Price of eggs, scrambling the poor

Since I was very young, eggs were an important part of my life. Eggs were seen as the cheapest, most nutritious form of protein available to humankind. Chicken, fish and pork came next with beef and lamb only for festive occasions. Beef and lamb were imported foods and relatively expensive to be included in the daily menu. We obviously weren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths. However, as I grew older, my taste for meat slowly seemed to wear off. Firstly, meat seemed too heavy on the stomach and too much trouble to store and cook. Moreover, the over consumption of meat was said to cause high blood pressure, heart disease and other non-communicable diseases, coupled with the high intake of salt, sugar and fat.

Over time, and having done some research on food, I began to look for alternative sources of protein and iron which veggies were said to lack. I discovered that eggs were more or less a whole food as the bright orange yoke and white were the first nourishment chicks received before breaking out of their shells.

At some stage in my childhood, eggs were a constant dietary item for us growing kids. It wasn’t boring as eggs came in various forms, being an essential ingredient in breads, noodles, cakes, pan cakes, pastries and on their own, boiled, scrambled, fried, poached, steamed, curried etc. Eggs are easy to eat, to digest and swallow for toddlers to elderly grandparents.

Eggs were an affordable nutritious food especially when meat, fish and milk were beyond the reach of low income and hardcore poor families. The market price of eggs remained relatively stable at 30+sen per egg until a sudden jump that seemed to spiral beyond 40 sen per egg. I was shocked to  see ordinary battery hens eggs priced at RM4.00++ to RM6.00 for a tray of 10 eggs. Those specialized eggs, e.g. Omega eggs, lower cholesterol egg etc seemed ridiculously priced from RM10.00 ++ . These eggs were a little bigger than quails eggs but costs ‘the earth’, so to speak.

The cost of eggs would now eat into a larger portion of the budget of hard core poor and low income families. There still are people supporting families earning RM500 or less despite the minimum wage bar of RM1,100 per month. With the imposition of GST or SST in Malaysia and the fluctuation of petrol prices, commodity prices have sky-rocketed to such levels that powdered milk, infant formula, vegetables sold by weight, dried fish (ikan masin, ikan bilis etc), lentils, pulses, spices, soya based products, fruits etc have become high enough to force low income wage earners to eat less nutritious meals, having to forego better nutrition, including eggs.

It is amazing that government health authorities don’t seem to see the link between staying healthy and nutrition in our daily diet. Being undernourished has a ripple effect causing low immunity and more ill health among the population. In segmented, narrow thinking, health has nothing to do with the economy.

The lack of proper nutritious food also leads people to depend on foods or substances to stave hunger but are health destroying, like sugar, drugs, fatty high cholesterol foods, plain carbohydrates and many other things.

I was once told that a teacher discovered why a pupil was always drinking water. The pupil, who came from a hardcore poor family said, “Drinking water makes me feel less hungry, as I don’t have enough to eat everyday.” I also remember, when I was in school, a classmate of mine telling us that when times were hard, she only had rice with salt and water to eat for meals. These were shocking revelations to me, who was lucky enough to be provided full nutritious meals everyday that I took for granted. That was when I learned that not everyone lived the same life.

Unless the government of the day gets its priorities right, we are in danger of seeing more cases of illness caused by under nourishment among the low income and hard core poor that are avoidable. In this pandemic climate, more people become needlessly vulnerable to the corona virus and other diseases despite the observance of necessary SOPs and protection measures due to being malnourished.

 

 

Dehumanizing the less fortunate

During the Muslim Fasting month of Ramadan, corporate philanthropists use the season to engage in the general outpouring of charitable giving. These are often large, very public events. But, there are also smaller charitable works that are not publicized. It is generally accepted that those doing charity do it from the goodness of their hearts. In most cases, this is true, however, the Devil is never far away to twist a kind action into something wicked and ugly.

Continue reading “Dehumanizing the less fortunate”

Little chiefs Big heads

In the world of Little Napoleons a little power can be a dangerous thing. Yet, it is something so common with petty officials who quite often seem to follow their whims and fancies operating in their own miniscule fifedoms behind office desks or service counters. Continue reading “Little chiefs Big heads”

Yam is not raspberry

Certain Malaysian run eateries in this country seem to think that customers don’t know about food. In a boutique café, one day, running through a menu of light desserts, I spotted “raspberry ice-cream”. Ahh, that would be wonderful on such a hot day, especially when I’d already had a cup of coffee and hadn’t treated myself to an ice-cream for ages. Continue reading “Yam is not raspberry”

Hidden Bullies

Often when we meet someone for the first time, most of us prefer to think the best of them. They seem pleasant enough, not immediately over-bearing and possibly easy to get along with, like the rest of humanity. We give them the benefit of the doubt as it isn’t fair to prejudge or form false impressions of someone we don’t know. I used to see it that way and still do, except that reality has kicked me into caution. Continue reading “Hidden Bullies”

Green Guardians- Greening Up

Green bush standing in a dry lawn and green hedge.
Green bush standing in a dry lawn and green hedge.

Well, what happened to my green guardians? The rains started to trickle down in mid March, and I felt completely justified in putting the survival of the green guardians in Mom’s garden at the top of the list in this small experimental effort to save fast evaporating water. Continue reading “Green Guardians- Greening Up”

Green Guardians

Cool greenery
Cool greenery

We’re going through a dry spell or is it a drought? Since end of last year, one side of the country had too much water and the other went perceptibly dry. Now, everywhere is becoming almost arid with water-rationing in some states. Directives emanate from the state and Federal authorities, that citizens must skimp and save water. Yes, we should do that for our own conservation. Continue reading “Green Guardians”

An Unhappy 2014

Happy 2014 to all my kind, appreciative readers, the very best is wished for you as always. Whilst, we feel good and hope is high, at the moment, many people probably view the coming year with apprehension. Last year was a real ‘party’ that left some of us devastated with the sheer exhaustion of trying to cope with the situation. Continue reading “An Unhappy 2014”

Sitting on a Volcano

No to PCA

The Home Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi publicly announced that the Prevention of Crime Act would be used only against criminals and not politicians. Who are the criminals and who are the politicians? Continue reading “Sitting on a Volcano”

Near Total Deflation

Composition of Malaysian 13th Parliament follo...
Composition of Malaysian 13th Parliament following 2008 Elections. Generated using tool found in http://www.shodor.org. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: PR Leaders
English: PR Leaders (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before GE13, there was so much hype. Malaysian electorate seemed to go full speed ahead to “UBAH”/  CHANGE – the catchword and main subject of popular discussion.  Our hopes of seeing a brave new government displace the old regime that sounded like a broken record repeating old rhetoric in new words, seems to have gone totally flat like a punctured tire.  No doubt, the battle cry of “UBAH” had frightened those ‘old BN goats’ into belligerence to make this 13th general election the most controversial and least fair or free. Controversial – because of alleged gerrymandering, usage of ‘phantom voters, pre-election payouts and ‘lucky-draws’, free food, more promises and continuing payouts. Continue reading “Near Total Deflation”