GUEST BLOG: Susie Lees – Food really does matter



Food really does matter, especially when it comes to addressing the problems of an increasingly vulnerable global system. Trust in our food has plummeted. We are constantly being told to read labels – avoid certain foods, it feels like we need a university degree to understand what we are eating.

For the past 20 years corporate ownership of farming has  patented seeds developed from long years of traditional breeding and turned food high in nutrition into a chemical cocktail affecting our health.

Modern farming methods are causing health and environmental concerns. From excess run-off to the increase in unwanted organisms eg. cyanobacteria that takes advantage of conditions resulting from current farming practices. The health of our environment, depletion of biodiversity and general health of our communities are all at risk.

If you want to find out more come to our conference or one of our talks. See – or Facebook –
The Food Matters Aotearoa Conference, Te Papa, Wellington, 14-15 February welcomes national and international speakers from 5 continents, experts in the fields of agriculture, agroecology, food safety, policy development, ecosystem sustainability and seed biodiversity.
We invite you to hear speakers with different international and indigenous perspectives address globalisation, traditional and modern farming methods, the use of pesticides and genetically engineered (GE) crops and their impact on the nutritional value and safety of food.
The conference will bring together, international scientists, farmers, government delegates, food manufacturers and consumers for open discussion about food security and solutions that provide healthy food, equitable access and sustainability.

Register now on line to join the debate. Food Matters! Talks in Christchurch, Wellington , Hawkes Bay and Auckland.

International speakers :-

  • Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini is director of CRIIGEN Inst.  an international scientist renowned for his ground breaking research into the effects of GE corn and herbicides on rats.
  • Dr Vandana Shiva is an expert on agriculture and biotechnology, dedicated to the protection of biodiversity, the integrity of living resources and women’s issues.
  • Professor Don Huber is a microbiologist at Purdue University researching the effects of modern farming methods on food nutrition.
  • Professor Gu Xiulin is a lecturer at Yunnan University, China on agricultural economics and globalization.
  • Chef Jerome Douzelet is owner and head chef of Le Mas de Rivet hotel and restaurant cuisine features natural fresh organic produce.
  • Professor Jack Heinemann is a professor of genetics and molecular biology in the School of Biological Sciences and director of the Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

    Other speakers include:-
    Moana Jackson, Dr. Jessica Hutchings,  Dr. Meriel Watts, Bob Mackley, Simon Terry, Stephanie Howard, Mark Christensen, Phyllis Tichinin, Dr Anna Goodwin and Dr. Heli Matilainen.


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Susie Lees born in North London and brought up on a farm, has had a longstanding interest in organic food and growing. Previously a textile designer and tutor she emigrated to New Zealand 1997 and joined GE Free NZ to campaign for GE Free food and farms. Previously an organic grower and supplier at the Nelson market, she assisted with Localising Food Tour and is currently working with the Food Matters Aotearoa team.


  1. Fabulous ! Thank Christ for people like you .

    I made a comment under Rachel Goldsmiths Post titled ” Rural Kiwis deserve equal access to mental health care ”

    The Banks and their minions, who are our Politicians, have by their greed alone crippled our once thriving NZ artisan agrarian enteprise the envy of the world . We should be one of the wealthiest and healthiest countries on our planet . ( One thing in particular I find especially obscene is the use of herbicides to poison off grass prior to cultivation . I’ve seen sheep and cows grazing on dead , poisoned fields . )

    Don’t see too many farmers on the Heralds list below do you ? And here’s me thinking that Farming was our primary industry . Silly old me . Clearly Red Bull and hamburgers are the winner here . Winner , winner , winner ! Yay ! Go winners ! Be positive ! Look ahead ! Be a winner and Win ! ( Ok . Enough . Little bit of sick . )
    Seen a film called ‘ Syrup ‘ .
    Seen ‘ Idiocracy ‘ ?
    That’s what you’re up against .

    The reasons we are not requires dissection in front of a wider audiance .
    Perhaps these guys can help with that ? Lets ask them ?
    2014 NBR Rich List

    Graeme Hart $7b
    Richard Chandler $3.2b
    Todd family $3.1b
    Erceg family $1.6b
    5 =
    Christopher Chandler $1.2b
    Michael Friedlander $1.2b
    Goodman family $1.1b
    Stephen Jennings $950m
    Sir Douglas Myers $900m
    10 =
    Sir Michael Fay $830m
    David Richwhite $830m
    Josef Roberts $100m

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