Tag Archives: Supermarkets

Let’s lay the blame for plastic where it belongs

In the bigger scheme of things right now plastic isn’t on top of the list of importance by a long way but a recent announcement from our corporation parading as a government is the bold move where no government has gone before, pardon my cynicism … they’re banning … wait for it …

plastic fruit stickers, cutlery, and cotton buds.

It’s a bit like the recent announcement by Countdown that they’ve stopped stocking plastic straws. (Whilst McDs and friends all continue using them). They are the culprits. It is very difficult not to be cynical at this, when one browses the supermarket, everywhere there is plastic. It is so hypocritical. “Excuse me, please stop using this plastic that we’re manufacturing for you. And please buy these bags we’ve made for you.” Used to be we took our own basket to the supermarket … we’ve come such a long way haven’t we? (Not). And now of course it is all backfiring as there is no other country to dump our consumer trash on any more. It was coming wasn’t it and please don’t try and tell me they didn’t know that.

Let’s be honest and remember why we have plastic bags and wrapping in the first place. Step back a few decades, well four decades actually, and we were all toting our groceries home in paper bags provided by the supermarket (that we all are obliged to pay 25 cents each for now) and our meat was wrapped in paper then newspaper. There simply wasn’t much plastic at all. So why did they replace the paper bags with plastic?

That’s simple. And it wasn’t because our mothers, grandparents or whatever begged them to give us plastic bags. A corporation’s bottom line is profit and cost effectiveness. They achieve that by passing the cost on to us whilst convincing us it was our fault in the first place. Watch The Corporation movie (on the Corporations page) and you’ll see what I mean. It’s cost effective for their pockets not the environment you realize. I recall hearing in the ’80s that corporations would one day be controlling governments. It seemed a far cry and yet here we are and they do exactly that. And so nobody will get tough on corporations and to keep us at bay they feed us little snippets of hope like ‘the straws are going’ … ‘we’re banning supermarket bags’ and so on. Hoping we won’t notice the veggies, the meat everything in fact is packed to the hilt with … plastic. Sadly everybody swallows the spin on it.

Let’s just stop accepting the blame for this. They took away the paper & gave us a ton of free plastic however as we know it isn’t free because it costs the environment but as we also now know corporates are really good at kicking cans down the road then telling us it’s our responsibility to pick up the tab. Where once they washed the glass milk and other bottles they replaced those with plastic. They took away the glass containers with marmite & peanut butter etc that we used to keep & use for drinking glasses  and replaced them with plastic as well. We need to go the way of the Bin Inns and bring our own containers again.

The discussion around this wonderful announcement from Jacinda has brought forth some brilliant ideas. One I really like & am considering practicing is to rip the plastic off the said items after leaving the supermarket & dispose of it in their trash. Send it back to where it came from. Instead currently we are obliged to take it home, wash it once empty, sort it into a dozen different categories & transport it all the way to a recycle center if we do not have a kerbside collection. Talk about sustainable practices. Even though our corporate councils (yes they are listed on Dun & Bradstreet as companies) lay claim to sustainable practices. A few of them do it but not all.

Lip service pretty much is the name of that game.

Here is the Jacinda article:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/118018134/government-moves-to-ban-plastic-fruit-stickers-cutlery-and-cotton-buds?fbclid=IwAR0UbQM3zF2L0woSWl07uDfh_VTZTrQz2BGxB1oF0R5Py-ZP020BtJSwJ_Q

 

RELATED: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/food-news/118610455/mcdonalds-wont-have-recycling-instore-until-2025

 

Image by MikesPhotos from Pixabay

Your essential food: are you checking what’s in it and where it came from?

gardens
(Photo Credit: civileats.com)

Food was something up until the 1940s folk just grew out in the back yard … supermarkets were a new invention. Still, many gardeners kept going well into the 1970s, and growing your own food is currently making a huge come back. I recall as a child, unlike in today’s supermarkets, the shop owners went out back and got all the items on your list and put them in a brown cardboard box or paper bags. We also collected raw milk in a billy from the local Dairy and drank it, and believe it or not one of us died from doing that. Neither did I ever hear one report of food poisoning from raw milk. Today our milk is so heated and treated and added to, much of the nutrients have disappeared, and sadly, some countries have banned raw altogether. Check out the health benefits of raw milk:                                                                                                   http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/raw_milk_health_benefits.html  http://www.drdeborahmd.com/health-benefits-raw-milk

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(Photo Credit: Food Not Lawns)

I recall as a child, every morning around 5 am awakening to the sound of my father chipping away the weeds in his vegetable garden just outside my window, before breakfast and the working day. He grew everything we ate. And he didn’t spray our vegetables with anything either. He also saved the seed from one plant that he left for that purpose and of course there was an abundance for next season and the neighbours. Nature supplies abundantly although Monsanto would have us believe that GE crops can do better.

Cauli, straight from the garden
Cauli, straight from the garden

(They recently tried suing the Guatemalan people for saving their seed, something they’ve done for hundreds of years). Corporations back in the day had not gotten blatantly greedy enough yet to patent seeds. They have now of course and are busy gobbling up all the companies to tighten their hold on humanity. Then there’s the Food Bill that aims to stop all this sharing and caring by passing our veg over the back fence. What a blasphemy to humanity this is. (A note on the Guatemalan fiasco, this is due to a trade agreement a … think TPPA … the signs are on the wall).

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EnvirowatchRangitikei

Retail outlets across Europe are taking glyphosate off their shelves

From the UK’s Guardian, more news on Roundup and glyphosate. Bear in mind glyphosate is in many other products as I recently confirmed. Most of the home garden sprays in our local supermarket, popular brands too, contained glyphosate. So important to read labels and fine print.

Copy of Copy of Dec 2014 041The Guardian …. “Monsanto is far from happy. The main ingredient of its highly profitable weedkiller, Roundup, often used in conjunction with GM crops, has been declared a “probable carcinogenic”.

As well as being profitable for Monsanto, glyphosate is one of the most widely adopted weedkillers in the world by gardeners and farmers alike. Use of it by UK farmers, for example, has soared by 400% in the last 20 years.

In response to the cancer warning, the US biotech company has been quick to accuse the body behind the new classification of bias. It says the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organisation (WHO), lacks transparency and has made an irresponsible decision – one likely to cause confusion among farmers and the wider public…

Although campaigners in the UK have tried to focus attention on possible risks to human health from glyphosate residues found in bread, toxicologists suggest gardeners and farm workers are the ones most at risk.

“It is difficult to work out the magnitude of cancer risks of glyphosate, but based on the quantities people come into contact with, it can be expected that agricultural workers applying the pesticide are at much greater risk than consumers in Britain, who are exposed via residues in food…..

For those worried about their health, one organisation now allows you to pay $120 (£75) to have your urine, breast milk or tap water tested for glyphosate contamination. Far from scaremonging, toxicologist Dr Robin Mesnage from Kings College London says such testing could help…”

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/aug/07/supermarkets-garden-centres-weedkiller-ban-cancer-glyphosate-monsanto

What is causing cancer? Watch the award winning doco The Idiot Cycle – and find out

The causative factors around cancer are really no mystery … we just never hear about them in mainstream media. Read Dr Samuel Epstein’s book called ‘The Politics of Cancer’, quite an old book too. He points out the many environmental causes, and yet our system, the powers that be, call them what you will, act dumb almost and ask us to contribute to the endless sea of research that seems to go nowhere.

This documentary, ‘The Idiot Cycle’ will enlighten you.

Feeding the hungry … France makes it illegal for grocery stores to waste food

Here is an article from France on the sensible recycling of food waste…

“1/3 of the food currently produced worldwide is thrown away every year.. to help prevent this travesty, France just passed new legislation banning stores from purposefully ruining food … requiring all supermarkets 400 square feet or larger to donate unsold food to charity, for animal feed, or for farming compost.”

In recent weeks we’ve had some intriguing contrasts on this front. In NZ and the UK private organizations have been redistributing waste supermarket food to the needy, then in a town in Spain, we have a Mayor of 35 years seizing food from supermarkets to redistribute ‘Robin Hood’ style, to the poor. He sees speculation in food, and rightly so, as a disgrace. Food he says, is a right. This Mayor has also put the clamps on housing speculation and folks there in Marinaleda can own their own home for $19 a month… so long as it’s never sold for profit.

“We need to rethink our values, the consumer society, the value we place on money, selfishness and individualism,” says their mayor, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo.

bread-793852_1280Then in the US of America a young woman has been sacked for giving free cafeteria lunches to children who had no lunch money (see video at the link). Seventy one cities in the US have been trying to pass ordinances forbidding the donation of food to the homeless.

” … 90-year-old World War II veteran Arnold Abbott made national headlines when he got busted by cops in Fort Lauderdale, Florida twice in one week—for giving out food to homeless people. While serving a public meal on November 2, Abbott told the Sun-Sentinel, “a policeman pulled my arm and said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ like it was a gun.”

What’s the planet coming to? Generosity being criminalized … for what? Much of the food being denied the poor is only headed for landfills anyway. Hopefully other nations will follow the lead on this and practice some civil disobedience to get the message across. It’s not as if the poor will be shopping elsewhere and affecting profits. And profits are the underlying agenda in all of this. Take an hour out and watch ‘The Corporation’ documentary. You will learn from that that profits are the bottom line for corporations. They are not about helping people and the insanity of many of them needs to be challenged. Preventing people from feeding the poor simply isn’t right.

Swiss Supermarkets Stop Sales of Glyphosate over Health Concerns

Here is excellent news from Switzerland, joining the ranks of countries that are rejecting the probable carcinogen, glyphosate. This article is from Sustainable Pulse.

“Swiss supermarket giants Coop and Migros have announced that they will no longer sell products that contain glyphosate, following the World Health Organization’s report stating that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. They have also announced that they will be exploring non-toxic alternative weed-killers.”

Read the article here: http://sustainablepulse.com/2015/06/03/swiss-supermarkets-stop-sales-of-glyphosate-over-health-concerns/#.VXSEs6id6wI

If you’re not up to speed on glyphosate and its hidden dangers there are links in the article to further information.

For links on the extensive research you could also visit our glyphosate page here: https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/glyphosate/

If you’re from or connected with the Rangitikei region you might like to consider signing our petition to stop the use of glyphosate in our towns’ public spaces: https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/petition-2/

Note: if you consider ‘probably causes cancer’ is not proof enough to stop using glyphosate, consider now the statistics of cancer deaths which are at one in three. That is very high. Is it not worth erring on the side of caution to try and cut down this awful death rate? Consider reading the book by Dr Samuel Epstein called ‘The Politics of Cancer’. This is very enlightening and will get you to consider more deeply the part environment plays in our protection.

~ envirowatchrangitikei ~

Kaibosh eliminates food waste by feeding less fortunate

This is an inspiring report from NZ’s Campbell Live about how waste food from shops and supermarkets, still quite edible, yet destined for landfills, is gathered up and distributed to the less fortunate folks who can’t afford food. This is efficient recycling at its best … with a unique touch of kindness to boot.

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“Earlier this year, Campbell Live covered New Zealand’s $872 million food scandal and highlighted the amount of food we waste and the food we buy to eat but never do.

As a nation, we throw away 122,000 tonnes of food per annum, just from households.

That study got us thinking, and many of you too – what about commercial food waste, uneaten food from supermarkets, cafes and restaurants?

Sadly, most of it is also dumped – but not all.

Campbell Live reporter Jendy Harper spent the day rescuing the food and feeding the less fortunate in Wellington.”

Watch TV3’s VIDEO at the link:    http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/kaibosh-eliminates-food-waste-by-feeding-less-fortunate-2015052019#ixzz3awDcGTmu

10 FLOORING FOOD WASTE FACTS

From an interesting UK site called ‘This is Rubbish’ (TiR) ….  TiR is a voluntary group started in 2009 that: 

“aims to communicate the preventable scale of food wasted in the UK, through policy research, community and arts led public events.”

They have compiled some fascinating facts and figures. Did you know for instance, that:

1. “It’s estimated that 30 – 50% of food is waste globally. 1

2. 18 – 20 million tones of food is wasted annually in the UK. 2

3. Assuming that in the UK and US 25% of food is wasted, 10% of GHG emissions from these countries come from food that is discarded. 3 ”  

(Note: follow links to article for references cited).

I’ve noticed many food outlets will donate their unsold food at the end of the day to charities who quickly pass them on to those folks they know are in need. I recall during the ’90s collecting weekly a car boot load of bread from a local supermarket for that purpose. Another area I lived in (NZ’s beautiful Bay of Plenty) local growers left two large bins of ‘seconds’ from their Kiwifruit harvests free for the taking, which ended up in homes or as stock feed. Brilliant. Then there are the folks I’ve seen recently on FB who have swap stands or free stands near their gardens to dispose of surplus and feed people who are struggling financially … equally as brilliant. If you have a fruit tree that produces more than you can use, consider placing boxes of it at your front gate for passers by to take. Sharing is caring. Your generosity will return to you. I assure you.

April 2015 014

Then closer to home, was my dear Dad who grew an enormous vegetable garden and gave most of it away … serving two purposes … he loved gardening and growing things … and also enjoyed the buzz he got from helping others. Not only did he give the produce away, he also made pickles, relishes, jams and preserves, much of which he also gave away. Having lived through a Depression and a World War he knew the art of survival and making the most what he had. Like many in his era, his shed was chock full of odds and ends to fix stuff with … that was the era that preceded our current ‘throw away’ society. Perhaps this is where the ‘throw-away-the-food’ mentality comes from? Seriously, the fix-it thing is what could drastically cut back the rubbish and recycling problem that is growing into magnanimous proportions … a topic for another post.

I confess I’m guilty of waste at times although I’ve cut that back and am more mindful of using leftovers creatively instead of biffing them. Did you know for instance, you can make apple cider vinegar or apple jelly from apple peels and cores? ? Or that you can make pickle or relish from water melon rinds?

I have a friend who said as a child they had a cook up of all the left overs one night a week. (Only what was edible of course). I guess this may (or may not?) go down well with the creative chefs however … in the bigger picture we who eat well on the planet are actually the minority. This alone causes me to be very thankful for the food I do have, and more mindful of the need to not waste it. And last but not least, to use what I save in all of this, to feed a hungry child elsewhere on the planet. We may one day need the same generosity ourselves. Our current political regime here in NZ is forgetting that fact. Something to think about.

 Read more about TiR’s fantastic site HERE

Read their food waste article HERE