, easy, nutritious etc and can easily be made in a microwave.

Cooking skills are being lost across the board, and this most adversely affects those on low incomes who may not be getting the best out of their budgets.

SlimJiminy Tue 09-Dec-14 12:14:05

In my experience, the decline of cooking skills has fuck all to do with being poor. Not with the people I know anyway. Plenty of better off mates buying ready meals and take-aways day in, day out. If fact, I developed BETTER cooking skills when I was struggling financially - had to be creative to make ingredients stretch further due to a tighter budget. She's a dick.

Fallingovercliffs Tue 09-Dec-14 12:14:42

"She lacks the understanding that the people using the food banks don't always have a KITCHEN to cook in."

She did say it was 'part' of the reason that 'some' families use foodbanks, so I think she realises that it's more complex than just not being able to cook.

youareallbonkers Tue 09-Dec-14 12:14:43

Porridge oats are cheap. Yet another one talking nonsense. You would not starve rather than eat it. Ever wondered why there are no fussy waters in 3rd world countries

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 09-Dec-14 12:17:37

Cooking skills are passed down from your family, or learned from a basic book (most TV shows cater to th experienced cook).

If you come from a dysfunctional, disrupted background and have poor literacy skills, how would you learn to cook?

And of course, you are also, statistically, more likely to be poor.

PanISAButterfly Tue 09-Dec-14 12:18:47

Good points Tinkly.

ShoutyMom Tue 09-Dec-14 12:19:56

Modern version of "Let'em eat cake"?

HeeHiles Tue 09-Dec-14 12:22:12

Plenty of better off mates buying ready meals and take-aways day in, day out. If fact, I developed BETTER cooking skills when I was struggling financially - had to be creative to make ingredients stretch further due to a tighter budget

I agree, I won't touch a ready meal - but the availability of take aways and ready meals make people lazy, why cook if you don't have to? But I'm self employed so some months we eat like kings, next month I'm looking at half a packet a cous cous and tin of tomatoes thinking 'what can i rustle up with this?'

And yes, I lived in a studio with no cooker, just a hob and a microwave, single and working so my local restaurants did well out of me then!

SaucyJack Tue 09-Dec-14 12:22:51

The oatmeal might be cheap, but you cannot make a portion of porridge with milk for 4p unless you own your own cow- which she may well do.

Oats and water tastes crap.

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