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Do you think spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on one item of food is obscene, when there are starving people in the world?

by VerityG (follow)
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Image from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons

According to the BBC:
"An Italian white truffle, reportedly the largest in the world, will be sold at an in-house and online auction in New York on Saturday.

Found last week in the Umbrian region of Italy and weighing 4.16lbs, it is nearly twice the size of a truffle that was sold in 2010 for $417,200 (£267,000).

Sotheby's said bidding is expected to start at $50,000 (£30,000) and could go much higher."

When there are many people in the world who cannot afford to buy basic food necessities, can there be any justification for spending this much money on one luxury item?

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Top Answers
I have a problem with this kind of thing.

Do I have a problem with people who have a lot of money.
Maybe...it seems to be spent in obscene ways.
The world is a sad- sick place at times, and if only we could see Balance.
We would be able to sleep a tad better, when reading such things.

Starving children is so dreadful, that any ''truffle'' selling for that amount is really insane.
I have to say, I do a LOT of head shaking these days.One can not help become extra sad, at just 'how' badly the world looks at life.

''Truffle'',,,,,,,...''Starving child''..........''Oh! lets go Truffle''
Totally agree jonaj.
by norma
I would say not. That makes me feel less guilty about the ammount I spend on books.
I find this absolutely disgusting. There are people who are starving themselves, to try to have enough food for their children to survive. Foodbanks in the UK are overwhelmed with people needing their help and inadequate resources to provide enough food. Children who rely on free school meals starve in the holidays..... and someone with a spare £267,000 bought a white truffle. Gluttony, greed, selfishness.........
Some excessive spending on luxury items is justifiable as it helps the economy and provides jobs etc but this sort of food snobbery doesn't. It won't help anyone except the truffle merchant. A lot of hungry children could have been fed with this kind of money.
Food snobbery is weird. I can't imagine something tasting so good it would be worth that kind of money. Plain old ordinary mushrooms sauted in butter with garlic and rosemary are pretty darn good and only set you back a few dollars.
I've had truffle and didn't like it, so it really baffles me! Mmmm those mushrooms sound good though :)
donjo is absolutely correct.

To a chef this truffle would be an investment ... only a very fine and small shaving of which would be used for each dish.

Similarly, $1000s of wines, spirits are purchased for such a business.

Businesses spend many thousands ... in investing in themselves, this is just another similar situation.

If an individual purchased it for him/herself it would be ludicrous in the extreme and as such would be criminal, when children are starving.

If we all looked to ourselves, I am certain that there are little luxuries which ... by the same token, we should feel guilty about when children are starving.
I think that is an excellent example of western excess! I also think that it's completely insane to spend that much money on something you're going to EAT. What on earth!?!?!?!?

I hope the person who gets all the money gives it to charity ..... but I daresay I'm being optimistic there.
That's a lovely thought. I wish I could believe it but....
I don't think it's any more disgusting than spending excessive amounts of money on clothes, cars, TVs etc. At the end of the day if there is someone who would prefer to spend their millions on a truffle rather than charity I just believe that karma will likely get them. But you never know what else that person spends their money on - maybe they large amounts to charity each year as well as buy crazy food?!
If you're buying manufactured goods such as a tv or a car, you are supporting the manufacturing industry and also giving the economy a boost. There might be better ways to do that but still, it's a factor. With a truffle, it involves a very poorly paid truffle hunter who will not benefit from the high price, and a merchant and auction house who will. I think the money could be used far more effectively.
You are right, the purchaser may give large sums to charity but why not use this money to help someone as well?
That's a really good point.
by lizzi
It is absolutely ridiculous to spend that amount of money on luxury food.
Some people have more money than sense!
Disgusting. Just disgusting.
by Vee
No I certainly do not -if a person has worked hard all their life or is just successful why should he or she not be able to buy whatever food at whatever price, he or she likes!

Nothing to do with me and good luck to them.
by Finy
Something else is going on behind the scene. I think this is one one monies exchange hands among people, institutions and even governments. Maybe those who will be at the auction are special interest groups seeking some privilege of some sort, and will engage in a perceived auction.
it's obscene, suppose people can spend on what they want, but I think it's disgusting
To a Chef, plenty of justification.

Have you any idea how long that size truffle could be used, at the sparingly rate it's used in cooking?

And the outlay $$$$ would be recouped many fold.
I have never tasted a truffle but I have a sneaky feeling that I wouldn't like them. Someone mentioned the word "musky" when describing the taste of truffles. That was an immediate put off for me, a bit like rosewater and turkish delight - just can't think about those things without retching.
Well, they say a fool and his money is soon parted - I think this is a perfect illustration. How anyone in good conscience can spend that amount of money on a food item when there is so much want in this world is totally beyond me!
Try telling THAT to a Head Chef!
In that circ, your thoughts don't count!
by donjo
And your point? Correspondents were asked for opinion and duly given!
by norma
You obviously didn't understand my comment.......
by donjo
It wouldn't matter what the item was. People will spend their money however they want. I'm often asked by people who stand in shopping centres or door to door canvasers to contribute to starving children in (insert whatever country is the flavour of the month) and when I say I can't afford to I get the speil it's only so much per week, etc. I then say I support my own children and grandchildren because I believe charity begins at home first of all so I do my bit where I can, so no matter how much money a person has, or hasn't, it's their business how they choose to spend it.
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