Tag Archives: China

Food miles and Foodie Penpals.

1 Jun

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It’s Foodie Penpal time again.  On this occasion my parcel came from Allison Jackson who lives in Surrey.  It’s always nice to get something thats not a bill in the post but a parcel is something special. It was all wrapped up very nicely and protected with bubble wrap.

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Inside were some little chocolate bars,  a tube of Swiss chocolate mints, a bag of liquorice, dried porcini mushrooms, tempura batter mix, Ras el Hanout a spicy herb mix, a packet of fruit rolls and some cup cases.  What a lovely mixture of items.

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The liquorice was first to go…I just love liquorice. I did share it with Andy though. The fruit rolls disappeared pretty quickly too!

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I also love chocolate…most women do…actually Andy doesn’t  shy away from it either. I especially love a little sweet treat after dinner in the evening. These chocolate mints and bars fitted the bill very nicely. The dried porcini mushrooms I hadn’t tried before but during the week I added them to a risotto. Really delicious! Risottos are one of my fave meals.

Allison included a very nice letter with the parcel telling me a bit about each item and also a recipe for oat crackers. She also brought up the topic of food miles. As most of the things one can send through the post are prepackaged it really is hard to buy locally produced items to send. Chocolate, even though it may be made in England, contains cocoa beans from South America. The dried mushrooms were from China as were the baking cases. Now China is a big problem for me. Its very hard not to buy stuff from there as they produce everything in that country it seems. The big problem for me is the Chinese treatment of animals and of their people too. Not to speak of the environmental issues. I do deliberately try… not always succeeding… not to buy from China.

The liquorice was from Australia. Think of the air miles getting that to England. I hope you don’t think I’m being over critical of Alisson’s parcel but Allison herself raised this issue so I know she doesn’t mind. She also recommended “How bad are Bananas, the Carbon Footprint of everything.” for some light reading! Haven’t read it yet but I will do. It’s been a very sunny week in Ireland so reading etc has been minimal. It’s been outdoors working in the garden from morning till evening.  So what with the sun, the garden and food parcels arriving at my door it’s been a great week allround.

A Woodland Burial.

13 Mar

Derrycarney Woodland 013

Have you decided what will happen to your earthly remains when your soul leaves this planet? Maybe some of you will think this morbid but it’s one thing that’s a definite for every living thing on this planet.  We will all leave…sooner or later.

I have always thought that I would like to lie under a nice tree and fertilise it’s growth.

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Today while flicking through Facebook I came across this poem. I think it’s brilliant.

WOODLAND BURIAL by Pam Ayres.

Don’t lay me down in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall

Where the dust of ancient bones has spread dryness over all.

Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold

Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.

There  kindly and affectionately plant a native tree

To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of me.

The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way

To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.

To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done

I’ll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the Sun.

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In light of our governments plan to sell of our forests to pay for the debts of the banks which have been foisted on the Irish people maybe we should pledge our bodies to growing new forests for the people of Ireland.  No! I jest you not,  selling the Irish forests, which belong to the people of Ireland is currently being seen as  a viable proposition to pay the fat cat bankers as demanded by the IMF( International Monetary Fund).

To me it’s too much of a coincidence that this comes as our new friends in China want more beef and the EU drop milk quotas in the near future. Lots of land wanted for all this production.  A sacrifice too far methinks.

Why not try and do something to stop this. In the UK a similar plan was abandoned because of public outcry. Lobby your local TDs and other so called public representatives. Get out there and use OUR woodlands…while they’re still there. Take your friends and children…they will love it.  If you would like to join with others take a look at www.bardsinthewoods.com . Wonderful walks, poems and picnics in beautiful places. 

Our woodlands need us now…and into the future too.

Bridget x

There is an online petition which goes to the President, Michael D Higgins and the Irish Government. Please sign and share. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/help-save-irelands-forestry/ .

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