Friday's Top 10: Buffy Gill on whether NZ's dairy empire will be our downfall, whether protein's the next tobacco, the secrets of centenarians, it pays to be green, superfoods for men, Dilbert & more

Friday's Top 10: Buffy Gill on whether NZ's dairy empire will be our downfall, whether protein's the next tobacco, the secrets of centenarians, it pays to be green, superfoods for men, Dilbert & more

Today's Top 10 is a guest post from Buffy-Ellen Gill, the founder of Be Good Organics, an online organic plant-based food, skincare and health store. She previously worked as an executive director and senior research analyst at Goldman Sachs for almost eight years before she says a serious health scare led her to a more natural organic lifestyle, and the founding of Be Good Organics.

As always, we welcome your additions in the comment stream below or via email to david.chaston@interest.co.nz. And if you're interested in contributing the occasional Top 10 yourself, contact gareth.vaughan@interest.co.nz.

See all previous Top 10s here.

To kick off my first Top 10 for interest.co.nz, we will be covering a handful of basics on organics, health, animal welfare and sustainability. I strongly believe all of these issues are paramount to the economic growth and success of both New Zealand and the global economy.

1. Top 3 reasons you should switch to organic
The organic sector is growing rapidly, both as a result of increased consumer awareness and demand, and sheer necessity given the global environmental issues we as a planet are facing.

In NZ alone, the organic produce market (excluding all other organic products) grew by 27% from 2009 to 2012. In the US, the organic food market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% per annum over the next 5 years.

In light of this anticipated growth, the New Zealand economic sector needs to get on board.

Here is an article I wrote recently about three key reasons consumers are increasingly boarding the organic train, and thus why smart businesses should too.

Conventional/non-organic food and beauty products are laden with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, pesticides, contaminants, GMOs, artificial/synthetic ingredients, and harmful preservatives.  Whilst that apple at the supermarket might look fairly harmless, chances are it's been sprayed by at least one of the 400 chemical pesticides routinely used in conventional farming.  And that cream you're about to rub on your face?  Is probably full of hormone-disrupting parabens, sulfates, phthalates, heavy metals, petroleum waxes, nano-particles, synthetic fragrance/colours, TEAs, DEAs, Silicones and PEGS.  No wonder the incidence of auto-immune disease seems to have skyrocketed the past few years.

2. Will NZ’s dairy empire ultimately be our downfall?
New Zealand’s over-arching dairy industry and culture – it may well provide the lion’s share of our current GDP, but is it sustainable?

Hans Kriek the head of SAFE, New Zealand’s leading animal welfare organisation, addresses the various issues here.

Environmental degradation, animal welfare abuse, the loss of our ‘clean green image’ (which incidentally is impacting our #2 GDP earner – tourism), and health concerns around dairy causing bones to leach calcium.

The environmental impact of dairy has been well publicised for a number of years and there are now real fears that one of our biggest money earners could damage one of our other biggest industries – tourism. The fact that you and I can no longer safely swim in most of our rivers, can largely, but not solely, be attributed to our love affair with the white stuff. As the industry expands and ever more cows are producing more milk and [excrement], this problem will only get worse.

3. No more tuna sushi by 2048?
The UN is currently forecasting the complete collapse of global fish stocks by 2048. That is within most of our lifetimes.

Driven by corporate profits and greed, fisheries across almost every country in the world are drastically over fishing our global fishing populations. Sea Shepherd provides a well researched overview on this shocking issue here.

High tech, industrial fishing fleets and years of overfishing have done their damage; the oceans are in demise. Many scientists believe commercial fisheries will collapse worldwide by 2048, although regionally, thousands of fisheries have already collapsed, starting as early as the mid 1800's. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), almost 80% of our global fisheries are now being fished close to, already at, or beyond their capacity – with more than 50% of fish stocks considered fully exploited.

To learn more about this issue, watch the trailer for the incredible documentary “The End of the Line” below, and find the full version of the film here.

 

4. Is the Western world’s protein obsession the next tobacco?
US and Italian researchers have published research suggesting adults who eat a diet high in animal protein are four times more likely to die of cancer than those on vegetarian diets. This adds to the plethora of existing research suggesting that forgoing that daily steak can improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and assist in weight management.

U.S. and Italian researchers tracked thousands of adults during nearly two decades and found that those who ate a diet high in animal proteins during middle age were four times more likely to die of cancer than contemporaries with low-protein diets — a risk factor, if accurate, comparable to smoking. They also were several times more likely to die of diabetes, researchers said.

5. The shocking truth about the skincare industry
After being diagnosed with Graves disease in early 2012, I proceeded to refocus my research skills and experience onto health, food, skincare and the various toxins in our environment.

One repeating theme that I came across was that there are hundreds of toxic chemicals in our skin care, make-up, body lotions, body wash, hair care, perfume/cologne, and household cleaning products.

This is not just confined to women – men are exposed to the exact same issues too. Read the article here.

Here are some scary facts about the personal care and beauty industry.  These differ slightly between countries, but the general approach holds true:

- Almost any chemical can be used as an ingredient in personal care products

-  Labels are allowed to be misleading and incomplete - companies don't have to list all their ingredients

- Unsubstantiated claims about product benefits are completely allowed

- There is almost no required safety testing of products or ingredients - less than 20% of ingredients have actually been assessed

- Products commonly contain penetration enhancers to drive ingredients deeper into the skin - that mean more chemicals absorbed into your blood stream.

- These chemicals have been scientifically proven to be linked to cancer, endocrine/hormonal disease, thyroid function disruption, learning disabilities, ashthma, respiratory disease, skin disease, liver damage, brain damage and development problems, immune system damage, male and female reproductive hormone disfunction, damaged sperm, and fetal development issues.

6. The secrets of centenarians
A number of studies have been done on the lifestyles and diets of centenarians around the world. Key similarity? They all eat a predominantly plant-based wholefood diet.

In particular, the percentage of animal foods consumed by the average centenarian is only 5%, with plant foods making up the remaining 95%.

Jason Shon Bennett has interviewed many of these centenarians, and published a brand new book including many of these findings entitled “Eat Less Live Long”.

‘Eat Less, Live Long’ takes you through the basic journey I went on to get well, and what I learnt along the way from the world’s oldest and healthiest people - including their secrets to youthful vitality and longevity. It explains the concept of eating less, the lessons of the centenarians, and the power of Regular Intelligent Fasting.

7. New NZ marine reserves won’t fix our flailing oceans
The NZ Government recently announced plans to add an additional protected area off the coast of Kaikoura to our national marine reserves. Pity they’re planning to hurl full throttle into deep sea drilling only a few kilometres further afield.

With less than 50 Maui dolphins left in New Zealand (and the world), more drastic action needs to be taken if we want to have any hope of retaining our attraction as an environmentally forward thinking country.

To read more about the pending extinction of our rare Maui dolphins as well as Sea Lions read here.

The oil blocks offered last year were more than 4,000 times larger than this proposed marine reserve and the Government still isn't taking the steps needed to protect the endangered Maui's dolphin and New Zealand Sea Lion.

This new marine reserve is only 104 square kilometres and keeps the percentage of New Zealand's EEZ and Territorial Sea area protected by marine reserves still standing at an incredibly low 0.41 percent.

8. Superfoods for men? Here are 7 of the hottest for 2014
Wondering what all the hype is about superfoods? Essentially they’re just highly nutrient dense functional foods that have exceptional nutritional profiles.

Brocolli, tomatoes and blueberries (as long as they’re organic and not sprayed) are all worthy of this lofty title.

Here are 7 more that are forecast to be popular in 2014. Now we just need a listed company to specialise in manufacturing these so we can benefit from more than just the health exposure.

Maca: A starch usually sold in a powder or gelatinized version, Maca is Peru's hidden secret. It is high in calcium, iron, vitamin-C, and essential amino acids, which would make it a superfood on its own -- but as the Incas knew, maca has extraordinary rejuvenative powers. While in Peru to research superfoods for my latest book project, Peruvian Power Foods, I spoke with many locals from the Andes. The story that struck me most was the tale of maca. According to the tale, the Incas gave it to their soldiers to fortify them before battles to increase their energy but were careful to stop once the battle was over, as Maca increased both libido and erectile function. While this potency was a risk for keeping order among the ranks of the conquering Incas, it can be a benefit for the modern man as he ages or for anyone who wants to improve their energy.

9. It pays to be green
Listed US company Whole Foods Market has recently been ranked number 20 in FORTUNE magazine’s 2014 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list.

The company was also named as the Most Admired Company in the food and drug store industry, leading the top 10 list of retailers in the category.

It’s also paid to be an investor in the stock, with the share price rising from US$7.87 five years ago to US$54.54 today, an increase of almost 600% or CAGR of 47% per annum.

It's not every CEO who writes a treatise on how to make money and have a heart, but leave it to Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey, who last year co-authored the book 'Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,'" reported the magazine, adding “Mackey advocates that profits follow from a 'higher purpose – including being nice to the environment…'

Whole Foods Market, Inc Share Price Performance Over The Last 5 Years

Source: Nasdaq.com

To view the full FORTUNE magazine list click here.

10. 10 great reasons to use coconut oil
As a light hearted finish we take a look at an increasingly popular foodstuff both in NZ and abroad, extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil.

Coconut oil has had a bad wrap in recent years due to its high saturated fat content (over 90%). Anyone who grew up in the 80's or 90's will remember saturated fat as the no go dietary faux pas.

However the fat found in coconut oil is different to that in animal products, and can actually boost metabolism, promote body-fat release, reduce the risk of diabetes, and increase the ratio of good to bad cholesterol.

Research by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia suggests that unlike the long-chain fatty acids contained in animal fat, MCFA's are much more easily metabolised and converted into energy. They are therefore more likely to be used up by the body, and less likely to land on your hips. Furthermore, MCFA's have been shown to actually increase fat burning capacity, leading to less fat storage than with a traditional animal fat containing diet.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

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Seems the Chineese can build for $1300/m2 - bring them to Auckland!!

The above three comments are nothing to do with the thread. I'd have called it trolling.

I was hoping he would answer my simple questions on the 'blame the greens" thread rather than whatever this is.

YOu can easily build for that price. "Tuffbuild" assembles homes for under $1200 inc GST / sqm. Nice small compact 3 bed homes - ideal for rentals & squeezing in on back gardens. A simple efficient strong home. So it can be done. But not if you want brick cladding, fancy roofs & expensive landscaping.

Cash-strapped Chinese are scrambling to sell their luxury homes in Hong Kong, and some are knocking up to a fifth off the price for a quick sale, as a liquidity crunch looms on the mainland.
Wealthy Chinese were blamed for pushing up property prices in the former British territory, where they accounted for 43 per cent of new luxury home sales in the third quarter of 2012, before a tax hike on foreign buyers was announced.
The rush to sell coincides with a forecast 10 per cent drop in property prices this year as the tax increase and rising borrowing costs cool demand. At the same time, credit conditions in China have tightened. Earlier this week, the looming bankruptcy of a Chinese property developer owing 3.5 billion yuan ($620 million) heightened concerns that financial risk was spreading.
"Some of the mainland sellers have liquidity issues - say, their companies in China have some difficulties - so they sold the houses to get cash," said Norton Ng, account manager at a Centaline Property real estate office close to the China border, where luxury houses costing up to HK$30 million ($4.3 million) have been popular with mainland buyers.
Property agents said mainland Chinese own close to a third of the existing homes that are now for sale in Hong Kong - up 20 percent from a year ago. Many are offering discounts of 5-10 per cent below the market average - and in some cases as much as 20 percent - to make a quick sale, property agents and analysts said.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/fire-sale-chinese-selling-off-hong-kong-luxury-homes-20140321-356ui.html#ixzz2wYW9b0LJ

We can all copy and paste......

Where is the item about: high sugar products an T2?
Where is the detail about mega supply chains (kraft etc) that harvest the harvesters in search of lower/est cost of production
Where is the observation of the power concentrated in the hands of a handful of supermarket chains, esp. in their control of the choice of products/brands/country of origin we appear to have. For availability seems a key.
 

Well, we will need more articles from her then - I can see there is pent up demand for more on this topic!! Watchout PDK.

less is more.
being selective can be a problem.
If change was order of the day, alter the minds of the credit providers....
corporate types appreciate such.
 

We're not all in debt!

The word "superfood" always makes me twitchy, it is like the claim "kills cancer in the lab" (so does a handgun). So here is a visualisation of the peer reviewed evidence of what seems to be good for what:
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements/
 

As for dairy:
http://www.agriland.ie/news/agriland-launches-farmgate-milk-price-table/
it looks a though Fonterra ranks 12th or 13th out of 14 or 15 international milk processors in milk payments to farm suppliers (Nov 2013 at least).
Further/ongoing detail would be handy (DC, ?)
Seems we have caught up to world price now less milk mountains, with volume and market access the key (no pun intended), lates news China-wise is +ve.
However, Eurpoe (Irish), USA, (that ex Fonterra bloke) and Australia (how about NZ milk powder being mixed to infant formula in Oz and being sold as Australian made) - refer recent posts - are all gunning for same.
 

Labour seem to have lost releventcy to a lot of people, since the Nats saw how good Labour's ideas were.

True , Labour are focussed solely on one thing ..... an innocuos dinner attended by Judith Collins  , to the detriment of absolutely everything else .
Its the closest thing to a Shakesperean farce I have ever seen
 

  • Where's the Plan ?
  • What are they offerring that we dont already have ?
  • Where's  strategy?
  • Where are the new ideas ?
  • Where are the fresh faces with new ideas ?
  • Cunliffe comes across as too opinionated ( my wife and daughter say they find this trait annoying)
  • They are trying to cater to too many sub-groups within the ranks
  • They seem divided and
  • out of touch

 
The Greens , have got the wind behind them .
They are ( mostly) young,   innovative , focussed, stick to their core competencies ,  have (some)  well articuated plans , think things through, and identify and stick to the things they can change or influence . 
Its just a pity about so many of their members radical stance and  ideological instransigence .
 

How is a focus on "economic growth" not also an ideological instransigence?

chuckle - yep. It's just a pity that some folk don't clear their own ideologies out, before appraising.
 
Not just National, though. Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the PM, makes the same mistake, with no excuse whatsoever science-wise. When the rot starts at that level, you have to expect it lower down.
 
Gluckman (without reference, substantiation or anything) advocates 'economic growth'. I asked him an FIA question (he wouldn't answer straight, and then delayed for the maximum FIA time) but he's done no research whatever into the one thing which underwrites all economic activity. ( Real econmic activity, that is - a differentiation which seems to escape all those who need it to be otherwise).
 
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2011-10-20/role-energy-economic-growth
 
If the man who advises our PM is that ignorant, what chance is there of those ideologically down-stream of him getting it right?

Now, up until yesterday I would have said the Collins thing was a distraction, but with Patrick Gower getting into the Oravida offices and finding evidence directly contradicting what that Prime Minister had been saying (multiple rounds of golf not one/ a National Party fundraiser not a charity event) I think it suddenly has the power to hurt National in the polls. For those who missed it, Gower wandering the Oravida offices with a camera is at:
http://www.3news.co.nz/Key-admits-second-Oravida-golf-game/tabid/1607/ar...
I am just baffled at how the company let him do that.

I'm sorry, but I fail to see why we have to adopt corrupt business practices.
Judith Collins, real, really?

Not a fat chance in hell of that dh - even some left leaning people in my wider family see this whole thing as a media beat up and can't see a problem with Key being all over NZ exporters to assist them in their markets. So why should someone, or some company, that he knows really well be punished by not getting that support. Equally theyre even a bit bemused by the Collins so called conflict of interest issues - she might have though more about the appearances and a mistake, but not a big voting issue - for once ZZ and I are on the same page.

Up until the other day I would have completely agreed with you, but I think things coming out that directly contradict his earlier statements have the potential to hurt Key- not over lobbying for NZ business, but over telling the electorate stuff that was not true in multiple ways.

Then when first asked about it, Key should either have given accurate information or said he wasn't sure, not said things that sounded definitive but were different to the facts. As for the "they all look alike" argument, it is pretty clear from the photo wall in the TV3 clip above that the company are in pretty tight with the National Party (and I don't have any problem with companies being big political party donors) so that is why the PM did know who was being talked about when asked earlier.
I have no problem with the PM doing PR and would support any PM or minister boosting NZ business (with the standard disclaimer that in NZ you don't use your Ministerial job in ways that benefit your private business interests- I actually thought some of Amy Adams involvement in South Canterbury water was going to be far worse for the government than the Collins thing), my issue is when he publicly says "this is the case" when it is not the case and I have that issue with any politician in a keeping the buggers honest kind of way.

I really suggest people read some of James Belich's books (NZ's best historian IMHO) and consider what getting into bed with China means.
 
Pre 1870s in NZ the thought was we were the new bright light, that we were going to develop factories and new manufactured goods while Britain was the dying light. Despite the fact most of colonists were British their was little loyalty to Britain. The NZ government denied to send troops or aid for British colonial wars in that time.
 
Then in the 1880/90s we had a bad depression followed by a agricultural protein export recovery to Britain and London in particular. But this recovery went far beyond simple imports and exports. We became the most loyal Britons. We played with Britain, we fought for Britain we died for Britain, we sent our cleverest students to Oxford and Cambridge. Cultural, political and social ties were strengthened. British migrants to NZ was encouraged. This process was very much driven by our upper levels of government. They could not articulate or garner any support for a more balanced alternative.
 
Fast forward a hundred plus years and now Britain really is the dying light. It is China that is giving us the protein agricultural export recovery after a period of economic turmoil. Again this process is being driven by the top levels of our government. It doesn't just involve trade, it also is an acceptance of migration and cultural practices. Some of those cultural practices in the past we would not have accepted. They would be against our norms, we would have called it corruption.
 
For China the New Zealand relationship is not just about trade. NZ is the thin edge of the wedge. A chance to bring a small part of the Anglo world over to the Sino sphere of influence.
 
Is it possible to articulate and garner enough support for a more balanced approach to trade or is history doomed to repeat itself?
 
 

www.realfarmacy.com/the-top-10-healthiest-seeds-on-earth/
Thanks for your input Buffy and congratulations in overcoming your health challenge through an understanding and following of organic principles.  It is shocking to see how chemicals are assumed safe for consumption unless proven otherwise.
 
"now we just need a listed company to specialise in manufacturing these so we can benefit from more than just the health exposure."  - please explain - is the health benefit not enough?
 
Could you also explain how to make organic produce and products more affordable for everyone?  One would think that with less inputs (herbicides, pesticides etc) the products would be cheaper.  I do understand scale and the "law of supply and demand" and yet it is almost a chicken and egg conundrum.
#3. You mention corporate profits and greed.  How does this contribute to the cost of organic products?  I assume Be Good Organics is profit oriented and accept that overheads must be met including staff wages and salaries.  When overheads are covered how much profit is needed?  Do you take more than you need?  An organic lifestyle is more than just consuming organic products.
 
#1.  Is the switch to organic really the economic saviour you portray it to be?  Yes it is great for health and environmental reasons but ultimately a zero sum with regards to economic growth.  www.sustainableman.org/blog/2012/11/20/why-the-green-economy-wont-save-the-economy/
 

meh - quite correct.
 
The message is sold by some, as a 'new growth' or a 'green growth'. Zero draw-down is the key yardstick in terms of sustainability. Organics goes closer to zero draw-down than any other regime, but if sold for a 'profit', the planet is still stuffed.
 
 You need zero increase in demand - or rules well enforced - to ensure zero draw-down.
 
Coconut is a classic example of the problem. Whoopee, we all switch to coconut everything. right? It's natural and organic, right? Just like wool insulation. The problem is that when you try to scale either item, you don't do business as usual. So don't say it can. By the time you do coconut sustainably, what would the real cost be?
 
I live a sustainable lifestyle (or close to it) and much of what we do is spray-free and naturally-fertilisered, but we don't consider organic the be as good a yardstick as sustainability.

Vegetarians are already slice of the population that are health conscious and unlikely to eat junk food in general.  You can't assume the reduced incidence of cancer, diabetes and heart disease is a direct result of eating meat.

The other factor is that a large portion of meat that is consumed is highly processed and full of other harmful compounds.  Salami, ham, bacon, sausages, burger patties probably do cause health problems but again this should not be attributed to fresh meat.

Agree. But if animal products are consumed they should be in moderation and from where the animal has been able to choose what it eats, ie: wild.

Not many of us have access to wild meat any longer and it is not a natural occurence here in NZ, but a nice venison and onion stew with a slosh of gin in it from an animal out of the bush, oh yum

I've never yet encountered a vegetarian dish that couldn't be improved out of sight by the addition of one vital missing ingredient ....
 
.. BACON ...

Good to see a variation in the Top Ten theme. I am with meh though when he says "An organic lifestyle is more than just consuming organic products."  and him and PDK on economic growth. In some ways an organic lifestyle should subtract from GDP.
 
Sort of lost me also at the aphrodisiac, good for your pecker thing. Bit of a shameless plug really, I would this would be a general benefit of a good alround lifestyle.
 
What is the embodied energy in your products Buffy? Include all transport factors. Or your own house, more my area.

What an eclectic collection.  Good to finish Friday wiv a larff.
 
I do wonder about the application of the everything-vego religion to the Esquimaux.  AFAIK, they are 95% meat, eat the whole animule, nose to rectum, and have nevah managed to murder a Broccoli let alone Consume it.  Yet, somehow, their death rate is same as ours - 100%.
 
How Do they do it?

Waymad, you're slipping badly. This is organic, which is easier to do with veg, but can be - and is - done with meat. Your comment fails to include an essential variable (how old) and you are quite smart enough to know that.
 
I happen to eat meat - but I understand the argument for not doing so. It's to do with nutrient per acre, and feeding an overpopulated planet. I just happen to think that we have to let the population crash to sustainable levels, and very much doubt that veg/meat will be a deciding factior.

Organic and spray free are two different things. Organic growers do use sprays, often heavy metal like copper as a fungicide. Sulphur is also widely used. Copper is toxic to worms so its not all it seems. Can organic production produce affordable food for 6 billion people?

Yes organic growers do use sprays but under strict rules  which limit the amount used
Copper use must be justified by the grower and is restricted to 3kg per hectare which is a lot less than conventional growers often use. The perfection  of produce demanded by  supermarkets and expected by their customers  is an impediment to organic food production.
As Joni Mitchell said:
"Give me spots on the apples but leave me the birds and bees.... Please."

No-one has commented on the very serious issue in #3 about declining fish stocks. The human race absoluely must address the impact our numbers and how we treat the food source that is the world's oceans. That should have sent shudders down everyone's spine, as it did mine.
They mention a very definite date of 2048, I will be long dust by then, but my grandchildren will not be and presumably any children they may have. 
All I have the power to do is make a noise, and I will, about human over population of the planet and the other thing that is destroying it,  and that is corporate greed. 
A smaller population would allow fish stocks to recover and maybe to the point that we can do without these ocean going vacuum cleaners and be able to provide for ourselves on a much smaller and much much more sustainable scale. 
I can only hope that we take action BEFORE we consign many of the other species we share the planet with to history, be they from land or sea.
I have to say this, I am afraid, but the Asianization of the planet will not help this, the attitude toward other species among them is pretty horrendous. The only thing I can hope for there is that they too discover that humans actually NEED a biodiverse world in order for them to thrive
 

I too think that the fisheries are where we will first be affected by food resurce depletion in a big way
It seems to me that the establishment of a certification system, similar to BioGro for organics, could provide a step towards conservation of fish stocks. To gain certification the size of the fishing boat and its quota would be limited and in return the fish would be sold as certified sustainable or some such. Also ban the huge trawlers that rape our oceans. When I visited Europe and Great Britain in 2000 I was impressd by the beauty of the small seaport fishing villages. Unfortunately the small trawlers were permanently tied up as they could no longer compete with huge factory ships.
The recent closure of a fish processing factory in Christchurch because it is cheaper to process fish in China is an example of undesirable changes that have been bought about by unbridled free trade policies. This was foretold by Sir James Goldsmith. a very pro- free enterprise european businessman in 1994.  A very interesting interview with him can be seen here: http://www.askbutwhy.com/2009/08/sir-james-goldsmith-interview-on.html

I was offered a place in this raegun, but couldn't make it. A TV show that should screen here this year about someone actually trying to make a difference. Future shows are likely but these conservation groups spend a fair bit of their energy seeking donations to fund their work. I have worked with Pete before (and SSCS) so may make a future show.
 
One of the things I have learnt is that whaling in Antarctica by the Japanese is more about keeping a presence in the region so that when it is carved up for minerals and oil they can get a slice of the action. With reserves of key minerals declining fast it is only a matter of time.
 
It is surprising the impact that fishing, or more importanly overfishing, has in other areas. Pirates in Somolia are ex-fisherman that have had their resource depleted by european trawlers, I think the Portugese where a main offender. We have seen our Tuna Sport Fishing in the Bay of Plenty affected by rape and pillage of the fisheries around the Pacific Islands. This unbelievably large trawler may yet make an appearance here.
 
Just another little story to round things off. A close mate of mine spent a good few years as an officer on a Sanfords Hoki trawler. On one occasion the Captain got a bit too greedy and kept a trawl going too long until the 100 tonne bag split. Most of that 100 tonnes gets crushed and killed so there was a trail of dead fish for miles behind them. So when you buy Hoki in the supermarket there is a fair chance it has been tenderised first by tonnes of fish above it in the net. Sanfords sold a ship a few years back because the Hoki are already starting to decline. He reports the holds have quite a different load when there is a MAF observer on board.
 
 

Corporate greed is ultimately the collective individual greed behind the corporate.  Behind greed is ignorance.   www.sustainableman.org/blog/2013/12/11/the-true-source-of-greed/
 
Mankind is truly ignorant of the interconnectedness of the web of life www.sustainableman.org/blog/infobox/interconnection-of-life/
 
A society ruled and driven by "economics", by the pursuit of monetary wealth will only travel further away from the truth.

The problem I see is "international waters" which are being exploited to hell and gone by a number of countries. We have no mechanism to prevent this, but prevent it we must. It will only be possible if we have some sort of authority that is accepted by all nations over the seas whose primary goal is the preservation of them (good luck with that, I am thinking).
Everything I see in the world as it becomes more and more globalized points to some sort of "one world government" in the end, only that could and probably will, lead to conflict as we work out whose particular system will be the one to do the governing. I don't really look forward to this future for my descendants, but I cannot help but see it, as long as we continue on the path we are

Here is a good week read on the rise of the U.S. "Fast fashion" industry. Even if you have no particular interest in fashion (and I don't) it is a fine article on the dynamics of a rising industry.
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/business-economics/secret-world-slow-road-korea-los-angeles-behind-fast-fashion-73956/

I much preferred Bernards daily economic negativity and then at least had a reason to visit interest.co.nz.  I think if there is another top-ten posted by an organic space cadet living in a fantasy world someway beyond the farm gate my visits to interest with be even further reduced.  Please don't let this formerly great website be hi-jacked by left wing well off eco-warriors with no idea how  farming/food production works.  Please return to the old top-ten format.

Simfarmer - rather than calling people names (which is classic blame-shift/denial, as has been pointed out here many times) try doing some homework.
 
Have a wee think about what underwrites your BigAg.
 
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-11-05/the-propaganda-campaign-against-peaking-fossil-fuel-production
 
Now, I suspect your inclination is to 'believe' the hype that 'growth' and 'prosperity' can be had via 'fracking' and other modern 'advances'. You have probably never questioned what makes for 'productivity gains (it's energy efficiencies, and/or a reduction in real wages; which is energy - as labour -  too).
 
But you can have a think about the fact that phosphate - a finite resource - is now about to be mined underwater on the Chatham Rise. You don't do that when you have better options. You do that when you're scraping the bottom of the barrel, options-wise. Same with oil/gas exploration in NZ - it's gregsville time. Peak game over.
 
Some of us are looking to get the country on a sustainable footing, before we can't. Others just look backwards and argue for their personal continuance. By name-calling, often. Look, we understand the fear, but avoiding things is invalid. Get with the programme, please.

Im not going to argue with you because you obviously have way more time on your hands than me.  Im not into big ag as much a you suspect and probably not as far away from your train of thought as you think. The simple fact however is that the world is not going to end when oil gets more expensive - bad things have happened before and will continue to happen we will adapt.  You guys need to be a bit more positive.  NZ has some issues and thats why I don't live there anymore.  Dairying is one of them.  I probably have different reasons for saying this than you but I don't like NZ as a floating dairy farm either.  I don't like that fact that employment opportunities in NZ in the ag sector now all mostly involve unsociable working hours, poor pay and little hope of owning the means of production.  I believe there are some places in NZ suitable for dairying and some places that arn't and I think we were at about the right mix 20 years ago (a bit more of the NI could have been in trees to halt erosion problems).  Land is grossly overvalued and my prediction is over the next 50 years most farms will be amalgamated into corporate conglomerates and gradually sold off to nations that pay their own people in manopoly money and take in hard currency from nations like NZ that play by the "rules". But the world will not end when oil gets more expensive and being a vegan wont fix anything.

Im not going to argue with you because you obviously have way more time on your hands than me.  Im not into big ag as much a you suspect and probably not as far away from your train of thought as you think. The simple fact however is that the world is not going to end when oil gets more expensive - bad things have happened before and will continue to happen we will adapt.  You guys need to be a bit more positive.  NZ has some issues and thats why I don't live there anymore.  Dairying is one of them.  I probably have different reasons for saying this than you but I don't like NZ as a floating dairy farm either.  I don't like that fact that employment opportunities in NZ in the ag sector now all mostly involve unsociable working hours, poor pay and little hope of owning the means of production.  I believe there are some places in NZ suitable for dairying and some places that arn't and I think we were at about the right mix 20 years ago (a bit more of the NI could have been in trees to halt erosion problems).  Land is grossly overvalued and my prediction is over the next 50 years most farms will be amalgamated into corporate conglomerates and gradually sold off to nations that pay their own people in manopoly money and take in hard currency from nations like NZ that play by the "rules". But the world will not end when oil gets more expensive and being a vegan wont fix anything.

No 2.  Why use a photo of a young charolais cross beefie to demonstrate the dairy industry in disgrace. This follows a pattern of media forever showing pictures of beef cattle to  denigrate the dairy industry. You may as well show a pic of a  blonde nordic woman to portray an asian triad member. I think the dairy industry would be in big trouble if they were milking charolais cows. Even bigger trouble if they were milking the steers you regularly see in media photos.

Um, looks more like a Simmental to me, but semantics, as that is a fillet steak breed as well

I saw an example of this in an article on the BBC yesterday
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26650621

DH, Tesco eh, embarrassing, but oh so typical. At least there was an udder of consequence in the ad.
Raegun, on my laptop, she/he is charolais x, a lovely champagne colour, however on my phone, the buttery pumpkin colour shows a lovely simmy x.... I think I will side with you and the phone. Still betting on a crossbred though, got a few purebreds outdoors here and comparing the ears.... my purebreds have much bigger ones I reckon. Kinda reminiscent of dumbo.
 

One supermarket chain offered her an “awful lot of money” to promote it, but she could afford to turn it down. “I don’t regret it. I used to say that all I had left in life was my integrity and my cleavage. Now it’s just my integrity.”
 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/tv-radio-o...
 

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