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01
Dec
11

Child poverty should be putting you off your dinner

Image: http://www.killmoney.net

Considering the very big dependency we have on food and the fact that mankind has been walking the earth and eating from it for the last however-many hundreds of generations, you’d really think it was about time we got better at feeding people, right? 

Well, we suck. Not only are there famines in the Horn of Africa, but there are people hungry in almost every country in the world. People who simply don’t have enough money to eat. And those dying of nutritional starvation because all they eat is crap. And the bit that really, really infuriates me is when there are children in supposedly first-world countries that don’t get enough to eat.

The UN has already slammed New Zealand’s “staggering” rates of child abuse and poverty, limited access to high-quality early childhood education, high suicide rates and widening disparities in health and living conditions for Maori children. Child abuse rates in NZ are among the highest in countries of the OECD, and 20% of children live in poverty (a household earning 60% less than the median income).  The Greens tried to make it a political and moral imperative to reverse these appalling statistics and were rewarded with over 10% of the vote in November 2011 elections.

I haven’t even tried to watch Inside New Zealand’s Inside Child Poverty documentary that screened last week as I am a new mother and cry at the thought of someone hurting a child or even when I handwash the stuffed animals and they look up at me with those big dopey eyes like I’m drowning them (please donate more handkerchiefs to the big girl’s blouse fund here). You however, should have more balls then I do and watch it online On Demand. That way you can pause it to go grab more hankies.

So, we can’t feed 270,000-odd kids but we’re more than happy to throw out half a million tonnes of food a year? I’m very skeptical about the ‘authority’ of this article given it’s sketchy, ill-written ‘facts’, but unfortunately, it probably isn’t too far from the truth…. After you’ve read it I want you to go to your room New Zealanders and don’t come out until you can think of at least 3 small ways you can help. Then go do them. Or I shall get the karma fairy to personally come and spit on your food.

Wasteful Kiwis still biffing costly fruit and vegetables

Despite soaring food costs, Kiwis are throwing out thousands of dollars of food each week.

The vast majority (86 per cent) of over 1000 Sunday Star-Times readers polled said they bought food and threw it away.

Fruit and vegetables make up more than half of what is thrown out with food past its use-by date a close second at 46 per cent.

The latest Statistics New Zealand figures show fruit and vegetables are the main component in driving up consumer price indexes since June. Fresh produce rose 9% overall with vegetables alone up 18%.

Wasted food was most likely to end up in the bin – rather than in compost – and ultimately ends up in a landfill.

Nearly a quarter of the 3.2 million tonnes of waste that ends up in a landfill is organic and Zero Waste chief executive Jo Knight estimates more than half of that is food.

If, like Australians, we bin 13% of our total food purchases each year, then more than $2 billion of food is wasted annually. That’s $465 of food per person a year.

Results show we are also cooking more than we need with 36% of food thrown out being meal leftovers.  Read more

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