In November 2013 we hosted Molly and Gary from Slow Food Prescott, Arizona at the start of their 6 week New Zealand adventure.
We were inspired by the work Molly is doing with Slow Food and Gary’s environmental activism – you can check out Slow Food Prescott to find out all about it!
Well, they loved New Zealand and Molly has shared that love with us – check it out below.
It is a great story.

Molly with Fi and Anutosh from Slow Food Waitakere

Thanks New Zealand by Molly 
After touring your country, 7000 km (yes, we drove too much), I want you to know that food at the basic level is much better than ours.  First and mostly, your animals are raised on natural feed–grass.  Our cattle, dairy cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys and even farm raised fish, are mostly in CAFOs, confined animal feeding operations, pens or cages where they are fed genetically modified corn, soy, alfalfa and by-products.  The result is a very unnatural diet, sick and depressed animals, and resultant threats to human health.  In addition, the restrictions on genetically modified crops and ingredients in processed foods are light years ahead of the US.  We are fighting with Monsanto and other chemical giants just to get labeling. They are fighting back with lawyers and money– lawsuits, buying lawmakers, and massive advertising campaigns to convince people that GMO’s are absolutely harmless AND natural AND no one needs to know if they are eating them or not. 

We were greatly impressed with the diversity, quantity and prosperity of small farms.  America is corporate Big Ag.  You can drive for miles through farmland and only see dingy worker’s quarters. We were impressed to see and visit quite nice homes and well educated, worldly farmers. I believe this makes for healthier, more sustainable food production.  It is much harder to convince corporations to make decisions in favor of health and the environment.

And, one more thing, we are convinced that Kiwis are happier and more satisfied with their lives.  That is our overall impression.  Gas station attendants, good old boys in the fish camp, waitresses, ticket takers, little old ladies, scruffy guys on the beach, young men on their day off from working at the Frontera dairy…all seemed pretty cherry.  I am sad to say that a black cloud of anger hangs over many Americans.  The middle class is being undermined by the top 1%. The rich are getting rich and the poor getting poorer and the middle class dropping. The poor are blamed for their condition. Medical care is hard to access and bankrupts many (hopefully this is changing).  Education grows more out of reach and expensive, resulting in huge loan debts to the banks. This has not always been the case.  In the 60’s,  70’s and 80’s when we were getting started health insurance was cheap and covered everything, and higher education was free or low cost.  We came through the times and as a result are quite comfortable now.  I’m afraid that is not the case for young people in this country today. Enough said…Gary and I are working to keep a Kiwi attitude.

We had some wonderful eating experiences, great ingredients mostly cooked out of our camper–
Your dairy products are wonderful.  Grass fed is the gold standard in the US and very hard to find. Fantastic cheese, butter and cream.  We enjoyed that.

 Molly and Gary with Reuben and family from  Slow Food Te Hiku

MISCELLANEOUS FOOD EXPERIENCES:Whangeroa– Oysters and chips at the Marlin Hotel.
Cable Bay– fresh strawberry stand on the beach.
Fresh oysters, smoked mullett, and tua tua dig on 90 Mile Beach with Rueben and family
Solar powered espresso cart on the way to Cape Reinga
Macadamia nuts and delicious lamb, home baked bread with Sue and Brian on the Coromandel
Meat pies and good pastries with Flat White in all the little Cafes located in all the odd corners
Venison sausage and lamb salami from farm store in Aithol, Highway 6
Genovese pesto and home made muesli at Ron and Lesley’s
Rabbit Island fruit stand– walnuts and apples near Nelson
Founder’s Beer in Nelson, Mike’s organic Imperial Stout in Motonui
Takaka fruit stands
Te Anu butchery and fish market and blue cod fish and chips
Raglan fish market. King Fish.
Crayfish and Abalone at beach stand in Kaikora.  Next trip I’m going to eat more of that.
Fleur’s Place in Moeraki
Omaru Farmer’s Markety.  Jersey Bennys.
Campground at Mt. Thomas, out of Christchurch, was full of ripe cherries
Campground and beaches at Cape Campbell are full of wild silverbeet.  Gary found a coconut on the beach. Fresh and delicious.  Where did that come from?
Smoked fish from many sources.  Fresh rig, elephant fish, blue cod, red snapper, king fish, scallops, hoki, and many I can’t remember
Blenheim Farmer’s Market
Manuka honey