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Question about your order? See our COVID 19 Update here. Online orders are currently only open to members only. Orders are taking a minimum of 3 - 4 weeks to despatch based on current reduced-workplace COVID restrictions. Our response times to email and phone messages are between 5-10 days.

The corporatisation of our food supply

By Clive Blazey, Founder of The Diggers Club

Not a grain of living, breathing soil in this hydroponic shed

‘Americano’ is the name for the worst coffee you can drink and having worked for an American food company, I can suggest that this name ‘Americano’ is the name that best describes their whole food culture.

Americano food is moving around the world at an amazing speed because it is disconnected from its real purpose — to sustain a healthy body. The whole system has been corporatised, starting from the seed, through the soil to its final, unrecognisable form.

It is a system where capitalistic corporations manipulate plants in manufacturing processes completely divorced from its nutritional purpose, which is then presented in a container specifically designed for advertising, to deceive the customer.

A visit to an American supermarket explains it all

The so called “fresh, unadulterated food” that we used to eat is located at the ends of the building, furthest from the entry and the fake (processed) food, reconstituted in packaged form, takes up about 70% of the space in the middle. Breakfast cereals lead the way as one of the first misrepresentations; beginning in the late 1900s when wheat, corn and oats were reformulated with sugar, chocolate or fake flavouring, extruded into shapes and packed in cartons for gigantic advertising campaigns.

On my last supermarket visit in the US, there were over 40 different brands of cornflakes for sale and at the ends where true food was offered, only one form of orange-coloured carrot and one red tomato were on offer.

Why? Because they are never advertised!

Now how could ‘fresh food, real food growers of food’ ever compete with that onslaught of advertising, lethally focused on TV and reinforced by gigantic boxed advertisements in store?

Then the Americano’s realised in the 1960s that by adding fats to replace fibre in the fresh food offerings, and added sugar as epitomised by fast food hamburgers, they could create a meal more cheaply and addictive than any naturally based food the body had evolved to depend on. And so the population, particularly the stressed working classes, became obese.

Today our health budget is swollen with costs caused by the unethical food manufacturers. In the US, the Government even subsidises the corn growers to sow GM corn in monocultures sustained by dosages of chemicals to produce cheap corn sugar that is an ingredient in 70% of products offered for sale.

So here is the equation: The profits of fake food are swollen by subsidised corn sugar, which reduces the life expectancy of its population because of obesity, so the Health budget blows out. Consumers then pay higher taxes for health costs. However, the profits of the multinational corporations are so large, they can be used to manipulate Australian politicians to ignore highly desirable solutions like taxes on sugar additives, labelling on processed foods that would inform us of the amounts of added sugar that shorten our lives.

Thankfully, in some areas, the tide is turning. When Safeway set up in Northcote 20 years ago they forced the closure of butchers and green grocers.

Now Safeway has moved out and real fresh food people are coming back. Northcote is an inner Melbourne suburb where the Italians and Greeks established food gardens and there is a strong “grow your own” ethical food culture.

Italian’s have been insulated from this Americano misstep that we Australians ignorantly follow. The food that sustains us comes from the soil and that soil in our backyards is more than enough to grow our fruit and vegetables and our surplus can be shared with our neighbours. An Italian understands this intuitively.

Food is the healthy daily ritual that centres their family, social and business life.

Italiano food

Italians created bread, pasta and pizza from the organic wheat and tomatoes that grew in each region.

If it failed to give pleasure at the table it was rejected. If it failed in the mouth it wasn't replanted. Food is part of culture, and those that corporatise it destroy that culture. Clive Blazey (29 Sep 2017)

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Clive Blazey

Clive is the founder of The Diggers Club, a pioneer in the rescue of heirloom vegetable and fruit varieties and author of seven books on flower, vegetable and fruit gardening.
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