Shopping

Dear Peg and Friends,
When shopping these days I have started the time consuming practice of examining each item while making our purchases, I’m doing what most people are also doing these days, and that’s looking for the origin of what we’re buying. Initially once you start this caper, there are many surprises. Logic today often tells you where most articles are made or grown. For instant, you are buying canned fruit. From day one in the past, it would have been New Zealand’s Golden Queen peaches or Apricots, grown and produced in Roxburgh or Hastings, put into a tin in a nearby factory. However I have the feeling that Roxburgh days as a canner are numbered, or even over. In fact the competition is so strong, that growers can’t supply fruit at a price too meet the stiff overseas competition. Would you believe that even the price of an empty can purchased here, is now is greater that product being landed here, even when they are full of peaches or apricots from overseas growers.
I picked up a can of peaches recently and read the label. It looked as good as what we are used to buying, but I was more than surprised to see that it’s origin was Poland. I also noticed in the meat section of the local Supermarket, a meat pack advertising ‘Best Australian steak’. I knew that a lot of Pork, probably fifty percent sold in New Zealand today, comes from Canada, and about a third of all bacon that’s consumed here also has Canada as it state of origin. However I wasn’t aware that off shore suppliers were major players in our lamb and beef markets as well. In fact they are the main reason our meat prices are so low.
Years ago we only ate seasonal fruit, and vegetables. Surplus eggs were preserved in four gallon tins, covered in a slimy liquid to tide us over the period when hens were not laying. However we all looked forward to seasonal changes. One welcome arrival was the ‘new Potato’, the first of this crop came out of our gardens, or perhaps a neighbour’s. This if it was Jersey Bennie variety, it’s arrival was timed to be around Christmas. They were never pealed, but only lightly scraped. These waxy potatoes When served with a large nob of butter were a food fit for a king. Green peas also made their appearance about this time. Yes, I know we have the frozen kind available today, and all year round. But they are a poor substitute for fresh green peas, just picked from the garden. The world today is our oyster. In the winter, produce is freighted in from anywhere in he world, so there is no winter as far as produce today is concerned. A lot of our spring and summer vegetables find their way here from Queensland, who grow solely for our market
The merchants play games with us too. If it is New Zealand grown, they proudly say ‘New Zealand grown’ but if it belongs to China or Thailand, no state of the origin is displayed. Or if it is, it only discovered after a hunt. I suppose the refrigerator has played a large part in how we store and keep our food. It was probably the main reason that we no longer have milk deliveries. Back in the good old days it was difficult to keep milk longer than a day so there was a real need for daily deliveries. Today we expect a week at least for this dairy product, and it would be hard to find a home without refrigeration.
Love form Christchurch,
Wally
When shopping these days I have started the time consuming practice of examining each item while making our purchases, I’m doing is what most people are also doing these days, and that’s looking for the origin of what we’re buying. Initially once you start this caper, there are many surprises. Logic today often tells you where most articles are made or grown. For instant, you are buying canned fruit. From day one in the past, it would have been New Zealand’s Golden Queen peaches or Apricots, grown and produced in Roxburgh or Hastings, put into a tin in a nearby factory. However I have the feeling that Roxburgh days as a canner are numbered, or even over. In fact the competition is so strong, that growers can’t supply fruit at a price too meet the stiff overseas competition. Would you believe that even the price of an empty can purchased here, is now is greater that product being landed here, even when they are full of peaches or apricots from overseas growers.
I picked up a can of peaches recently and read the label. It looked as good as what we are used to buying, but I was more than surprised to see that it’s origin was Poland. I also noticed in the meat section of the local Supermarket, a meat pack advertising ‘Best Australian steak’. I knew that a lot of Pork, probably fifty percent sold in New Zealand today, comes from Canada, and about a third of all bacon that’s consumed here also has Canada as it state of origin. However I wasn’t aware that off shore suppliers were major players in our lamb and beef markets as well. In fact they are the main reason our meat prices are so low.
Years ago we only ate seasonal fruit, and vegetables. Surplus eggs were preserved in four gallon tins, covered in a slimy liquid to tide us over the period when hens were not laying. However we all looked forward to seasonal changes. One welcome arrival was the ‘new Potato’, the first of this crop came out of our gardens, or perhaps a neighbour’s. This if it was Jersey Bennie variety, it’s arrival was timed to be around Christmas. They were never pealed, but only lightly scraped. These waxy potatoes When served with a large nob of butter were a food fit for a king. Green peas also made their appearance about this time. Yes, I know we have the frozen kind available today, and all year round. But they are a poor substitute for fresh green peas, just picked from the garden. The world today is our oyster. In the winter, produce is freighted in from anywhere in he world, so there is no winter as far as produce today is concerned. A lot of our spring and summer vegetables find their way here from Queensland, who grow solely for our market
The merchants play games with us too. If it is New Zealand grown, they proudly say ‘New Zealand grown’ but if it belongs to China or Thailand, no state of the origin is displayed. Or if it is, it only discovered after a hunt. I suppose the refrigerator has played a large part in how we store and keep our food. It was probably the main reason that we no longer have milk deliveries. Back in the good old days it was difficult to keep milk longer than a day so there was a real need for daily deliveries. Today we expect a week at least for this dairy product, and it would be hard to find a home without refrigeration.
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