Oh dear, people are calling for us to put selling on the domestic market before exporting:
Auckland University of Technology Emeritus Professor of Nutrition Elaine Rush . . has matched data on food and beverage exports and imports to nutritional needs and said what she found was eye-opening.
She said we are exporting high nutrient proteins and fat, and importing foods and these aren’t great from a nutrition stand-point, like carbohydrates and sugars.
That’s because we are uniquely placed to farm grazing animals that produce meat and dairy products and our climate, topography and soils aren’t suited nearly was well to growing sugar cane, grains and cereals.
As a result, we’re fat, famished or starved in a land of plenty, she said.
We’re not fat, famished or starved because we export so much. The problem is poverty and the complex factors that cause that.
In a paper on the topic she suggests: “A country that can produce more than enough high-quality food should feed its own ﬁrst.”
After New Zealanders had enough good quality food, “then we can actually start thinking about looking after the rest of the world as well, because the trickle down effect hasn’t been working has it?”
“All this money we get from these exports doesn’t seem to be making it easier for those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder,” she said.
The people at the bottom of the ladder would be even worse off if we didn’t export all we do that enables us to import all we need to be a first world country.
Argentina has tried banning exports of beef several times. It doesn’t end well. Farmers change from raising cattle to growing soya or other crops.
We don’t have that option here but forcing farmers to supply the domestic market would be an act of economic sabotage.
That the poor can’t afford to buy the high nutrient foods we produce, isn’t because we export them, it’s because they’re poor.
Handicapping exports would not solve that and would make the whole country poorer in the process.