Article by Alena Golota on Insider.ua. Translation by Tatzhit. 7/8/15.
Ukraine is slowly but surely sinking into something in between 40’s and 90’s – war and famine.
Thank God, there are no dead people on the streets, and no cannibalism
yet, as in the Holodomor stories, but we all are becoming involuntary
participants in a hunger strike. We began to eat less.
Recent data of the State Statistics Service unpleasantly surprised and
horrified me – in the first quarter of 2015, Ukrainians began to spend
20% less money than before on food <despite ballooning prices –
ed.>. First of all, people stopped eating meat and fish products,
canned fruit – the sales are down by 37%.
Demand for fresh fish, various cereals, seafood, sausages fell by 30%.
People also buy less eggs, fresh meat and vegetables – their consumption
has fallen by 25%, and we saw 20% decrease in sales of beverages,
butter, macaroni and confectionery products.
Consumers only increased their purchases of salt – 11% more, and
margarine, by 2%. Well, that’s it’s in our genes already – in any
crisis, buy salt.
This is very scary. We’re cutting down expenses on the most valuable and
irreplaceable thing – our health. After all, the Ukrainians have not
abandoned “junk food” – chips, salted nuts, soda, and other crap that
medical professionals caution against.
We have reduced the consumption of healthy and necessary items – fish,
meat, vegetables, eggs. They are the foundation of any healthy diet, but
But what does our body care? How can we explain to it that there’s a war on, and it will not get all the nutrients it needs?
According to nutritionists, people over 35 should eat beef 2-3 times a
week with plenty of vegetables. In the other days, animal protein can
come from poultry and fish.
How many of our seniors eat meat three times a week <average pension
in Ukraine is less than $80/month now – ed.>? Heck, how often do
working Ukrainians get meat <average salary in Ukraine is less than
$175/month – ed.>? These things nutritionists talk about, we only see
I remember the words of one of my former
bosses, a multimillionaire. He was asked at a meeting with the
students: “Now, again, an economic crisis has come. What can we save
on?”. He said: – “On anything other than food. It’s your health.”
And then remember the words of Arseny Yatsenyuk, who advised the Ukrainians to “tighten their belts”.
I wonder whether he tightened his belt? Do his children and wife eat 30%
less meat, like rest of the country?
Are his staff workers looking for
cheaper rice in the stores, because they can’t avoid to pay full price?
Did he lose any weight through malnutrition?
They never skimp on food. Only on us.
Of course, we will survive. Our ancestors ate grass during the famine,
will we die from eating a third less meat per capita?
Most of us won’t.
But we’re so tired of surviving and persuading ourselves to suffer, when
those responsible at the top do not suffer at all.
One good thing <about austerity>, though – we are all be nice and slim for beach season.