Spot-on graphic that looks at why, despite the apaprent abundance, our food system is actually locked up by a very few organisations and therefore at risk both of manipulation and fragility when any of them hit a wall or get bitten by a Black Swan. 

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Comment by Catherine on August 17, 2012 at 11:01pm

Roxy,

I can t agree more with you about habits coming from parents, but where do those  bad habits come from if 20 years ago most of people were having home made food on a daily basis? Maybe it is no habit, then? Maybe it is just a choice they make (by laziness or to free some time so they can watch TV or go on internet) to  buy some food ready to eat (which doesn t include the time economy only, but also colorants, preservatives and a lot of stuff which has nothing to do in our plates).

 

I agree also about education and thats why I think that it is parents job (and not school=state paid childcare when there is 27 kids for one teacher). I meet a lot of people around me working full time (the 2 parents) even though they have  small children!!! This is beyond my comprehension. I understand when a solo parent work to feed the family, but what s the point of being a family if we can t share duties? What s the point of having childres if we see them one hour a day and on week ends only????   This is to me the most important part of education: the parents should teach to their children how to behave in tricky situations, how to THINK with its brain and make sure they know the importznt things. No school will do it!

 

I also agree with dollar vote. This one is the one each of us do almost every day, with every dollar spend. So I am going to the markets and doing grosseries in little local shops, rather than in huge Countdowns etc.

 

And I agree that those of us who know should spread their knowledge arounf, but I must admit that I find it sometimes very difficult. Some smart people make weird choices and when you try to explain they just say that it is easier the way they do it. I agree, but easier doesn t mean best.

Comment by Catherine on August 17, 2012 at 10:43pm

Earl,

On one hand I understand what you mean. I used to be involved myself as volunteer in some associations and I know that some people are just from another world. BUT this is not a reason to say that all bad things come from the societies above. They just sell the products people buy! And it is not  always about money. It is about choices we make, investment we do in our community.

 

The poverty (we are talking about lack of money, but I am not sure this is the real poverty) actually acts in very different ways on people. Some will smoke and watch sky, some others will have huge veggie gardens and home made preserves to feed their families.

 

I am NOT saying it is anyones fault, what I am saying is: if more people change the products they buy, the industry will follow, because their only aim is getting money from us. And in this, EVERYONE can do something today.

Comment by Roxy Hart on August 9, 2012 at 3:19pm

Yes Catherine your right everybody lives by thier own decisions. But manys decisions are influenced by those around us, we are taught through our education system that our job is to work, to pay taxes, and follow the rules/laws. And everything else will be provided to us with the money we have from companies we can trust e.g power companies, supermarkets, and the government. Many are so used to living like this for the generations previous, that they dont ask questions but simply trust in the strangers that provide to them. They dont question themselves or the providing companies they simply have faith that if they're allowed to sell a product then it musnt be that bad or else they wouldnt be allowed to sell it.

Then theres the other side of the story that Earl shared where peoples family life, lack of education, work life, relationships and mental anguish are hard enough to deal with on a daily basis that extra stuff is to hard e.g gardening. Till some good bugger gets them started, then many will look back and ask why they didnt start years ago!  But when push comes to shove Catherine's right, decisions are based on money. If people keep buyuing crappy "food products" then companies will keep supplying them. 

Vote with your dollar NZ, buy products that you consider acceptable, safe and healthy only. then companies will be forced into providing them :)

Share your skills, teach others how to provide for them selves with out having to rely on others and you will potentially change a life (or a families life) :)

Comment by Earl Mardle on August 9, 2012 at 9:49am

Catherine. Part of the problem is that poverty brings with it very high levels of depression. It isn't "easier" to watch TV so much as that the TV, and the cigarettes and the booze help to kill the pain of a life constantly lived in a state of confusion and bewilderment. Those of us who are used to being able to make a difference in the world and our own circumstances find it almost impossible to grasp what it is like to find that everything you do leads to failure, more poverty, reposessions etc. Add to that the demeaning need to constantly front up to some bureaucrat to explain yourself and ask for help when you don't know what the problem is, nor why you can't seem to make good decisions, let alone what help there might be available and to have to deal with so-called helpful people, many of whom make it their task to deny whatever they can.

When you realise that pretty much everything you touch turns to crap, it is very hard to undertake something like gardening where you can work for months with no visible or tangible reward and still expect to make a difference. Even then, failure is common. For people living on the edge of survival, making mistakes is too dangerous, so they stick with what has almost worked in the past and that's it. Read Jared Diamond's Collapse and his section about Tasmanian Aboriginals who had lost the ability, and the risk-taking experience, even to eat fish.

Yes, we all make choices, but unless you can see what those choices are, and have some reasonable expectation that they will work out, AND you can afford to fail, you choose what you have always done. As all of us find our food security compromised, we will all be a lot less comfortable about just getting in and having a go.

Comment by Catherine on August 8, 2012 at 10:54pm

Yes, Roxy, but this sad system can work only if those poor put their  money into this thriving system. Most of us can grow some food, but how many bother? It is so much more relaxing to watch TV which will determine your "needs" (with the help of the ads).

So, I think we all make choices. This system can work ONLY as long as people think that it is easier to buy all ready to go food.

Comment by Roxy Hart on August 5, 2012 at 4:27pm

Oh the sad reality of the rich getting richer and the poor eating this so called 'food'!

Comment by Michael Hogan on August 4, 2012 at 12:38pm

Great graphic diagram of a dysfunctional food system in detail. One can only hope that in understanding that most of these companies produce food "products", we are still capable of obtaining nutritional value from our food the old fashioned way -growing it. These food products are made for profit and wide distribution, not human value. Thanks

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