Week 37

Some musings

Scam phone calls – Australians are continually getting phone calls from overseas companies claiming to be Telstra (the biggest phone service provider in Australia).  The caller (who is clearly in a busy call centre environment) tells you that your internet has been hacked, and after proving this by quoting you the service address they inform you about the problems with your internet and by the end of the call, they ask for your credit card details.  I’ve had many of these calls and I usually hang up immediately but the other night I didn’t. The caller seemed so genuine, that I felt that I needed to confront her.   I said “are you aware that this is a scam?” She said “What?”  I said “Are you aware that this is a scam and you are trying to steal money from me.  You are not from Telstra and this is a scam.”  She said “what?” again.  I said “I hope that you are being well paid because you must be very desperate for money.  I feel sorry for you. It’s a really bad thing that you’re doing.”  She hesitated and then said “goodbye” and hung up.  I suspect that she knew.  She must be in a difficult situation because anyone with any self-worth or sense of decency would hate that job.  Or maybe she has been fed a lot of lies by her employers.  She might have been told that all Australians are rich and that they don’t care about anyone in the rest of the world and that they deserve to be cheated out of a couple of bucks.  They don’t understand that a lot of people are feeling squeezed by the low wages and high cost of living over here.

It’s an unpleasant situation but it’s also farcical.  I mean their scam is to tell you that they are saving you from being scammed.

Simple changes everyone can make to help protect the planet

Don’t expect perfection when you’re purchasing fresh produce.

Variations in egg sizes at our place – both eggs came from hens that are a couple of years old.

One government tally in the United States estimated that 60 million tons of produce is wasted by retailers and consumers every year because it does not meet cosmetic standards that consumers place on their fruit and vegetables.  People like to blame the supermarkets for this situation because the supermarkets set limits on the fruit they will accept from farmers.  But I believe that consumers are also responsible.  Before I had my own fruit trees, I could be guilty of picking through the banana’s at the grocery store and choosing the best looking ones.  Now I look back and think ‘seriously, was I sooooo perfect that even my bananas had to look perfect for me to eat them.’  When consumers have this attitude, they choose the best fruit and the supermarket is left to bear the cost of all the fruit that people won’t buy.  I have heard people at the grocery store saying “those banana’s don’t look any good’ and then when they think about that store they remember the bananas, they think ‘I won’t buy my fruit from there again.’ So the store loses business.

When I look at our odd shaped carrots, I see delicious, nutritious, carrots.  In fact they are way more delicious than the carrots that look so perfect in the shops.  I’m not suggesting that you buy rotten fruit.  Obviously I would be upset it I bought a bag of apples at the supermarket and they were rotten inside.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about expecting fruit and vegetables to be uniform, all the carrots straight, without any deformity.

We can prevent a lot of wastage by simply changing our attitude toward the unrealistic cosmetic standards that we currently apply to fresh produce.  Woolworths have jumped on board and they are starting to sell odd shaped produce.  That is an important move towards preventing waste and should be supported.



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