Food evolution and health in Aotearoa, part three: Consumerism

The first post in this series explored colonisation, one of three formative forces in our food system. This post explores the impact of industrialisation. Industrialisation First up, let’s acknowledge that industrialisation has delivered massive benefits for humanity – the technology we enjoy, rail, road, sea, air and even space travel to name just a few. Is it […]

Conference videos are out!

Thanks to Channel North for doing a great job of covering our conference. Thanks also to Northland Inc for supporting production of these videos. This short video provides an overview of the conference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1boDW6KnWOE&feature=youtu.be We are in the process of uploading videos and you can access them from our conference pages. Here is the first … Continue reading Conference videos are out!

Food evolution and health in Aotearoa, part two

The first post in this series explored colonisation, one of three formative forces in our food system. This post explores the impact of industrialisation. Industrialisation First up, let's acknowledge that industrialisation has delivered massive benefits for humanity - the technology we enjoy, rail, road, sea, air and even space travel to name just a few. Is it … Continue reading Food evolution and health in Aotearoa, part two

Tropical Fruit Growers is on a roll!

On 8 April Tropical Fruit Growers New Zealand had their inaugural public meeting at Northland Inc's Orchard. Attendance exceeded expectations and now the TFGNZ has over 100 members. Here is Hugh's report from the meeting. Some images are added from the TFGNZ Facebook page.  What a meeting! Thank you everybody for your support and TFGNZ is all go. … Continue reading Tropical Fruit Growers is on a roll!

What is policy and how do we change it?

On the cusp of establishing a Northland Food Policy Council (or whatever we might call it) I have stumbled across a book that has thrown a lot of light on the policy universe. In How Change Happens, Duncan Green shares his knowledge as a long-time advocate for change. The book is available for sale, but … Continue reading What is policy and how do we change it?

Archeological evidence of pre-European gardens at Whangarei

Heritage New Zealand is hosting "a short archeological walk" that reveals evidence of both pre European gardens and early European settlement. Meet at the riverside of Hatea Drive opposite the Settlers Hotel at 12 noon on Saturday 8 April. Go to their website for more details.

Food evolution and health in Aotearoa

Our focus at Local Food Northland is about the shift from industrial food systems to sustainable food systems. For us to better understand our current food system reality, we look back to look forward. This is the first of three posts to explore the tides of history that have shaped our food system. Two hundred … Continue reading Food evolution and health in Aotearoa

Is the food policy pasture greener in New Zealand?

By Anne Palmer Program Director Food Communities & Public Health Program Center for a Livable Future Johns Hopkins University Anne was a keynote speaker for the Local Food Northland Conference in February this year. In this post she reflects on her time in New Zealand. See the original post here.   A failing dairy industry. … Continue reading Is the food policy pasture greener in New Zealand?

Localising food, climate change and the implications for food security in eastern Northland

By John Clarke The 2016 Climate Change Projections for NZ  predict that the eastern half of Northland will experience hotter, drier summers with less winter rain and frosts. Droughts will become more common, as will extreme weather events. Relative humidity will decrease and evapotranspiration will increase. I believe that planning our landscapes to meet these changes … Continue reading Localising food, climate change and the implications for food security in eastern Northland

The nutritional value of local bananas

Professor Barbara Burlingame provided a compelling case study about the nutrient content of local bananas at our February conference. Before returning to New Zealand she spent 16 years with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation including the last four as Deputy Director of the Nutrition Division as was closely involved with the research referred to here. Professor … Continue reading The nutritional value of local bananas

Banana maths – a Northland banana industry?

What would a Northland Banana Industry be worth to the local economy? Bananas are starting to appear regularly at the Whangarei Growers Market. Consumption per person per year (kgs)[1] 18 Northland population[2] 171,400 Total banana consumption (kgs) 3,085,200 Price per kilo[3] $2.99 Total cost of bananas consumed in Northland $9,244,748 There are many variables to … Continue reading Banana maths – a Northland banana industry?

A successful conference!

Our inaugural conference was a great success... so far. We believe it was the first Northland event to bring together people from diverse interests in food production, distribution, consumption, diet and health, hospitality and education specifically to focus on the move towards more sustainable food systems. The opening powhiri at Te Punu o te Mātauranga … Continue reading A successful conference!

The local motive

Thanks to all of those who attended our conference. It was all about supporting the shift to sustainable food systems, characterised by strong integration of health systems and primary production systems. We drew on the experience of those in the state of Vermont in the U.S. While it has a colder climate than ours, and … Continue reading The local motive

Food hubs

At our Local Food Northland Conference, we have a panel on food hubs. Most Northlanders don't have direct experience of food hubs, so this video from Farm to Institution New England illustrates how food hubs can support the development of local food production, the downstream economy and jobs, and consumers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVWUf2RwEMQ&feature=youtu.be

Why we need food policy

Our current food system doesn't serve us well. My perception is that it has evolved into an ideal money making machine - for those who have positioned themselves to harvest the economic benefits. Most of us identify the dynamic below that would seek to lock us in to dependency on big players in the food … Continue reading Why we need food policy

Managing agrobiodiversity and our conference

Professor Barbara Burlingame, professor of Public Health (Nutrition) is a keynote speaker at our conference. She has recently contributed to a chapter in Maintaining Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems published by Bioversity International. Cover of Maintaining Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems executive summary. Photo credit: Planting rice in Nepal. Bioversity International/Sriram Subedi, LI-BIRD, Lamjung. The executive summary of the … Continue reading Managing agrobiodiversity and our conference

Growing the sticky economy

The defeat of Labour leader Andrew Little's procurement bill is another reason to have a regional food policy council. The bill, Our Work Our Future, proposed an amendment to the the Principles of Government Procurement, and the Government's Rules of Sourcing to include two considerations, job creation and fairness. The bill was supported by Labour, the Greens, New Zealand … Continue reading Growing the sticky economy

Why the food movement is unstoppable

In this remarkable article Dr. Jonathan Latham outlines 5 reasons why the food movement is unstoppable: it's a leaderless movement it's a grassroots movement it's international it's low-budget it's a movement of many values. He asks "could the food movement be the missing vehicle for transformative social change?" His conclusion encourages those supporting the move … Continue reading Why the food movement is unstoppable

Dr Barbara Burlingame presenting at the Local Food Northland conference

Dr Barbara Burlingame will be presenting at the Local Food Northland conference on 13 and 14 February at NorthTec next year. Dr Burlingame achieved her undergraduate degree at the University of California and then was awarded a PhD from Massey University. She is returning to New Zealand to take up a new role at Massey. … Continue reading Dr Barbara Burlingame presenting at the Local Food Northland conference

Fresh food co-op Onerahi hub

Story and photos by Jacqueline Low (thank you Jacqueline). Originally published in the September edition of the Onerahi Orbit. Since the article was printed, the Onerahi hub has opened! And in late September, The Fresh Fruit Collective achieved 100% local supply for the first time. Here is their Facebook page. David and Sylvia Moore of … Continue reading Fresh food co-op Onerahi hub

Murry Burns on food safety plans

Murry Burns, one of the two founders of the Whangarei Growers markets featured on Radio NZ Bulletins today. https://soundcloud.com/peter-bruce-7/murray-burns-30-oct-2016 He is commenting on the impact of food safety plans mandated by the The Food Safety Law Reform Bill. This was featured in an earlier post about artisan cheese makers. As discussed in the earlier post, a Food Policy … Continue reading Murry Burns on food safety plans

Northland Food Policy Council Hui

As part of our food re-localisation project we have initiated meetings with interested parties across Northland. This is about discussing options and developing membership of a “Food Policy Council” from a wide cross section of education, health, growers, processors and so on in Northland. The first took place in Waipapa and involved people from Four Seasons Farms (eco-biological production … Continue reading Northland Food Policy Council Hui

Changes to the Northland Regional Council

A growing number of us are aware that "business as usual" just isn't good enough anymore. Those who privilege economic priorities over social and environmental concerns are yesterday's men. Its hard to determine who to vote for in local body elections. Several NRC candidates make generic statements about growing the economy and enhancing the environment. … Continue reading Changes to the Northland Regional Council

Change will come at the local and regional levels

There have been some great results in our local body elections. I am happy that Sheryl Mai has been re-elected in Whangarei. She is a supporter of Local Food Northland, hosting our first formal meeting in her office and is a strong supporter of the Whangarei Growers Market. Tricia Cutforth has been re-elected. She campaigned tirelessly … Continue reading Change will come at the local and regional levels

Cheese and why we need a food policy council

Artisan cheese makers like Biddy Fraser-Davies could be forced out of business by soaring government compliance costs. The Food Safety Law Reform Bill may well result in higher compliance costs. Biddy makes about $40,000 of cheese from four cows. Her cheeses have won super gold and silver at World Cheese Awards. She milks the cows herself and … Continue reading Cheese and why we need a food policy council

A new mid-week market

By Lesley A'Court Growers are planning a mid week market to provide a daytime and after work venue for business people and others who would like to buy the same fresh vegetables, fruit and produce they already enjoy on Saturday.  Prices will be basically the same along with many stallholders. Starting Wednesday, October 19th 2.30pm - 6.30pm at … Continue reading A new mid-week market

What is the value of healthy fresh food?

By Lesley A’Court Lesley is a well known local grower, selling delicious strawberries, fermented foods and preserves in markets around Northland. Image from Home Remedies Natural Cures Growing and gathering ‘food’ be it fruit, veg, fish, dairying, cereal or collecting honey as a business is a fulltime job. The results are what we all need to … Continue reading What is the value of healthy fresh food?

Food as medicine

By Dr Melissa Gilbert This is the first of hopefully many posts by Dr Melissa Gilbert. It was first published on her blog, The Integrative Doctor. I've read all the modern whole food books on the trendy bookstore shelves at the moment and I LOVE what's happening. I love that our attitudes towards food are … Continue reading Food as medicine

The Fresh Food Collective achieves 100% local food!

The Fresh Food Collective reached a milestone last Tuesday. For the very first time they achieved 100% locally grown produce. They have often hit 80% and the goal of procuring all produce from local growers with in 12 months seemed at times very challenging. George Lavich and the team are very excited about achieving this milestone and will continue to work … Continue reading The Fresh Food Collective achieves 100% local food!