Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Bird on the Grapevine

The bird, a yellow vented bulbul, just had a bath in the birdbath I erected in my little backyard and thereafter flew to the grapevine to dry himself. My son shot the photo of my cute feathered friend with the Sony cybershot digital camera he gave me. This little fella visits me daily, sometimes several times a day. I am glad I made the little birdbath for him to enjoy and also he feeds on the grapes from the vine. Yes there are grapes on the vine but they are actually quite tasteless but I am proud to have a grapevine in my little backyard where birds can come to enjoy.

Rising prices of Foodstuff

Shopping for groceries used to be simple and we really didn't have to worry too much about the price as we knew how much each item cost each time we bought it as prices remained quite the same each time. These days, we have to scrutinize prices for every item that we intend to buy to see if we can afford it as prices are skyrocketing so fast we can hardly keep up with the pace.

At the supermarket yesterday, I saw a sign that said that each customer was entitled to just a 5 kg bag of rice. So now we not only have to contend with rising costs but also shortages of certain essential commodities. What is going on? In a country like Malaysia where we have ample land, can't we make sure that we have enough land to plant padi just to feed our own people at least. Why are we building all kinds of monstrous structures on land meant for farms and agriculture.

In Ipoh, where we are famous for our juicy, succulent pomeloes, they have earmarked the orchard land for something else and relocating the orchards elsewhere. Don't the authorities realise that certain vegetation and fruit trees need certain soil type to produce quality fruits and vegetables. Instead of relocating the farms and orchards, why not think of some other land for development and not make it so difficult for the poor farmers.

There are so many things that we can do to try to bring food prices down. First we have to revert back to being more agricultural than industrial and start growing food and rearing livestock and to make sure that land is allocated for such industries instead of taking up these land for developing other industries.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Choosing Milk Powder

I was at the supermarket just this evening trying to get some milk powder so that I can make my own yoghurt but was frustrating shopping experience.

We used to be able to buy our milk powder in several forms...........the baby formulas, the children's milk and the adult milk powder which came in instant and full cream versions. Today I was going up and down two isles and couldn't differenciate the adult milk formulas from the children's ones because a single brand came in several different pakaging and some had family pictures, some had a picture of a jug of milk and some had mothers with a child and even after reading each packet I couldn't tell which was the "normal" ones for us adults.

It was real confusing as the same brand came in many different pakaging and had different additives with some unpronounceable names. Wonder if we really need these additives. Wonder how the cows will feel if they knew that we humans not only "stole" their milk and dehydrated them but thought their milk wasn't good enough after all, so they added vitamins and tons of other additives which I really wonder what the hell they are for.

No wonder we have hyperactive kids running all over the supermarkets, pulling down stuff and knocking us older folks down with their tiny trolleys. The overactive children must be the product of these point blaming the cows as during our days we weren't so hyperactive and we were on the same cow's milk or another theory could be they fed these unpronounceable additives to the cow and they started producing milk that make children so hyperactive these days.

Tell me how your shopping for milk went because for me it was a nightmare just shopping for simple milk powder.