Local Food Love
Local Food Love
We are incredibly lucky to live in a corner of the world where we are able to grow an incredible diversity of fresh produce. There is really no excuse not to do our bit for the environment and eat local and seasonal food as much as possible.
Yes, you can do without fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter!
The total estimated distance travelled by 29 common
foodstuffs in a typical weekly shopping basket in Australia is
over 70,000 km – twice the distance around the globe.
Report by CERES
(Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies), 2007
Nutritious food is a fundamental human need.
Agricultural production could be considered our most important industry sector. And with the global population predicted to increase to 9 billion by 2050, experts indicate that food production will need to double in this time…
Food Security in Australia
There are a number of factors that raise serious concerns about ‘food security’ into the future:
- Our farmers are getting older, with the median age of farmers in Australia is 53, compared to 39 for all employed persons – (Australian Bureau of Statistics,2011)… AND there are fewer of them
- with employment in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing in Australia fell by 19.1 per cent over the past decade, the largest decline in any industry – (Department of Education, Employment of Workplace Relations, 2010)
- ? Climate change is impacting our food supply with current best scientific estimates indicate that for every degree of global warming, we potentially stand to lose about 10% of world food output – (Julian Cribb, The Coming Famine, 2010)
- ?The costs of fuel, energy and fertilizer are rising steadily as our global reserves of fossil fuels decline.
- ? Our farms are disappearing. In our region, like many others, farms are being subdivided and sold – we are losing our valuable farmland
So what can we do that will make a difference?
It is clear that increased investment in agricultural science, as well as changes in the way we all feed ourselves, will be needed to deal with the production and consumption of food in a changing world.
As consumers, we can make a real difference by choosing foods that are local, seasonal and unpackaged.
These simple buying decisions will help support our farmers and reduce our carbon emissions. Plus you’ll benefit from eating fresh, nutrient rich food and have the enjoyment of connecting with those that grow your food!
Where to find fresh, local produce around Stanley:
–? Goldfields Greengrocer (full of local fruit & veg at this time of year) and Beechworth Butchery (they also have local eggs and honey)
–? Beechworth Farmers Market – first Saturday of each month
–? Myrtleford Produce Market – every Saturday morning from Dec-May
–? Roadside stalls and farm gate sales
–? Grow your some of your own and swap with your neighbours!
IN THE VEG PATCH
Time to plant your brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, kale & brussel sprouts) as soon as possible if you haven’t already got them in! Best to give them a couple of months to grow while the weather is still warm, as growth will slow right down once winter arrives.
Early autumn is also a good time to sow or plant coriander, asian greens, spinach, silverbeet, radishes, leeks and spring onions.
The 100-mile diet – A year of local eating, Alisa Smith & J.B. MacKinnon (2008)
(Available from the Wangaratta library)