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.
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