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Our Food Future: Local More Important Than “Ugly”

Posted in Models, Movements, Opinion by Kate Archdeacon on January 26th, 2011

Image: beccaplusmolly via flickr CC

Reprinted with permission from Greenleap:

Dear Greenleapers,

See the article below – the big Australian supermarket chains are thinking of importing food on a very large scale, rather than selling flood/weather blemished stock.

Wouldn’t it make more sense if we had to live with the consequences of severe floods/extreme weather events and had to buy the local less than cosmetically perfect food? It’s a bit like having to cut water consumption in droughts.

If we import food on a big scale we will drive up international prices and in the end this will cause more poverty and even starvation overseas (as we push out problems onto others who have less purchasing power).

Maybe this is a campaign the Transition Towns and sustainable living movements could take up?

Cheers, Philip

Supermarkets, consumers face food price rises by Kirsty Needham, The Age, January 24, 2011

BIG supermarkets are contemplating the mass importation of fruit and vegetables — and are already stocking shelves with damaged produce from local growers desperate for cash after the floods.  In what looms as a dilemma, Coles and Woolworths are weighing up whether to support Australian producers — and sell their water-damaged crops — or favour imports and keep prices down.

Coles is already selling so-called ugly fruit, which has blemishes, relaxing its quality classifications to keep shelves stocked. Woolworths said it would do the same with some products. Treasurer Wayne Swan yesterday warned households they will ‘‘inevitably see a spike in prices at the checkout’’, particularly fruit and vegetables, after flooding wiped out large parts of eastern Australia’s food bowl.

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