Posts Tagged ‘Butter-milk’

Plain Packaging of McDonalds and Coke!

May 4, 2017

Grapes, strawberries and figs.

It’s not often that good news greets one on awakening. I was still rubbing my eyes expecting the usual diet of slaughter of innocents or Trump tweets news on my IPhone when I read this article;

I nearly broke out in a celebratory waltz. Sorry for the link but let me give you the more salient bits saving you to click on the link.

“Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws are a legitimate public health measure, according to a World Trade Organisation dispute panel ruling reported by Bloomberg.It cited two people close to the situation as saying the panel had rejected a case made by Cuba, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Indonesia, which argued the laws constituted illegal barriers to trade.Such a ruling from the WTO has been widely anticipated as giving a green light for other countries to roll out similar laws, not only on tobacco but also on alcohol and UNHEALTHY FOODS.”

The higher-case my own.

The plain packaging on tobacco products has been in place for a number of years with enormous success. The poor die-hard addicts are now forced to go to the counter and whisper their brand to the sale girl, furtively looking around for any witness to their evil habit.

With Australia’s enormous obesity problems having overtaken the tobacco scourge, I hope to have enough years left to see a similar approach to unhealthy foods. The experts are pointing out that poverty and obesity are linked. Social disadvantaged rural communities having the largest proportion of overweight people. In cities it is the same, with suburbs far flung from the city-centre and cheaper to buy into, showing the same problems.

It might also be that educational differences play a role than just levels of wealth differences. I disagree that the obesity is just a matter of the poor not able to afford healthy food. A family of four eating at McDonalds with a ‘ Big Mac’ at $6.95 each, could easily buy them a bagful of  nutritious foods. But, at the local supermarkets awaits unhealthy food traps as well. It is not for nothing that the lay-outs at the supermarket usually puts the healthy choices well past the stacks of more profitable Coke cases, sugar laden rubbish with simmering sauces, instant foods, pre-digested microwave snacks etc. before the shopper gets to the vegetables and fruit section. Row after row of breakfast choco-pops, corn flakes, sugar muesli, soft drinks. Even babies are now corrupted readied to obesity when mothers can squeeze a kind of sugar laden ‘health’ pop-in tube inside its squealing little mouth.   All those tempting instant foods has to be trudged past in order to arrive at the apples and cauliflowers.

It is just as criminal as tobacco before the plain packaging came into place. Will it come to  killer foods being treated the same? Just imagine McDonald addicts huddling under railway bridges  secretly munching out of plain grey paper bags on their sugar and fat hits. The shy KFC merchants plying their pernicious wares from behind the counter all hidden and in plain packages from cupboards like cigarettes. Dietary advisers inside super-markets steering shoppers to good healthy foods. Clear simple labelling and according to their nutritional values. People can still buy sugar and fat laden foods but at their own well informed peril.

I am not so sure about those Strasbourg knobs or Salamis, Brat-worst and Black Pudding. Perhaps they ought to be excluded or given a neutral rating. I would definitely give 5 stars to Butter Milk.

What do you reckon?

The country of ‘long week-end’. Memoires.

October 4, 2015
The mussel party

The mussel party

The long week-end would inevitably start by packing the van and go camping. We have most of our photo albums packed with camping shots. We finally got it down to an art form. In the days when our children were young, camping was big. Especially down and up from Sydney. The bush was still bush and it wasn’t till caravan parks started to spruik up that camping was pushed in the background and bush-camping lost its charm. Now camping grounds are controlled and camper vans and caravans  are parked neck-on neck. It is like going to the local Drive- In of yesteryears.  Watch Quo Vadis with a 2 kilo pack of pop-corn. The kids and mum dressed in pyjamas, ready to hit the sack after driving home.

This week-end we had the grandsons staying with us after mum had them all week. School Holidays used to be the worst time for mothers, the stuff of nightmares. Now, of course with the average family of 1.9 children it should be a much easier ride for mums. But is it? Sipping a coffee with our grand-kids yesterday I noticed the grimly-faced mums walking the Bowral streets with kids in tow. There was an air of resignation but also of a hope springing eternally. Another couple of days and all will be back at school. Order again, and bored kids getting what they deserve, an education.

In the fifties and sixties camping shops were big business and tents used to be put up on show. Parramatta road had huge camping shops and one would go there as an outing, feel inspired by stakes, axes, pocket knives, foldable water containers and mouth watering port-a-loos. Tents were made above those shops by Hungarian experts or strongly calved ex Austrian mountaineers. We loved camping and used to hack away the Lantana to clear a spot for our tents. With bush-saws we would cut a dead tree and sit around the camp-fire drinking cheap hot wine spiced with cloves. The headaches next morning were legendary and have till now never been surpassed.

All this has changed. On the highways enormous double bogey vans are being pulled along by equally enormous multi storey vans. There are air-condition units on top and at the back of the van. At times a smaller car is being towed along and multi layers of canoes with mountain-bikes strapped on top. I am not sure but I suspect that multi electronic devices are being held by those that are not driving. The selfie sticks at the ready and even while driving, images and selfies are instantly being beamed around the world by the kids sitting on the lower deck of the SUV.

Our camping days are over and I could not imagine crawling out of a tent with a bad headache and then having to cook porridge on a dead fire. This week-end no camping, instead I got up early and prepared the pan-cake mixture with the butter milk bought the previous day. It is the least I could do and the kids love it more than camping. Things have changed.

After a few days with us and before the mother came to pick them up I had promised them a bit of a gourmet supper. Apart from pancakes, the kids have also been,  by sound grandparental grooming, encouraged into liking sea-food. If there is one thing I wanted achieved, is for them to enjoy the delights of herrings and mussels. Even during the grimmest of times, a good herring or bowl of steaming mussels would pull me through during the blight of my suburban youth! It does no harm to kids and is as good as camping. I  bought two kilos of mussels and after steaming them up in some white wine, crushed tomatoes and lots of garlic, were consumed by a fervour not even experienced during their much earlier discovery of the I-Phone.

It was a great week-end. One of the best really.