January 20, 2014

Dutch have best food in the world, Oxfam says

Filed under: Food & Drink,Health by Branko Collin @ 9:34 am

bitterballen-wikipedia-user-takeaway-pdIf you want to taste the best food in the world, look no further than the Netherlands, a new report claims.

There is a snag (isn’t there always?). The report was written by international aid organisation and poverty fighters Oxfam and they did not look at how good our restaurants are, nor did they look at what our dishes taste. As an organisation that tries to combat hunger among other things, their goal was to determine in which country (from a list of 125) citizens had the best access to “plentiful, nutritious, healthy and affordable” food.

The core questions Oxfam looked at were whether people had enough to eat, food was affordable, diets were diverse, people had access to both clean and safe water and how unhealthy people ate.

Dutchnews writes: “European countries occupy the entire top 20 bar one – Australia ties in 8th place—while the US, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and Canada all fall outside. African countries occupy all the bottom 30 places in the table except for four—Laos, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.”

Der Spiegel thinks the top ranking for the Netherlands is hilarious: “specialities like bitterballen, fried breadcrumbed balls containing a ragout, will excite neither gourmets nor advocates of healthy living.” (Bitterballen are small, round krokets that are served as bar snacks, usually with mustard).

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(Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Takeaway, some rights reserved)

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October 22, 2008

Sampling Dutch poverty: to the food bank by car

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:58 am

(Going to the foodbank by car: English subtitles)

I hesitated posting this when I first saw it, but since it’s somewhat shocking, it’s time to share. You’ll probably be left with more questions than answers after this video. The ones I had as a foreigner looking in were:

1. Why doesn’t this woman work? Don’t answer because she has children, I’ll scream.
2. Where’s the father and/or his alimony? Deadbeat dad? There’s an obvious cultural issue here.
3. A car? What about agoraphobia therapy?
4. Do the Dutch give money to the poor for nothing so they don’t have to look at it?
5. Is that really a good thing? Is it a Judeo-Christian guilt thing?

I’ve seen teenagers for years in Montreal, Canada sleeping on the street outside at -20 degrees in sleeping bags. The ones sleeping outside in +30 degrees in the summer are purely decorative.

The person at Radio Netherlands who did the interview mentioned on their site that they found it difficult to find someone willing to go on camera. Hmm, people are willing to have sex on camera for free these days, so I’m really not convinced. The film is very good though, no question.

Again, some people really think that this is being poor in the Netherlands. I am happy the children are well cared for, that’s true. Some are proud to show that the poor don’t look poor. Her lack of gratitude is the clincher, making this film very interesting. Others have said that junks on the street are dirt poor, a film about them would have shown real poverty.

My suggestion would be to go to the Salvation Army (Leger des Heils) in downtown Amsterdam, as that is where poor people congregate, believe me.

The video was removed by Radio Netherlands.