Bring back the real Barbeque Shapes!

Bring back the real barbeque shapes

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Its very rare that I will put up a post on this blog full of grumbles and complaints, as I want my blog to be a positive space.


What the hell were you thinking Arnott’s Biscuits when you decided to change an Aussie icon????

For as long as I can remember, Barbeque Shapes have been one of my favourite savoury snacks.

Over the years I have seen a steady decline in the amount of flavouring sprinkled over these crunchy morsels, but at least the flavour was the same.

Not any more!

The ‘new and improved’ Barbeque Shapes have hit the shop shelves.

AND they are absolutely disgusting as far as I am concerned. (First world problem I know).

We had sample packs of them in the staff room at work, and not a single person that tried them thought they were any good.

I decided to jump on to the Arnott’s Biscuits Facebook page and just see if anyone else was voicing their opinion.

Hell yeah, tons and tons of comments absolutely bagging the new varieties of Shapes biscuits they have altered.

I am hoping that if enough people complain we will get the original Barbeque Shapes back……it sure worked with Australia Post this week……

Australia post price hikes

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There are plenty of people who can vouch for the unbelievably atrocious service sometimes provided by Australia Post even though they keep increasing charges.

Earlier this week I witnessed a meltdown on Facebook in one of the planning groups that I am in due to a mind blowing price hike that Australia Post had decided to make to parcels being sent overseas.

The new rates determined that if an envelope contained anything other than printed matter it would be charged at parcel rates.

So a pair of earrings or a single roll of washi tape that could be posted for $2.75 would now cost $15.85 to send to the USA or $23.75 to send to Europe, WTF!

This simply meant the instant end to hundreds of Etsy shop owners and creative businesses.

There was lots of tears and anger as so many stay-at-home mums who make a living selling to customers all over the world no longer had a viable business.

Australia Post’s Facebook page was flooded with protests.

And it worked!

By the next day the powers-to-be realised the incredible amount of business they would lose if all these parcels were no longer being sent and they did a complete back flip and reverted the costs for small ‘parcels’ back to the original rules. Big win for people power.

Arnott’s Biscuits get on to this and give us back the real thing, stat!

Rant over and a return to positive posts shall commence.

Have you tried the new Shapes?

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How To Read All The Latest Magazines For Free!

save money on magazines

I love magazines!

Sitting down with a freshly made coffee and flipping through the glossy pages is one of my favourite ways to relax.

Unfortunately this can be a very expensive habit, and lots of trees are needed to print the pretty pages.

I currently have a pile of magazines that I am going through, clipping out recipes to try, plus images and quotes/words that I use for making vision boards. When I have finished with them they all go in the recycle bin and very little is actually kept.

I first discovered online magazines a while back when I won a 12 month subscription to ‘O’ Magazine (Oprah’s mag). I have since renewed my subscription twice over, but not anymore.

Thanks to my local library.

I have been an avid library user for decades, as I always borrow a book if possible before I buy it to make sure it is a worthy investment.

My library does have racks full of magazines, but it is very rare that I manage to score a relatively recent copy.

Unless I decide to learn a new craft or something like that, I really have no interest in magazines that are a year or two old.

When I visited the e-magazine section online of my local library, I discovered 150 titles to pick from!

The latest editions of all my favourites magazines are mine to read with a single click.

Best of all I can have access to as many editions as I like, with no return dates and no overdue or lost book fees (yes we have had that happen and found it 6 months later under the front seat of the car).

You will need a good internet connection with plenty of GB’s available to make use of this as most magazines are image heavy and can be quite a few megabytes each or you could end up paying more than the cover price in excess download charges.

Check out your local library online and see if they offer the same, which you would think they should, and while you are at it, grab an ebook or 20 as there are plenty of those available too. This could be the perfect way to learn something new or just make it easier to head to the local coffee shop with your ipad or laptop instead of a pile of magazines.

Now to decide what I want to download first…….so many choices!

Are you a magazine addict too?

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Drug Free Kitchen Cures For Common Ailments!

There are lots of wonderful foods that can do the job of everyday medicines to help alleviate the symptoms of many common health issues.

Many of these you will probably have in your kitchen already, or they are very easy to obtain next time you go shopping.

Regular consumption can work as powerful preventative medicine and if symptoms do persist please visit your GP.

Kitchen cures for modern ailments

BLOATING – A bloated belly is uncomfortable and unsightly, try a cup of fresh pineapple each day. Fresh Pineapple contains powerful digestive enzymes that can help to ease a bloated belly. If you can handle eating the core instead of throwing that part out, it is where powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain is stored and is very helpful to reduce inflammation anywhere in your body.

COLD SORES/MOUTH ULCERS – Raw honey that has not been pasteurised can be dabbed on cold sores and will help them to heal faster.

INDIGESTION/NAUSEA – Fresh ginger has an antispasmodic effect on upset tummies. Thinly slice one tablespoon and place in a cup of hot water and allow to steep for 20 minutes before removing and then sipping the tea.

HANGOVERS – After a big night out, it is common to grab for something greasy if you can stomach anything at all. Ice cold chocolate milk was my favourite back in the day. A much better choice is a banana. Loaded with potassium, it will help you feel better much faster than a meat pie or burger.

HEARTBURN – A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup of warm water and sipped when required will help ease the discomfort of indigestion caused from eating in excess.

HOT FLUSHES – Sage tea could become your best friend if hot flushes are a common occurrence in your life. With a mild oestrogenic effect, sage tea will help to balance your hormone levels that when increased trigger flushes. Reducing caffeine intake will also help as it stimulates the release of cortisol that adds to the hormone imbalance so common during menopause.

MUSCLE ACHE – Drinking lots of water after exercise not only helps to rehydrate you, it will also flush out pain triggering histamines that are released from overworked muscles.

SORE THROAT – When your throat feels like it has been attacked by razor blades try this tea to help soothe and heal. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 clove bud and 2 teaspoons honey steeped in 2 cups of boiling water. Strain and drink when it has cooled down to a safe temperature.

SUNBURN – Rubbing slices of fresh tomato over sunburnt skin will help take the pain away. Soaking in oatmeal bath will also help settle the sting. Simply add 1 cup of oats into a sock and tie off with a rubber band. Place the sock into a bath tub and run a just warm bath. Soak for 15 minutes and after you have dried off, if you have an aloe vera plant in your garden, grab a stem cut it open and squeeze out the gel and apply to affected areas.

TOOTHACHE – I’ve been telling people this ever since my Dentist in Newington CT told me about it, chewing very gently on a clove bud will release a natural anesthetic that will reduce the pain and inflammation and bring some relief if you can’t get to the dentist straight away.

URINARY TRACT INFECTION – At the first sign of a UTI grab a cup of blueberries. Fresh or frozen work and they will help kill off the trouble making bacteria. You can also try a drink of 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one cup of water as this will help to alkalize the bladder which does not allow the bacteria to multiply.

Try one of these effective remedies rather than just reaching for a painkiller as they will help your body to heal and repair rather than just mask the symptoms.

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess


Quick Mix Orange Cake

Quick and easy orange cake recipe

I love a freshly baked cake for afternoon tea, and even better is one that is so easy to whip up without the need to make too many dirty dishes. This orange cake is quick and easy to prepare and can be made with lemon or limes instead if you prefer.


125gm butter + 20gm for the icing

1 orange

2 eggs (at room temperature)

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup caster sugar

1 1/2 cups of self raising flour

3 cups of icing sugar mixture.



1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Prepare your pan (13 x 20cm) or loaf pan by spraying with non stick spray and lining with baking paper.

3. Place the butter in a microwave safe jug or bowl and heat for 20 seconds until almost melted.

4. Add the two eggs and whisk together well.

5. Grate the rind of the orange straight into the mixture.

6. Add the milk and whisk, by adding all the wet ingredients first and then the dry, stops lumps from forming.

7. Add the caster sugar and flour and whisk until well combined.

8. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

9. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack and let the cake come to room temperature before topping with icing.



1. In a clean bowl add the extra 20 grams of butter and melt in the microwave.

2. Juice the orange and add to the butter.

3. Sift the icing sugar mixture into the bowl 1 cup at a time. (you may need a little more or less icing sugar mixture depending on exactly how much juice you get from the orange, if you prefer a thinner coat of icing only use the juice of half an orange and half the icing sugar mixture).

4. Spread over the top of the cake and place it in the fridge until firm before covering with cling wrap.

quick mix iced orange cake

This cake keeps really well in the fridge for a few days and is a great one to make for a bake stall at school as it has simple ingredients.

What is your favourite cake to make?

Feel free to leave a link in the comments so I can try it out.

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially



Fabulous Things To Freeze For Christmas Day!

With summer having seemed to have come early this year, there is a very good chance that we will have a hot Christmas.

Freezing things in advance can save preparation time closer to the big day and some of these fabulous ideas not only look great but do a practical job at the same time.

First things first though… need to have some room in your freezer before you start.

If you are a bit short on space right now, try feeding the family from the freezer for the next week or so to give you some spare room.


This ice bucket would not only make a beautiful centerpiece for your table it would keep the bubbles nice and chilled!

Christmas ice bucket

Instructions for making this gorgeous ice bucket can be found here.


Frozen cocktails and mocktails can be made in advance and will be ready for sipping when you are.

cool down this christmas with frozen drinks

I have lots of yummy recipes on my Pinterest board CHEERS!

Quick and Easy Kids Punch – My favourite go-to recipe that I have used at umpteen kids parties when I have lot’s of children around, especially at Christmas is to freeze a 1lt carton of Golden Circle Tropical Punch overnight. A few hours before you need it, put it into the fridge so it starts defrosting, put the juice into a large jug or bowl and add a 2 litre bottle of lemonade. Pour it in over the back of a spoon so you don’t lose the bubbles and give it a gentle stir.


Serve fresh seafood on a slab of ice by filling a deep dish baking pan with water and freezing for at least 24 hours.

fresh seafood for christmas

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These gorgeous little puddings are one thing I make every year, and usually I do them in September or October and pop them in the freezer.

When I need a plate to take to a party I take enough to fill a pretty plate and by the time I get to my destination they are defrosted.

Mini christmas puddings

You can get the recipe here.


Keep the kids happy for ages with frozen fruit cups.

freeze fruit for a healthy snack

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Simply freeze a selection of fruit with some no added sugar juice or coconut water.


How about a special treat for your furry family members.

Help your dog stay cool this holidays

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Freezing doggy treats in an ice block will help them cool off as they hunt for their reward.

I hope these clever freezer hacks give you some ‘cool’ ideas for the festive season!

What is your favourite way to cool down at Christmas?

How To Cook Perfect Rice Every Time!

We eat lots of rice here at WWHQ, and one thing I cannot stand is soggy, gluggy rice.

Many years ago I used to boil rice on the stove and it would be hit and miss. Probably more miss that hit.

Also many years ago I bought a microwave rice cooker on clearance at David Jones.

Back then it cost me $13.00, but more than a decade later it still works perfectly every single time.

no more gluggy rice

See, perfect fluffy rice.

I have used the rice cooker for white, brown and wild rice and all have worked out beautifully.

This rice also makes a really good fried rice due to no excess water.

It is incredibly easy to clean and the cooked rice remnants come away easily.

Mine being a bit on in years is slightly different from the ones you can now, but I am sure they work exactly the same.

I was so surprised when I visited a friend of mine who had only just bought one from
Tupperware and she had never heard of them before. I thought every kitchen would have one as they are so awesome.

decore microwave rice cooker

This version you can pop into your trolley next time you go to the supermarket.

The last thing you probably want is another kitchen appliance, but this one is worth having and you will use it all the time.

What is your favourite cooking appliance that you just can’t live without?

Simple Solutions For Tummy Troubles

From belly-aches to bloating, tummy troubles can cause great discomfort.

There are so many reasons your stomach might be unsettled, such as simply eaten too much, had something a bit too spicy for you or caught a tummy ‘bug’, these easy solutions could help you feel much more comfortable.


Easy ways to overcome stomach pain


FRESH CORIANDER – Easy to grow and often found in Thai dishes, eating fresh coriander will aid digestion of food and can improve appetite. It is very helpful in preventing gas building up in the intestines, and helps expel wind from the bowels. Very helpful in relieving stomach aches.

CORIANDER SEEDS – Chew on a couple of coriander seeds after a meal to help prevent heartburn and indigestion.

CHAMOMILE TEA – Make a cup of chamomile tea to get relief from colic, gas, diarrhoea, cramps, indigestion and irritable bowl syndrome.

FLAT LEMONADE – Getting over a bout of tummy bugs or food poisoning can leave you struggling to keep anything down. Flat lemonade gives you some sugar to help boost your lagging energy levels and will often stay down.

PROBIOTICS – When the levels of bacteria in your gut are in short supply, you will often experience bloating and gas. This will often occur if you have taken a dose of anti-biotics or your diet is full of processed foods. Eating fresh natural yoghurt or taking a supplement will help to replenish supply and will also give your immune system a welcome boost.

GREEN PAPAYA – In South America this fruit is the go-to natural solution that they swear by. This unripened fruit if full of powerful enzymes that are very beneficial for bloating, nausea, flatulence and stomach cramping. Unfortunately the ripened fruit has lost the enzymes in the process.

ALOE VERA JUICE – Is soothing on the skin and soothing to an upset tummy. It is very helpful for constipation, bloating, gas and cramping.

PEPPERMINT TEA – Is another helpful tea for tummies. Excellent for easing constipation, gas and bloating. It is the perfect choice of tea to drink after a large meal that leaves you feeling uncomfortable.

FRESH GINGER – Grated fresh ginger stir-fried with fresh greens is a great light meal to help ease stomach upsets. You can also use grated ginger to make a tea. It has fabulous anti-inflammatory properties that help sooth discomfort.

GINGER TEA – This tea is a favourite to help ease travel sickness and queasy stomach’s from being out on the water or whilst flying.

BURNT TOAST – A dose of charcoal will help a tummy that might be feeling a little queasy following just a few too many cocktails. Charcoal absorbs alcohol and will help it clear your system. You can also try all of the above!

How do you settle a funny tummy?

Sharing for #IBOTwith Essentially

Awesome Almond Puffs

Many years ago, we were out for Chrismtas Day lunch and we had these fabulous almonds puffs on the dessert table. I was determined to learn how to make them.

I found a few recipes and played around with them and ended up with this one as my go-to!

The keep really well for days in an airtight container (if they last that long).

Awesome Almond Puffs


 350gm Ground Almonds

 2 Egg Whites (at room temperature)

 1 1/4 cups of Caster Sugar

1 cup of Icing Sugar


– Preheat oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with non-stick paper

– Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until light and fluffy

– Add the caster sugar and almond meal

– Using your hands, mix together until well combined

– Place the icing sugar in a separate bowl

– Roll a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into a ball and drop into the bowl of icing sugar and toss to coat

– Place each completed ball on a baking tray

Traying up almond biscuits

– Leave space between each ball to allow for expansion

– Bake on the centre shelf for 10 – 15 minutes. When they have cracked slightly on top and have a small golden patch on the base they are ready.

– Allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes so that they firm up and don’t crumble.

– Transfer to a wire rack until completely cold.

If you use pure icing sugar, these are a fabulous gluten free treat.

This recipe will make approximately 30 balls.

These little balls of yumminess are always made at Christmas and Easter time and a few batches in between.

What is your favourite biscuit that you love to make?

Sharing for #IBOT with Essentially Jess

How To Melt Chocolate Perfectly Every Time!

Hands up if you have tried to melt chocolate, and in a blink of an eye it has turned into a rough and grainy blob of uselessness?

You are not alone!

I have done it a few times, a damn expensive waste of the good stuff.

How to melt chocolate perfectly

 It only takes a tiny drop of moisture or burst of steam to instantly destroy chocolate!

After much practice these handy hints will ensure you get your chocolate smooth and glossy every time.


* Always use a non-porous bowl. Metal, glass or ceramic is perfect. Plastic bowls will often have residues that remain on the surface that can ruin your chocolate quickly.

* Do not use a wooden spoon to mix the chocolate with. They can contain moisture or cooking residue as well.

* Always break up your chocolate into small pieces, it speeds up the process and reduces the risk of overheating.

* Do not use chocolate straight from the fridge, condensation will create enough moisture to make it seize.


This is my preferred method of melting chocolate and it works for me every time.

Simply place a saucepan on the burner over a low heat with about 1 cm of water in it.

Ensure you use a bowl that is big enough to sit securely in the saucepan without touching the water and do not lift the bowl up off the saucepan until the chocolate is melted.

Stir continuously with a metal spoon until completely melted.

Turn off the burner and place the bowl on a board to protect your bench and allow to cool slightly, unless a recipe indicates you to do otherwise.


This method caused me the most grief, but a little fine-tuning and I have got it to work. As microwaves heat things so unevenly it is so important to do this in small bursts.

Use a glass or ceramic bowl and place the bowl and chocolate in the microwave.

Using 50% power, microwave the chocolate in 30 second bursts.

Stir really well after each 30 seconds with a metal spoon.

When the chocolate is almost completely melted, do not place it back in the microwave. Just keep stirring it and the last little bits will melt.


Here is some fun melted chocolate inspiration for you.

Enjoy a Hot Chocolate Bath.

Get some yummy Hot Chocolate drink inspiration to warm a chilly day.

Make a fabulous chocolate and caramel Lava Slice.

What is your favourite chocolate recipe?

Easter Inspired Cheese Ball

Easter is fast approaching and whilst it is all about the chocolate, yay, it is also a time for family and friends to get together and spend some time enjoying each others company over good food.

I found this clever idea whilst through Pinterest, my favourite haunt for holiday inspiration. I have an awesome cheese ball mix to use as the base to create this Easter inspired yumminess!


Image Credit

This recipe makes one generous sized cheese ball, so it would probably be worth making a double sized batch so you can make a good sized ‘carrot’.


125gm grated mild cheese

125gm grated mature cheese

125gm cream cheese (softened)

1 heaped dessert spoon of finely chopped red capsicum

1 dessert spoon finely chopped onion

1 1/2 dessertspoons of gherkin relish

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Sweet Paprika and Mild Curry Powder (see below)

1 bunch parsley for the ‘carrot’ top.


Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Line a slice tray with aluminum foil, making sure it is long enough to cover the ‘carrot’ when shaped.

Using damp hands press all the ingredients together, shape in to a triangular shape and lay on the foil.

In the example above they have covered the ‘carrot’ with extra cheese, but I will use the coating mix I normally use with this cheese ball. Combine one teaspoon of sweet paprika and one teaspoon of mild curry powder and sprinkle over the mix. It has an orange colour and adds extra flavor.

Wrap the ‘carrot’ with excess foil and place in the fridge preferably overnight.

Add the parsley once you have placed the ‘carrot’ on a serving platter.

This recipe is suitable to freeze if you want to make it in advance.

What do you like to cook at Easter time?

Sharing for #IBOT at Essentially

How To Make Perfect Pikelets

Pikelets are a yummy treat and are so easy to make.

They only take about 10 minutes to make so they are an easy afternoon tea for unexpected visitors or for an after school snack.

Traditionally they are sweet and served with jam and cream, but I also have a few suggestions below for savory alternatives as well.

The trick to making good pikelets is having the right batter consistency. If it is too thick then the centres will not cook through and they will be doughy and if the batter is too thin, they will end up looking like pancakes.

How to make perfect pikelets


1 large egg

3/4 cup of milk

3 tablespoons caster sugar

1 1/2 cups of self raising flour

butter to grease the fry pan


In a medium sized jug or bowl, add the egg and milk and whisk until combined.

Add the sugar and flour and whisk until free of lumps.

Heat a large non-stick fry pan over medium heat.

Add a little butter to just cover the base of the pan when melted.

Add spoonful’s of the batter into the pan keeping a little space between each one so that you have enough room to get an egg flip underneath them when it’s time to turn them.

Turn piklets when little holes appear

When little ‘holes’ appear at the top of the pikelets, it is time to turn them over.

Gently lift them up to check when they have coloured.

Place cooked pikelets on a plate, add more butter and repeat.

This recipe makes 12 large piklets.

Serve with butter and jam or freshly whipped cream.

Or try some of these other fun ideas:-

– Sliced banana and a dollop of caramel sauce.

– Whipped cream and fresh berries.

– Creamed honey.

– Butter and sprinkles.

– Add mini M&M’s to the batter before cooking.

– Whipped cream and crushed peppermint crisp or flake.


If super sweet is not your thing, why not try some of these savory options. Simply omit the sugar from the basic batter mix and add these choices to the batter before cooking the piklets.

– Grated cheese and a small can of corn kernels that has been well drained.

– Finely dice 1/2 and onion and two rashes of bacon and brown.

– Diced cooked chicken and sun dried tomatoes.

– Finely dice a left over sausage or two.

– Thin slices of ham and chopped spring onion.

Pikelets freeze really well. Wrap a couple in cling wrap or put in a snap lock bag. Put them in lunch boxes and they will be defrosted when it is time to eat.

Happy eating!

Do you like pikelets?

Sharing for #FYBF at With Some Grace

Bad Berries And Vile Veggies – Say No To Foreign Food!

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)


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

  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

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