Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 7th 2014 Contents A32
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 7, 2014
More research needed to assess food inflation
walnuts and a cherry on top."
Erfaan remembered buying "press" (the precursor
to sno-cone)---shaved ice with syrup---for just a
penny: "...and they would put it straight into your
hand, no cup, so the syrup would drip all down your
arm and you would have to lick it up." There would
be bumblebees always buzzing around the press
man s cart, attracted by the sugary syrup.
Back in 1965, a pair of Clarke Desert Boots cost
$16 on sale from Habib s, the big department store
in town, said Erfaan. Nowadays, a similar pair of
shoes would cost $500 or more.
The Ali clan agreed that compared to today, the
range of food choices was limited, so most people
stuck to staples, often locally produced. And although
the family budget was sometimes tight, through wise
shopping and some home production (raising chick-
ens, eggs, planting vegetables, baking bread and roti),
everybody had more than enough to eat.
Erfaan, a lifelong vegetarian and practitioner of
yoga, said the local food they ate, though simple,
was much healthier in the 60s than the wide range
of processed, imported, often expensive, chemically
tainted and nutritionally inferior foodstuffs on grocery
Cost of living then and now
Zaffar said while food was cheap com-
pared to today, salaries 50 years ago were
also much lower. For instance, in 1958,
the monthly salary for a new secondary
school teacher (with A-levels but no
degree) was $192, while in 1964 at the
primary level (five O-level passes), the
monthly salary was $100-$150.
Although the cost of food may have
increased fivefold since 1960, salaries
for some professions increased way more
than fivefold since 1960, he said.
To truly assess food inflation, more
research is needed---such as examining
past CSO Retail Price Indices (see table),
in tandem with research on assessing
impacts of income changes over time;
changes in specific food sectors; and
other economic and social factors.
"Though the cost of all food items has
increased, some items increased way
more than others," observed Zaffar.
"Chicken prices, for instance,
increased; but by nowhere near the size
of the increase seen in some other staple
foods---because chicken is now mass-
produced, rather than the home-reared
yard fowl of long ago."
So, was it really easier long ago to feed
your family, compared to today? Or does
every generation feel they re experiencing
the worst of times?
"It depended on where you lived,"
"Long ago, if you lived in the coun-
try---Rousillac for instance---you had little
need to go in any shop---except for
Continues from Page A31
After days of semi-fervent speculation about
whether the man himself would show, Bill Murray
made a late-afternoon appearance at the Toronto
International Film Festival, which had christened
September 5 Bill Murray Day.
Ambling into a packed movie theatre where
Ghostbusters had just finished screening---and
where, appropriately enough, three proton pack
replicas just happened to be resting against the
stage---a spiffy Murray, bedecked in ruby red pants,
blue plaid button down and a hunter-esque gray
cap---was greeted with a standing ovation and a
Then he sang along to Prince s Raspberry Beret,
which, for some reason, was playing on the sound
"It s always been all about me. From the begin-
ning," Murray said wryly during a Q&A with the
director Ivan Reitman and the writer and producer
Mitch Glazer, who referred to him as "Billy."
Murray garnered his very own day after festival
honchos saw his latest film, St Vincent, which had
its world premiere on Friday night. The fact that
three of Murray s best-known films---Meatballs,
Stripes and Ghostbusters---were directed by Reit-
man, a Canadian, gave the notion an extra boost.
Bill Murray Day
Actor Bill Murray hollers to the crowd at a
screening of the original Ghostbusters film
during the 2014 Toronto International Film
Festival in Toronto on September 5. AP PHOTO
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