Frozen fruit and vegetables are a convenient way to get your ‘5-a-day’, but there are some very bad berries out there that are serving up more than you bargained for, a dose of Hep A!
Who would have thought that those little balls of yumminess that are right at home in your smoothie or splashing around in your yoghurt could pack such a punch.
Well known and trusted Australian brands such as Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet have had to recall their frozen berry products, as the cheap imported berries that make it in to their bags and boxes have not been screened or tested and have been the cause of Australian’s contracting Hepatitis A.
One fifth of China’s natural water supplies is toxic to touch!
Unfortunately Australia is a very small player in the production of berries worldwide as most of our continent does not have cold enough weather necessary for plants to produce their luscious crop. Too keep prices down, companies have no choice but to outsource supplies from nations that will keep supplies up at minimal cost.
Whilst berries have been in the spotlight over the last couple of weeks, and rightly so, they are not the only foreign produce making it’s way on to our tables and it will only be a matter of time that more incidents of Hepatitis A or some other illness makes it on to the news.
A recent story on ABC’s Landline, explained how Aussie farmers are under threat by our desire to save a few dollars and possibly risk our health…..the following letter arrived in my inbox (original author unknown)
BUY ONLY BIRDSEYE AND EDGELL!
Think about this and circulate to your family and friends: The ONLY Australian manufacturer of frozen Australian grown vegetables (Simplot Australia) is not far from closing because a number of the other well-known Australian brands have moved their plants to New Zealand in order to capture the Chinese vegetable market where they market via New Zealand to Australian tables (without the food being labelled specifically as Chinese) and Simplot is finding it hard to compete. This was shown on the program Landline on the ABC
SHOULD SIMPLOT CLOSE, THIS MEANS THAT NO AUSTRALIAN GROWN FROZEN VEGETABLES WILL BE AVAILABLE AT ALL AND WE WILL BE RELYING ON FOOD GROWN TOTALLY OUTSIDE AUSTRALIA.
For a number of reasons this is not a good situation.
1. As most people know, other countries do not necessarily have the strict guidelines for growing their vegetables that Australia has and by buying Australian we can be sure that lethal chemicals that may be used in other countries will not be used on Australian vegetables. 2. We would be losing Australians jobs. 3. If ever the world became unstable regarding wartime we would not be able to feed ourselves
It is imperative that we all support these Australian brands selling good Australian vegetable products (via Simplot): Birdseye and Edgell.
Next time you shop, please think about the future of Australian food.
What do you reckon folks? Let’s buy Birdseye and Edgell. Some of us love our designer labels. We buy premium brand shoes, premium brand clothing and well known premium perfumes and handbags. BUT … we also look buy the cheapest food we can for our children to eat. That doesn’t make sense. This is so true. The farmers in Tasmania are extremely worried about Simplot’s impending closure. They also have a lone food processing plant in Bathurst subjected to the same uncertainty. If these last remaining plants close, it means that China then has total control over our fresh/frozen vegie industry.
It is particularly disturbing to see that Chinese-grown vegetables are coming in branded as a product of New Zealand.
We have choices, let’s support Aussie farms and our health.
Buy organic, buy from local markets, grow your own or have farmers fresh supplies delivered to your home.
Australia has strict rules and regulations in place for our safety. Hepatitis A can take up to 6 months to clear your system and cause a lot of pain and symptoms when the virus takes hold.
Our economy will thank you too!
Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace
14 thoughts on “Bad Berries And Vile Veggies – Say No To Foreign Food!”
Oh wow. You had me until halal. Something labelled as acceptable for Islamic people to consume has nothing to do with country of origin and I think you’ll find that some Birdseye and some edgell products are halal anyway. I personally don’t allow religious discrimination to influence my food choices, mainly because I don’t discriminate on a persons religion, but just so you’re aware, with the exception of meat which is slaughtered differently (though still humanely in Australia from what I’ve read) the other products are no different. I notice your rant did not reference kosher foods.
Oh dear, my first bit of controversy on the blog! I failed to highlight that those words were not mine but from the show. I have updated the post and removed that last paragraph so as not to upset anyone else.
I was unaware of all this – great post (ie the via NZ)
It is becoming more and more difficult to go shopping at a supermarket now, especially when the brands try to trick us with their labelling. I try to buy local as often as I can but it is tricky. Though I’m not sure what Halal has to do with this topic.
Hi Malinda, oops on my behalf, I did not make it clear that the recap were not my words but I have updated that in the post and removed that paragraph as the aim is not to upset others but highlight the need to support Aussie farmers.
I too am not sure what halal has to do with it. The majority of food IS halal. As Amy said, it really only effects the way the animal is slaughtered anyway. If you are not a follower of the religion, and the meat is slaughtered humanely, how would it’s halal status effect you?
I really don’t understand why you would even mention “halal” to be honest. What does it even have to do with imported berries from China? Considering that many “halal certified” foods (much like many kosher certified, heart ticked, organic and vegan foods) are made in Australia using Australian produce. And therefore have nothing to do with frozen Chinese berries in any way. It makes even less sense that you have mentioned halal when you consider that fruit and veg is halal regardless of it’s certification, it’s not as if people are specifically importing halal berries. They don’t need to, because all berries are halal.
For the record, I live in a very multicultural area, and just did my fresh produce shopping in a very busy local greengrocer- which proudly stocks Australian produce and heavily advertises that we should support Aussie farmers. It’s run by a Muslim family. Does that mean I should be concerned about it’s halal-ness?
I don’t disagree with the majority of your post, but I cannot see any need for halal to be mentioned, in caps, to give the impression that it is something that is both evil and also somehow to blame for Australian shoppers purchasing cheaper imported produce. Perhaps, instead of thinly veiled Islamophobic blame, you could mention the fact that our two biggest supermarkets are also our two biggers importers of foreign food, that they have systematically taken control of the majority of produce producing farms in our country, and they are probably the biggest reason that things like this are happening.
Hi Marissa, thank you for your comment, those words in the recap are not my own but I did not make that clear. I have updated that on the post and removed the final paragraph so as not to upset others.
Agree, Why don’t we eat more Australian produce? It is why we created our website moreaustralian.com.au and facebook community facebook.com/moreaustralian. Lots of facts and posters to share to encourage all of us to eat more Australian produce.
It is worrisome with what’s going on and imported frozen berries. I heard a lady who had been affected interviewed on the radio. She was so distressed (and rightly so). Imagine innocently consuming a product then suddenly catching a horrible disease from it.
It’s really sad that we cannot trust that our food sources are safe!
You need to confirm but Birdseye range I understand are not all Australian Grown (and they are certainly not Australian Owned). They have one range that is Australian grown (and they flag it with a flag, Australian that is) the rest of their products I believe fall into the same old category of “mix of local and imported” (which could mean one bean and the rest are from wherever).
And Edgell are not much better (and don’t flag their Aussie grown items with a flag).
And from their website “The Simplot Australia story began in 1995 when the J.R. Simplot Company expanded into Australia, acquiring iconic brands like Birds Eye, Leggo’s, Chiko and Edgell. Our Company has continued to grow with the addition of brands like John West, Lean Cuisine, and Quorn.”
I do wonder if the email Nikki received (running since around August 2013) originated from Simplot trying to look Aussie (instead of just exporting the profits from Aussie).
Coles and Woolworths both have a range (packed by Simplot) that are 100% Australian vegetables, that is if you can t just..
Buy Fresh Local produce, it’s the best for freshness and food miles.
Thanks for your feedback David, you just never know who to believe!
Was this actually on Landline? Can you provide a link to it because I can`t find these actual words.Having a few doubts about the authenticity of this.
Hi Darcy, as mentioned in the post, these words arrived in my inbox and were in response to the Landline story.