May 4, 2010 at 10:03 am #463121
Yeh, don’t go getting too human their, they’re, I mean there Dixiebelle!
I like your ideas, I joined the CWA 😆 now there’s something to pay me out about later……just to get feelers out as to what they are focused on teaching, sharing as far as old fashioned skills go. The crafts were nice, but I was disappointed that the oldies pop in to the bakehouse and buy a boston bun for morning tea and cooking something of their own was out. Oh, modern times! 😆
Now permablitz is something I could really sink my teeth into. I am learning as much as I can from books, and trial and error. I find it too expensive to consider a course.
I wish there was more education in schools about food production and how to grow your own. Luckily up here, many primary schools are getting involved with permaculture gardening thanks to keen volunteers and a few people who have grants to do some school gardening.
Like always though, I feel educating the masses is a dangerous thing for higer powers. They can’t go giving people too much info, they may rebel…. Keeping people ignorant works for them.
Sadly people don’t know enough about the food they are consuming and how their purchases affect other people connected with that purchase. Look at coffee for instance. The coffee growers are so far in debt they have to keep going, but the more they go the more debt they grow…..that is the pits! I even wonder about fair trade now.
Check out the consumer information guide. Buying anything these days has consequences…..
JenMay 4, 2010 at 10:12 am #463122
Well said Kathy.May 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm #463123
As part of my Horticultural Production studies, I have had the chance to meet and question a lot of growers on just these subjects. Yes, they often can barely make money from their produce. Some even produce just for the first few weeks of the season when prices are high, then trash the rest of their crop as it is more expenisve to pick than they will ever recover from selling it. Some specialize in super high quality for the restaurant and high end market, checking each individual fruit, stripping the trees down to a minimum of fruit so it grows as big as possible and uncrowded by others, or grow only for export.
Some band into cooperatives, so they can acheive the economies of scale to produce at a low price. And sadly, more and more are simply going bust and choosing to leave the land.May 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm #463124
I agee with all the ethical arguments here…BUT…..they overlook the common problem worldwide….$$$$$$
The cost of food, in ALL societies is a huge issue. If we can afford local organic food, great…but, most people can’t. In oz at the moment, lots of people are drowning in debt…mortgages, credit cards and LIFE….this leads to a necesiity NOT a choice to buy these products.
Sad but true>
Edited for etrocious spelling!May 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm #463125
and people will choose to spend $$$$ on entertainment before they’ll spend it on decent food. Perhaps a re-evaluation is appropriate, and everyone can grow something, even if it is in a few pots. All helps and better choices can be made.May 4, 2010 at 8:41 pm #463126
Sadly our political & business “leaders” let us down in so many ways.
Is this a surprise??.. after all our economic system, Capitalism,is all about maximising profit and not about providing wholesome and healthy food……Surely the politicians are aware that a healthy diet is necessary for controling obesity , heart desease and skyrocketing health care costs, which we are hearing so much about latelyMay 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm #463127
“made in Australia from imported and local ingredients.”
Could it not be that the amount of imported ingredients was probably fairly high :shrug:
We do not have the most rigorous laws when it comes to labels in Australia.
Doc 😉May 4, 2010 at 10:49 pm #463128
i wonder about the price of food – as in, how much value we place on it.
Because when you come to a point (like we have reached recently) where the amount of $$ to go around is stretched incredibly thinly, that’s when you realise that there are really only a few important things in life.
Food, Shelter, Friends.
I don’t count electricity. I don’t count running water. I don’t count TV and internet and phones and insurance and petrol.
Those things we can manage without. But food – we can’t.
I think once this particular hiccup is over and done with it will certainly have me re-assessing the value of food in our daily budget. Because it’s way more important than all those other incidentals.May 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm #463129
I have read about Coles and Woolies having contracts with farmers that they then use to push prices as far down as they can go… it was a while ago and I can’t remember the specifics but it explained a lot of things about cheap food. Completely unethical stuff, but who’s surprised?May 4, 2010 at 11:03 pm #463130
I agree with Jen, sometimes the priorities or perspectives are skewed, and people are not able to ‘afford it’ because they are not willing to. They are willing to forego ‘good’ food… food that has been produced as sustainably as possible… for what they deem are more important things. I also see that other people have come to expect meat & dairy everyday, a wide range of vegetables & exotic fruit whenever they like, imported luxuries, to reproduce Masterchef meals, and to eat far more than they need.
I realise these cases don’t apply to everyone. I do worry… if the truly poor have trouble buying food now, it’s only going to get worse, with food shortages caused by land & soil degradation, climate change affecting seasons, water and minerals becoming scarce, polluted waterways and eco-systems, as well as increasing cost of transport/ distribution and storage, plus fertiliser and farm machinery affected, with oil prices rising.
I am not judging anyone for their choices, as we are not perfect, but I realise that what we eat in our house, what we teach our kids, does affect food production around the world, and esp. people who have no choice, who have no food. It can seem overwhelming to make changes, esp. if you are on a tight budget, or have limited access to markets/ local produce, and near impossible to get big business or government to make changes. I think you can only do the best you can do, become more aware and make changes how & when you can.
Oh, and for anyone interested, you can also purchase the Ethical Consumer Guide, or you can download it to your phone (I think), here is a post I did about it on my blog (giveaway over now):May 5, 2010 at 1:17 am #463131
The great tragedy of food is that it has lost its connection with its source. For a large percentage of the Australian population food comes from the supermarket or restaurant. Food is now a commodity and subject to all the regulation, bureaucracy, science, additives, bio-security, law, transport, warehousing, middlemen, retailers, marketing, advertising, & sales input that is part of the modern food chain. As a result price is now king and the destiny & control of growing food has been taken out of the farmers hands and into the corporate board room. Sadly there will always be some sucker who will supply food at cheap and low prices some where in the global village.
My mantra will always be grow your own. It is really not difficult and it has so many health, environmental and social benefits. People cite lack of time, well thats nonsense. Next time your watching TV, playing a video game, surfing the web, reading trash fiction, or just walking around scratching your arse consider the wonderful pastime of growing your own food. If you really dont have time well thats a pretty sad state of affairs. If you really cant grow your own supporting local farmers, local markets, small grocers is so much more preferable than the big global source supermarkets. Know where your food comes from, how it was grown, what has been added etc.
I used to work for Woolworths (then Safeway) and also in food advertising, as well as running a small orchard so I know a lot about the modern food chain. It is a tragedy on so many levels that the food supply has been so badly manipulated & controlled. The grower and eater should control food not the nonsense in between.May 5, 2010 at 1:27 am #463132
Then there are people who just don’t wanna grow their own. They want someone else to do it for them, and cheap. Their choice I spose.
It’s sad about the loss of connection with the source, ie to nature. I think there’s nothing better than getting your hands dirty out in a garden, getting in among the plants and having a good wiff of fresh herbs…wouldn’t trade it for a playstation, ever!
It also brings you that sense of connection, to know that is how it is supposed to be. The satisfaction of bringing in your own harvest and to taste how good a freshly picked vege is…especially a freshly picked spear of asparagus, or 10…..ever had one? Oh boy YUMMM.
If you don’t have much room, you can still grow something, so give it a try if you aren’t already!
JenMay 5, 2010 at 2:55 am #463133
Jen, I wake up in the morning a bit sad and angry about the unecessary & avoidable decay in the world, concentration of wealth, squandering of resources, abuse of children, loss of innocence, diconnect with nature etc etc. I am sure you get my drift. But after an hour or two in the garden I am fresh as an organically grown heirloom veggie and I have curbed my built up nocturnal tension.
Its quite clear that our political & business “leaders” wont & cant stop these problems so its up to the good citizens to get on with there earthy lives and lead by example. As unecceary wants become necessary needs Australia is going down a path I refuse to travel so off to the garden for me. Cheers porgey.May 5, 2010 at 4:19 am #463134
You hear about it all the time on the Gold Coast, people will get themselves into massive amounts of debt so they can have the best car/house/clothes etc. But then can only afford to live on 2min noodles all week. I think it really is a reflection of a persons inner self. That they don’t care enough about themselves to buy proper nourishment. And if they don’t care enough to look after themselves, then what hope do farmers in need have? Or the earth for that matter.
I’m a full time student, I’m lucky if I get 10hrs work a week. However, live within my means. I live in a small unit full of 2nd hand furniture, most of my clothes are from the op shop, I don’t have the latest and greatest of anything. However, I am no debt and although I eat very modestly, I can afford organic and australian grown food – supported with what I can get growing in pots. No amount of money will ever change that lifestyle either (except perhaps swapping a little unit for that dreamed of property one day and pots for a vegie patch).
If the greater population doesn’t get their priorities in check soon and support local growers, we’re all going to be in a lot of trouble.May 5, 2010 at 4:43 am #463135
or just walking around scratching your arse
Hey Porgey, I find that quite therapeutic. My doctor reckons I should do more of it. It’s good us apparently. Cheers!
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