veggie rules

Monday, May 13, 2013

Where Does It Go?

Being a vegetarian in this country is a little unusual, of course, being vegan is just downright weird…but I'm not here to discuss the questions that I get asked, nor to ponder on the reasons this place is still a bit behind the 8 ball.

I was on the Vegetarian Forum today discussing quinoa and it got me thinking about how the different supermarkets approach vegetarian/vegan food.  So, as quinoa has already been mentioned, let's use it as the example. 

Now I do realize that most people here in N.Z. haven't got a clue what quinoa is, they still pronounce it quin-o-a instead of keen-wa, but you would think that the supermarkets would have some inkling of an idea as to what type of food it is.  Well, I'm here to tell you that I have found quinoa on a variety of different shelves in a variety of different supermarkets.

I've found it in the pasta section, the baking section, the gluten free section (yes, that's not too bad a choice, but not one that I'd go to straight away), it's been in the rice section and in with the cereals.  Sometimes I find it in the "International" part, the snacks aisle and once I was directed to the condiments - bizarre! 

The strange part is that if I go back to the same supermarket it can quite often be shifted and I have to start the quest all over again.  I'm at the point now where I just start laughing… point getting upset… least they do offer quinoa albeit one brand.

I thought maybe I should write to the supermarkets and tell them to create a new section: "Don't Know What It Is" - I'm sure they'd fill it up pretty quick.

Oh, and I can get it at my local health food store, no problem....I'm talking supermarkets - I would think it would go where the couscous goes.......any advances on that????

Happy Eating

Monday, May 6, 2013

I've Started Farming

Farming? Well, worm farming.  Finally, after months of having the worm farm paraphernalia sitting around with no worms in it I am happy to announce that a very healthy bunch of Tiger, Red and Indian blue worms have taken up residence.

The process was really pretty easy.  I think the reason I hadn't gotten around to actually getting the worms was because I was really nervous about how I might just not be very good at it.

I was in the garden shop getting some winter veggie seedlings and when I got up to the counter I noticed that the people in front had purchased a worm farm.  I asked if they knew where to get the actual worms and, lo and behold, they were right there in the shop.  Hadn't seen them before, but then I don't think they come in very often.  Maybe the worms prefer the more up-market garden centers that have cafes and gift stores attached?

Off down the aisles I went in search of the worms…determination on my face and in my stride.  Found them, rushed back to the check out and into the car before I could change my mind.

The worms have their own website, so tap, tap, tap on the keys and up came a really great site with great information and brilliant videos that showed just how easy it was.  WormsRus

Got the worms settled in and this morning when I went to check….yup, they were all there wriggling and squirming and doing what worms love to do - starting the composting procedure.

This is going to be fun!  Oh, and the winter veggies got planted to.

Happy Eating

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Big Business At It Again?

New Zealand has the dubious honor of having the largest dairy exporting company in the world. Yup, little N.Z. can lay claim that dairy products are exported to more that 100 countries around the globe.

The company's name is Fonterra and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will outstrip and outsmart any other company that makes dairy products.

The latest "innovative" move they have made is to introduce a "light-proof" plastic milk bottle.  Now I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they genuinely thought they were right when they came up with the idea that milk deteriorates when it comes in contact with light and they should do something about it, but I'm more inclined to think that this is one helluva marketing ploy that will get the punters believing that, not only is milk good for you but it should be kept in the dark.

I spoke to a sales lady who was promoting the new bottles in the super market the other day, the conversation went something like this:

Lady:   Do you like the new bottle?
Me:      No, I don't - I can't see how much is left
Lady:   If you can't see the milk then that's actually a good thing, as it means neither can the light!
Me:     (under my breath -duh) It still doesn't solve the problem….so you're saying that one just has to do the weight and shake test and judge when you're going to run out.
Lady:   Ignored my comment.
Me:      With three layers….that seems like an awful lot of plastic.
Lady:   These bottles are 100% recyclable.
Me:      Yes, I know that, but it just seem like more plastic.
Lady:   The plastic is thinner, so there's not that much more at all.
Lady:   Did you know that with these bottles it means that the milk will be as good on day 15 as it is on day 1.
Me:     Mmmmmm, I think you'll find that a bottle of milk will be used within about 3 or 4 days in the majority of families - or are you saying that I can leave the milk out on the bench longer?
Lady:  Oh no, the milk still has to be refrigerated.
Me:     So there's really no difference then.
Lady:  Yes, this milk tastes better.
Me:     I can't see why if the milk is still used up quickly….milk is milk.
Lady:  But with these bottles it's fresher.
Me:     I can't see why - other companies get the milk bottled and into the stores daily, just like Fonterra does.

And so the conversation continued.

I finally left…I'd had my humor for the day….so off I went to get my soy milk….don't drink milk anyway!

When I was putting this blog together I came across an article (see link below) that said that the recycling companies are not happy with this bottle as it takes more energy and resources to create it. Wish I'd known that when I was talking to the lady!

There was also a comment made by "Whiti (N.Z.)" who threw up another argument:
"My wife is a science teacher and just couldn't resist testing the new bottle. Happy to report that the bottle does indeed appear to be light proof.
Unfortunately the good old fashioned lid is not. Given that most light tends to shine down seems a bit of an oversight if it's really all that important. Maybe just a lot of hype over nothing? Nice try Fonterra better luck next time."  See the article: New Zealand Herald 

Good one, Whiti, couldn't have said it better myself.
Give me the old fashioned way anytime!

Happy Eating

veggie rules