Dear Leader Dan Cares What You Eat

How’s this for cheek? The socialist government of Victoria, forever shoving its nose into citizens’ lives, is now telling the public what to eat in their daily meals.

A series of ads from one of Victoria’s myriad sheltered workshops for bureaucrats, Sustainability Victoria, is instructing readers of local papers on acceptable household menus. Under the heading “Small acts make a big difference” the ads announce with an air of discovery that “Planning weekday dinners saves you money and reduces the amount of food going to waste”. Don’t ask about the amount of taxpayers’ money going to waste on patronising ventures like this.

Planning weekday dinners’. What a clever idea. Remarkable it hasn’t been thought of before. But seriously, does anyone imagine that meals just materialise unplanned out of nowhere? Oh yes, the perpetually adolescent millennials who staff Sustainability Victoria probably do, still living with mum and dad and waited on hand and foot.

To help you cope with the intellectual challenge of understanding the ad, there is an infantile drawing — reproduced atop this page — showing a hand with pencil poised over a notepad labelled “Meal Planner”. And oh, the Lucullan treats being planned. Your kitchen as a temple of gastronomy thanks to the epicurean advice of the Andrews regime. Not.

Monday there’s “spaghetti”, presumably unadorned since there is no mention of sauces or condiments. As such, it’s hardly a tribute to the enormous variety of Italian pasta dishes. It could be out of a tin.

Tuesday is the day that sustainability fans really enjoy because they get “tofu”, and not just any old tofu but “tofu satays”. Mmm. So good for you, and Gaia too, one imagines.

On Wednesday for no very clear reason we dine on “tacos”. Eat your fill because Thursday is sustainability day with a vengeance with only “leftovers” for dinner. Unless you’re in a family of anorexics that won’t amount to much – a squishy string of spaghetti and a cold blob of tofu. Heaven, though, for anti-obesity obsessives.

Friday used to be fish day in the bad old era when most people were Christian, but don’t expect the secularists of Sustainability Victoria to recommend oysters and lobster. Gruel with fish stock is more their speed, but perhaps they couldn’t find a recipe because tonight we’re back to the delights of the Italian table, this time with pizza, but just as on Monday, with no specifications. Perhaps you’re allowed a splash of tomato sauce, not the bottled kind that food snobs imagine is only consumed by rednecks but the autentico sort that Australia’s most useless prime minister, the late Gough Whitlam, crowned his career by advertising on TV commercials.

The important thing is no meat. No prosciutto or salami or meat products of any kind with your pizza. No corned beef hash for leftovers. No hearty family roasts, no steak and kidney pie, no crisp fried chicken. Doing without meat has been a subtext of the menu suggestions all week. The dismal meals on the list, if you can call them meals, doubtless reflect the kind of cheerless food the Sustainability Victoria lot would choose for themselves. They’d all be vegans, and even if they’re not, they don’t like meat, not least because (a) most people do like eating it and the authoritarian ideologues of the kind employed by the Victorian regime get a kick out of stopping people doing things they like and (b) we’re dealing here with eco-crackpots who have come up with the notion that natural gases emitted by livestock are complicit with fossil fuels in stoking up the ‘climate emergency’.  

Saturday is “dinner at Renee’s”. A restaurant or a relative? This being right-on Victoria, Renee might well have been Ronnie till recently, but as to what s/he’s likely to serve up, Sustainability Victoria’s imaginative capacities can’t be sustained that far so we don’t know. As for Sunday, its absence from the list suggests that that day has been abolished, just like those earlier authoritarians the French revolutionaries did.

The point of all this, it will be immediately clear, has nothing to do with what people eat. Sustainability Victoria couldn’t care less, in fact would be thrilled, if Victorians lived off nuts and berries. (Many soon will, given federal and state plans to cramp everyone’s culinary style by making kitchen stoves, like everything else you need power for, dependent on the whims of wind and solar “energy”. There will hardly be enough heat to boil and egg.)

No, the point is to “eliminate waste”. And it’s true that lots of food gets wasted, though experience suggests it’s not so much through families lashing out on elaborate meals and not being able to eat it all as in shops and supermarkets having to keep too much stock, particularly out-of-season stock, so that everything from everywhere is always available, a tendency encouraged by “gourmet” food pages in publications like the Melbourne Age, whose left-leaning readers just love multicultural cuisine, indeed prefer it to traditional Aussie, which, along with tomato sauce, they’re inclined to sneer at. Indeed, if you’re one of the dwindling number who ever look at the Age you will have been told that Melbourne is the gastronomic capital of Australia, if not the world. You can’t be that without restaurants buying up a lot of food that, unconsumed, will end up being thrown out. And even if someone orders it, restaurant portions are usually too big – to justify the gargantuan prices – so food gets left on the plate. It can’t be taken home either because of over-cautious health regulations forbidding the once ubiquitous “doggy bag”.

Since no one supplying food to the public can know exactly how much food will be needed at a given time, waste is a consequence of mass food provision. Of course you should try to avoid it.

But in targeting families the Victorian government is dishing out advice to the wrong audience – on purpose, I’ll bet, since as we saw in the pandemic this is a government determined to micromanage its citizens’ lives (and itching to lock everyone down again when the next viral scare appears). It should back off and leave households to practise their own economy. Responsible families are well aware of the cost of wasting food – how could they not be, with lettuces at twelve dollars?

Instead of lecturing families on waste, this endlessly interfering government could more usefully devote its energies to solving the hunger crisis that now exists in Victoria and throughout the country, hidden behind suburban front doors and scarcely ever mentioned in the media. Yet more than one in five Australians don’t get enough to eat, according to the St Vincent de Paul society and other agencies. Less money thrown away on silly government advertising and more spent to feed people adequately should be a priority for every Australian politician.

15 thoughts on “Dear Leader Dan Cares What You Eat

  • Michael says:

    It shows again the contempt these new left elites have for ordinary people.

  • Biggles says:

    I dispute your statement that Whitlam was Australia’s most useless P.M.; my vote goes to Gillard. And did you notice that the hands in the illustration are brown? (Ooooooh; racist !)

  • Dave Carter says:

    I’d also note that 2/6- tacos and pizza- are what we can call “junk food”.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Briefly watched Q&A last night while channel surfing in Sydney hotel room. He was saying, effectively, we should disavow supporting Taiwan because, in the end we wouldn’t, but it will only give them the wrong impression, I.e., might encourage them to resist a Chinese takeover. And we wouldn’t, in the end, go to their aid as it would be a war we couldn’t win. He bases this on the contention that Taiwan has no land borders through which it could be resupplied with weapons as is happening in Ukraine.
    With this mindset we might as well sign up to the daddy of all Belt and Roads deals and rake in all the cash we can get.
    In fact, in my view, the West should have boots on the ground in Ukraine on a massive scale and put an end to this war. That might also occupy the minds of the Chinese leadership.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Sorry, above comment was intended for Paul Collins article

  • 27hugo27 says:

    And guess what!? Now we have the threat of hoof and mouth disease which could cripple the beef industry, to the delight of the very same bureaucrats. Dots are connecting.

  • Ian MacKenzie says:

    Now that we are heading back to pre-Christianity nature worship, we can expect much more of this nonsense. Those who adopt a vegan diet risk anemia due to iron and vitamin B12 deficiency, a higher chance of broken bones due to calcium and vitamin D deficiency, depression due to low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and elevated levels of estrogen due to the amount of soy required to replace meat-based proteins.
    Paleontologists have noted that sophisticated tools and the use of fire appear in the archeological record around the time that the human brain size began to rapidly increase. Cooking made meat in particular much more digestible. It may explain much that the Andrews government is recommending that Victorians reverse this process. I say let them at it, and may evolution take its natural course.

  • 27hugo27 says:

    Spot on , Ian . I just say to any vegan/ vegetarian I meat * “You know , Hitler was a vegetarian” .

  • lajos.halmos says:

    Previously I Had my Say !!
    The ” SENCORS ” of these article’s remooved it.
    It seems to me the ” TROUGTH ” is still delighted. Not for publication.
    So no more article’s from me !!!

  • Bernie Masters says:

    Food waste in our 2 person household is less than 1% of the food that comes into the house. To tell people not to waste food is ill-informed claptrap in the vast majority of homes.

  • Rebekah Meredith says:

    Such taxpayer-funded moves as this can be criticized without getting just as ridiculous as they are. If someone asked what we were planning to have for dinner tonight, I would not say, “Lettuce, celery, cucumber, carrot, and tomato in a salad; spaghetti; sauce-with-beef-mince; mozzarella; parmesan; and garlic bread.” I would simply say, “Spaghetti.”
    Were I telling someone what we had last Monday, I would not say, “Tacos, tortillas, mashed or whole pinto beans, colby cheese, beef-mince-with-taco-seasoning, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and taco sauce.” I would say, “Mexican,” or, more specifically, “Tacos and burritos.” By the way, they’re actually quite nice, and hardly “junk food” (Dave Carter, 14/7).
    Were I telling someone what I had for dinner last night, I would not say, “Salad of lettuce, celery, cucumber, carrot, tomato, sunflower kernels, grated colby cheese, crutons, and caesar dressing; pepperoni pizza; cheese pizza; and salt-and-vinegar crisps;” I would simply say, “Pizza.”
    Also, my lunch and dinner were both made up of (gasp!) leftovers, except for a freshly-made salad at lunch. Some meals are actually better on the second day, and our family of four makes at least two meals out of plenty of things we cook. Who wants to have to cook a whole new dinner seven days a week?

  • Tricone says:

    These sustainability zealots act like surplus is a bad thing.
    Looks like they will get to experience the opposite in the near-future the way things are going.

  • lbloveday says:

    I was in a pub today and saw an advertisement/announcement encouraging “vaccinating” your children “Brought to you by the Australian Government”.
    I’d have added “and paid for by the ever-suffering Australian taxpayers”

  • a.c.ryan says:

    Could you please identify your sauce/source for this slop? Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free – cannibalism if they keep this up.

  • a.c.ryan says:

    I want to subscribe to this rag, but keep getting an error message. Also, could you please include an “edit” button to these pages – autocorrect can often have leftist leanings.

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