Minute traces of meat have been found in some meals consumed by poor people, according to the Department of Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
Mr Smith said he had long suspected that the poor were spending money on food instead of on bus fares or telephone calls looking for work.
'If you give some people living in poverty more money,they'll just squander it on more food for themselves and their children,' he said.'Some families are even buying meat.
'No-one is going to get into the world of work while sitting at home around the kitchen table eating and drinking'.
Mr Iain Duncan Smith is said to be planning a visit to North Korea to see how Pyongyang has cured people of addiction to food and drink.