There’s a letter from me in today’s Guardian. You can read it below, or on the Guardian website.
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With energy and food inflation at nearly 30% and 5% compared with 2021, many people can afford neither healthy ingredients nor the fuel to cook them (Food bank users declining potatoes as cooking costs too high, says Iceland boss, 23 March). As a result, poorer Britons are pushed into eating nutritionally inferior, fat-heavy convenience foods.
We’ve been here before. During the industrial revolution, according to the historian David Zylberberg, the high cost of fuel “forced inhabitants of many southern regions to abandon home cooking”. Deprived of the means to cook, Britain’s industrial workforce came to subsist on a miserable diet of white bread and sweet tea, not because they didn’t know how to prepare healthier meals, but because they could not afford to.
It’s deeply dismaying that the inequalities in today’s Britain are in so many ways returning us to the early 19th century.