1493338447301 - Time to literally put our money where our mouth is when it comes to food production

Time to literally put our money where our mouth is when it comes to food production

OPINION: If New Zealand wants to be the top food producer in the world and double the value of its primary exports by 2025 why don’t we put our money where our mouth is and tell the world via social media.

Aotearoa is coming to international attention because we might be the last bastion of climate change and world devastation.

Apparently if North Korea and the United States start throwing nuclear bombs at one another, the wind blows the fall-out away from GodZone. Rich foreigners are starting to take notice of little old New Zealand and buying land and houses here.

Yet many Kiwis take it all for granted because we’ve never known any different.

* Let’s get to the point – farmers will never please hard core environmentalists
* Be careful what you wish for when wanting a water charge
* No regrets in switching to once-a-day milking

However, one comment I have often heard from compatriots who have ventured overseas is that no country can match us for food – variety, freshness and flavour.

We are well placed to provide the natural, non modified types of food some consumers are recognising to be the most desirable – pasture fed milk and meat are good examples.

Wealthy consumers want to know where their food comes from and that it is unadulterated – we can provide this. How about the Government starts an initiative to promote New Zealanders as potentially the healthiest people in the world?

Yes, I know right now we are probably not – obesity, heart disease and diabetes come to mind, but every country has its issues and you have to start somewhere.

If you stuck to a diet designed by health professionals, funded and provided to you and your family in the style of ‘My Food Bag’ – how much do you think your health could improve?

I have been watching a light-hearted British television programme called Love Island, which follows the exploits of young Brits aged 19-31. They all smoke. This is in direct contrast to what I have observed among my daughters friends who rarely smoke.

The anti-smoking message must have got through to many young New Zealanders which will save this country millions of dollars in the long run.

Imagine 100,000 non-smoking volunteer New Zealanders who want to prove it to the rest of the world that our lifestyle and diet is the best in the world, one that rich consumers world wide should emulate.

They can document their healthy diet and the effects of consuming it on social media, they would be fit, mentally and physically and enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle.

Any primary producer whose products fits the bill could sponsor the volunteers and reap the benefits of worldwide promotion of their food. Fonterra, Silver Fern Farms and Zespri come to mind.

Fonterra already provides milk to schools which is a practical way of ensuring young minds are open to learning because their bodies are nurtured by a healthy energy supply – this idea take it to another level.

The benefits of the foods supplied and eaten can be promoted by their suppliers and I am not just saying meat and dairy products … this can be about all food from tofu to tamarillos. One click and you could find out where to buy it.

I would imagine such a project would be turning volunteers away in droves because who would not want healthy free food provided to them and many of us are posting what we ate for tea on social media anyway? It could even be aimed at beneficiaries or people struggling to put decent food on the table if necessary.

Good food as the basis to a healthy lifestyle, we could even end up living longer and definitely put less demands on the health care system. New Zealand could promote itself as the world’s healthiest place to live and if people were unable to move here, we will send our beautiful food to them.

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