Better get some chooks and a vegie patch to beat poverty

The Border Mail reporter Mick McGlone.
The Border Mail reporter Mick McGlone.

I HAVE in the past congratulated the Abbott government for trying to address the problems Australia will run into with an ageing population.

It was something that had to be done — albeit not in the manner he and his government have decided on, in my opinion.

The future will involve a big change of lifestyle for many people, especially when it comes to basic necessities such as food.

So what sort of tucker will a large chunk of the population be eating in the future?

McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s, Red Rooster, fish and chip shops, boutique delicatessens, coffee outlets, sidewalk cafes and restaurants will all be things of the past — no one will be able to afford them.

And with big clubs selling schooners of beer for up to $2 less than hotels and having a wide range of cheap meals, how will pubs in major centres compete?

Especially when clubs give bonus points for purchases and the use of poker machines and you don’t have to pay for your take-away alcohol then and there, but get a monthly statement.

Most people I know favour pubs and rarely go into a club.

But if you haven’t got much money to spend what are you going to do?

The so-called “cottage industries” of today will go back to what they used to be: part of daily life for many Australians.

We’ll all have chooks and vegie gardens, growing what is in season and adapting our menus.

And when the chooks get to the age when they stop laying, into the slow cooker they’ll go, with the turnips and parsnips.

Community gardens will be common, as will co-operative purchasing and bartering; say three eggs for a kilo of spuds.

I remember my cousins living in the Ryde area, now very much part of metropolitan Sydney, and having chooks, while their neighbour had a dairy cow, which provided plenty of opportunity for doing a bit of grub swapping.

And forget bakeries, especially the fancy ones.

Mum and nanna were always baking bread, cakes and pies and both knew about pickling and bottling fruit and vegies.

We’ll also be eating the cheap cuts of meat, such as skirt, blade, chuck and round steak; I think that’s what they’re called, although I wouldn’t have a clue because I’ve never needed to before.

But they’ll come up OK in a casserole, cooked in a slow cooker with the vegetables The Lioness and I will grow.

Pork will probably out of the question although bacon on special occasions will occasionally happen.

And anybody who has ever tasted mutton and caper sauce will tell you it is very good tucker.

As are lamb’s fry and barbecued kidneys.

In fact, so is all the food mentioned above — and nutritious as well as tasty.

And we could solve the feral animal problem almost immediately.

Anybody who has ever had rabbit cooked properly will tell you it is delicious.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with kangaroo.

They reckon snake tastes like chicken, wild goats provide milk and meat and there are lots of deer out there to provide venison and make those from the lower socio-economic demographic feel like royalty.

People living in some European countries love eating carp.

If they can eat them, why can’t we find a way to make them palatable?

And fruit producers would never again have to plough their product into the ground, no one will toss out any food — it can always go into the casserole.

And we will all become experts in compost manufacture and worm farming.

Even if the worst scenario does not come about, a bit of home-cooked grub won’t go astray and would help save money.

Although I don’t want to seem ungrateful I might leave the possum innards, grits and hog jowls to Jed, Granny, Jethro, Elly May and the rest of the Clampett clan.