Posts Tagged ‘new zealand


Child poverty should be putting you off your dinner


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


Loving Local Food – The Ooooby Story

Starting in 2009 as an online community for people who like to grow food out of our own backyard, the Ooooby phenomenon has seen a huge rate of growth. Here is part of the Ooooby story. To support the cause, sign up for freshly delivered produce at, or join in the community at

We are living in a time of unprecedented change. Around the world things are speeding up and reaching peaks they have never reached before. Unfortunately our finite world cannot infinitely support such expansion, and we need to find a synergy between the future and our simpler past.

As consumers, we buy food from around the world every day, sometimes from Ecuador or the Philippines, California or Australia – the list is long. When we do this we use up our time, energy and precious resources, we pull money away from our communities, and we pollute our home, in order to transport food that we can grow ourselves. We expose ourselves to a food crisis because we cannot control what happens far away. We don’t know how our food is grown, or who has grown it. And we do it because the dollar sign says it’s cheaper.

Ooooby wants to reconnect communities. To recreate the simple food systems of days gone, but adapted to our modern societies and cities. To build resilience into our food systems, to create transparency and trust in our food’s origins. And we want it to be easy and affordable.

Ooooby is about local food. We encourage new growers, whether on a farm or just in a back yard. We establish relationships with our growers based on trust and mutual respect. We coordinate the collection of produce from a range of these local sources, and we distribute it to local homes – our customers. This process puts money back into the community, reduces the waste that goes into transporting food, keeps the food fresher (since it gets to your fork faster), and it gives us knowledge about our food’s origins.

To support your local community and food system, sign up for an Ooooby Box subscription at As a bonus, you’ll receive a box of fresh, delicious fruit and veges every week!

Currently available in Auckland, NZ and Waiheke Island, NZ. If you’re interested in starting up Ooooby in your own community, please get in touch at

Article supplied. Images by


Biosecurity and the RWC: How much will that cup really cost us?

What happens when you drop the border protection standards for a primary exporting country, just so rugby fans can get into the country quicker? ? ? ?

Industry group Horticulture New Zealand is right to be concerned by a drop in NZ’s border control for the Rugby World Cup. They claim more than 270,000 passengers have walked straight through our international airports without having bags x-rayed.

“If we are simply doing this to save 15 minutes for rugby fans, then I really hope they’ve got this right. Because the risk is enormous – $800 million alone, just in the Bay of Plenty, not to mention upwards of 5000 jobs lost. All it takes is one Queensland Fruit Fly, found in one monitoring trap, on one orchard. International markets will close to us, for at least a year, if not longer,” said HortNZ president Andrew Fenton.

Just when you thought that $1.2billion was more than enough for New Zealand to spend on the Rugby World Cup.

Tiny insects couldn’t really cause that much damage, right?

This comes on the back of a new report from industry group Potatoes NZ. The nation’s chip supply, is at the mercy of a tiny potato/tomato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli. The pest has cost the potato industry over $100million in the last 3 seasons alone. One of the resulting diseases of infestation is liberibacter that causes zebra chips. I prefer ghost chips myself.


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