Why buy Australian grown food?

Woolworths are selling pine nuts that can have a very unpleasant side effect.

On Sunday I got a very bitter taste in my mouth when eating dinner. (Beef ribs, since you’re asking.)  Odd, I thought – the rest of those carrots tasted perfectly fine yesterday.  But then it happened again, all day yesterday.  And today.  Whenever I eat – anything at all – it’s as if I’ve bitten in to the most bitter cucumber imaginable.

No, it isn’t pleasant.

These days, Google knows almost all, so I searched for ‘bitter taste in mouth’.  And what pops up on the first page – but “Pine Mouth’, an article by the NSW Food Authority.

Bingo. Because on Saturday and earlier on Sunday, I’d been eating pine nuts from the little container I purchased from Woolworth’s fruit and vegetable section.

A little treat to liven up what’s basically a diet of meat, fruit and vegetables, cheese, milk and bread.  Yep, that’s it.  Rarely seafood, and very rarely restaurant, cafe or takeaway food.

I’ve often heard people say they’re reluctant to eat food produced in other countries, particularly China, due to quality concerns.  Such as the types of agricultural chemicals used, potential heavy metal contamination, etc.  And I had noticed the ongoing enthusiastic importation of Australian dairy products into China, following the tragic deaths due to contaminated milk.  Chinese authorities claim to have tightened up standards to prevent another tragedy, but it’s a massive country with a huge population, so ensuring regulations are followed by everyone, all the time, would surely be nigh-on impossible.

I admit I didn’t take a lot of first-hand notice.  Because it’s always been the case that I rarely buy pre-packaged food and almost never buy fruit or vegetables imported from another country (fresh dates would be one of the few exceptions, as homegrown are virtually unobtainable).  And I almost never buy ‘homebrand’ anything.  If there was a cyclone approaching, and the only tins of corn left on the shelf were homebrand, they’d be going in my trolley – reluctantly – if I really needed to have them.  These buying principles aren’t due to some new fad I’m following; I’ve just always worked this way.

I deliberately support Australian food growers and Australian food processing companies, as much as possible.  This would be costing me more, but I believe in making an effort to put my money where my mouth is, for the good of the country, long-term.  To do otherwise, is gross hypocrisy of the type I despise most.

So it’s a bit rude that someone who so rarely buys food grown in another country, should get such an unpleasant reminder of the perils of not sticking to Australian produce only.

The little container of pine nuts, with ‘imported ingredients’ marked on the bottom, has literally left a very bad taste in my mouth.

Which according to the NSW Food Authority, should go within 2 weeks.

But I’ll remember it a lot longer than that.

And I’m wondering – did the Woolworths buyer not know that some species of Chinese pine nuts cause this problem, or did the supplier tell lies? At least one person – possibly a whole queue of them – need/s a good kick up the backside.

Happy to volunteer.

And remember – don’t buy homebrand products.