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Across the course of life, malnutrition, which includes overweight, underweight, obese or experiencing hidden hunger is associated with non-communicable diseases, impaired immunity and food insecurity. Agriculture is the main driver of food and nutrition security, yet few governments and trade agreements have cohesive policies that link national food guidelines based on evidence for prevention of disease and promotion of health and immunity to agricultural and economic policies.[[1]] The global impacts of climate change, COVID-19 and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine on global food security and supply, and subsequently the cost-of-living, are reverberating around the world. The trade of wheat—the main ingredient of the food-energy staple bread—is one indicator of food security. For example, in 2020 the Russian Federation, United States, Canada, France, the Ukraine and Australia together exported by weight 70% of the world’s total export wheat.[[2]] Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, China and Italy imported 25% of the total wheat exported. Clearly, wheat self-sufficiency is not possible in every country; the minimisation of post-harvest losses and costs of transport must be considered.

Previously we have argued that geographically-isolated Aotearoa, a net food exporting country, should be self-sufficient in food staples and feed local people first and well.[[3,4]] Most (95%) citizens consume bread products daily,[[5]] and the main ingredient of this bread is wheat imported from Australia.[[4]]

Food guidelines, including the New Zealand Eating and Activity guidelines,[[6]] recommend people eat a variety of nutritious foods every day, including grain foods: mostly wholegrain and those high in fibre. Wholegrain bread is recommended.[[6]] There are, however, no health-related agricultural or economic policies in place to support the local production and availability of bread and other diverse wholesome foods so that all New Zealand people can meet their dietary guidelines sustainably.

According to the last national adult nutrition survey,[[5]] undertaken in 2008, bread contributed 11% of the energy, 11% of the protein, 17% of the carbohydrates and 17% of the fibre to the average New Zealander’s dietary intake. Wholegrain bread (heavy and light) was reported as eaten by slightly more than 60% of the population. In addition, Māori and Pacific ethnic groups, males, younger people and those living in socio-economically deprived areas were more likely to report consuming a greater quantity of lower quality bread than European and other, older people and the less deprived. It is forecast that bread consumption will continue to increase in Aotearoa[[7]] and globally[[8]] over the next five years.

The latest household food price index survey by Statistics NZ has shown that the cost of food items in a representative food basket in New Zealand is increasing; from July 2021 to April 2022 by 6%.[[9]] One of the key items of the basket examined is bread. The cost of white bread has increased between December 2019, pre-COVID, and January 2022 by 18%, from $1.30 to $1.52 per 600g loaf. Wholegrain ($3.60 per 700g) and wheatmeal bread ($2.94 per 700g), both forms of wholegrain bread and nutritionally superior, did not change in price.

In 2018, we imported 410,000 tonnes of wheat grain and flour.[[4]] The value of the imported wheat was 146 million NZ dollars. Each year we produce only 0.1 million tonnes of milling wheat (for human consumption) and 0.3 million tonnes of feed wheat (for animal consumption).[[10]] Wheat grown in Aotearoa is often prioritised to feed animals in the dairy, poultry and livestock industries. This low ratio of milling to feed wheat is because growers are paid more for growing feed wheat and corn than milling wheat. 30% of the arable land in Aotearoa is used to grow cereals and 9% of that 30% is used to grow wheat (8%) and oats (1%). The rest of the arable land (91%) used for cereals is farmed for animal feed and silage (mainly corn) and a small amount for malting (barley for spirits).[[10]]

The quantity of bread and refined flour imported and consumed is one marker of the current burden of food insecurity, malnutrition and the cost-of-living in New Zealand. At the same time, the nutritional quality of the diet of New Zealanders continues to decline as shown by a continual fall in vegetable and fruit intake.[[11]] Now is the time to reorientate the food system of New Zealand and sustainably produce the diverse range of vegetables, fruits, pulses, wholegrains and animal products required for health of the planet and the people of Aotearoa. It is time to prioritise feeding all our people over animals and generating export dollars, and spending money on imported food energy. We urgently need healthy public policy in the food production area to address the wicked problem of food security[[12]] and the associated costs to the health system.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Elaine Rush: School of Sport and Recreation, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand; Riddet Institute, Centre of Research Excellence in Food Science, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Heather Came: Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand. Gayle Souter-Brown: Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand. Geoff Kira: School of Health Science, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. corresponding author

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Elaine Rush: School of Sport and Recreation, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand; Riddet Institute, Centre of Research Excellence in Food Science, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Correspondence Email

elaine.rush@aut.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

1) Poole N, Donovan J, Erenstein O. Agri-nutrition research:Revisiting the contribution of maize and wheat to human nutrition and health. FoodPolicy. 2020:101976.

2) Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UnitedNations. FAOSTAT: Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations; 2019.Available from: https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/ - data.

3) Curran-Cournane F, Rush E. Feeding the New ZealandFamily of Five Million, 5+ a Day of Vegetables? Earth. 2021;2(4):797-808.

4) Rush E, Obolonkin V. Food exports and imports ofNew Zealand in relation to the food-based dietary guidelines. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2020;74(2):307-13.

5) University of Otago, Ministry of Health. A Focuson Nutrition Key Findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington:Ministry of Health; 2011.

6) Ministry of Health. Eating and Activity Guidelinesfor New Zealand Adults. Wellington2020. Available from: https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/eating-and-activity-guidelines-new-zealand-adults.

7) Ibis World. Bread Production in New Zealand - MarketResearch Report 2021. Available from: https://www.ibisworld.com/nz/industry/bread-production/105/.

8) Mordor Intelligence. Bread market - growth, trends,covid-19 impact, and forecasts (2022 - 2027) 2022. Available from: https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/bread-market.

9) Stats NZ. Food price index: Stats NZ; 2022. Availablefrom: https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/food-price-index.

10) Arable industry marketing initiative. New Zealandsurvey of cereal areas and Volumes: July 1, 2021, Christchurch: Foundation for arableresearch; 2021. Available from: https://www.far.org.nz/assets/files/blog/files//f044653a-1ad1-569b-9996-27b235bcc4bd.pdf.

11) Ministry of Health. New Zealand Health Survey 2020/21,2022. Available from: https://minhealthnz.shinyapps.io/nz-health-survey-2020-21-annual-data-explorer.

12) Rush E. Wicked problems: the challenge of food safetyversus food security-working towards the SDG goals? Eur J Clin Nutr. 2019;73(8):1091-4.

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

Across the course of life, malnutrition, which includes overweight, underweight, obese or experiencing hidden hunger is associated with non-communicable diseases, impaired immunity and food insecurity. Agriculture is the main driver of food and nutrition security, yet few governments and trade agreements have cohesive policies that link national food guidelines based on evidence for prevention of disease and promotion of health and immunity to agricultural and economic policies.[[1]] The global impacts of climate change, COVID-19 and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine on global food security and supply, and subsequently the cost-of-living, are reverberating around the world. The trade of wheat—the main ingredient of the food-energy staple bread—is one indicator of food security. For example, in 2020 the Russian Federation, United States, Canada, France, the Ukraine and Australia together exported by weight 70% of the world’s total export wheat.[[2]] Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, China and Italy imported 25% of the total wheat exported. Clearly, wheat self-sufficiency is not possible in every country; the minimisation of post-harvest losses and costs of transport must be considered.

Previously we have argued that geographically-isolated Aotearoa, a net food exporting country, should be self-sufficient in food staples and feed local people first and well.[[3,4]] Most (95%) citizens consume bread products daily,[[5]] and the main ingredient of this bread is wheat imported from Australia.[[4]]

Food guidelines, including the New Zealand Eating and Activity guidelines,[[6]] recommend people eat a variety of nutritious foods every day, including grain foods: mostly wholegrain and those high in fibre. Wholegrain bread is recommended.[[6]] There are, however, no health-related agricultural or economic policies in place to support the local production and availability of bread and other diverse wholesome foods so that all New Zealand people can meet their dietary guidelines sustainably.

According to the last national adult nutrition survey,[[5]] undertaken in 2008, bread contributed 11% of the energy, 11% of the protein, 17% of the carbohydrates and 17% of the fibre to the average New Zealander’s dietary intake. Wholegrain bread (heavy and light) was reported as eaten by slightly more than 60% of the population. In addition, Māori and Pacific ethnic groups, males, younger people and those living in socio-economically deprived areas were more likely to report consuming a greater quantity of lower quality bread than European and other, older people and the less deprived. It is forecast that bread consumption will continue to increase in Aotearoa[[7]] and globally[[8]] over the next five years.

The latest household food price index survey by Statistics NZ has shown that the cost of food items in a representative food basket in New Zealand is increasing; from July 2021 to April 2022 by 6%.[[9]] One of the key items of the basket examined is bread. The cost of white bread has increased between December 2019, pre-COVID, and January 2022 by 18%, from $1.30 to $1.52 per 600g loaf. Wholegrain ($3.60 per 700g) and wheatmeal bread ($2.94 per 700g), both forms of wholegrain bread and nutritionally superior, did not change in price.

In 2018, we imported 410,000 tonnes of wheat grain and flour.[[4]] The value of the imported wheat was 146 million NZ dollars. Each year we produce only 0.1 million tonnes of milling wheat (for human consumption) and 0.3 million tonnes of feed wheat (for animal consumption).[[10]] Wheat grown in Aotearoa is often prioritised to feed animals in the dairy, poultry and livestock industries. This low ratio of milling to feed wheat is because growers are paid more for growing feed wheat and corn than milling wheat. 30% of the arable land in Aotearoa is used to grow cereals and 9% of that 30% is used to grow wheat (8%) and oats (1%). The rest of the arable land (91%) used for cereals is farmed for animal feed and silage (mainly corn) and a small amount for malting (barley for spirits).[[10]]

The quantity of bread and refined flour imported and consumed is one marker of the current burden of food insecurity, malnutrition and the cost-of-living in New Zealand. At the same time, the nutritional quality of the diet of New Zealanders continues to decline as shown by a continual fall in vegetable and fruit intake.[[11]] Now is the time to reorientate the food system of New Zealand and sustainably produce the diverse range of vegetables, fruits, pulses, wholegrains and animal products required for health of the planet and the people of Aotearoa. It is time to prioritise feeding all our people over animals and generating export dollars, and spending money on imported food energy. We urgently need healthy public policy in the food production area to address the wicked problem of food security[[12]] and the associated costs to the health system.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Elaine Rush: School of Sport and Recreation, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand; Riddet Institute, Centre of Research Excellence in Food Science, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Heather Came: Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand. Gayle Souter-Brown: Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand. Geoff Kira: School of Health Science, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. corresponding author

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Elaine Rush: School of Sport and Recreation, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand; Riddet Institute, Centre of Research Excellence in Food Science, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Correspondence Email

elaine.rush@aut.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

1) Poole N, Donovan J, Erenstein O. Agri-nutrition research:Revisiting the contribution of maize and wheat to human nutrition and health. FoodPolicy. 2020:101976.

2) Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UnitedNations. FAOSTAT: Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations; 2019.Available from: https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/ - data.

3) Curran-Cournane F, Rush E. Feeding the New ZealandFamily of Five Million, 5+ a Day of Vegetables? Earth. 2021;2(4):797-808.

4) Rush E, Obolonkin V. Food exports and imports ofNew Zealand in relation to the food-based dietary guidelines. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2020;74(2):307-13.

5) University of Otago, Ministry of Health. A Focuson Nutrition Key Findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington:Ministry of Health; 2011.

6) Ministry of Health. Eating and Activity Guidelinesfor New Zealand Adults. Wellington2020. Available from: https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/eating-and-activity-guidelines-new-zealand-adults.

7) Ibis World. Bread Production in New Zealand - MarketResearch Report 2021. Available from: https://www.ibisworld.com/nz/industry/bread-production/105/.

8) Mordor Intelligence. Bread market - growth, trends,covid-19 impact, and forecasts (2022 - 2027) 2022. Available from: https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/bread-market.

9) Stats NZ. Food price index: Stats NZ; 2022. Availablefrom: https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/food-price-index.

10) Arable industry marketing initiative. New Zealandsurvey of cereal areas and Volumes: July 1, 2021, Christchurch: Foundation for arableresearch; 2021. Available from: https://www.far.org.nz/assets/files/blog/files//f044653a-1ad1-569b-9996-27b235bcc4bd.pdf.

11) Ministry of Health. New Zealand Health Survey 2020/21,2022. Available from: https://minhealthnz.shinyapps.io/nz-health-survey-2020-21-annual-data-explorer.

12) Rush E. Wicked problems: the challenge of food safetyversus food security-working towards the SDG goals? Eur J Clin Nutr. 2019;73(8):1091-4.

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

Across the course of life, malnutrition, which includes overweight, underweight, obese or experiencing hidden hunger is associated with non-communicable diseases, impaired immunity and food insecurity. Agriculture is the main driver of food and nutrition security, yet few governments and trade agreements have cohesive policies that link national food guidelines based on evidence for prevention of disease and promotion of health and immunity to agricultural and economic policies.[[1]] The global impacts of climate change, COVID-19 and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine on global food security and supply, and subsequently the cost-of-living, are reverberating around the world. The trade of wheat—the main ingredient of the food-energy staple bread—is one indicator of food security. For example, in 2020 the Russian Federation, United States, Canada, France, the Ukraine and Australia together exported by weight 70% of the world’s total export wheat.[[2]] Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, China and Italy imported 25% of the total wheat exported. Clearly, wheat self-sufficiency is not possible in every country; the minimisation of post-harvest losses and costs of transport must be considered.

Previously we have argued that geographically-isolated Aotearoa, a net food exporting country, should be self-sufficient in food staples and feed local people first and well.[[3,4]] Most (95%) citizens consume bread products daily,[[5]] and the main ingredient of this bread is wheat imported from Australia.[[4]]

Food guidelines, including the New Zealand Eating and Activity guidelines,[[6]] recommend people eat a variety of nutritious foods every day, including grain foods: mostly wholegrain and those high in fibre. Wholegrain bread is recommended.[[6]] There are, however, no health-related agricultural or economic policies in place to support the local production and availability of bread and other diverse wholesome foods so that all New Zealand people can meet their dietary guidelines sustainably.

According to the last national adult nutrition survey,[[5]] undertaken in 2008, bread contributed 11% of the energy, 11% of the protein, 17% of the carbohydrates and 17% of the fibre to the average New Zealander’s dietary intake. Wholegrain bread (heavy and light) was reported as eaten by slightly more than 60% of the population. In addition, Māori and Pacific ethnic groups, males, younger people and those living in socio-economically deprived areas were more likely to report consuming a greater quantity of lower quality bread than European and other, older people and the less deprived. It is forecast that bread consumption will continue to increase in Aotearoa[[7]] and globally[[8]] over the next five years.

The latest household food price index survey by Statistics NZ has shown that the cost of food items in a representative food basket in New Zealand is increasing; from July 2021 to April 2022 by 6%.[[9]] One of the key items of the basket examined is bread. The cost of white bread has increased between December 2019, pre-COVID, and January 2022 by 18%, from $1.30 to $1.52 per 600g loaf. Wholegrain ($3.60 per 700g) and wheatmeal bread ($2.94 per 700g), both forms of wholegrain bread and nutritionally superior, did not change in price.

In 2018, we imported 410,000 tonnes of wheat grain and flour.[[4]] The value of the imported wheat was 146 million NZ dollars. Each year we produce only 0.1 million tonnes of milling wheat (for human consumption) and 0.3 million tonnes of feed wheat (for animal consumption).[[10]] Wheat grown in Aotearoa is often prioritised to feed animals in the dairy, poultry and livestock industries. This low ratio of milling to feed wheat is because growers are paid more for growing feed wheat and corn than milling wheat. 30% of the arable land in Aotearoa is used to grow cereals and 9% of that 30% is used to grow wheat (8%) and oats (1%). The rest of the arable land (91%) used for cereals is farmed for animal feed and silage (mainly corn) and a small amount for malting (barley for spirits).[[10]]

The quantity of bread and refined flour imported and consumed is one marker of the current burden of food insecurity, malnutrition and the cost-of-living in New Zealand. At the same time, the nutritional quality of the diet of New Zealanders continues to decline as shown by a continual fall in vegetable and fruit intake.[[11]] Now is the time to reorientate the food system of New Zealand and sustainably produce the diverse range of vegetables, fruits, pulses, wholegrains and animal products required for health of the planet and the people of Aotearoa. It is time to prioritise feeding all our people over animals and generating export dollars, and spending money on imported food energy. We urgently need healthy public policy in the food production area to address the wicked problem of food security[[12]] and the associated costs to the health system.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Elaine Rush: School of Sport and Recreation, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand; Riddet Institute, Centre of Research Excellence in Food Science, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Heather Came: Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand. Gayle Souter-Brown: Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand. Geoff Kira: School of Health Science, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. corresponding author

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Elaine Rush: School of Sport and Recreation, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland New Zealand; Riddet Institute, Centre of Research Excellence in Food Science, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Correspondence Email

elaine.rush@aut.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

1) Poole N, Donovan J, Erenstein O. Agri-nutrition research:Revisiting the contribution of maize and wheat to human nutrition and health. FoodPolicy. 2020:101976.

2) Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UnitedNations. FAOSTAT: Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations; 2019.Available from: https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/ - data.

3) Curran-Cournane F, Rush E. Feeding the New ZealandFamily of Five Million, 5+ a Day of Vegetables? Earth. 2021;2(4):797-808.

4) Rush E, Obolonkin V. Food exports and imports ofNew Zealand in relation to the food-based dietary guidelines. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2020;74(2):307-13.

5) University of Otago, Ministry of Health. A Focuson Nutrition Key Findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington:Ministry of Health; 2011.

6) Ministry of Health. Eating and Activity Guidelinesfor New Zealand Adults. Wellington2020. Available from: https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/eating-and-activity-guidelines-new-zealand-adults.

7) Ibis World. Bread Production in New Zealand - MarketResearch Report 2021. Available from: https://www.ibisworld.com/nz/industry/bread-production/105/.

8) Mordor Intelligence. Bread market - growth, trends,covid-19 impact, and forecasts (2022 - 2027) 2022. Available from: https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/bread-market.

9) Stats NZ. Food price index: Stats NZ; 2022. Availablefrom: https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/food-price-index.

10) Arable industry marketing initiative. New Zealandsurvey of cereal areas and Volumes: July 1, 2021, Christchurch: Foundation for arableresearch; 2021. Available from: https://www.far.org.nz/assets/files/blog/files//f044653a-1ad1-569b-9996-27b235bcc4bd.pdf.

11) Ministry of Health. New Zealand Health Survey 2020/21,2022. Available from: https://minhealthnz.shinyapps.io/nz-health-survey-2020-21-annual-data-explorer.

12) Rush E. Wicked problems: the challenge of food safetyversus food security-working towards the SDG goals? Eur J Clin Nutr. 2019;73(8):1091-4.

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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