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Nudies Save Lives!

No more orangutans - all because of palm oil!

The Cree Indians had a saying-

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.
— 19th century Cree Indian saying

It’s pretty famous and I’m sure you’ve heard it. I think pretty soon we’ll all be chomping on crunchy green notes.  But they’ll have to be plastic notes because there’ll be no trees left to make paper.

I’ve been hearing for some time that the last of the market gardeners around Sydney have been selling their land to property developers. The Maltese and Chinese market gardeners used to provide a great deal of produce to Sydney from their market gardens in the Horsley Park area.

So how will we get enough food?

Farmers are struggling with extreme weather conditions. In Australia we have become used to drought, locusts, bush fire and sudden flooding – all not good for crops and livestock. Farmers have a mean taskmaster – the supermarket chains who pay them pennies for their stock but sell it for megabucks.  I’m sure that if any farmer had a viable alternative they would leave the land in a flash.

So that leaves overseas purchases.  A great deal of food is grown in China but we eat that produce at our own risk – if we are concerned about dodgy pesticides and gross fertilizers (human excrement). Anything coming in from overseas could be irradiated and/or genetically modified. I mean, we don’t know what they’re doing to our food grown in Australia, but at least it’s our own germs so to speak!

Most food choices contain either or both – soy protein and palm oil.  These crops are both no-nos. Soybeans are now one of the chief denuders of the Amazon Rainforest. There are Brazilian farmers out there right now, hacking down the Amazon so they can grow more soy beans for European pigs and for our bread.  The same is happening in Argentina. Since the Argentian peso was floated the Argentinians have fallen on hard times and now they have fallen prey to soy bean global manipulation. They have chopped down their forests too, endangering many Argentinian forest dwelling species, so that more soy beans can be grown.

As for palm oil, most of South East Asian jungles have now been burnt to the ground so that more palm trees can be grown. Where palm oil used to be supplied by Nigeria, the incredible demand for palm oil worldwide has seen supply shift to South East Asia. Now that they have burnt down their own jungles, Indonesia is about to start burning down the jungles in Papua New Guinea. We can expect two million hectares of virgin jungle to be burnt down in the next few years. The aim is to grow  palm oil plantations and yes, soy beans.

Soy beans are mostly genetically modified. Palm oil is a thick yellow oil  that clogs the arteries.

Since we can’t buy a loaf of bread that doesn’t contain soybean protein, or a bar of soap or chocolate, or a biscuit or cake that doesn’t contain palm oil, our food choices (if we are concerned about our health) are seriously diminished.

Hence, I suggest we all live on Nudies. Nudies are the most delicious fruit drinks. They don’t contain palm oil or soy beans. They contain no sugar or preservatives and they are good for you. In fact, my father who has just recently suffered congestive heart failure and can’t eat, only likes to drink Nudies. And I have to agree, they taste delicious.  I emailed the company to tell them how they’re keeping my dad alive and they told me that this is not the first time they’ve heard this story and that lots of children who don’t like eating fruit really like Nudies.

So what lives do Nudies save? Well off the top of my head – they are keeping my dad alive; they are nourishing children who won’t eat fruit; they are not causing jungles to be burnt down in either South East Asia or Brazil and hence they are saving orangutans, tigers, snakes, monkeys, butterflies and big spiders.

And they’re not paying me to say this either! But let’s face it, there’s not much in the way of alternatives with regard to wholesome foods to eat out there. So, drink a Nudie and keep reading those food labels – avoiding soy protein and palm oil – and do the environment and your health a favour.

That was a bit tongue in cheek, but the sentiments are sincere, and the gravity of the global problem not to be underestimated!

The picture at the top was taken from http://www.globalteer.org/projects/volunteer-indonesia-wildlife-rescue.html  They rescue orangutans.

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Orangutans

Did anyone see the delightful animal program on TV last night?

What struck  me in particular was  the friendship of the orangutan with the dog.  What was even more interesting was how the orangutan broke everything it ate in half and fed the half to its friend, the dog.

Apparently, this is normal behaviour for organutans who are generous by nature.

I could only think how ungenerous man is by burning and hacking the orangutans’ jungle homes to create space to grow ever more palm oil plantations.  A horrible vision has been etched indelibly in my mind –  a photographer who was extremely concerned about this destruction, wrote in the SMH recently about how as one jungle burned, an orangutan ran with her baby to the outskirts of the jungle. She then laid down on the side of the road as if she was dead. A passing car stopped and the driver jumped out, grabbed the baby and drove off. As soon as the mother knew the baby was safe she stood up and walked back into the burning jungle.

The horrifying reality is that every day, thirty square miles of jungle are being burnt to make way for palm oil plantations http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/the-guilty-secrets-of-palm-oil-are-you-unwittingly-contributing-to-the-devastation-of-the-rain-forests-1676218.html

Of course, orangutans are just one inhabitant of the jungles. There are birds, tigers, sun bears, snakes, spiders, monkeys, butterflies, frogs, and much more.  How is it that man has taken on guardianship of the earth and yet is so unkind to its other inhabitants? How does that make us superior?

Each book in the Doofuzz Dudes series focuses on a different environmental issue.  I publish with Griffin Press who source their paper from sustainable sources. The environmental issue at the heart of the orangutan problem is the world’s insatiable demand for palm oil.

I did a bit of reseach on the sorts of products that are made with palm oil. These are chocolate, biscuits, soap, cosmetics, toothpaste, face creams, margarine, commercial cheesecakes and pies, and well, the list goes on and on.  In fact it appears that palm oil is an ingredient in most food products sold in the UK. I suppose this is because it is being substituted for a more expensive ingredient.

So with so many products containing palm oil, what can we do? Apparently, the fact that they contain palm oil is often disguised. Palm oil is described by its Latin name or called something else in the list of  ingredients.  However, the cosmetic industry is the major culprit. A recent commercial (the Dove campaign) featuring older women was so successful that it fueled the demand for palm oil. Palm oil is a major ingredient in the Dove products.

Some companies are taking a responsible view and removing palm oil from their ingredients. However, if we care about the issue, it is up to us as consumers to pressure companies into finding substitutes for palm oil by either  buoycotting  palm oil products or by contacting the companies concerned and expressing our concern. But is it already too late to save the orangutan?

For more information go to www.orangutans.com.au/…/Helping-you-buy-responsibly-Palmoil-free-alternatives.aspx

and

www.palmoilaction.org.au/pages/shopping-guide.html

On a more positive note, I’ve just received a message from a charity I support – The Catskill Animal Sanctuary who rescue farm animals. A most generous supporter has offered to match any donation up to $1.5 million given before January, 2010. For more information go to http://www.casanctuary.org/challenge-grant

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