Sunday, May 20, 2018

A lovely Saturday

Yesterday was a fun day :-)

Martin and I had our first go at bottling mussels.

2kg mussels ready to go

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Buying fish for human rights: salmon

Last year I blogged about how Martin and I try to shop in ways that support human rights.  We do that by:
  1. Preferentially buying things produced by poor people;
  2. Buying things produced under the best labour conditions available;
  3. Trying not to buy things produced by child or forced labour.
The reasons behind these principles are explained in more detail here.

At the time that was written I was uncertain which (if any!) fish or seafood we could buy that would accord with those principles.  We had become aware that slavery was rife in the fishing industry.  People were being forced to work without pay both on the boats and in processing factories, child labour was being used, and there were plenty of disturbing stories of rape and murder, too.  It was all pretty sobering.

A year later, I have good news!  There are companies taking this stuff seriously, and there are brands you can buy in confidence :-).  I have been in discussions with a number of companies over recent months and am keen to share what I've found with you.  I'm hoping this will be first of a series of blog posts covering different sectors of the fish and seafood industry, but I'm starting with one of my favourite things: salmon.

In summary, here's what I've found:
  1. To buy salmon that provides employment to poor people, you should (surprisingly) buy salmon farmed in New Zealand where possible (the salmon feed tends to include fish meal produced by poor people);
  2. To buy such salmon produced under the best labour conditions available, you  should choose products from New Zealand King Salmon (which produces the brands Regal, Southern Ocean and Ora King) as they only buy feed from suppliers that are certified child and slave labour free;
  3. To avoid supporting child or slave labour, you should restrict your purchases to the following brands:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1W8IgSrmLUK2VhoE11aWMMP6_7A3SzY3G
Click to download as a pdf to take with you as you shop :-)

Read-on to learn why I came to these conclusions.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

20kg of CO2e

I've been playing with some numbers and have come up with a list of things that all give about the same amount of carbon emissions (approximately 20kg CO2e):
  • 5 days of average Kiwi household power use (100kWh) - if hydropower
  • taking the bus from Auckland to Palmerston North (500km)
  • driving from Auckland to Huntly (100km)
  • 10kg of dry fertiliser (20% nitrogen fertiliser)
  • 80 standard loo rolls
  • a 3L steel saucepan (1kg of saucepan)
  • a pair of cotton undies
  • 3 square metres of wool carpet
  • 2 square metres of vinyl flooring
  • 1.5 square metre of window glass (single glazing)
  • 1/2 a square metre of driveway concrete (10cm deep)
  • a square foot of house (just the shell, typical Kiwi construction)
  • a square foot of solar panel (monocrystalline)
  • 44kg fruit or vegetables grown organically or in New Zealand
  • 33kg conventionally grown imported fruit or vegetables
  • 20L milk
  • 13kg lentils
  • 5kg chicken
  • 2kg cheese
  • 1kg of beef
Certainly brings out how different things have different impacts - and not always in the ways you'd think!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Art from light and shadow

Yesterday I came across an amazing artwork made from building blocks (thanks Thalia!):

Building Blocks by Kumi Yamashita

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Jesus is already ruling the world

I have been pondering a lot recently on how I think the world works.  I think I have overly bought in to the idea that how things look is how they are: that the people who govern bits of the world are the people truly in charge, that things will only change if people change them etc.  These things have a truth, but they miss the fact that God is on the throne!

The sermon below has been particularly influential in this.  It's part of a series on the Book of Revelation from First Baptist Church in Vancouver, entitled Things are not (only) as they seem.  The preacher is Darrell Johnson, who was lecturing at Regent College in the time Martin studied there.  I discovered him a couple of years back whilst working my way through all the plenary sessions of IFES World Assembly at Mexico, and have listened to one of his sermons most Sundays over the last year or two (his YouTube channel is here).



In it he makes the point that Christ is already on the throne and we are already reigning with him (in particular, via. our prayers).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wahine Disaster 50th anniversary

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of New Zealand's worst shipping disaster: the sinking of the TEV Wahine.   This is a significant event in my family as my dad, Norman Wansbrough, was one of the members of the public who rescued survivors washed up on the Eastbourne coast.

For the 40th anniversary he wrote down some of his recollections of the day.  I have republished those below.  Underneath that are links to Radio New Zealand's coverage of the 50th anniversary (including various people's recollections of the day and historic audio and video), as well as photos taken by my parents at previous commemorations.

If you're not familiar with the story of the sinking of the Wahine you can read about what happened here and here.

My dad at the right, in Wahine Park in Mirimar a the 2013 commemoration

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

One month trial of high protein, low carbohydrate diet for CFS

In recent years there has been some research* indicating that the cells of people with CFS may not get energy from glucose as well as regular people do, but may still be able to derive energy normally from protein.  They didn't look at processing of fat (the other main thing we get energy from), although at least one other study indicates there may be issues there, too.

* this research is explained in more lay terms here and here.

With this in mind, I decided to do a six-week trial of a very high protein, very low carbohydrate diet.  If my body was functioning like the cells in the trial, this should give me more access to energy at a cellular level, which ought to translate to more perceived energy :-)  The idea was to be as strict as I could manage with this diet then, if it proved helpful, to gradually figure out how strict was necessary.