From ABC News Online
The rising cost of healthy foods
For Australia’s most vulnerable, the cost of healthy foods remains out of their reach. (Getty Images: Ian Waldie)
On Friday the Preventative Health Taskforce released a major discussion paper putting forward strategies to prevent and reverse the rise in overweight and obesity.
Obesity and other diet-related diseases such as heart disease and dental caries account for a large percentage of the health cost in Australia and are hitting those with the least financial and social resources the hardest. These preventable diseases will continue to plague our most vulnerable while the cost of healthy foods remains out of their reach.
Why do poor people eat poorly? Inevitably the answer has been “because they do not know any better”. This supposed ignorance has been the justification for the last 20 to 30 years of nutrition education. Health authorities have used dietary guidelines and exhortations to teach people about how to eat a healthy diet.
However, while consumers do need to have nutrition knowledge and food skills, and indeed many young Australians may not have either, knowledge is not the only ingredient for a healthy diet. The cost and taste of food are the strongest determinant of food purchase. As people’s income drops, cost becomes the primary driver of what they put in their trolleys. “Getting the most food for the least cost” becomes the modus operandi in the supermarket.
Posted in 160km diet, The world of food
Tagged Australia, cost of living, food, healthy eating, healthy food, inflation, junk food, low income, nutrition, prices, standard of living
From ABC News Online
Farmers’ markets drawing the crowds
Farmers’ markets have been trading in Australia for almost 10 years, but now more than ever, consumers are headed to market for fresh local produce.
Australian Farmers’ Markets Association chairperson Jane Adams says there are about 120 markets operating regularly throughout the country, with more expected to be trading by the end of the year.
Situated on the southern downs in Queensland, Stanthorpe is the latest community to launch a farmers market.
Reliant on agriculture, the region produces a diverse range of fruit and vegetables and almost all of Queensland’s apple and pear crop. Read more….
Despite this, Stanthorpe resident Gwen Jones says local produce is difficult to find and a regular farmers’ market is long overdue.
“We pass the farms but we just can’t seem to buy the local produce in the supermarkets. So it is really good to be able to come here and get fresh local produce,” she said.
Ms Adams, who also works with communities to establish markets said: “The growth of farmers’ markets has really come from two ends, one is the consumer and the other is the producer.”
Stanthorpe organic fruit and vegetable grower, Ray Palmer agrees farmers’ markets are becoming more popular for a couple of reasons.
“Producers can get retail prices and consumers can ask questions,” he said.
“There are also people who are wanting to reduce the amount of miles the food travels before it gets to their plate.”
15/8, Friday- Going through this process, it makes you aware of the seasons, and what is available. Through our modern advancement, we’ve created systems that creates an almost unreality. Here in Australia, and from my experience overseas, we’re spoilt for choice. We don’t need to plan ahead anymore, create a winter larder, the system we have created does all the work for us. On one hand this is very convient, and frees up a lot of time for us to do other things. But on the other, we’ve lost and forgotten how the food we eat actually grows. There’s not really any excitment about the cycle of the seasons and associating different times of the year with different foods. We all know vaguely how food is produced, but we generally don’t have any first hand experience of the journey that food travels to appear in our supermarket. But I suppose there’s a limit to how much we can learn, by looking into one area, we need to neglect another.
Anyhow today, with seasonal limitations in mind, I made up a left over mix up for breakfast. It was some leftover stirfried cabbage with egg. Not so bad.
Heading into the city for uni, I didn’t have anything bout the house that I could take in for lunch. But on a break, Brady and I headed up to the markets and grabbed some of the faithful Geelong mandarines. Made for an alright lunch. On the way home I stopped by the yellow chicken shop and grabbed some Marylands. At the chicken shop they had some new chicken sausages that they were trying to push. At $14/kg they’re a bit pricey for me, but I was interested to hear they had no fat in them. I used to work in a butchers, and was told that for a sausage to be a sausage, it had to have a certain percentage of fat content, round 25%. The chicken shop had heard of this too, but didn’t know what the reason was for. Another mystery of the world of food.
Once I got home, it was time for a quick dinner before heading out for the night. In the pan tonight was chicken maryland with some onion and cabbage.