Food

Richard Branson hands in his man card to become a fussy eater

Richard Branson has decided that he won’t eat meat anymore.

Richard Branson gave up beef earlier this year.

“More and more people recognise that conventional meat production can have truly devastating environmental impacts,” he wrote in a blog about producing food for future generations as part of World Food Day on Thursday.

“It’s one of the reasons I gave up eating beef earlier this year, and it looks like I am not the only one. Surprisingly, for myself, I haven’t missed it at all.

“If we could get many other people to do the same, we would be healthier, and we would help sustain the beautiful biodiversity we are losing in the rainforests.”

Branson is referring to the increasing demand for meat as the world’s population of  7 billion grows and the impact this has on the environment.   Read more »

Otago University teaches #dirtypolitics

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It’s well known that Otago University is a hotbed of troughing activity, particularly Otago’s Wellington outpost.

Now each summer they offer various courses to pull in some coin to keep their academic activists busy.

One such course being offered on Friday 13th February is the $400 ‘Mobilising for change in public health – advocacy in action’.

Now a course like that sounds all very innocent for young researchers who look up to these activist academics. Here’s a sample of what they will be learning;

  1. An introduction to mobilisation and advocacy – definitions and competencies
  2. Examples and case studies
  3. Six imperatives for effective change
  4. Evidence – evidence to support change
  5. Policy fit – key policy levers for change
  6. Partnerships – agencies that can work together for change
  7. Solutions – specific actions to support change
  8. Advocacy strategy – across a mix of media advocacy, government relations, professional and community mobilization, and advocacy from within organizations.
  9. Creative execution – the ‘art’ of effective advocacy for change

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Proof Greens are bad for you

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No, not the political party…greens as in vegetables.

Everyone knows I eat meat, all sorts of meat, lamb, beef, venison, pork, bacon (especially bacon), ham, turkey, duck, chicken etc.

I eschew greens, and now you can understand why. They make you sick.

Packaged carrots and lettuce are being blamed for a painful epidemic of food poisoning sweeping through New Zealand.

Nationwide, more than 100 people have been reported as suffering from symptoms mimicking appendicitis, including from the Bay of Plenty.

Toi Te Ora has recorded five people from the Bay of Plenty suffering from the stomach bug, caused by the bacteria Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

The bacteria causes painful stomach cramps with diarrhoea resulting on rare occasions and can be extremely unpleasant for the person involved.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Copyright: Tom Samuelson/National Geographic

Copyright: Tom Samuelson/National Geographic

Impending Doom

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Photo Of The Day

Switzer has been documenting different tribes of the lower Omo Valley that are under severe threat because of the Ethiopian Governments construction of the Gibe III dam up river from this ethnically diverse corner of Africa.

Photo: Maynard Switzer: Switzer has been documenting different tribes of the lower Omo Valley that are under severe threat because of the Ethiopian Governments construction of the Gibe III dam up river from this ethnically diverse corner of Africa.

Vanishing Culture

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The majority of NZs want to pay more for their food? Really?

The NZ Herald has a poll result today where the headline claims that Kiwi want a ‘fat tax’.

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Except that was not was originally asked in the poll.

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The question is rather clumsy. Imagine the result if they had asked “Do you think it is a good idea to tax ALL Kiwis with a sugar tax, increasing food and drink prices across the board, when it is only fat bastards who should be taxed?”.  Read more »

Mana’s Menu is Pie in the Sky

Mana News

Mana News

I found this image on Mana’s Facebook page

It was fascinating to get some insights into both Mana and the people who vote for it. Based on that News page alone I have come to the following conclusions:

Mana is all about giving low income people rental housing at a ridiculously low rent.

Mana is about feeding ALL children, not just the ones that actually need it.

Mana is not about personal responsibility but about Aunty Government taking care of your responsibilities ie feeding your children.

Mana is not about addressing the core problems by giving a person a fishing rod but is about giving a person a fish, day after day after day that they took off those who made the effort to go fishing.

Mana is not concerned with responsible government such as balancing the books. They want to spend with out considering at all whether

a) It is an asset

b) It is is a liability.

Lets start with their housing policy. ‘Homes for every Kiwi family ‘ such a lovely feel good policy but one that has to be paid for. I have been a Landlord and I can tell you now that 25% of a beneficiaries ‘ income ‘ is not going to cover the mortgage let alone make me any profit. Wait you say, this is about socially responsible housing for the poor. Profit is evil. The government should provide safe and affordable housing. Okay, lets forget about the profit then. I still have to pay rates and insurance and a minimum of 6% of the rent to a Property Manager if the property is to be managed properly and the law followed for both the Landlord and the tenant. Again, 25% of the beneficiaries income is not going to cut it. I seriously doubt that any Property Manager will want 6% of 25% of a beneficiaries income so that will have to be subsidised as well. Another liability. Then there is still that mortgage to service.

Private Landlords already do a good job providing housing. It makes more sense financially, to let them do it and have laws to ensure that the homes meet basic health and safety requirements.If Mana are determined to throw tax payers money at the problem then it would be cheaper to subsidise rents rather than provide the housing themselves.

If the government is to be a landlord renting at such ridiculously low rentals then they are going to get further and further into debt. The debt will grow, it will never be paid off. This is what is called a liability. To make matters worse the cost of a state house in Auckland is going to be 5 or 6 times the cost of one in Opotiki yet the rent will be based on income not area.

Now lets talk about motivation and incentive. Currently if I am on a low income my incentive to improve my situation is that I need more money in order to live in a bigger home in a better suburb. If as my income grows I now pay more for the exact same home in the exact same suburb that already meets my needs am I going to be enthusiastic about increasing my income? Wouldn’t I be silly if I already have a nice warm, dry, new state house ( in a great suburb that others need two jobs to afford the rent in) to increase my income in order to have to pay more?

These policies have not been thought out. Why should beneficiaries ( and lets not kid our selves that this policy is for working people) get a home for life for 25% of their benefit when others have to scrimp and save and work to achieve the same.

What about feeding the kids? No one wants to see children go hungry yet some do. The government has already provided money to pay for their food but if their parents/ caregivers choose to neglect them and spend the money on alcohol, cigarettes and weed then they do go to school hungry.

Yes, this needs to be addressed but do we need to feed all school children in order to help these neglected children? No of course not. This policy is like saying some children need glasses and cannot afford them so the state will provide glasses for all children regardless of whether or not they have poor vision because something must be done! It would be a huge liability and it would take away the responsibility of caregivers to look after their children.

The money is already there for food in most cases. The problem is how the money is spent. Food stamps is one solution but they can be sold for cash and the food still may not make it to those who need it. How about schools identifying children who are arriving without lunch and the government then intervening in a number of ways.

1. Take the money for school provided lunches BEFORE the benefit hits their account unless they mend their ways. Then provide the food to those children. If the caregivers are working then forcibly deduct it from their wages. Bottom line is, feed your children or we will feed them for you with your money.

2. The government simply feeds the children but the family are given a warning. If after a certain amount of warnings and possibly after they have been given budget help they still do not feed their children they are prosecuted or the children are taken off them.This may seem harsh but before benefits poor people did feed their children. My Father didn’t have shoes but his Mum made him lard sandwiches for school. They weren’t Jam like the rich kids had but he did not go hungry. Everyone can afford to make a sandwich for their children even if it is just a butter or a marmite or peanut butter sandwich.

There is no excuse for neglecting your children.

A simple lunch

A simple lunch

Photo Of The Day

Philadelphia Inquirer staff photographer Tom Gralish won a Pulitzer Prize for feature photographer for his April 7, 1985, photo essay on Philadelphia street people.  This is Walter.

Philadelphia Inquirer staff photographer Tom Gralish won a Pulitzer Prize for feature photographer for his April 7, 1985, photo essay on Philadelphia street people.
This is Walter.

Philadelphia‘s Homeless

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Green Taliban will increase cost of food

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There are some that believe Green Taliban MP Kevin Hague will one day make a great Health Minister.

There are others that don’t share this enthusiasm, particularly as his reputation of not listening to anyone that doesn’t share his view of the world continues to grow.

Recently, I’ve been posting about how Big Sugar is the target of health troughers, all desperate to move on after spending years attacking the tobacco industry.   Read more »

Now the doctors union is advocating for taxes on sugar

The pressure is ramping up on food producers as the doctors union gets involved in suggesting taxes for sugary foods, especially drinks.

New Zealand is fat, getting fatter, and doctors say urgent action needs to be taken.

The New Zealand Medical Association, which represents thousands of doctors, says the soaring obesity rate is now a “public health crisis”.

In a report published today, the association calls for drastic cures for the bulge, including taxing or minimum prices for sugary drinks, restricting food advertising aimed at children, and taking fast food out of schools.

Tackling obesity should be embedded in everything from new building developments to school curriculums, the report says. Despite overwhelming evidence of the massive cost of obesity, the official response had been “piecemeal and largely ineffectual”, lagging behind many other countries.

The current Government’s move, when first elected, to scrap healthy food in schools, was singled out as a particularly troubling decision.

Reliance on self-regulation of the food industry was not working, the report says. “A prevailing ideology of individual responsibility and vested commercial interests have combined to thwart, dilute and undermine previous attempts at effective policies to counter the challenge of obesity.”

Association chairman Mark Peterson said more needed to be done to make healthy choices easier. “It is killing us and it is also costing us a lot of money.”

New Zealand was the fourth fattest country in the OECD, behind only the United States, Mexico and Hungary.

Otago University health researcher Professor Jim Mann said he supported the report’s recommendations, particularly a fizzy drink tax. Kiwis were becoming so big that they were almost blind to obesity. “Parents can’t even identify when their children are overweight or obese. Obesity is fast becoming normal.”

New Zealand’s poverty rates, particularly among children, and cheap access to fatty tasty foods were largely to blame, as was a lack of political will. “There is this obsession with the nanny state, that we shouldn’t be telling people what to do.”

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