Cooking up trouble

I’m having problems finding the ingredients for my cooking.  Having taken up doing occasional meals in the slow cooker I am enjoying trying out the various menus and making my small contribution to the running of the household.  But finding the right ingredients is a challenge.  I need a tin of whole tomatoes but the nearest supermarket doesn’t stock any, well not NZ made ones.  Plenty made in Asia and even the Watties ones, which I expected to be locally produced given HB’s agricultural base, were imported (from Italy).

I don’t go shopping at the supermarket with my wife very often because I used to be a grab the cheapest and run shopper.  Not the lady of the house though; she inspects everything and makes a real effort to buy NZ made wherever possible.  Now I’m all in favour of this and its good to know that the food on the table is not likely to be plagued (literally I suppose) with contaminants of some sort, but its a real challenge.

So where is this leading?  Down in Dunedin the forces are mobilising in support of the railway workshop people in an effort to retain their jobs.  The Hillside site was established in 1875 and has been responsible for making some of NZ’s iconic railway stuff but the proposed axing of jobs comes about because of the move to maintaining foreign built rolling stock.

Throughout the country we’ve seen the loss of jobs as companies have either moved their businesses overseas in search of lower cost manufacturing opportunities or they have closed up shop in the face of competition from cheap imports.  Some NZ businesses have managed to find a way to keep going and all power to them I say.

The people of Dunedin have the right to take up this cause on behalf of the people who face job losses and I wish them good luck in trying to achieve a good outcome.  But I wonder how many of them will, once they’ve been on the protest line for the day, hop in their foreign built car and drive to the foreign owned supermarket and buy imported food without even looking at the labels.  Every can or box of food made in China or Malaysia or Italy that they put in their supermarket trolley threatens the job of some other Kiwi.  But then we all want the cheapest don’t we, at least until its our jobs that are threatened.

It seems to me that this is another case of NZ’ers wanting it both ways (a subject I’ve blogged about before).  If we were really serious about keeping NZ jobs in NZ then we’d all be inspecting the label on everything we buy and wherever possible buying the one that says Made in New Zealand.  Unless we all do that then the situation in Dunedin will just be repeated elsewhere many more times.

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  • Rob  On June 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I couldn’t agree more – I’m sick of having to search around for a “product of” item instead of “made from local and imported …” I’ll happily pay more for local produce but finding it is tricky 😦
    Supermarket shopping is a nightmare of reading labels and trying to work out where things come from, bring back the local markets I say!
    Same goes for other items – locally made clothing thats not designer super duper expensive also impossible …. might have to start sewing or something (but where does the fabric come from ?!?)

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