Posts Tagged ‘celery’

Halloween and the ‘trickle down’ of wealth lie

October 30, 2015


Yummy, Halloween is in town. Soon, the kids will be knocking on my door. I have a nice hand woven cane basket behind the door filled with well washed, snappy, juicy celery sticks. Any complaints and I will give them a sermon on how my mum made soup from potato peelings and that the yearly glass of orange cordial was something we looked forward to on our birthday, and that was only after the end of WW2 . The kids should give me a lolly really.

I am always amazed how some kids will buy an ice-cream or some other treat, take a few licks or bites, only to callously discard it when the taste whim has been exhausted. What opulence, what lonely wealth we now enjoy. Is it true that wealth has ‘trickled down’? It might be true that kids can buy a sweet at whim. That is not true when it comes from most people having benefitted from tax cuts that predominantly favour the rich over the poor. More and more wealth end up with fewer people. The economy of supply hasn’t saved the world from an impoverished ecology or benefitted the homeless, the unemployed, the mentally ill.

Who benefitted from Australia’s resource boom  a few years ago? Did Australia build a kitty for the future? No, most of its wealth went to  just  a few of the owners and their share holders. Australia did not build a wealth fund. It was simply not possible. The resource rich leases of mining tenements were sold to a few wealthy people who profited enormously. There was no ‘trickle down’ at all, more of a ‘torrent upwards’.


“The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5bn. That should be a wake-up call to the deepest sleepers”. As for Halloween;

The Art of making Shopping Lists

January 8, 2012

Perhaps there are others but I collect shopping lists that the careless shopper discards after its use has been extinguished with the items on the list having been bought. I have always had a fascination for Homo sapiens and their living habits. What I would not give to be invisible and spent time under their dining table or better still underneath their conjugal nests. What rich pickings that would offer. It will never happen and I’ll just have to do with the flotsam that one can pick up from the streets or discarded shopping trolleys.

I am not alone in those habits. In fact, TV now has shows totally dedicated to assuaging the curiosity of others about others. We had a long list of “Big Brother” type of programs including much footage in the dark of the night, of the antics of couples on top of endless rows of mattresses. Millions were glued to their TV’s with special cameras focused from all angles to the cavorting or sleeping couples, all in a very convincing blue-black-grey colouring adding greatly to the authenticity of a hoped for glance of something exposed and naughty. Millions of people became instantly good old perverts with unbelievable riches rolling in for the Media Moguls. Of course, our rapacious need for the sensational became jaded with “Big Brother” and moved into “Big Cooking” and “Big Family Fare” shows, with expulsions and similar psychological tactics, trying to woe us back to TV and advertisers.

Anyway, with the shopping lists, it’s not just the items on the list but also the manner of writing, the attention to details and the pain that some go through making the list. I found a list that included snail bait and had in brackets (safe for pets). Another might have 2 liters of milk and specify ‘full cream’ or another ‘low fat’. I picked up a list from a trolley that had just been emptied by a somewhat overweight man. His list included ‘low fat’ cream. Good on you, I thought, you are on the right track. The lists that give me the greatest satisfaction are those that include lots of fruit and vegetables. I once found a list that included 3 bunches of celery. Three bunches, can you believe it? I could just imagine the frank, honest and sonorous voice of the husband calling out to his wife; “don’t forget the 3 bunches of celery and the apples dear.” They might have been starting their celery and apple juicing diet. Such heroic efforts in health and vigorous bowel maintenance don’t go unnoticed by me.

Just when I thought I had about exhausted all the ‘oeuvre’ in making shopping list I discovered a new form of ticking off the items. As you probably all do, most tick off (or not) the items by pencil or ball-point ensuring each item gets bought. Amazingly I discovered a totally new form of ticking off. This person, their sex remains a mystery, ticked off the items by a very precisely executed little tear next to the item on the list. This whole and very extensive list had all those little tears next to each and every item. I surmised it would have to be an academic or perhaps even a scientist. A professor in statistics or may be just a top person in charge of the Bureau of Meteorology. Could it have been a person in charge of ‘Birth Certificates or even a Mortuary, a Boeing pilot?’ The good thing though, was, plenty of fruit and vegetables.

There is hope for all of us.

Cupcakes no More, just Celery Sticks

April 2, 2010

Cup cakes no more.

Has anyone noticed the campaign to reduce the risk of getting sun cancer? There they are, plastered all over fashionable shopping emporiums. Large multicoloured posters showing in gruesome detail stitches and staples on bodies where the melanomas have been cut out during the patient’s history of outdoor activities. First melanoma excised as a result of outdoor tennis, the 2nd four years later, from surfing, 3d from sunbaking, solariums etc. The message is clear. Stay out of the sun and cover up.

The beauty of the campaign is that staying out of the sun can’t be costly or interfere with market forces too much. Ok, perhaps the coconut oil sprayers or ice cream vendors might take home a bit less. Perhaps even swimsuit sellers could suffer. On the other hand, more cover-up items could be sold balancing the loss in swimwear. All in all, a win win for the melanoma fighters and the government is seen to do something for the health of the nation.

I am not sure how the health cost of saving on melanomas compare with saving on the cost of obesity but I reckon that obesity probably outdoes costs of lying in the sun! Has anyone yet seen any posters fighting obesity festooning any of the Shopping Malls columns? I can understand the previous Government poltroonery on obesity or any health concern with Tony Abbott at the helm of health.  Hell, anyone can climb on a bike or frolic in the surf as he shows consistently.

Market forces are always king under Liberal Leadership and not even mass hospitalisation or dying of obesity would stir them in tackling it. After all, in a world economic down-turn we have to be careful not to be seen as obstructing anything to do with money making. Do we?  Nothing must stir up the dust in the face of profit and free choice, must it?

We know that obesity is going to cost enormously and not just in lives. So, why the deafening silence coming from the present Government? Do the commercial advantages still outweigh the human cost in trying to do something about obesity?  I would have thought that the labour Government would have started rigorous campaigns promoting health and good nutrition. We know that leaving it to parents to foster dietary habits in our kids doesn’t work. To break the cycle, we need education of the young first.

The adults that are indifferent to their weight and ignore the warnings are likely to cark it well before their time. We also know that Ambulances, Airlines and even Funeral Parlours are coping with bodies that are becoming bigger and bulkier. Special hoists in Ambulances, Airlines toying with air travel prices per kilo. Funerals having to cope with bigger caskets, taking 6 to 8 pall bearers instead of just 4. Graves are dug deeper, wider and Sydney’s cemeteries running out of space, contemplating burying bodies under footpaths and roadways.  In short, a total calamity.

We have the honour of being the biggest in the world. Go around shopping centres and just take a seat and watch shoppers go by. Forget about the adults, just look at the kids. Some at eight or ten years, already with their lower legs splayed apart and thighs rubbing together, hardly able to walk, tummies hanging out and over, but invariably licking or sucking on something. 

Some claim it has as much to do with genetics as with bad diets but where were those genes fifty or sixty years ago? Are there a new set of obesity genes suddenly sprouting up? I don’t think so.

In the US, a voluntary set of nutritional standards on food was put into place together with information for shoppers to help make up their minds. It looked good but did not work. Which stressed mother has the time to read about kilo-joules or carbon hydrates on every item? Of course, when the setting of standards was left to those that profit from killer food items, it did not take long when Frooty Loops were found to be on the list of ‘high nutritional value’. It all came to nothing.

If signage with” SMOKING KILLS” are featured everywhere now, why not also have large signs with pointing out unhealthy food and dietary habits. “TRANS FAT KILLS” posters will have to be followed with diet experts at cash registers. Graphic posters with huge bodies being hoisted out of multi story buildings. TV footage of sobbing parents who are visiting their diabetic type 2 children in hospitals, waiting for organ transplants.  Australia did extremely well with anti-smoking and the ’cover-up’ campaign, even the anti-litter was until recently doing very well. Should we follow some European countries and provide at least one decent meal to all school children?

We now come to one of the most difficult parts of good nutrition for children and that is the behaviour at ‘tuck shops’. Those mothers running school and sporting tuck shops are a force to reckon with, but those purveyors of sausage rolls and sugary slushies will have to be tackled if the Government is going to get serious about our health. Fancy giving a sign of approval to schools and for sporting events with tuck shops selling bad food?

In October 2009, a group was put together by the federal Government including, wait for it, “Woolworth” and “The Australian Food and Grocery Council”. The aim was to try and increase the intake of fruits, vegetables and wholegrain foods and decrease or reduce consumption of harmful fats.

I have yet to see baskets of fruit and vegetables at the cash registers replacing the hugely profitable but pernicious Violent Crunchie Bar and Flossy Tossy Syrup packets. Instead, despite all the attention on obesity, nothing must stand in the way of allowing consumers their grazing of glistening Trans Fats, sugars and salts during their polystyrene shopping expeditions.

Or so it seems!