November 7

Draft National Food Plan Corporate Hunger First

Draft National Food Plan Corporate Hunger First

Tuesday saw the release of the green paper by Australia’s Federal Government for its first ever National Food Plan. Joe Ludwig, Agriculture Minister, stated that this plan will ensure Australia has a stable, competitive, and resilient food supply that supports affordable, nutritious food.

Although the plan appears to be for all Australians, closer inspection reveals that it is a plan for large retailing and agri-business corporations. It should not be surprising that it was created at the request of Michael Luscombe ex-CEO of Woolworths), for a food super ministry before the 2010 Federal Election. A corporate-dominated National Food Policy Working Group was instrumental in the early development of the plan. It was established following the election to foster an understanding [between the Government & the food industry about the industry’s priorities and challenges as well as future outlook across all supply chains.

In June 2011, the Issues Paper contained 48 questions. Half of them were about how to create a competitive, productive, and efficient food industry. Only one question was asked about sustainability. It was obvious that the consultation was a top-down and tightly controlled process. The Government set the topics and corporate representatives had direct access to the decision-makers. For example, the further liberalization of trade in agriculture and food was not an issue on which the Government sought the views of the Australian public. Free trade was assume to be of obvious public benefit.

Unpromising Prospect First

Despite the unpromising prospects, many community members participated in good faith in the public consultation. Two hundred seventy-nine submissions were receive. Many of these identified the need for bold, transformative policy changes to ensure Australia has a sustainable food system. The Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab at Melbourne University, which published the groundbreaking Food Supply Scenarios report back in April 2011, stated that:

Substantial, imminent and unavoidable changes in our food supply system. Will require fundamental shifts to how we manage land resources and food production. These potential non-linear changes can mean that the past does not always provide a reliable indicator of future events and it is important to avoid making ‘lazy assumptions about the likelihood of going back to business as usual.

The green paper relies heavily on these assumptions. According to the greenpaper, Australia has a strong, stable and secure food system. Australians also enjoy high levels of food safety. The paper also focuses on how our food industry seizes new market opportunities, echoing the Prime Minister’s recent call for us to be “the food bowl in Asia. Allan Curtis, who made the claim last week on The Conversation, gently exposed it as a preposterous example if wishful thinking.

We will be discussing some of the most important flaws in the draft National Food Plan. These tend to be implicit and reflect an underlying commitment towards the free market. Free trading, and continuously expanding production an inalienable imperative in capitalist economies.

Increased Food Production

Some concessions made in the green paper to the multidimensionality and insecurity of food insecurity. For example, poverty, distribution inefficiencies and political instability are all mentioned. The overwhelming message is that food insecurity must be address by more food production. This will happen when agricultural trade is liberalise further.

The Food Plan was originally announce as an attempt to develop strategies to maximize food production opportunities. The green paper now states that Australia’s first strategy for food. Security is to build global competitiveness and resilient industries sectors. This will allow them to capitalize on the anticipated rise in demand.

November 7

Pandemic Has Made Food It Even Harder For One In Three Americans

Pandemic Has Made Food It Even Harder For One In Three Americans

COVID-19 has made it more difficult for many communities to have access to food. According to the Michigan State University Fall 2021 Food Literacy and Engagement Survey, 31% of respondents said that the pandemic affected their ability to get food. This includes 28% households with less than $25,000 and 38% for those who earn more than $75,000 per year.

To understand how the pandemic affected the food landscape, and to determine what influenced people’s choices, diet, and food resources, we surveyed 2,002 Americans between August 27th and September 1st 2021.

Millions of Americans lost their jobs during the pandemic. It is therefore not surprising that 53% reported having less financial resources than before. Even worse, gasoline and food prices rose during that time. Families already struggling to make ends work had to make difficult decisions about how and where to spend less money.

Food Insecurity Is Rising

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food insecurity is defined as having restricted or uncertain access of adequate food. Low food security households have difficulty affording sufficient food and eating balanced meals.

The department estimated that more than 37 million Americans were insecure about their food in 2018, This number had reached 38.3million people by December 2020, 10.5% of American households.

74% of the respondents to our survey who said that they had limited access to food because of financial limitations chose other brands. Nearly half of respondents (47%) ate less and 31% were support by government programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. One in six (17%) said they visit food banks more frequently.

But money wasn’t all that was important. Respondents with limited access to food reported that 37% of them felt uncomfortable shopping at the supermarket and 32% did not have reliable transportation. Many people avoided public transport or ride-sharing because of the possibility of getting sick.

Half of those surveyed said that the pandemic had changed their purchasing and storage habits, regardless of financial limitations. 51% of those surveyed now prefer foods with a longer shelf life. 50% store more foods at home, while 48% make fewer grocery store trips. These trends could be link to uncertainty, speculation, and high-profile supply chain disruptions.

Increased Awareness

Some Americans have also begun to pay more attention to what doesn’t get eaten because of the pandemic. 27 percent of the respondents said that they pay more attention to food waste. Globally, foods waste accounts for 6% of greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. also wastes between 30-40% of its foods supply, while 6.1 million children in the United States are currently foods-insecure. Therefore, reducing foods wastage can address multiple problems simultaneously.

69% of the respondents had received at minimum one COVID-19 vaccination by the time we conducted our survey. 67% of those who had received their first COVID-19 vaccine reported that they went to the grocery store more frequently after getting it. Similar results were report by 33% who spent more time at the grocery store after being vaccinate and 29% who said they could transport and access their groceries more easily. Only 15% of respondents who vaccinate had remove their masks from areas where they weren’t need.

Our poll results show how the pandemic has changed many Americans lives in complicated and interconnected ways. These changes are not permanent but we can predict. That Americans will continue to have more choices and access to foods, as well as the pandemic.

November 7

Restrictions On Cultural Hunting Practices Are Limiting Indigenous

Restrictions On Cultural Hunting Practices Are Limiting Indigenous

The most food-insecure people in Australia (New Zealand) are the Indigenous. Despite being well-known, the COVID-19 pandemic as well as lockdowns have made food insecurity even more of a problem in both countries. Some Indigenous people have been affected by the pandemic, which has made it more difficult to harvest cultural food.

Before colonization, Indigenous people ate a varied and rich diet. Both in Australia and Aotearoa, Indigenous people would eat a wide variety of plants, water, land fowl, seafood, as well as meat from animals, reptiles, and insects. Aboriginal Australians had around 150 different animals and plants as food sources.

But, Indigenous peoples’ diets have drastically changed since colonization. Food insecurity has cause by the increased reliance on western cultural methods of food sourcing, and the displacement from Indigenous peoples.

Some Indigenous people depend on cultural traditions and agricultural practices to ensure their food security and to maintain cultural identity and connection to the Country.

Mahika kai, which is Maori food knowledge and practices, is tie to wealth and hospitality in Aotearoa. It connects families via kinship, whakapapa (genealogy), to whenua and te Taiao (natural resource).

The fundamental connection between Mahika Kai and Maori people’s underlying principles, manaakitaka (care, hospitality), and the protection and stewardship the land (totems and kaitiakitaka) is also important.

Food traditions are also a way to honor cultural lore, laws and access to seasonal foods. These are important for emotional and social wellbeing and provide a link to the culture and community.

Despite the fact that governments and volunteer programs have provided food and medical supplies for areas affected by COVID lockdowns in recent years, it can lead to significant disconnect between Indigenous communities and their cultural practices.

Australia’s Cultural Practices Are Being Repress Indigenous

The rising number of COVID-19 cases among Aboriginal communities in Western New South Wales has had a significant impact on Western New South Wales. People are also becoming more food insecure. Many people don’t have the financial resources or means to buy food in remote and rural areas.

People are increasingly dependent on food donations. This situation has gotten worse as the lockdowns are longer and could have long-lasting effects.

Before the pandemic, Aboriginal residents of Wilcannia continued their traditional practice of hunting kangaroos and giving the meat to the families in their township.

However, NITV News reports that health officials discourage residents from hunting or distributing roo beef in August

One Resident Said So Indigenous

A cousin told me that he and his family had gone out to get kangaroo, and delivered it to Wilcannia. However, health officials said that wild meat cannot given out to Aboriginal families as it is not safe for consumption.

Engaging in cultural food practices has been difficult for the NSW government since its introduction of game meat regulations and culling legislation.

Native Title (New South Wales), Act 1994 recognizes that the land is of social. Cultural and spiritual significance to Aboriginal peoples, but does not give legal rights to these rights. Or describe how they can use to support cultural food practices, including sharing resources.

Authorities finally allow Broken Hill roo meat to be deliver. With the help of local police, Leroy Johnson, Malyangapa Barkindji Wiimpatja. Has been delivering kangaroo to Wilcannia’s affected communities since late August.

Protecting Maori Food Practices

Mahika kai, an intergenerational Maori food practice that is protect by law in Aotearoa is an enduring and long-standing tradition. All New Zealanders were require not to leave their homes in March 2020 when Aotearoa was place under lockdown. This ban prohibited hunting, fishing from the sea, and gathering food.

Kaumatua (Elders), who acknowledged that these restrictions were affecting whanau families. Who depended on hunting for food security, staples and home life, raised concerns.

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s government modified the current lockdown to allow Maori to hunt. Fish and do so within culturally acceptable boundaries.