Going S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G!

August 22, 2008

Shopping tour with Sue Kedgley, as blogged on g-blog earlier this week:

We’re discussing the food budget, food security issues, and perennials like GE, organics, and safe food issues around battery hens, sow-crates, and food labelling. All while we do a bit of a shop, out in Kilbirnie. (#3 bus route, for those similarly vehicle-challenged!).

And a shout-out to Rongotai Greens, I’d love to see a few of you here, too, as well as at the Bar Edward meet-ups!

[Thanks to Cath McElwaine at Bowen for the spreading the message my way.]

*An invitation to *


Take a tour of a supermarket with me, Sue Kedgley Green MP, where I will answer questions on issues such as:

– how to become a more conscious, ethical consumer

– how to read and understand nutrition labelling

– how to avoid purchasing foods that may contain GE ingredients

– how to identify cruelty free products

– how to purchase locally grown New Zealand products

– additives to avoid

*Thursday 21st August 2008*

*2.00pm to 3.00pm*

*Pak’n’Save Kilbirnie*

*78 Rongotai Road*



Here’s some pix:

Locally grown garlic (not chinese)

Locally grown garlic (not chinese)

Choice quote: “Don’t eat anything that your great-grandmother wouldn’t have recognised as food” !!

Sue discussing nitrates in processed meats

Sue discussing nitrates in processed meats

We found one brand of nitrate-free bacon – which also turned out to be gluten-free, to my benefit. Nope, not tellin ya which brand, go read the labels yourselves! I’m not pushin’ product here…

How much sugar is in that cereal?

How much sugar is in that cereal?

It was scary to compare stuff that seemed pretty healthy, and find out how much sugar, food colouring and other “numbers” were present.
Next choice quote: “If it’s got cartoon animals on it, don’t buy it!”.
Very true, once we checked the nutri-facts.

..and these tomatoes are both grown & packaged in NZ.

..and these tomatoes are both grown & packaged in NZ.

Such a lot of produce only claimed “packaged in New Zealand”.
Few items showed both Country-of-Origin and country-of-packaging on their labelling.

We also discussed factory-farmed animals, notably the poultry industry. I did take a photo, which I later realised might not be prudent to post; so I’ll just repeat some of what Sue said about packaging that leaks, spreading campylobacter around the shelved, wrapped product; and the truly gruesome description that she gave of poultry abbatoirs, whence the bacteria found in the alimentary tract is spread around the rest of the raw chicken, by mechanical rending machinery. It’s an industry standard, like the hormones fed to beef grown for the USA markets, and the prevalence of antibiotics fed to feedlot beef, caged chickens, and sows kept in crates; ‘cos it’s not natural to grow up that crowded, so they get infections easily, so the farmers over-use antibiotics.

Then we roll into the argument about whether antibiotic residues in the foodchain result in antibiotic resistant bacterial strains. Well, I’m sold on it as an argument, but then I’m already allergic to most antibiotics, so I avoid anything that might expose me to another dose.

I’m pretty vego most of the time, but I firmed up my resolve not to eat flesh after that little talk – well, poultry flesh, anyway!!!

Another thing we looked for on labels was “GE-free”, “GMO free”, or organic classification labelling: most Foodstuffs owner-operated stores (NW) have some inclusion of product in these categories, but this was a notable lack in Pak’n’Save, so I have to conclude from that, that individual franchisees of NW tinker their stores’ product lines according to the locality-based competition, rather than any perceived customer expectations of product availability.
I’ll admit that’s a big assumption, but it seemed to be born out by my fruitless search for things that were actually on my personal shopping list. Back to Chaffers’ NW for me, then! And of course, I can’t resist, God defend Commonsense Organics, my oasis of safe, well-labelled, allergen-free food.


2 Responses to “Going S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G!”

  1. georgina Says:

    I would love food labelling to be a bit more honest in New Zealand. My latest freak out at the moment are polyunsaturated/trans fat margarines and chemically extracted vegetable oil. That stuff is evil, but how can you tell whether it’s evil when you’re in the supermarket??

  2. anarkaytie Says:

    yeah, it’s tough –
    I had to memorise all the different words they hide ‘wheat’ under in labelling, which is complicated on American processed foods.
    Campaigning for food labelling helps me to cope with the additive-angst, and also supporting others who are dealing with different issues around what’s in our food, like GE, aspartame, banned food colourings, etc.

    Finding a place to shop where you can trust the owners to market food products honestly is a good step.
    I endorse Commonsense Organics simply because they were the only place I could buy some allergen-free foods when I was first diagnosed 6 years ago, and they’ve been very helpful ever since.

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