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Old 5th September 2013, 11:14 PM
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I don't think anyone here is considering a move to NZ for the purpose of "finding healthy choices." I think we can all agree that it is indeed easier and more affordable to find a greater variety of inexpensive healthy food choices in every flavor imaginable in a country as large as the United States. My guess is is that most move to NZ for same reason any expat moves to any other country in the world: a job, family, or the way of life as a whole.

Haha. I have to laugh about this. I'm sorry I started a war here.
You're right though, we're are not moving to NZ to run away from food problems. If food were the whole issue here, I think I would just quit my job, buy some land in Colorado, and start a gigantic organic ranch.

However, that's not the case. I just wanted to get an overall generalization of what is to be expected there when it comes to mutated food vs. real food. I thank you for the information, MrRose. You've saved me a great deal of hassle.

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Old 5th September 2013, 11:21 PM
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You are right, it is easy to find bad things to eat here if you want to. And many of our youth do have unhealthy 'fast food' diets that is affecting their health.

But I think the point that Mrs Rose is making is you don't have to eat that! And if you choose to eat more healthily here then it is much easier to find meat that is not pumped full of hormones or GM free crops. In fact you's almost have to go out of your way to find some, simply because our farming methods are different.

There will be a small 'organic' section on most supermarkets, but I would say that generally all the stuff in the vegetable & meat section is pretty organic. So not many farmers choose to pay the extra and often exorbitant overheads that are required to say they are 'organic'

I looked this up - and you are right, it is allowed. But we have a number of beef farmer friends and none of them use it. So, like the pesticides & GMOs you'd almost have to go out of your way to find a cut of meat from an animal that had been treated with HGP.

The price of food seems to be a popular subject on this forum, so I'll put my two penn'orth in too.

In order to keep the cost of food down in New Zealand you need to shop outside the supermarkets, or keep an eye out for special offers.
And for fruit and vegetables you need to shop at the markets, and buy produce that is in season. Don't expect to buy strawberries, tomatoes & asparagus in August or you'll pay through the nose. Buy them in December and they'll be really cheap.

And bear in mind - our cows and sheep do not live in big barns, are not pumped up with hormones, and are not fed corn to fatten them up until they have intestinal problems. They live all year round on green grass, and at worse are fed hay that the farmer often cut himself in the summer months.

And as I say, I speak from the experience of knowing a number of North Island beef and sheep farmers now.
This is great! Thanks for your added commentary. It does make me more hopeful to cater to my needs a little better. I'm pretty sick of going out of my way to find real food. It will be a nice change. Thanks again! Also, cool website!

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Old 6th September 2013, 01:46 AM
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"For example, in US cities, a macdonalds can be found on virtually every corner. In Auckland, Mcdonalds could only be found every other corner, or so. (I'm joking. There aren't THAT many Mcdonalds in either country. Lol. Oh, and in NZ, Mcdonalds has LAMBburgers on the menu. ) But hopefully you get the point."

I love your quote because I read somewhere that NZ has more MacDonalds per capita then any other country in the world!! They are also the third fattest after the USA and Mexico!!

From personal experience I have stopped eating pork and chicken since I've been in NZ because of the way these areas are managed. They still have controversial cages for the pigs (unlike UK and Europe where cages was banned over 20 years ago!) and they raise their chickens in disgusting conditions and fill them full of steroids. I see that battery hen cages in the UK and Europe were banned from 2012 - it will never happen here. I buy eggs from free roaming hens but our local New World does not stock ethical chicken or pork but in the larger cities I think you can get "free farmed" meat. Beef and lamb are definitely the best choices but we don't eat lamb because we can't afford it! I think you will find that NZ has as many additives as any other westernised country and more so! They have quite a few that have been banned by the European Union!!

Oh yes and New Zealand is green but only in colour!!!
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Old 6th September 2013, 09:03 PM
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I love your quote because I read somewhere that NZ has more MacDonalds per capita then any other country in the world!! They are also the third fattest after the USA and Mexico!!

From personal experience I have stopped eating pork and chicken since I've been in NZ because of the way these areas are managed. They still have controversial cages for the pigs (unlike UK and Europe where cages was banned over 20 years ago!) and they raise their chickens in disgusting conditions and fill them full of steroids. I see that battery hen cages in the UK and Europe were banned from 2012 - it will never happen here. I buy eggs from free roaming hens but our local New World does not stock ethical chicken or pork but in the larger cities I think you can get "free farmed" meat. Beef and lamb are definitely the best choices but we don't eat lamb because we can't afford it! I think you will find that NZ has as many additives as any other westernised country and more so! They have quite a few that have been banned by the European Union!!

Oh yes and New Zealand is green but only in colour!!!
'I love your quote because I read somewhere that NZ has more MacDonalds per capita then any other country in the world!! They are also the third fattest after the USA and Mexico!!'

Um...the McDonalds thing was a joke. Lol. But technically, if you must contest it, it was still accurate. The US still has the highest total number of mcdonalds restaurants of any nation in the world by far. And that's only one fast food chain. And if I'm not mistaken, fast food (as we know it today) had it origins in the United States as well.

Conventional farming practices in both NZ and the UK are better than the US. And this is based on more than just "I read somewhere..." Nutrition is my primary area of study, and I have learned a great deal about agriculture, food safety, and food labeling as it pertains to the US...and in comparison to other developed nations throughout the world. If you do some studying in the area of US food and agriculture I think you'll be far more shocked and disgusted with food and corporate farming practices in the States.
The US still "manufactures" cattle on large feedlot style corporate farms, feeds them corn instead of grass (GMO corn, by the way) and supplements them with antibiotics, hormones, and/or other not-so-healthy additives. Chickens are raised in dark, disgusting corporate sized cages with hundreds+ chickens crammed in together, never allowed to roam, living in their own waste matter, and fed GMO corn with additives to make them much larger than is natural, and tons of antibiotics to counter all that bacteria their living in. (these of course are examples of conventional farming, not organic, which accounts for the vast majority of meat sold in the US). That description does not even cover the mistreatment of animals, and cringe-worthy ways the food is then processed for distribution. With a population of over 300 million, there is a LOT of food to produce, and waiting on nature is just not an option according to corporate America.
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Old 6th September 2013, 09:47 PM
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Hi MrsRose

Sorry I was joking too about the MacDonalds hence my exclamation marks - but I did "read" it somewhere so it must be true!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha Of course the USA have a higher total number of MacDonalds than any where in the world (it is a huge country) but the statistic I "read" was per capita which is a much more accurate and you will see used a lot in NZ as the population is so small.

I do agree with you about the meat production industry and hence the reason why I am now almost vegetarian and one of the good things about NZ is you can grow your own meat if you have a lifestyle block. Can I ask where you will be living in NZ? I didn't mean to offend you with my flippant MacDonalds post because reading your posts we are in fact both "reading off the same page" with regard to worldwide farming methods. Sorry.

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Old 6th September 2013, 10:36 PM
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Hi MrsRose

Sorry I was joking too about the MacDonalds hence my exclamation marks - but I did "read" it somewhere so it must be true!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha Of course the USA have a higher total number of MacDonalds than any where in the world (it is a huge country) but the statistic I "read" was per capita which is a much more accurate and you will see used a lot in NZ as the population is so small.

I do agree with you about the meat production industry and hence the reason why I am now almost vegetarian and one of the good things about NZ is you can grow your own meat if you have a lifestyle block. Can I ask where you will be living in NZ? I didn't mean to offend you with my flippant MacDonalds post because reading your posts we are in fact both "reading off the same page" with regard to worldwide farming methods. Sorry.

Oh goodness!! No problem at all! And no apologies necessary!


That is one thing that made me sad upon my visit to NZ (with regards to the larger cities in NZ anyways): That the American fast food and "cheap" food culture has spread all the way to NZ. We stopped at a (Oh gosh, whats that other supermarket that is popular in NZ? Not New World...) grocery store in Auckland to get some groceries (duh, Lol.) and across the parking lot was a McDonalds. Quite possibly the largest McDonalds I'd ever seen. Haha. We stopped in to use the wifi and MY GOODNESS!!! It looked like a full size restaurant! 2 of the McDonalds we stopped at in the Auckland area had conference rooms in them! Haha!

Perhaps its the unbeatable affordability of fast food that has NZers consuming so much? Or the convenience? That's certainly the case here in the States. Get a whole cheeseburger for just $1. Or get less than a pound of organic apples for the same. Most will choose the more filling, convenient, and inexpensive option. (although my argument is always that you still pay a high price sooner or later....either for healthy foods or high medical costs.

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Old 6th September 2013, 11:21 PM
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Oh goodness!! No problem at all! And no apologies necessary!


That is one thing that made me sad upon my visit to NZ (with regards to the larger cities in NZ anyways): That the American fast food and "cheap" food culture has spread all the way to NZ. We stopped at a (Oh gosh, whats that other supermarket that is popular in NZ? Not New World...) grocery store in Auckland to get some groceries (duh, Lol.) and across the parking lot was a McDonalds. Quite possibly the largest McDonalds I'd ever seen. Haha. We stopped in to use the wifi and MY GOODNESS!!! It looked like a full size restaurant! 2 of the McDonalds we stopped at in the Auckland area had conference rooms in them! Haha!

Perhaps its the unbeatable affordability of fast food that has NZers consuming so much? Or the convenience? That's certainly the case here in the States. Get a whole cheeseburger for just $1. Or get less than a pound of organic apples for the same. Most will choose the more filling, convenient, and inexpensive option. (although my argument is always that you still pay a high price sooner or later....either for healthy foods or high medical costs.
This also makes me sad; however, when I went to Germany in 2008, I saw about two McDonald's, some Burger King's, etc. and this was before I became officially aware of the nasty food market and farming approach in America (in fact, I didn't start caring until I faced some serious medical problems due to GMOs) so we actually stopped and ate at McDonald's for a quick lunch. Now, if you know anything about Germany, they are VERY strict on their food. They do not allow GMOs to be "grown" or imported there. So you can guarantee you're eating the good stuff there. Well, I was surprised to see McDonald's, and my most predominant impression of the food was a positive one.

It appears that the McDonald corporation actually serve good quality food in the other countries (I've had people traveling to other countries tell me they tasted a big difference at different country's McDonald's, too) and the crap food in America. I don't know why? Maybe it's because Americans are used to the greasy fake meat taste, or because our standards and violations are soooo low compared to other countries. But I'm assuming that the McDonald's in Auckland may have better quality and maybe even REAL meat, haha (and no, I'm not promoting McDonald's). The burger and fries I had in Germany tasted like a 5-star restaurant's burger. They also served beer there, lol.

You said they have lamburgers; maybe the quality is restaurant quality? I don't know. Just an idea. I'm hoping that is the case anyways. I would hate for NZ to adopt our poor decisions in food.

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Old 16th September 2013, 08:32 PM
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TML, thank you for the added information. You're right in saying that NZ doesn't totally exclude GMOs, for I have read about that. But changing from a country that doesn't label GMOs (There is a big debacle about Whole Foods lying about some products being GMO free when those products actually contained them) to a country that has high standards is a huge improvement. I take my time when it comes to grocery shopping and planning, so that's not a problem for me--I love to cook! I am aware that prices of food is MUCH higher in NZ, but I think MrsRose was trying to say that it wouldn't shock me THAT much, since I'm used to seeing a higher bill for higher quality of food. My husband and I are willing to pay extra money or the high quality food--especially since we both notice a huge difference in our health when we switched over to organic! Thanks for the input, everyone!
Hi VM,

Just be cautious with expectations--the thing that is going to be important is to remember that people that have visited and not yet moved here, don't yet have a full scope of what budgeting for monthly expenses will fully include, and how other expenses are going to round out and inflate your outgoing versus your incoming. When you are returning to the US from a sun drenched, fun filled visit, and you're not budgeting for actual long term life in NZ, it can be VERY easy to shrug off the high prices, minimize/rationalize them, or just turn a blind eye. Easy to do because it's not yet your real life living budget you are operating on, but instead a 'vacation' budget... so, just be aware for those that have or still do live in NZ, our experience with price shock is "real," meaning we are living with it (or did) and are giving you legitimate information based on long term experience. I'm not suggesting Rose isn't correct, only that you *really* need to be aware that the price differences are >considerable< and that there is a severely restricted choice in items, and literally little to no price wars because there is so little competition. This can be especially limiting if you live in one of the more far flung, rural areas. Also, meats here that are prepared, like sausage, fish & chips, etc., regularly have fillers of some sort in them. So, you will be paying full meat prices but the product may only be 65% to 70% actual meat--and unidentified fish from the corner fish & chips shop is often a small variety of shark. It tastes fine, but I'm just pointing out that being transparent about consumer products is not always on the up & up here, either. Most recently we've had a big international incident about our beloved Manuka honey being tainted and bulked up and out with syrups and such ... so, just be forewarned, sleight of hand and bait and switch is well and alive here as well. Farmers markets are considerably smaller than what you will be used to in the US (depending on where you move to); the prices can be somewhat less than the supermarket, but often they are either equal or even more in some cases. On top of the price of what's in the stores, you will be taxes the 15% GST at the check-out as well... so, the products are much higher, as is the tax on them. It is just important that you know that NZ is not like a little version of America circa 1950, but just "a little more expensive." It's much more expensive, and you have to be a savvy consumer to get *the* best deal, as they often aren't obvious. This information is not meant to degrade NZ, I LOVE it here and will NEVER leave, but just to point out that once you are here, you will permanently be paying NZ prices and working for NZ wages, and that balance can be tricky for those that don't already have a wad of money. I would suggest you go to the grocery websites we have here to do cost comparisons: Fresh Choice, New World, Countdown, Pak N Sav, Cosco (small chinese market). The home-wares places are: Briscoe's, Farmers, The warehouse; home improvement: Bunnings, Mitre10 Mega ... Just for some background on me: I've lived here for over 2 years, live in a very nice area of Christchurch, am married to a great kiwi-guy who is successful enough that I don't work; we maintain a 6-figure savings account buffer, and yet the prices *still* shock and awe me. If I did not have such a comfortable income, maintaining a similar lifestyle to what I had in the US would be close to being cost prohibitive. Best of luck!

Kim

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Old 16th September 2013, 09:11 PM
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Kimbella,

Thank you for your post--I truly appreciate the honesty! I love to hear different people's experiences and opinions. Believe me, I'm not so naive to believe NZ is perfect; but, it certainly is better to hear that some of their methods are better than America's in some aspects. I have mentally prepared my brain, as best as I can from afar, to adjust to the expenses and hardship I have heard so greatly about. But, my husband and I are not trying to immigrate to have more money, or to be materialistic people we are kinda developing into over here--but rather, we are moving for the culture, the lifestyle, and of course the scenery! I was born and raised in Oklahoma, so you can imagine I am very excited about the nature (and lifestyle change!). I love Colorado, and have heard NZ is far more exquisite.

Anyways, thanks for the input! I just was just curious to know what I should expect as soon as I get there, and all of you have helped my curiousity!

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Old 16th September 2013, 10:24 PM
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Kimbella,

Thank you for your post--I truly appreciate the honesty! I love to hear different people's experiences and opinions. Believe me, I'm not so naive to believe NZ is perfect; but, it certainly is better to hear that some of their methods are better than America's in some aspects. I have mentally prepared my brain, as best as I can from afar, to adjust to the expenses and hardship I have heard so greatly about. But, my husband and I are not trying to immigrate to have more money, or to be materialistic people we are kinda developing into over here--but rather, we are moving for the culture, the lifestyle, and of course the scenery! I was born and raised in Oklahoma, so you can imagine I am very excited about the nature (and lifestyle change!). I love Colorado, and have heard NZ is far more exquisite.

Anyways, thanks for the input! I just was just curious to know what I should expect as soon as I get there, and all of you have helped my curiousity!
I'm glad to help. The thing that visitors may not be taking into account is the other daily/monthly living expenses and how they will effect your budget. A standard house phone line is about $50 a month and does not include calling outside the local area; energy prices and packs to choose from are dizzying in their numbers--and a $350 bill will also have the 15% gst added; cable tv/internet are not competitive, etc. My daughters junior high public school uniform and required accessories was almost $600 ... and that is just for 2 years of school -- primary uniforms are different, as are high school. So, there are other ongoing and significant costs to living here. It's no besmirch to NZ, it's just an honest appraisal of how things work here pricing wise. What you will find is that kiwis that know you on a personal level are kind, gracious, and generous; but as a consumer or purchaser you will be looked at for what money can be extracted from you. Even my husband is this way: business is very successful, we don't hurt for money. He relayed a business transaction that happened a few weeks back: a guy called from Queenstown (about a 5 hour drive from where we are), coordinated getting the product, said if we had it, he would drive up and get it depending on the quote price. My husband gave him the standard quote, the guy arrived in a Corvette. Afterwards my husband said if he had known what car the guy drove he would've charged him twice the amount! Aargh! Drove me nuts! But, that's really the way it works down here ... people outside your circle of intimacy/friends are seen as revenue streams (for businesses), and thus, you don't see a lot of companies slashing prices as a show of loyalty thanks, etc. In the grand scheme of things, it's no big deal as long as you are aware of what you're dealing with so that you can navigate the best deal for YOUR interests, while being fair to the business. On a personal level that's about the only thing that you'll need to be watchful and mindful of. Everything else here is pretty damn amazing! You will find that NZ is extraordinarily beautiful, it IS more stunning than Colorado. It is more stunning than any place I have ever been to. The only place that came close was Alaska, and I think what made Alaska a close competitor is that Alaska has wildlife that NZ does not. NZ has NO (native) free roaming land animals. In parts of "the bush" there are pigs, deer, even turkeys, but you could live your whole life here and never see a thing roaming the land (except rabbits and birds). The only "wild" roadside animal I have ever seen are rabbits; and carcasses of ferrets/stoats, and possums. At first it's disconcerting not seeing anything like a squirrel, chipmunk, etc., then you just get used to the land being mostly untouched by anything but livestock. Anyway, best of luck! I have the perfect life here, including 2 honeybee hives in the back yard and a mini orchard, composting system, garden, chickens, etc.; so it IS possible, even a scaled back version is totally viable because everything is here, resource wise, and organic self sustainment is fully encouraged!
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