July 08, 2008
Just two days ago, Gordon Brown was urging us all to stop wasting food and combat rising prices and a global shortage of provisions.
But yesterday the Prime Minister and other world leaders sat down to an 18-course gastronomic extravaganza at a G8 summit in Japan, which is focusing on the food crisis.
The dinner, and a six-course lunch, at the summit of leading industrialised nations on the island of Hokkaido, included delicacies such as caviar, milkfed lamb, sea urchin and tuna, with champagne and wines flown in from Europe and the U.S.
Oh noes! Teh HYPOCRISY!!!1!11!one!eleventy!!!
Okay, these people are the leaders of the most highly-developed nations of the world at a big important conference. It's a given that they're going to eat well while they're there. That said, hey, Mr. Prime Minister, that was some excellent timing there.
But the extravagance of the menus drew disapproval from critics who thought it hypocritical to produce such a lavish meal when world food supplies are under threat.
On Sunday, Mr Brown called for prudence and thrift in our kitchens, after a Government report concluded that 4.1million tonnes of food was being wasted by householders.
He suggested we could save up to £8 a week by making our shopping go further. It was vital to reduce 'unnecessary demand' for food, he said.Last night's dinner menu was created by Katsuhiro Nakamura, the first Japanese chef to win a Michelin star. It was themed: Hokkaido, blessings of the earth and the sea.
But Dominic Nutt, of the charity Save the Children, did not approve.Of course he didn't.
'It is deeply hypocritical that they should be lavishing course after course on world leaders when there is a food crisis and millions cannot afford a decent meal,' he said.
'If the G8 wants to betray the hopes of a generation of children, it is going the right way about it. The food crisis is an emergency and the G8 must treat it as that.'
Right. Because if they each limited themselves to a bowl of fish heads and rice, that would solve everything. You know what? I bet they all wore nice suits, too. The kind of suits poor people can't afford. It would send a powerful message if they'd get rid of those suits and walk around in burlap sacks instead.
Look, world hunger is a serious problem. It always has been. But bitching about what well-heeled people eat isn't going to solve that problem, so you might want to focus your energies on something a little more productive, like, oh, I don't know, an effort to raise awareness of the fact that most of the people going hungry in the world are being brutalized by totalitarian regimes or tin pot kleptocracies.
I'm just saying is all.
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