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Posts Tagged ‘resilience

08
Nov
11

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 www.ooooby.org, or join in the community at www.ooooby.ning.com.

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 www.ooooby.org. 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 www.ooooby.org

Article supplied. Images by LovePlantLife.com

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31
Jan
11

While in global food news…

A rather depressing/unsettling piece from The Telegraph linking the current political unrest in the Middle East and Africa with food supply issues. They point out that the surge in global food prices is hitting hardest the countries with an accelerating gap between rich and poor. So while industry leaders here claim that the NZ economy will benefit from a rise in these prices, families are suffering. Not a good sign for equality or our children’s nutrition.

So here are some really interesting tidbits from the article:

—  The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)  cereals index has risen 39pc in the last year, the oil and fats index 55pc.

—  Vulnerable governments are scrambling to lock up world supplies of grain. Algeria bought 800,000 tonnes of wheat last week, and Indonesia ordered 800,000 tonnes of rice. Both greatly exceeding their normal pace of purchases.

—  The immediate cause of this food spike was the worst drought in Russia and the Black Sea region for 130 years, lasting long enough to damage winter planting as well as the summer harvest. Russia imposed an export ban on grains. This was compounded by late rains in Canada, Nina disruptions in Argentina, and a series of acreage downgrades in the US. The world’s stocks-to-use ratio for corn is nearing a 30-year low of 12.8pc, according to Rabobank.

—  The deeper causes are well-known: an annual rise in global population by 73m; the “exhaustion” of the Green Revolution as the gains in crop yields fade, to cite the World Bank; diet shifts in Asia as the rising middle class switch to animal-protein diets, requiring 3-5 kilos of grain feed for every kilo of meat produced; the biofuel mandates that have diverted a third of the US corn crop into ethanol for cars.

—  Add the loss of farmland to Asia’s urban sprawl, and the depletion of the non-renewable acquivers for irrigation of North China’s plains, and the geopolitics of global food supply starts to look neuralgic.

—  The global reservoir of unforested cropland is 445m hectares, compared to 1.5 billion in production.

Lessons for NZ

We need to protect our arable land from deterioration, erosion, flooding  and lifestyle blocks. We also need to look after our water supplies. These resources need to be effectively managed if NZ wants to continue to be the ‘farm to the world’.

Resilience in local production and supply are key. Sharpened distribution systems that ensure quality food items get onto NZ plates and into lunchboxes without significant waste or cost are essential.

Not being preached too about fiscal responsibility, geopolitics and how price increases are good for all NZers while millionaire politicians borrow $300 million a week to pay for tax cuts for the rich and chew over the Wagyu fat about propping up failed financial companies and trashing our environment in favour of unsustainable dairying? Priceless.

 

Read the whole article “Egypt and Tunisia usher in the new era of global food revolutions“.

28
Jan
11

Selling ourselves short

This isn’t a political blog. But sometimes things just get too crazy out there in the world and you’ve got to write some stuff down and say your piece. Economics is not my forte, I usually avoid it. Resilience, on the other hand, is something I do care deeply about. And the government’s plans to throw resilience and security out the window by selling state assets, at a time when energy security is becoming a major issue for nations, just flabbergast me.

It’s been widely cited today that the NZ electricity companies are worth $11 billion dollars and earn $700 million per annum. If the government sell off 49% of them now to pay for this year’s tax cuts, the roads of National significance, irrigating Canterbury for dairying and lignite mines, we’re jeopardising our environment, our future and our independence to foreign investors and private companies.

We currently own these assets, don’t be fooled into some idea that Mum and Dad investors (I’m so sick of that cliche) will want to buy them back off themselves. New Zealanders have lost all faith in investing, especially in our own country (there certainly was no interest in buying Crafar). According to Bernard Hickey, NZers have over $100 billion dollars in banks and we saved $3 billion dollars last year. The money is there to invest but thanks to the ravages of greed, Kiwis have no confidence in investments. I’m not surprised. 62 NZ finance companies and investment trusts that have had assets frozen or have collapsed in the past four years.

We need to look after our people, our land, our environment. The sale of state assets opens up too much future risk for very little gain now and in no way works toward meeting those needs. We need to reduce the $300 million dollars the government borrows every week. Spending needs to be reduced. New infrastructure spends (roads) need to be put on hold. I know it’s cotentious but cancelling the money black hole that is the Rugby World Cup would also help… major international events cost money, they don’t make money.

But enough of my ranting. I’ve read some excellent articles about this and suggest you do the same. Links below. Oh but may I just say how pleasantly surprised I am that even the Stuff.co.nz and NZHerald polls clearly show state asset sales are unpopular with the masses

Election 2011: GO! – Keith Ng

Opinion: Selwyn Pellett argues John Key’s ‘Smile and Wave’ on asset sales won’t cut the mustard

Opinion: John Key has finally got religion on debt reduction, but he needs to worship much harder – Bernard Hickey




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