Thursday, May 04, 2006

food issues

No, I'm not going to talk about stuffing myself like the proverbial turkey, but rather an issue which has been bugging me more than a little for quite a while.
The bee being plucked out of the bonnet today is the price of food in this country. I don't know what the other expats think about it, but I'm finding the end of the conveyer belt price tag makes me raise my eyebrows in shock more often than not.
Let me clarify than I'm not a big meat consumer, and the meat I buy is generally not too expensive. I don't buy much in the way of alcohol (and nothing over the 4 euros a bottle mark because, hey, I'm not kidding myself, I have bugger all in the way of a wine palate. I'm from Darwin. We drink wine out of 2 litre casks over there).
Spirits I buy about once a year, no soft drinks,no premade meals, no premade get the picture.
Anyway, the cash register rings up a lot. Around 90 euros worth of groceries won't even last us a week - ok, so we're both eating lunch at home these days, but still, that's 150 AUD. For not even a week. For 2 people. Blows me away. I got by very well on about 60AUD a week just for myself back in Australia. And even doing a bunch of fancy currency conversion wage:living expenses calculation, it still comes out as what I perceive to be about 1/3 more.
Ok, so that's one bee out of the way - but my next bee is not just against the inflated prices but where a lot of the fruit and veg is sourced at my habitual supermarket (which I won't name because a) they don't need the publicity and b)their bonus miles system sucks. After spending thousands I probably have earned enough to trade in for a carrot on a stick). Potatoes from Israel (potatoes, seriously...), plums from South Africa, capsicum from Chile.
All hail the global market that makes this kind of idiocy possible.
Ok, that's enough bees for now, if I keep going there won't be anyone left to make the honey.


Jacob said...

You have so got to have a local market! It's infinitely better value, and you can support the regional growers (providing you can identify them). It's also significantly cheaper, easier than going to the super (providing you're prepared to get up early on the appropriate day) and will result in a more interestign diet (providing you're prepared to prepare it).

ANyway if you think France is expensive, you should try England. Let alone Fresh and Wild.

Nyx said...

Hey there Jacob, how's Bangalore treating you?
Well, I have found some decent nearby local markets, but I still need the supermarket for a lot of other produce (oh, and I didn't buy the potatoes from Israel, I was just being shocked and scandalised that they were importing them at all!!)
I discovered the Vieux Lille Market last weekend, it's classed as one of the 100 prettiest markets in France :)
Still, sometimes you've just not been organised and you need a bunch of stuff at once, and you end up being frightene by your supermarket bill!