There is so much in the media at the moment about internationally grown berries being contaminated with Hepatitis A.
My question is, why do we even have this issue? There are so many local growers that would happily supply us with their fantastic variety of different berries. But as consumers we continue to purchase the cheaper alternative, which drives up local farmers’ prices so that they are able to make ends meet, making local produce more unattainable for those on a tight budget.
I have a small family. It’s myself and my two children. We live on a tight budget. I only buy what is in season and I only buy Australian grown fruit and vegetables. If it’s not in season, I don’t buy it. If it’s too expensive I don’t buy it. It’s simple.
When it comes to berries, I am lucky. I have a local farm that sell their berries by the kilo, I buy in bulk and freeze. This way I know where they are from. I know how they are grown.
I know that when my kids eat blueberry yoghurt they are eating Australian yoghurt, manufactured in my kitchen with Australian milk from Australian cows. If I do not have the time, I choose Australian made yoghurt with no hidden nasties and mix in my own berry puree, or berry chunks. I know that when there is an outbreak of whatever illness due to international grown or manufactured foods it will not affect us.
My children do not miss out – I ensure that we can have some special treats when not in season I decided that I would dry my own foods. Mainly fruit, but I also dehydrate my own tomatoes. My kids love them.
By dehydrating my own fruit and vegetables I know that we will not have reactions to sulphur as I do not add it in the drying process. Dried fruit is already so sweet, why do we need to add sugars and salt to them? I don’t…my kids are happy, my kids are healthy.
I also make my own fruit leather with excess fruits, they are similar to a “roll-up”. What do mine contain? 100% fruit, blended, and dehydrated to perfection.
I was in the supermarket the other day and checked out the common brand fruit leather. Here is its list of ingredients:
Maltodextrin (corn or wheat),
- Concentrated fruit puree (20%) [Apple (14%), pear (4%), peach (2%)]
- Fruit juice concentrates (5%) [apple, pineapple, orange]
- Modified starch (1442)
- Sunflower oil (soy)
- Emulsifier (471)
- Food acid (citric malic)
- Colours extracted from fruit, vegetables and plants (chlorophyll, anthocyanin, turmeric, carbon black)
- Vegetable gums (410, 415)
It is also noted that these roll-ups may contain traces of wheat and soy – therefore if you have an allergy to these you cannot eat them…something that should contain only fruit.
Not to mention that they have the big “made in Australia” logo, but in small writing underneath, it states “from imported and local ingredients”
So how do we know where these imported ingredients are from? We don’t. Do we know where they are grown? Do we know how they are grown? Do we even know which ingredients are actually local or imported? No.
I could go through and analyse each listed ingredient, but I feel that this would need an entire new blog to explain it all – this I will do.
I do have one question for you…do you know where the fruits and vegetables in your kids foods are from? Do you know how they are grown?
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