Bartering is back

During the 2010 US elections, right-wing Nevada politician Sharron Angle made headlines for suggesting that instead of trying to reform the outrageously expensive health care system, people could lower their medical costs by bartering for a doctor’s services. “In the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor,” she said. (She didn’t win.)

Perhaps Ms. Angle should check out Portugal, where people might be more amenable to her suggestion. It’s not health care they’re bartering for — they already have that evil, socialized universal health care that US right-wingers are so afraid of — but pigs.

According to The Portugal News, a restaurant which specializes in roasting whole pigs is now accepting firewood and food products as alternative forms of payment.

“I have already been paid for a roast piglet with a tonne of firewood,” said the owner of the Segredo dos Leitões restaurant in Vila da Longra.

Although a whole roast piglet costs around 90 euros [$120 at today’s exchange rate], it can be exchanged for commodities such as olive oil, potatoes or firewood for the restaurant.

What a marvelous idea, especially right now in the economic crisis, when so many folks are low on funds. It only works for takeaway, however. If you want to eat a whole roast piglet in the restaurant, you still have to bring cash or your bankcard.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in culture, Portugal. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bartering is back

  1. Kugai says:


    It’s inevitable that some form of alternate system would begin to come to prominence since the big food distribution chains are slowly pricing themselves out of business anyway.

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