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Bruce Tuncks

Does Australia have a food surplus or not?

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48 minutes ago, old man emu said:
3 hours ago, old man emu said:

...Lowe's book addresses Horne's stance, and states that due to poor leadership, little has changed since The Lucky Country.

 

 In Greek mythology the lotus-eaters, were a race of people living on an island dominated by the lotus tree. The lotus fruits and flowers were the primary food of the island and were a narcotic, causing the inhabitants to sleep in peaceful apathy. Figuratively, 'lotus-eater' denotes "a person who spends their time indulging in pleasure and luxury rather than dealing with practical concerns".

I fear you are dead right, OME. Worse still, many in power know it and are positioning themselves to deflect blame for Australia’s inevitable decline onto convenient scapegoats. Science is regularly ignored in favor of populist politics. Sports stadiums get priority over education. 

 

An educated and well-informed electorate is essential for any democracy and that requires strong, independent media like the ABC, which the Murdoch family has been trying to destroy for generations. Kieth Murdoch already had massive influence over governments when the ABC was set up and campaigned vociferously to prevent the ABC from being allowed to provide a news service. His son Rupert now has so much power over the political agenda that no government dares challenge him. The ABC budget gets cut while his pay-to-watch network gets government grants. 

 

48 minutes ago, old man emu said:

 

 

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If you want to see what healthy food is, you need to look at healthy people. You won't find them on Australia in any large number.

We don't need to import food from China to get polluted food, just consider how much anti-biotic is put into Aussie beef, pork and chook meat.

I have a bottle of milk bought locally  with extra pro biotics. no doubt to counter the anti-biotics in the so called milk. Just looking at milk in the supermarket, there are dozens of different types of milk and I mean cows milk, not other mammalian or vegetable so called milks. It is very hard to find a milk that looks or tastes like the milk we used to get. I spent ten years milking cows and nowadays what purports to be milk would in a lot of cases be discarded by the dairy as not up to standard. The only improvement I can see is that it is so full of chemicals, that it has a shelf life about 5 times as long as the milk I used to produce.

Edited by Yenn
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Gosh that's terrible . I had read before that imported olive oil would not necessarily be true to label... Why don't  we ( the government ) at least post a reward for finding illegal additives? That would cost money which could be recouped as a fine.

So the cost would be zero, with the possible problem being that "clean" tomatoes or olive oil might be more expensive.

 

Edited by Bruce Tuncks
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Almost two years ago, a health scare pushed me into going on a bit of a health kick. Part of the change was in diet. I was always a reasonably healthy eater, but now I've given up most processed food and eat mainly natural organic grown food. Haven't bought a can or packet for ages. Also no red meat or pigs or antibiotic saturated, pox ridden chooks; just good ocean caught non Chinese seafood from the Southern Ocean or locally sourced. I've been determined to minimise the amount of food cooked in a factory by someone wearing a hair net and green dustcoat and have got back into gardening and growing some chemical free food of my own. Needless to say, my sole cow is very popular as a source of fertilizer. And I feel streets better for it; I think the body has de-toxed a lot of that corporate chemical crud they feed us.

 

One of the things that p*sses me off, particularly having spent half a life in the oil game, is the amount of petroleum derived additives they make us eat. The bastards are making us eat oil. What the hell has happened to humanity that we rely on corporations to feed us. And how did we let it get to this. Were we asleep or something? And don't get me started on sugar. The food corporations biggest ticket, it's cheap and addictive. Put enough on a turd and the punters would buy it. If you took the salt and sugar out of processed food, nobody would eat it.

Edited by willedoo
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Sugar is interesting ...  According to polls, the average person would be accepting of a sugar tax. Health professionals have been asking for one for years.

Now we are taxed on lots of things which nobody likes to be taxed on, but sugar is tax free! I wonder why...

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We are almost sugar taxed in the UK.. Sugary drinks are taxed at 10p higher per container than non-sugary (diet) drinks. As far as I can tell, there is no other suar tax in the UK. So, fast food companues (Maccas, BK, KFC, Subway, etc) can still load their foods with sugar without the tax; as can ice cream vendors, etc. There has to be some question from a health perspective of replacing sugar with aspartamaine and the other chems..

 

I have no idea of the numbers, but my guess is that it has made little difference judging by the rate the apparent rate at which sugary drinks seem to empty from the local convenience store compared to before the tax.

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7 hours ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

Sugar is interesting ...  According to polls, the average person would be accepting of a sugar tax. Health professionals have been asking for one for years.

Now we are taxed on lots of things which nobody likes to be taxed on, but sugar is tax free! I wonder why...

Because companies which produce sugar-filled products are particularly effective at lobbying conservative governments.  Not to mention the sugar industry in Australia, which seemingly fully owns a certain whack job politician.  (I'm sure you know who I mean!)

This is also the reason that we don't have a national container deposit scheme in Australia.  The big soft drink companies kicked up a fuss and naturally, the minor hit to a large company's bottom line matters more to the LNP than the environment.

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Yep, container deposits show how we are not as democratic as we like to think. Deposits are supported by a big majority of the population. In South Australia they have been in for so many years that they have fallen behind inflation in a big way. Even so, they have been challenged legally.  If you had seen the litter around an aboriginal settlement in the NT you would understand why they finally joined SA in deposit legislation.

 Personally, I reckon they should be much higher and on more things. Alas, that would take more democracy than we have.

Edited by Bruce Tuncks
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Yes, no doubt Australia does import vast quantities of packaging from Asian sources. And it's used for packaging foreign origin foods and local origin foods. Do you believe a plastics manufacturing plant guarantees food grade hygiene? Do you believe that when the food company then buys pallet loads of packaging, that they wipe clean every slip of plastic before mechanically wrapping your food in it?  Does anyone check?

 

My biggest gripe about this is the labelling of food. We cannot steer our purchasing power without reliable information. I'll vote with my wallet if I can.

 

Repeatedly the public have called for proper labelling of foods and repeatedly the government stalled for long periods, then mandated new, useless labelling.

For instance, how can I decide what is meant when my ham (sliced off the bone while I watch) or "fresh" bacon is labelled "Contains 15% Australian" ?

 

Was that pig only part Australian??

Was the 15% just water and salt?

What else is in it?

Where did the rest come from?

How long ago was it killed?

 

So I walk (yes, I'll walk further to buy local) outside colesworths to the local butcher (he does his own kills and can tell me roughly where his meats came from each week).

And amazingly, I get a much nicer product, even more amazingly he's no dearer than the supermarket.

 

I've learnt to take my reading glasses when I go shopping, and I'm one of those grumpy old blokes who blocks the aisle whilst reading the labels before choosing what goes into the trolley.

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14 minutes ago, nomadpete said:

I've learnt to take my reading glasses when I go shopping, and I'm one of those grumpy old blokes who blocks the aisle whilst reading the labels before choosing what goes into the trolley.

Doing the grocery shopping is one of those tasks that wives seem to hand over to their husbands upon their retirement. It takes a few trips to learn the tricks, but eventually you get to know where everything is, so you only take extra time looking for stuff that's not on the regular shopping list. I hate going to the supermarket on weekends - all those husbands wandering lost through the aisles, note paper in hand and not a clue what to look for.

 

Perhaps Men's Sheds should organise training classes for young men to pass on the Secret Men's business of grocery shopping.

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I noticed many interesting points being raised in this thread. Makes for interesting reading.

 

One recurring sideline is the shared belief that many of our collective gripes indicate a progressive failing of democracy.

 

How many posts mention "surveys have shown that the majority of Australians would like......

Better food labelling.

Random imported food quality tests.

Protection of vital local  food supply.

Biosecurity.

Drink container deposit scheme.

Better age care.

Better education.

A tax on sugar/palm syrup.

Less fossil fuel use.

Less fighting other people's political wars.

Etc

Etc"

 

If it's common knowledge that a majority want something, our democracy should automatically work towards it!

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As for the country having "a food surplus or not".....

It's pretty hard to say because of so much importing and exporting going on.  My cynical self assumes that on balance, if we do have a food surplus (a good thing), the government would be crowing about it frequently in order to keep the great unwashed (the voters) from paying too close attention to the" less good" things that might go on.

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4 hours ago, nomadpete said:

 

 

So I walk (yes, I'll walk further to buy local) outside colesworths to the local butcher (he does his own kills and can tell me roughly where his meats came from each week).

And amazingly, I get a much nicer product, even more amazingly he's no dearer than the supermarket.

 

 

Where's this butcher Peter - Huonville?

 

We usually get our meat from Salamanca Fresh but I don't know if they're any better than the supermarket.  Ham & other cured products are probably mostly sourced from overseas there too.

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4 hours ago, nomadpete said:

...many of our collective gripes indicate a progressive failing of democracy.

 

How many posts mention "surveys have shown that the majority of Australians would like......

Better food labelling.

Random imported food quality tests.

Protection of vital local  food supply.

Biosecurity.

Drink container deposit scheme.

Better age care.

Better education.

A tax on sugar/palm syrup.

Less fossil fuel use.

Less fighting other people's political wars.

Etc

Etc"

 

If it's common knowledge that a majority want something, our democracy should automatically work towards it!

Very true, but our democracy has been perverted by American-style lobbyists who set the agenda. If a political donor wants something done, it is done, despite massive opposition from the public.

Conversely, if the majority of voters want certain things that strong lobby groups don’t like, it will never happen.

 

If the average consumer knew of the underhand behavior of corporations like Coke Cola they’d never buy their products.

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We are fortunate to have two local butchers and only one colesworths.

Just outside Woolies there is a butcher that sells Scottsdale pork (that was the case last time I asked). About a block down the road a local family butcher sells various meats (you'd have to ask him what the source is). He also sells on consignment for local farms and that would be as local as a source can get.

Neither of these establishments seem to have those little signs that confess 10% Australian content.

 

Be aware that just because it's local, doesn't automatically  guarantee it will be the best of the best. But it does keep the food miles down, keeps local businesses alive and keeps food security alive. Having said that, I've always found that the quality has been great and the prices are usually comparable to supermarkets.

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59 minutes ago, Marty_d said:

Where's this butcher Peter - Huonville?

 

We usually get our meat from Salamanca Fresh but I don't know if they're any better than the supermarket.  Ham & other cured products are probably mostly sourced from overseas there too.

This a photo of what was our local butcher shop when I was a kid. Naturally enough, the butcher's nickname was 'Butch' and he was a returned soldier like almost everyone back then. He served as a butcher during the war in the 2/1st. Australian Field Butchery Company.

 

The shop had the sawdust floor and the big wood chopping block. Everyone used to bring in their old newspapers to give to the butcher. The meat was wrapped in that white proper paper then finally wrapped in newspaper. He had a few acres out of town and bought sheep, cattle and pigs and finished them on the block before slaughtering them and bringing the carcasses into town. The meat was local grown and killed and fresh, top quality product.

 

As what happens with all these things, governments feel a need to constantly regulate us into oblivion. The bureaucrats made him concrete the floor and get rid of the newspaper. From memory, I think the wooden block was a no no as well. The new regulations to kill his own meat were too great and too expensive, so he stopped doing that. He had a butcher employed, and because of that one employee, the government wanted him to build a shower and amenities block at great cost, so he let the other butcher go. He ended up working alone and buying in carcasses from one of the big meat mobs.

 

I think a lot of regulation is just for the sake of regulation, rather than based on factual figures of people becoming ill from a health risk.

Resized_20200718_143303.jpg

Edited by willedoo
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A lot of regulation is a means for Beauracrats to SEEM busy.

Paid to dream up new rules just for the new rules sake, and their pay packet.

spacesailor

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Well... yes and no.

 

MOST regulation (not all) is based on a reaction to an event - so some actual dodgy butcher has truly unsanitary conditions and ends up giving food poisoning to a bunch of people, then they may scratch their heads and say "Hmmm - perhaps the floor should be sealed so it can be hosed off" etc.  Now in @willedoo's story that butcher was obviously not unsafe, took pride in his work and probably refreshed the sawdust regularly.  But regulation can't apply to some and not others.

 

If you've ever seen the outdoor butchers in places like Sri Lanka, they stink.  You're walking through a market and all of a sudden there's a stall with flies buzzing around reeking carcasses whose intestines are puddled on the dirt underneath them.  Not great for the appetite...

 

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One of the things that bugs me is the number of people involved in food preparation who constantly prepare food with their bare hands! Yet, Foodsafe puts out extensive amounts of instructional placards and signs, stating you must use disposable gloves, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and ensure the chances of food contamination are kept extremely low.

There are reputedly something like 13,000 cases of food poisoning, annually, that are not reported - you know, the ones where you end up with a dose of diarrhoea, or just a generally crook guts that isn't worth reporting - but which makes you keep away from the place you suspected you picked it up from.

 

I reckon most of the chefs/cooks on TV cooking shows are partly to blame. These people are supposed to be professionals, yet they spend all their time with their fingers in the food they're preparing!! It doesn't make me want to eat anything they've prepared.

Edited by onetrack
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