Capitalism, Waste & The Crack Heads
June 27, 2012 1 Comment
This is a contribution from our loyal reader, Lou Catarino.
Check out his blog, TalesFromTheLou
A few years ago I was living in a small town in Vancouver Island, Canada. A town already on the brink of collapse because the main employer, a pulp mill, had decided to shut down its operations in that town. ( The fact that the corporation is a foreign-owned company is for another post.)
I had a new friend. He was an assistant manager for one of the big supermarkets that dominate the food supply in that town. Owned by Loblaw, the largest food retailer in Canada, with over 1400 supermarkets.
That night he called me at around 11pm and asked me to come over. I sensed urgency in his voice so I was there in short time. He explained to me that, earlier on we had experienced a major black out, a power storm had knocked out the electricity supply to the town for three days. He had been told by senior management that all frozen foods were to be discarded. I asked him, why couldn’t they just give the foods to a local food bank? He said that they had to scan the frozen foods for insurance reasons, and then all the foods were to be put in the crusher and destroyed.
OK, so why not give the foods after the scanning ? They could not be bothered.
That’s why he called me. He knew I was an activist that had contacts in town. I knew many of the social outcasts in town. He asked me if I had an idea.
Doh! Not difficult really.
So after he scanned some of the foods, he let me take them. I proceeded for the next few hours to grab as much of the goods that my little vehicle could handle and brought them to Crack House Central. The place in town where no one knows your name. Crack heads have to eat and have families by the way. And yes, they do spend most, if not all of their money, on crack.
You should have seen the faces of the users when I showed up with about $1000 worth of frozen foods. I asked them to please take the foods home before continuing on their ride to Hell.
By the way, crack is gender neutral. There were as many women as men in the house when I arrived. 14 people sitting so quietly that you would not even suspect a cat lived there. That drug makes you paranoid to the extreme.
So we managed to save approximately $1000 worth of frozen food. My friend told me that altogether he must have destroyed another $5000 worth of stuff through the night.
So there you have it.
Capitalism at its most efficient self.