World Food Day

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

George Orwell

 

Have you ever been hungry?  Really really hungry?  Not just as a result of deliberate dieting, but from lack of food? I venture to say that most people in a position to read this, would not have much experience with feeling this.  Particularly those maybe under 50 years of age.  Hunger gnaws  away…… and that’s just the physical feelings, not to mention the psychological aspects.

I find it abhorrent that in this day and age, hunger is a growing issue – pun intended.  Food of all types is grown – sometimes to excess – but price and distribution affect who it reaches.  Both on a local and on a global level.

Food Bank was set-up to address hunger.  The first ever food bank was founded in 1967 by John van Hengel in Phoenix Arizona. It came to Australia in 1992.

“Each year it distributes over 35 million kilograms of food and groceries – that’s the equivalent of over 183,000 meals a day. Foodbank accounts for 65% of all the food distributed to charities by food rescue organisations in Australia.

Foodbank works with the entire Australian food and grocery industry including farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers. Donations include stock that’s out of specification, close to expiry or excess to requirements. Companies also make donations as part of a commitment to social responsibility or a cause-related marketing campaign.

In addition, Foodbank collaborates with suppliers, manufacturers and transporters in programs like the Collaborative Supply Program, to source key staple foods that don’t come in sufficient quantities via rescue channels.”

We’ve changed how and what we eat.  Most food comes from factory farms these days, whereas in earlier times, a great deal was produced from home gardens.  I don’t believe the term ‘factory farming‘ only applies to animals, but to all so-called modern methods.

The nutritional quality of the food consumed is also an issue.  There is rarely a black and white answer to situations, and this is no exception.  Soil depletion, brought about by ‘modern’ farming methods, is certainly an issue.  Read more about this aspect in Scientific American.    Irakli Loladze unexpectedly found a link between rising CO2 levels and dropping nutritional values.  I’ve observed pets fed only on a highly processed diet, who are overweight, are also exhibiting starvation signs as their bodies are crying out for ‘real’ food.  Feeding pets is a topic unto itself….and I may tackle it another time.

At various times in my life I’ve been involved with the production of food, so I feel I’ve got practical experience to speak on this topic.  Droughts, floods, and there was even the experience of going through a locust plague.  I’ve seen the changes…..

Back in the late 1980’s when we moved onto a farm property, I and my then partner were horrified to find that none of our neighbours were growing food for their own use.  Even their meat was purchased, despite them running sheep as part of their farming enterprise. We ran sheep and pigs, grew grain, I raised poultry for meat and eggs, and had a large productive vegetable and flower garden.  It was an anomaly in the district.

In earlier days, farming women would look after laying hens, and sell surplus eggs.  The hens would be fed on grain grown on the property, and scraps from the kitchen, as well as running free-range during the day.  Occasionally a non-productive hen would end up on the chopping block.  Eating chicken was not a daily occurrence.  But the days of traditional self-sufficient farming are well over, and I notice it’s generally the city-escapees who endeavor to return to that lifestyle.  Urban Homesteading is becoming more common thankfully.  Despite enjoying my transient lifestyle, I do miss producing some food to put on my plate.

The production of food is the ‘elephant in the room’.  However, I feel it’s time for me to begin to speak out about it.  Australians are experiencing drought conditions in many areas, and this is bringing the ‘plight of the farmers’ to the city folk.  I feel it’s great to bring the two groups together, as since early white settlement days, there’s been a divide between the city and country, exemplified by the Bulletin Debate.  That said,  I am definitely NOT IN FAVOUR of the current farming methods employed across most of Australia’s arable regions.  Across the world in fact.  Things need to change.

Take a few moments to read the reports on GMWatch.  Let that information digest….. or do you find it utterly indigestible?

Killing machines and monuments of folly.

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Farm spraying equipment for sale in a small Eyre Peninsula town, with the grain silos in the background.

Rapists and murderers.

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Raping the land.  Cropping on sandhills is NOT sustainable farming.

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Sadly, this is not an exceptional view of farmland , but becoming more and more common.  I have seen far far worse in my travels.

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Killing machines.

https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/the-monsanto-papers/10352384

 

There IS hope, for those willing to change.  One of those offering a different path, is Charles Massey.  He may not have all the answers.  But it’s a new beginning, which we desperately need.

 

 

 

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Anni-versary

 

Thank you WordPress, for being here with me for the past 11 years.  Thank you for the friends I’ve made, the stories I’ve read, the photographs and art that have touched me ever so deeply.  Thank you for helping me to find a voice to express what matters to me, as it just might connect with another and help them to find their voice also. Thank you.

Last month was the two year anniversary of having Dawn, my camper van, and I’m extremely grateful to her faithful service, and giving me a home when I really needed it.  She’s enabled me to meet inspiring people as I travel about the country.

It’s also coming up to my birthday……. one I hardly expected to reach.  It’s been a challenging life more often than not, and that’s given me some interesting stories to tell around the campfire 🙂

And what’s in a name?  For most of my life I didn’t like the name/s I was given at birth.  For a multitude of reasons. So a few years ago I changed it, and have never regretted it one tiny bit at all.  I cannot say exactly why I chose the name I did…. let’s just say I went with my instinct or intuition.

Then, after my first night on the road living in the van, I found myself using this as an introduction to a fellow traveller in response to his moniker, as “I’m Annie from Anniwhere”  And so it has stuck….. and truly, I am from anywhere……

 

 

 

Australian committee on ME and chronic fatigue syndrome nearly finished report

ME Australia

by Sasha Nimmo

The Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Advisory Committee, set up by the National Health and Medical Research Council to advise the government on research and clinical guidelines, has one more meeting before releasing their report for public consultation.

The ME and CFS Advisory Committee will be finalising the report at the next meeting. The same group of people are advising the government on who should be consulted. People with ME in Australia have pushed for a more transparent process and consultation with experts.

If you would like to be notified when their report is available to the public and open for feedback, email the NHMRC at me_cfs@nhmrc.gov.au.

The minutes from August and September meetings have not been published yet. Previous meetings’ minutes are on the NHMRC website.

The NHMRC have added a section ‘Information for Clinicians‘ which does not include…

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Woolshed Cave rocks

The coastline of Eyre Peninsula is varied, and interesting.  Near Elliston is Woolshed Cave.  A flight of wooden steps takes you down to the level where the cave can be viewed, but not entered.  I visited the area last December, and was happy to revisit this section once again, because I loved the colour and shape of the rocks.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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There are large lumps of limestone that can drop down from the cliff edges, and plenty of warning signs to keep well clear of the unstable edges.

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This is the limestone roof of the cave.  Very difficult to photograph because of the lighting conditions.

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The rocks really are the prettiest shade of pink 🙂

Meet the Scientists: Dr Alice Richardson

ME Australia

By Sasha Nimmo

‘Meet the Scientists’ is a series of interviews with researchers working on ME and chronic fatigue syndrome. We hear about current research directly from scientists and meet the people doing important work to improve our health. The series will introduce early career researchers through to interviewing scientists and clinicians who have been working on the problems for decades.

Dr Alice Richardson is a biostatistician at the Australian National University’s National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health in Canberra, Australia. Dr Richardson is passionate about applying statistical methods to data that can improve people’s health and lives. Her work is being used in a leading Australian clinic to diagnose severity and identify subgroups. One of Dr Richardson’s published papers also supports earlier findings of a potential biomarker, patented in Australia.

Dr Richardson taught undergraduate statistics for two decades at the University of Canberra, and collaborated on a variety of quantitative…

View original post 1,635 more words