Monday, September 15, 2008

A Little Economic Information is a Dangerous Thing - The Saveloy & Condensed Milk Conspiracy

Residents of Taranaki in the North Island are reported to be stockpiling cans of condensed milk and saveloys after a recent TV news report that Statistics New Zealand is to remove the items from the basket of goods & services priced to calculate the consumer price index used to measure inflation.

The Saveloy ---- Condensed milk

Lest anyone think Joe & Joanna Blow, the average Kiwi citizen, are well-versed in the methodology of economic statistics, attuned to the niceties of index numbers and the household expenditure survey, it appears that the news story has been twisted into a conspiracy story or urban myth that the government is about to ban the humble sav and can of condensed milk, one-time staples of low income Kiwis.

With a general election only just called last week for 8 November, what government in its right mind would contemplate such political suicide? Some would argue that the current Labour government has already done enough to harm itself without outlawing the sav & condensed milk.

All a horrible mix up in a dumbed-downed age, but a boon for supemarkets in places like Hawera in Taranaki that report sales up by a third in recent weeks.

For those not versed in Kiwi culinary delights, a saveloy is a type of pork sausage usually with a bright red skin, usually served boiled & wrapped in a slice of bread or deep fried in batter (not a health food). And condensed milk is milk that has had much water removed from and to which sugar has been added to yield a rather thick, sweet product that can last for years in a can. It's used to sweeten & whiten tea, in baking, or as a salad dressing. (Ugh!)

Incidentally, the sav and condensed milk would be unlikely meal mates, but no doubt there is some thrillseeker out there who enjoys them together. A sav is more typically dipped in tomato sauce (ketchup).

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