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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Eat Less Bread


During the First World War, Britain's government needed funds for its army. Thus was born the campaign for "Eat Less Bread". The first poster, on the left, advocated that citizens simply "eat less bread", without much further information. The second poster, on the right, added a little bit more detail. It not only exhorted people to "eat less bread", it also explained: "Save the Wheat and Help the Fleet!"

Sources for these posters:

The logic for these campaigns was that the war campaign was never free. War must be paid for with real money, just as food must be paid for with real money. Thus we need to wonder about how we need to finance our daily "war campaigns". All of us, by the way, have our own "war campaigns". We may be seeking further study, an additional car, renovations to the house, educational expenses for our children, and other such things. All of these require money, unless there's a scholarship for it somewhere.

Here on the left, is another poster that says, "Think! For every 100,000 tons of wheat saved by economy, 28,000 troops can be rationed and transported from America." (Source: Imperial War Museum.)

How about thinking about saving some money today? Cut down on the unnecessary expenditures in your life. Here's an idea: simply jot down three of the most expensive meals that you've had this past month. Then think about how you could have spent a little less on those meals. Can you think of any substitutes that could be just as good? Well, I think that we all can, even if the temptation to spend is often quite strong for "special occasions".

In my mind, most people would be able to differentiate between a "normal meal" and a "celebration meal". A normal meal is one that you would have in your day-to-day existence. It merely serves to keep you from going hungry. A normal meal is one where you may congregate with your family members around the dinner table. A normal meal is the one that you can afford to have, 7 days a week, and 30 days a month. A celebration meal on the other hand, is one that is a little pricey. A celebration meal is probably equal to two or three times the price of the normal meal. The ambiance may be a factor, so a celebration meal is often eaten out (whereas a normal meal may be eaten out, or in, the house).

In my mind, a celebration meal only has to represent a "break" from the normal occasion to serve its purpose. If there is a choice between an expensive meal, a slightly expensive meal, and one that is obscenely expensive, I'd choose the slightly expensive meal, for the simple reason that I can afford it, and can treat more fellows that way. Everyone already knows that it is a special occasion, and that can be reinforced by having cards ("Congratulations!") and flowers, which can be more affordable than the super expensive meals.

In my dad's office, we celebrate the staff's birthdays by telling everybody that we will have an extra long lunch hour for the day. Then we order the pizzas and the fried chicken, and the other staff are invited to cook and bring their own dishes. Naturally, we will pay them for the food that they cook, which is a good way for them to earn extra income and for us to sample their cooking. Staff are able to invite their spouses and children. We take photos of the occasion to remember it. Sometimes we also get small snacks like roasted chicken wings and orange juice to go along with the meal. The idea is to make it memorable, not to spend unnecessarily.

Besides, we all know what happens to food after it has been ingested. The belly does not distinguish between the slightly expensive meal and the obscenely expensive meal. It only knows that its hunger has been appeased. Indeed, the taste of the meal is enjoyed mostly by the mouth and the other senses. In this sense, what some fitness gurus have said is correct. Eat slowly, and focus on what you are eating. You will enjoy the meal more. And perchance, you will eat less. You will be satisfied despite eating less. And if that helps your bottomline, why not?