To Save Money, Maybe You Should Eat the RichPhoto by Lea Kobal/Unsplash Food Features food culture
By now, you may have already heard about the blowback against the Wall Street Journal article entitled “To Save Money, Maybe You Should Skip Breakfast,” penned by Gabriel T. Rubin. As the title suggests, the article urges readers to consider skipping breakfast in light of the rising cost of eggs and other breakfast ingredients. But nowhere does the article mention that sustainable agriculture advocacy groups like Farm Action have accused major egg companies of price-gouging while blaming higher prices on the recent avian flu outbreak.
Welcome to 2023, when the ills of capitalism have reached such a fever pitch that we are now being encouraged to skip meals while we continue to watch the richest people in the world destroy the planet. Is Rubin’s title clickbait? Sure. But let’s be honest—this is the Wall Street Journal, a division of Dow Jones, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who, with a net worth of $20.8 billion, is one of the richest people on earth. This is a media outlet that has a vested interest in pushing a narrative that asks us to accept less and less and less so the rich can continue to hoard their wealth.
The wealthy have become so incredibly out of touch with what’s happening in the world that they’ve forgotten what Ancient Roman rulers realized so long ago: To keep the proletariat docile and subservient, you must give them bread and circuses. But the circus conductor died because he’s diabetic and can’t afford his insulin, and now we’re being told to skip our fucking toast in the morning.
To publish this article at a time when the excesses of capitalism are so incredibly evident, in the aftermath of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in Ohio that polluted an entire town with deadly chemicals because an incredibly rich corporation wants to continue increasing its profits while providing no additional value to society, is at the height of tone-deafness. And to put that article behind a paywall, no less? Sure, we can laugh, but this take is ultimately deeply bleak and troubling.
I get that the Wall Street Journal needs to get its clicks so it can rake in even more cash for our bug-eyed overlords. Murdoch has long been famous for his questionable (read: “evil”) media tactics. But I can’t help but to question the strategy behind publishing an article with this kind of title that so blatantly ignores the corporate greed that’s pushing up food prices across the country. With the way things are looking right now, more and more of us actually might have to start skipping breakfast to make ends meet. Maybe when egg prices get so high that only the Murdochs and the Musks can afford to eat a decent breakfast, we’ll finally get hungry enough to eat the rich. I’ll bring the mimosas.
Samantha Maxwell is a food writer and editor based in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @samseating.