Meat consumption in households
According to a poll conducted by the Iranian Student Opinion Polling Center on 2 August, 8.2% of Iranian households, equivalent to more than 2 million households, or 6.4 million people, have not consumed any red meat in the past year.
The survey also shows that 14.4 percent of households, or 11.5 million people, ate red meat only a few times last year.
This statistic shows that compared to the period of the previous year 2019, the number of people who do not eat red meat in their families has increased by 3.5%, equivalent to 875,000 households or 2.8 million people.
The survey also shows that 3.7 percent of Iranian households, equivalent to 925,000 households or nearly 3 million people, eat chicken only a few times a year, and 1.3 percent or 325,000 households, or 1.4 million people, have not consumed chicken in the year past year.
The results of this report also show that 7.9% of Iranian households, equivalent to 1,975,000 households, i.e. 6,320,000 people, have not consumed milk at all in the year leading up to June 2020.
Consumption of fish in households
Fish meat is another source of protein that has been questioned among Iranian households.
Meanwhile, 24.6% of households, equivalent to more than 6.15 million households or 19.68 million people, have not consumed fish in their livelihood basket in the year leading up to June 2020.
According to the published report, the consumption of rice, white meat, and even milk and yogurt has significantly decreased among Iranian families, and some Iranian families have stopped consuming it altogether.
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Earlier, Iran’s Parliament Research Center had issued a report warning of a shrinking Iranian household basket and warning of the impact of about 30 percent inflation in the spring and summer of 2020 on the lower deciles of society too.
Media outlets affiliated with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s faction have blamed rising meat prices and inflation on declining households’ ability to supply them, while earlier the Iran daily quoted suppliers and officials at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade as saying that the problem was in allocating currency and providing livestock inputs for the increasing of the prices.
The reason for the skyrocketing food prices
In other words, the reason for the staggering increase in the price of meat and other high-consumption animal products in the basket of Iranian households is due to the lack of allocation of currency to these products by the government.
In May, Qassem Nodeh Farahani, the head of the Tehran Chamber of Trades, announced the omission of the 4,200 rate currency for food imports and said: “From now on, people will have to buy raw materials or import goods with the Nima currency (Integrated system of foreign exchange transactions – This system has been created with the aim of providing foreign exchange and facilitating the supply of foreign exchange for the import of goods and creating a safe environment in transactions for buyers and sellers of goods and foreign exchange.), this will increase the price of food in the market.”
The increase in the Nimayee currency rate to 16,000 tomans in recent months, which is nearly four times the government currency that was supposed to be allocated for the purchase of food and medicine, dealt a devastating blow to people’s livelihoods.
This has put people’s livelihoods on the brink of collapse. A look at the prices of goods that are breaking records day by day confirms the bitter fact that the Velayat-e-Faqih system has neither the power nor the intention to control and regulate prices.
According to the agreement of the members of the Supreme Labor Council of Iran, in May of this year, the base of workers’ salaries in the year 2020 was set at 1.836 million Tomans.
Meanwhile, according to Iran’s state media, the poverty line for a family of four has reached 9 million tomans in May 2020.
Now, with a poverty line of 9 million and a salary of 1.8 million, how can a working-class family be able to support themselves, when their monthly salary is about one-fifth of the poverty line?