13 June 2012

What they do to food - UPDATED

When you read this, Hanno and I will probably be making our way over to Toowoomba, or we'll be there. I don't have time to write this morning, so here are three recent newspaper articles about food that I thought were very interesting and want to share with you. These are all about Australia, but I'm sure the situation is similar in most Western countries.

What they do to food
Food from somewhere
Coles and Woollies killing the competition

I'll see you soon. Now I have to find my gloves. They're telling me it's cold in Toowoomba.

Have just completed the first talk and I was reminded that I need to put up the details of the Bell workshop. This workshop will run from 9.30am - 3pm on Saturday 23 June at Bell. There'll be lots of talking, a couple of demonstrations, bartering (so bring something along) and lots of good will and the potential to make new friends. The cost is $40 and the ladies will be providing morning tea and lunch - all home cooked. 

For catering purposes, bookings are essential on 4663 1184.


  1. Hello, I've been reading back through some old posts and also the details of your book. I wondered if you've found that the success of your book now detracts from your ideal of simple living. I don't mean in monetary ways (although I'm sure this has made an impact too) but by doing book tours, being interviewed, all the trappings that come with some degree of fame. Do you feel that in a way you've returned to some of the things you originally yearned to get away from?

  2. Thanks Pippa.

    Joyce, that is a good question and one that I'm often asked. I don't have time now to do the answer justice, so I'll make a post of this tomorrow. Thank you.

  3. I'm a Toowoombian, and yup, it's cold so I hope you found your gloves and I hope you had a wonderful time in our fair city!

  4. Safe Travelling to T'ba. It has been rather cool up here on the mountain, so I do hope you found your gloves.

    I would have loved to have attended your talk/s today, but have a Uni exam this afternoon.

    I have only just started following your blog and have found your ideals are similar to mine. But haven't really known the 'basics' on many things.

    Was doing the vegie patch and chicken things (and just about to have solar panel installed), but didn't know where to start with the making of many 'everyday' products.

    And once my exam is over this afternoon, my next goal is to re-learn how to knit (something my mother taught me years ago, but have forgotten all about).

    But since having our first baby girl 11 months ago, I have become more stronger in my beliefs that we should be more particular on what we put in (and on) our bodies. I also want to be able to teach her some of these important 'life lessons' to set her on her own future path.

    Thanks for the help in bringing me back to my own soul direction (something that had been missing for a while).


  5. you picked a great day for it, gorgeous winter day here in Toowoomba today. Cold but plenty of blue sky.Enjoy <3

  6. "I don't have time now to do the answer justice"...I hope you said that with a full sense of irony!!

    Thanks for all your ideas, I enjoy a regular read.


  7. Travel safely, stay warm & have a great outing.

  8. Thank you for the links to the above stories. This just confirmed what I have long been thinking - that the quality of fruit and vegetables has steadily declined thanks to Woolworths and Coles and the non-stop consumerism of individuals. I remember as a child, living in Far North QLD, biting into succulent, sweet and juicy fruit almost every day. Fast forward ten years and the fruit I eat is bland, crunchy and floury - sometimes even bitter. I hate spending money on such poor quality foods. It's cheaper and tastier to buy a chocolate bar. Sad but truthful. I can't wait to start growing my own vegetables again but that does not help me with the fruit situation.

  9. Hi, Im a first time commenter but I have read for a few months. I cant help but notice the negative tone creeping in to some of the comments over the last two days. Even though Rhonda always answers them with grace. If you had been reading for a while and read older posts you would be aware the Rhonda is always busy helping in her community centre and also busy going places to teach how to preserve or similar things, so I doubt that promoting the book about her simple life has changed her day to day routine much. Its just another tool to teach those of us who are interested and dont have access to such good information. The same as teaching preserving etc. I really appreciate it, as in Tassie we dont have rail like on the mainland and to get from one end of the state to the other is a long drive, and thats if someone is teaching a class. I appreciate what Rhonda has done with her blog, and seeing the response she got from it, could see the need for a wider audience via the book. I also notice Rhonda said on her older posts she has always written. I would have thought that people reading these types of blogs would subscribe to the thought of "if you cant say something nice, dont say anything at all."

  10. It was so wonderful to meet you today Rhonda and hope your stay in Toowoomba was a pleasant and friendly one!! I hope my youngest child wasn't a disturbance to you today at the library nor me getting up and down to attend to him!! Thank you for coming this way and I will enjoy devouring your book!!!

  11. Hi uni.mum,
    I used to think the same as about chocolate bars being a cheap snack, but if you work out how much they are per kilo compared to fruit and veg, even organic fruit and veg, the fresh stuff comes out on top!

    If a chocolate bar is (for argument's sake) 50g and is bought for $1 (which would be on special, otherwise it'd be $1.20-$1.80), it's $20 for a kilo of that chocolate. Even blocks would work out at $8-12 per kilo. Organic apples: $6-8/kilo.

    I have a massive sweet tooth, so I buy an organic drinking chocolate (Abundant Earth, &7 a can) and have a chocolate soy milk in the evening. I feel like I'm getting a treat, but I'm also getting nutrients and not blowing the calories.

    I agree about bland F&V though- there's nothing worse than getting a floury apple or spinach that goes to water after two days- and I shop at local markets! Grrrr.


  12. Yes, here in America there has been mass handling and manipulation of foods; especially produce, for a long time. Anyone interested in stories of this type should read David Matsumoto's "Epitaph for a Peach", written by a third generation Central Valley peach farmer and the changes the fruit has gone through. It is a very interesting, (and disappointing) book.

  13. I think the poor quality of fruit, not the price, is more responsible for people not getting their minimum servings a day. And like uni.mum said above, lots of other things taste better.

    Way back when, my mom used to have to ration our fruit consumption so everybody got their fair share. The fruit came from the grocery but but is was tasty, juicy and satisfying. We would choose it over lots of other snack choices. Now, the only things my kids choose, fruit-wise, are bananas and melons. I can't grow bananas in Oregon and melons are a challenge because of the short, mild summers. Tomatoes are another thing! Store-bought toms have turned my kids off of them. I am hoping we get some good toms in the garden this year and change their perceptions. [we moved from sunny southern California 6 years ago and are still trying to figure out this Pacific Northwest climate]

    I believe as more people pursue a locavore lifestyle and also frequent farmer's markets, we can get back to more real foods without having to grow *everything* ourselves. Hopefully, the movement will continue to gain momentum.

  14. It was wonderful to meet you too, Justine. I wasn't disturbed in the slightest by your little boy. I am one of those people who believe children are a part of normal life and I like seeing them interacting with adults at functions.

    Thank you Tassie girl.

  15. Ok I really need some help here Rhonda. Would you please be able to write a post about the real basics of food or if you've already done so please point me in the right direction? I really struggle with understanding what fresh produce should look like, smell like, taste like and feel like. And how long different types of produce (fruit, vegetables, meat) should keep for. I am especially concerned about meat. I thought maybe I was just a little paranoid but I noticed after much googling that lots of people are asking the same questions as me. I really want someone to teach me a bit of food know-how so I can cook for my family evey night with peace of mind. I'm always worried I'll poison them! I shop at Woolies because that's all that's available in my area but I've found their quality isn't always the best. I've even dobbed them into the health department before after I bought some questionable looking mince from them. I'm at a standstill. I want to start cooking from scratch again but I find it so overwhelming. Sorry for the rant I just really hope you have some helpful hints for me. :)


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