Cash strapped students offered baked bean loans

Students strapped for cash will be interested to hear about a new and exciting loan scheme - although instead of being provided with funds, they are afforded a number of cans of baked beans! Baked beans-on-toast has long been regarded as a staple meal for students, especially those on a budget - or at least those who have spent the majority of their budget on cigarettes and alcohol.

However, it has recently been discovered that baked bean consumption by student households has fallen by 20 per cent in the past five years alone, prompting producer Branston to introduce a baked beans loan scheme which will see students receive cans and pay for them only when they have started work.

In all, 24 cases of tins will be supplied to students which apply for the 'loan', with deliveries being made every term for three years, following which an interest-free payment of £106 will be expected to have been paid back within a year of the students in question starting work.

According to Rob Stacey, marketing manager of Branston, the reason for the decline in popularity of the humble baked bean is down to wider choice and, surprisingly, improved culinary prowess.

"Students have more choice these days and are becoming increasingly adventurous in their food tastes, so it's not surprising that consumption of beans has dipped," Mr Stacey told the Times.

"But the fact is, baked beans are the perfect student food - nutritious, versatile and cheap. It would be a crying shame if beans were knocked off their perch as the student's favourite grub."

A more conventional option for cash-strapped students would be for them to apply for a bank loan. Although a monetary loan is unlikely to be as nutritious as a beans-comprised alternative, cash is more likely to be accepted as a viable form of payment by a landlord. Having said this, beans are particularly effective as a dietary supplement, as Andre Simon explained in the Concise Encyclopaedia of Gastronomy.

"Beans are highly nutritious and satisfying, they can also be delicious if and when properly prepared, and they possess over all vegetables the great advantage of being just as good, if not better, when kept waiting, an advantage in the case of people whose disposition or occupation makes it difficult for them to be punctual at mealtime," he said.

So while a bank loan is a highly effective way to secure extra funds, and beans are good for the digestive system, let it also be established that beans are also not supposed to be bathed in, as Roger Daltrey found to his cost. The Who rocker posed in a bath of beans during a photo shoot in 1967, only to subsequently contract pneumonia.

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