Primary Industries

Green about the gills

New Zealand is beautiful. In parts.

But that’s all right. New Zealanders love it all, from the zesty first lamb of spring, to the last 126 Kakapos clinging to their perch.

Kiwis are in love, in love with the lush forests, and the glacial mountains. In love with dried possum skins as well as the average clod of dirt.

Nature: they can’t get enough of that shit.

But sometimes they go a little overboard in protecting their environment, fragile as it is.

Yeah, that’s a piece of bread. In the recycle bin.

I love the fact that New Zealand makes a concerted effort to make use of everything we’ve got. We recycle paper, aluminum, glass, most kinds of plastic. We use and re-use everything, from newspapers to automobiles to 11-month-old Anglophonic culture.

But has it become necessary for us to recycle bread now?

I had so many questions when I saw that bread. I wondered who put it there, and if they would be upset if I ate it out of the dumpster. Or would I have to wait. Did my bread need to go to the recycling facility for washing, sterilizing and reconstitution before I could eat it? Was there a symbol on some loaves at the supermarket, reading “100% recycled bread”?

As I performed several thought experiments weighing the feasibility of a recycled bread program, I noticed something odd. A few paces away from the recycle bin, a potential riddle: more bread, only this time on the ground and broken in pieces.

This bread seemed to have been toasted. The mystery deepened. Why would we be told to recycle regular bread, but when you toast it you can get it way with just tossing it anywhere you wanted? I wondered if my MP was aware of this ludicrous double-standard. And I don’t want to hear any of that horseshit about how the technology to recycle ‘isn’t there, just yet’. I call bullshit. If John Key wants my vote next time around, he has to pledge more resources for not only recycling toasted bread, but for developing new products and markets that recycled toasted bread is bound to open up, especially among the eco-conscious everywhere.

Among people that love nature as much as we do.

If it were up to me, I’d go one step further. I’d put the dairy industry together in a room with the recycled bread industry and make them stay there until they agree to co-produce a line of pre-toasted grilled cheese sandwiches, made from 100% New Zealand recycled bread, for the export market. (Recycled cheese optional).

Think about it. New Zealand is always talking about moving from commodity- to a value-add-led export. All around the globe in this modern circus freak show we call a world, people are far too busy with the important things than to waste time making their own grilled cheese sandwiches. New Zealand, the cheese griller of the world. And with our conscientious practices and ‘pasture-to-plate’ (so to speak) tracking, someone as far away from France will know whose recycle bin in Auckland their particular slice of 100% recycled bread came from.

This was one of those times I hoped to see my neighbors. The couple next door. They’re into fitness. At least, they wear sweat pants at night before they go to bed. Close enough. They’re in better shape than me. And they might be able to shed some light on this recycled bread phenomenon, I thought.

But when the couple came home, that was the moment Vince came out to sniff shit.

So of course it was all about Vince. Which really ticked me off.

Jacquie joined us and we all started talking. About that asshole Vince. The woman-neighbor was telling Jacquie about another cat from another flat, and asked how many months Vince was, and if he went outside much.

“And have you had him done, also,” the woman neighbor asked.

We weren’t sure what she meant, until she explained she was referring to Vince having his balls cut off.

“Oh, no, no, no,” Jacquie said. “Simon sprays all the time.”