What’s in your food?
And no, I’m not talking fat, sugar or salt. I mean the truly deadly ingredients…
A couple who bought some bananas in a supermarket in England got more than they bargained for when they brought them home. Nestled between the bananas was a Brazilian wandering spider – one of the deadliest spiders in the world – and a sac that would have hatched thousands of babies.
One bite from spider would’ve been fatal.
Aside from the fact that the bananas should’ve been thoroughly checked before they left South America, and checked again when they were put out on display at the supermarket, this is part of a greater problem: Where should food come from?
We are fortunate that New Zealand has a perfect climate and land for growing and producing all sorts of fruit, veggies, crops and for rearing livestock. But even in New Zealand we import food from all around the world. Why do we need to do this when we can grow our own? And who knows what else – like the Brazilian spider in England – we import with it?
New Zealand has strict bio-security rules. That means that officials check very carefully when food comes in to make sure that insects, bacteria or diseases don’t come into the country. However, even the strictest searches miss things from time to time and emergency action is needed to remove pests.
We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world (the most beautiful?) and we want it to stay that way.
One way to do that is to only eat food that is produced in this country. The government and supermarkets must do more to promote New Zealand food and to ensure that all Kiwis can buy it at sensible prices.
It makes no sense to fly or bring in food from the furthest parts of the world when we grow all we need here! Think of the pollution and the amount of time food has to sit in planes or ships. It can’t be good for the food and it can’t be good for us!
After all, who wants spiders in their bananas?
Article written by Ben Egerton
[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:[/colored_box]
[colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. ‘People have a right to eat what they want to no matter where it’s come from’. Do you agree with this statement?
2. New Zealand farmers rely on selling their food to the rest of the world, so what are the pros and cons of not importing any food into New Zealand.
[colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:
1. Look in the cupboards and fridge at home. Which countries has your food come from? Look at a map of the world and try and work out the distances your food has travelled to reach your cupboards. Which item do you think has come the furthest?
2. Try and create a menu from ingredients only grown in New Zealand. Make recipe cards and cook the meal or dish. Share it with your family and friends or take a photo and send it to us at KiwiKids (put Kiwi Meal in the subject)! [email protected]
[colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say: