Last month (October 18 & 23 2013) two caricatures were published in the Jamaica Observer that somehow were saying what I was observing and thinking, just in a more extreme/radical way.
The dominant source of protein from meats in Jamaica is (I am now tempted to say ‘was’) chicken. For the last few years I have watched the price of chicken climb to the sky. In more recent months we have seen the price skyrocket to the point where chicken is now way too expensive for the masses to buy as they would AND chicken back (the oh-so necessary) is now going through a shortage!
Chicken was reasonably affordable at one point and families could enjoy the meat kind a few times a week. Now that is not so possible. To add insult to injury, our beloved Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Roger Clarke, made a statement that we need to find alternatives to chicken such as ox tail and beef!
Ox tail and Beef!?!?
This man seems to be so out of touch with the realities Jamaicans face. Chicken and the two aforementioned meats are nowhere in the same price range per pound. Chicken is eaten by the masses not just because of its versatility but also its price! Please tell me HOW are Jamaicans to afford ox tail and beef in these hard times when 1. Chicken back short! and 2. We can’t even afford chicken any more.
I am not suggesting that we will be looking in the direction of wild animal as such, for our meat alternatives to complete our meals. We can explore the following:
- Start eating more of what we haven’t consumed much of. This is tricky though. It has to be affordable and in good supply (don’t want after two months we are back at square 1…searching for meat!)
- Drop the price for other meat kinds while the chicken drought passes (this goes against the laws of business and marketing)
- Lets go Green! When last have you challenged yourself to go without meat? Lets eat up the herbs and the greens man! Some good callaloo you want!
The other day I was just realising how not just humans suffer from this shortage of chicken and chicken back. I was cooking dinner and my dad told me to cook extra so the dog and our two cats could have something to eat (No! My pets do not eat those fancy things you see in pet commercials). Now I’m thinking to myself (as I always do) about the cost of the food and the quality of labour that had to go into providing it then preparing it and MI GRIEVE! Mi grieve to know say good food that is so expensive has to be given to the animals. In a former life, they had food to stone each other with but while the IMF is still real in Jamaica, that is just a shadow of a past life.
I love my pets, though they make me cuss sometimes, but my mind couldn’t help but think: ‘With the way things are economically, it is hard to prepare food that you worked so hard to provide and having to think about food for your pets as well! So, my solution is that in such times, DO NOT keep pets that cannot CONTRIBUTE TO DINNER!’
Big up all farmers out there!