The Cranky Lizard – January 2018.

Large, soft nectarines, exploding with flavour when bitten…juice running down your chin !
Apricots, brilliantly coloured ; soft, luscious, texture with flavours rushing back from childhood days !
Tomatoes to die for…apple cucumbers big enough to grab your mind and solid, chunky sweet corn you can eat from the stalk !!
Butcher shops decorated with fresh, fat sausages hanging over trays of enticing, red, local beef enclosed in soft, white coats of animal fat produced in local and regional paddocks – displayed with skill and care.
An abundance of wonderfully, healthy, local vegetables and produce crying out for consumption, displayed on tables alongside jars of home- made sauces and jams ; almost cascading off the groaning tables which barely contain them all.
Where is this, you say ??
Throughout the regional areas of New South Wales and Queensland, this magnificent food is found daily, in local farmer’s markets, butcher shops and small produce outlets across those regions.
Australian food. Grown with skill and care by Australians.
Not all of it is symmetrical in shape. Not all of it is scrubbed clean and presented like white billiard balls in air conditioned malls…it is food, real food and it is Australian food.
And you can buy it, if you make the effort to find it, in fact, demand it !!
Within the circulation boundaries of this newspaper, butcher shops such as the ones mentioned above exist and much of the vegetable and fruit produce is available at local markets and local stores.
Cranky Lizard is not writing an advertisement for local butchers and fruit growers, Oh No ! Cranky Lizard is saying that buying goods and services made and produced in Australia is un-ashamedly good for us, good for the local region and, ultimately, good for Australia.
It is as simple as that.
These are days when our nation is struggling with its political system…abuse of the preferential system ensures the ‘ one vote one person ‘ principle becomes farcical and it is easy to drift sideways towards being dis-illusioned with the whole thing : and it seems easy to assume there is nothing one person can do to affect any positive outcome.
But there is !!
Making a determined effort to purchase goods, food and services that are Australian will have an immediate effect upon local economies specifically, regional economies generally and national economies eventually. Tax bases are increased, employment is increased, and general community activity is increased but, Oh how tricky it can be ??
Cranky Lizard spent some time in a local national brand supermarket, trying to take my own advice. The nectarines were like cricket balls, the plums were black billiard balls…you know the story, you have been there your self ! Cranky Lizard asked the rhetorical question, ‘ where is all the fresh, ripe fruit that is described in the opening paragraphs of this article ??
Well, not in ,local supermarkets – but it is available in farmer’s markets and, in a growing number of local fruit and vegetable barns.
Cranky Lizard then spent some time in the can food area, looking for, of all things, peanut paste of the crunchy kind. Plenty of choices and plenty of claims of ‘ Made in Australia ‘ in big letters, but have a closer look and you will read, ‘ Made in Australia, from local and imported ingredients ‘ Now, I ask you, what do we need to import to make peanut paste ?
We grow peanuts in Queensland, we have plenty of vegetable oil and all the rest of the stuff shoved in it to make it last, so what do we need to import ?? I could not find out so I did not buy that stuff.
Eventually I found some peanut butter from Dick………..bought that !!
And so it went on…a long, frustrating search for food actually grown in Australia and processed into edible food matter, without the added ‘ imported ingredients ‘
Well, what are these ‘ imported ingredients ‘ ?
Without displaying all the boring details, Cranky Lizard can say that we are talking ‘ non-priority ‘ foods, such as seasonings, bulk paste [ what-ever that is ? ] and a number of other food items, one fact crawls out from under this avalanche of bureaucratic babble ; imported ingredients are cheap, not to say they are bad, just cheap.
There is, in fact, a recently developed Commonwealth Government food labelling initiative which is not bad, it displays contents in percentage on each item. You can see for yourself which food is Australian grown and made and which food contains percentages of imported stuff.
Cranky Lizard is a country boy, very familiar with the meat industry, beef, pork and sheep meats, and knows that all fresh pork sold in Australia is Australian pork, but, 70% of processed meat in small goods made in Australia is imported – why ?
Putting it simply- economics. I am sure you can figure that out.
Cranky Lizard also notes that discussions are continuing about the importation of beef into Australia! For Heaven’s Sake, why ? We can grow enough beef to feed ourselves and we are a major beef exporter, this trade is one of our major economic pillars and, at first glance importing beef seems nonsense. Cranky Lizard intends to get an answer for this from the Commonwealth Government, so you can watch this space !!
In a recent journey out into Western Queensland, which Cranky Lizard does quite often, Clothing made by Goondiwindi Cotton was discovered ; a rare gem crouching in the town of its name and the quality of the cotton shirts, T-Shirts and polo shirts was superb as were the other items of clothing available. This is an example of what is being made here in Queensland and is available if you seek it out. You can check out the website at Goondiwindi Cotton.
Cranky Lizard accepts that budgets direct many people’s lives, but you will make many trips to local bulk clothing stores purchasing new cheap stuff before you will wear out one good quality cotton garment. Think about that, please.
The power of market demand is awesome, bloody awesome, and if every person who reads this wonderful newspaper, the nineteen thousand plus of you, if each one of you made a point of demanding Australian made, grown and processed products, even just one or two each week, the effect upon local producers and manufacturers is immediate and positive.
Cranky Lizard does not believe in fairy tales but Cranky Lizard believes in the power of local demand, watched it happen in other places in this wonderful country and knows it works.
Welcome to the Year of the Dog, in the Chinese Zodiac, good fortune awaits and Cranky Lizard wishes you all a very happy Australia Day on 26 January, 2018.
Please buy Australian products…you are putting your money into your own pocket.