Food—national dietary standards—is a sensitive index of socio‐economic conditions generally; there are others, reflecting different aspects, but none more sensitive. A country that eats well has healthy, robust people; the housewife who cooks hearty, nourishing meals has a lusty, virile family. It is not surprising, therefore, that all governments of the world have a food policy, ranking high in its priorities and are usually prepared to sacrifice other national policies to preserve it. Before the last war, when food was much less of an instrument of government policy than now—there were not the shortages or the price vagaries—in France, any government, whatever its colour, which could not keep down the price of food so that the poor man ate his fill, never survived long; it was—to make use of the call sign of those untidy, shambling columns from our streets which seem to monopolize the television news screens—“out!” Lovers of the Old France would say that the country had been without stable government since 1870, but the explanation for the many changes in power in France in those pre‐war days could be expressed in one word—food!
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