All Farmer Jacks are Celebrating!


Fifth Estate # 312, Spring 1983

Farmer Jack adFREE FOOD! Today and every day at Farmer Jacks!!


Dear former customer of Detroit area supermarkets:

The problem of hunger is a very serious one, and we, the managers of the food distribution industry are well aware of it. After all, it is hunger—in relative stages of course—which keeps us in business.

We at Kroger’s, Farmer Jack, A & P, Chatham, and all of the other supermarket chains, make millions of dollars in profits every year by buying up sustenance at the “point of production,” and selling it to you—the customer—at a mark-up. It is certainly true that we need you to keep the cash registers jangling (or beep-beeping as technology improves). But you, dear customer, need us too. Ever since we have come to impose ourselves and our organizations as middle men between the farmer and gardener at one end of the spectrum and the person in hunger at the other, nothing has remained as it once was—neither agriculture, nor food, nor the distribution of food. No one knows any longer how to go about getting food except through us. A neat trick, you will have to admit. But it has taken a lot of hard work to mystify a simple problem like sustenance, to deprive millions of people of the capacity to resolve it on their own and through their communities, and to turn it into an impersonal industry. For such hard work and effort, you will have to admit that we deserve the enormous profits we reap from your need to satisfy your hunger.

And all in all, it is good for the economy. By selling food to you at a profit, we make it possible to buy the Cadillacs, the three-piece suits, the private school educations for our kids, the vacations in Cancun, the spacious homes in Bloomfield Hills, that make up our life style. By purchasing these products for our own consumption, by way of an economic “trickle down,” we indirectly make jobs for you, so that you can return to our stores and buy the ever-expanding number of processed food products which we make available to you. This cycle is the beauty of capitalism.

Now we understand that at times the system tends to develop a few problems, and people no longer have the money they need to buy our products. So they go hungry. And frankly, we are no more happy about this than the next guy. We need paying customers. So we have decided to give some food away for awhile, starting today. Just go to any participating supermarket and tell the manager that you are hungry and have no money, and you will be given all the food you need for free! Don’t be shy, just walk right up and demand what is, after all, rightfully yours, the products of society’s collective labor. Don’t hesitate, since hunger is debilitating, and if you wait too long you might be too weak later on to do anything about it. Just step right up and take what is yours, take what you need, take what you want.

You can have your cake and eat it too, if you are willing to cease being a customer and to start being a human being. When sustenance has for so long been reduced to a category of commerce, commerce must finally give way to the needs of human sustenance. So come and get it—no lines, no coupons, no money, no waiting, no limits. Transform your desires into reality.

Bon appetit,

Ken L. Rashin and Al Poe
Head Cheese at Kroger’s and A & P

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And the price is right…


Daily life becoming intolerable? Take two of these babies, which were recalled from the nation’s shelves late last year. Shelf life: 10,000,000 years. No guarantees—take two Tylenol, to end it all, the American way.

GOVERNMENT SURPLUS CHEESE WHIZ. Shelf life: 20,000,000 years. The Michigan PBB’s and dioxins insure that this stuff will never go bad. Glows in the dark. Geo-degradable. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers. For more information, call the All Purpose Congress.

GOLDEN RIPE BANANAS. Our government works hard to insure continuous supplies of bananas, coffee, and other Latin American products to your kitchen table. It’s not easy keeping repressive dictatorships in business against unruly peasants and Indians, even with the help of viperish U.N. ambassadoresses and psychopathic military advisers. Brought to you gracias to the Alliance for Progress and the CIA. Slightly blood-stained.

LISTERINE. For those who haven’t eaten in days, or even weeks, bad breath is a continual and embarrassing problem. A dash of Listerine and you won’t drive your sweetheart away. Can also be used as an embalming fluid…or a molotov cocktail.

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A few old time favorite recipes for when the supermarket shelves run out, from the “Eat the Rich Cookbook.”

Baked Alaska—the coup de grace for a splendid fireworks of a meal. Very spicy! Take one deranged president, add one mentally impaired Secretary of Defense, a dash of faulty computer wiring, a pinch of migrating geese, warm with radar, mix with nuclear warheads, flash all in a pan, and voila! Baked Alaska! The perfect surprise dessert.

Braised Bureaucrat Au Boeuf—Stewed eel has been a low-cost favorite among the working people of England since Shakespeare’s time, and this timely variation with its slippery human equivalent is sure to prove just as popular in this country. Clean and scrape scales from one bureaucrat. Take care in this step, even if some dead residual muscle twitching may occur, and combined with the oiliness of the skin surface this may make pinning down for cleaning nearly impossible. But perseverance will pay off.

Cut meat into six-inch long strips and soak in acidulated water for three hours. Drain, then cover meat with fresh water.

Add 1 whole or sliced onion, one-half cup of celery with leaves, 3 bay leaves.

Simmer uncovered until tender, three to four hours. Slice very thin and serve with creamed spinach or cold in aspic.

“Cap” Weinburgers —a simple meal for national emergencies.

Grind: one high-ranking Defense Department official (a corporate executive from the war industry will also do, though the tastiness of the dish will be enhanced by the stature of the official).

Mix in: 2 large garlic cloves, diced; one-half cup bread crumbs; finely chopped ribbon to taste.

Fry on both sides until done. An excellent lunch—you’ll feel like getting out there and prevailing over the rest of the day!

Cream of Computer Expert—From our own computer menu! This is a simple recipe for hardworking office employees pressed for time. Gather ‘A dozen computer experts, disjoint and fry in one and one-half tablespoons of butter until glossy and red. Add one can of any processed soup, two dozen cups of coffee, and two grams of silicon.

Divide and section carcasses into styrofoam fast food containers.

Microwave for 5 minutes or to taste. Perfect for working people in a hurry—even if no microwave oven is handy, this product is already half-baked.

Split Priest Soup—a fine, hearty soup which sacrifices nothing in this modern rendition of a much older recipe. Perfect for winter meals, it even has a reputation for provoking an almost spiritual satisfaction.

Prepare the carcass, by splitting it lengthwise. Nail to cutting board and cut into pieces while dredging with vinegar: one priest, minister, rabbi, imam, or guru (add curry to this variety).

Brown in one-half cup bacon grease and two gallons holy water (from tap). Simmer in a large soup tureen, adding wafers, until the meat falls from the bones. Add vegetables to taste. A divine soup fit for the gods.

Depression Stone Soup—For those looking for a change in taste.

Take one (or several) large stones (or bricks) and heave through a supermarket window. Enter store with friends and neighbors, and take what you can carry. No lines! No waiting! A pause that refreshes. An excellent recipe for those who have a great hunger and a lot of friends willing to help with the preparations.

Old Fashioned Prune Face Pie—an old time favorite for those with daring palates, the ingredients are uncommon and hard to find, but well worth the extra effort. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Have ready: one decrepit, mean-spirited U.S. president. Beat until stiff but not dry. Add a heaping helping of Hinkley’s Hamburger Helper; add president’s cardboard wife, pureed. Mix in baking dish, bake about one hour until firm. Serve hot with cream sauce. An elegant dish for very special entertainments!