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Cake Crumbs



Whenever we touch the topic of poverty, whether you are trying to bash it, justify it, help it or just dig deep into it, you can never end up writing anything without a little controversy.

We look at the big issues, as we should, and report them. Most of the times it never really does anything besides give some people a good read, an insight, other times it can actually make the certain issue get discovered and thus, fixed to an extent. But often we overlook the smaller things that can affect our lives to a great extent without us even noticing or paying enough attention to it.

As someone who does not just live in the city, but also the more…unfortunate parts of the city, I get to see every side to it. From the people living in brick mansions, to the people sleeping on the streets and benches, I go through both sides of life about every day of my life. I’ve never really thought about writing about any of it, as whatever I would write about, it’s been done already. But one thing recently caught my eye, and as it seems, I cannot see anyone talking about it. Cake crumbs. Seriously. Cake crumbs.

Around different parts of my city(Lahore, Pakistan), of course, the ones stricken with poverty or at least the taste of it, we have a little something different. Not people selling cake. Not people selling bread. Nor a mix of the two. We have people that set shop every day, often on moveable objects so they can cruise around the towns, that sell cake crumbs. But it’s not how you may expect it to be. It’s not cake crushed to be sold to kids in a different way. It’s actually leftovers that are, without a doubt, expired. These people set up shop and go town to town every day and sell leftover cake crumbs, and we’re talking be it sweet bread, a literal fresh or dry cake, as well as any other similar product, all mashed up together, days to months old, and it is sold as an edible thing all around town as kids with smiles on their faces, those too unfortunate to be able to pay for actual cake, come to purchase these crumbs for cheap, and eat it with absolute joy. Little do they know, it can be the last thing they eat, or at least the last time they’ll be healthy for a while. They consume expired, wasted and thrown out cake crumbs and it is being overlooked and being considered normal, by the kids, their parents, those who sell it and the authorities of the city, despite the obvious terrible health risks as well as how degrading it is to sell and consume leftover cake crumbs that are more commonly seen in dumpsters, rather than your plates or your children’s stomach.

An old man selling cake crumbs next to a waste drainage, in the city of Lahore.

The cakes are presumably obtained from some bakeries that sell the wasted cake crumbs off for cheap, and on the other hand, while no one would admit if asked directly about it, it is more than logical to believe they also obtain it through trash, as a simple look at it screams the fact it is a leftover, not something that could have been obtained or created through a factory, and of course, days to months old, harmful and extremely unhygienic. While some parents, of course, do the right job and refrain their kids from consuming such products, the parents of the kids who do end up consuming the cake crumbs either seem to not care or be unaware of the potential harm it can cause. And somehow, it is not just kids purchasing these either, sometimes it can even be adults.
Those who sell it, one may easily assume, know the risks and harm of what they are selling, and still continue to sell it and endanger lives. But when it honestly comes to that, one may find it hard to judge them as many of them are people stricken with poverty and no other job, and to them it seems like a normal thing to do, as it does for the parents of the children who are fine with them consuming the crumbs, while surprisingly, also some adults. One particular person I saw selling it was next to a dirty drainage with all of it’s stink, appeared to be weak and was around roughly 70 years old, and he sat without much customers and was smoking a Shisha. Now, while it’s easy to get angry on the people selling the crumbs, there’s also the fact you cannot entirely feel that way for many of them, as you may end up feeling bad for the person selling it themselves, rather than who would end up buying it.

Strangely enough, while the city does have an authority that sometimes does a crackdown on restaurants and bakeries selling unhygienic food, for some reason, this is not seen as an issue, despite the fact it’s unhygienic, expired, even collected from trash and without a doubt, a risk to every consumer’s health, despite the fact it is a public thing. It’s truly hard to tell why, but I presume that the easiest assumption one can make here is the fact this only affects people into deep poverty, so perhaps it is not considered a serious issue to be looked into, not only the fact they do not try to look into it and fix it, they never even bothered issuing a simple statement on TV or anywhere else that would make the citizens aware of the risks the cake crumb distribution possesses and why we shouldn’t sell or purchase them.

I wish I could end this on a positive note, that the issue is being looked into or someone is running a campaign to spread awareness, but unfortunately that is not the case. Some of you reading this, yourselves could be thinking “no one ever died from eating expired cake crumbs”, there might have been deaths due to it and you’d never know, even *if* there aren’t any deaths or so related to it, there still remains the fact it is harmful, unhygienic and, if you may, even degrading, and definitely shouldn’t be something your kid should be able to purchase and consume.

All I can say to conclude this article is that I hope someone else besides me sees this the same way, and that it’s actually included as something that is seen as an actual issue by the authorities, instead of looking over it as if it was nothing.



author

Muhammad Junaid

Muhammad Junaid is the writer of Entertainment Ghost. He writes articles, reviews, previews and entertainment news about gaming, technology, the media and so on. You can follow him on Twitter @Mr_MJunaid and Facebook MJunaid

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Published On Entertainment Ghost At Sunday, April 03, 2016