A Great Australia-specific video on the economic importance of supporting local farming and farmers’ markets.
As mentioned in the video, over the last 2 decades the number of small farms in Australia has reduced by 25%, which is alarming as we rely more and more on imported goods.
Would you prefer cheaper produce or local produce?
October 27, 2013
Tagged Australia, australian economy, clean eating, farmers, farmers markets, food, local eating, local food, local produce, produce
When it comes to finding where to buy good local produce it is really quite simple… farmers’ markets! Yes, large and small supermarkets have plenty of locally grown and made items available if you know how to look properly, but you can pretty much be guaranteed that if you shop at markets, a large percentage of the produce will be of high local quality.
Take the Marrickville area in Sydney NSW for example. Here you can find an abundance of organic, locally grown produce from veggies and fruits to home-made chai late tea! Everyone is super friendly and knowledgeable about what they are selling, which you wouldn’t necessarily get from a salesperson at Coles or Woolworths.
In Australia, it is quite easy to find a farmers market close to you. The Australian Farmers’ Market Association is a great website for finding your nearest place to go on a local food hunt, with news about new markets together with what produce is currently in season. Check out the site at http://www.farmersmarkets.org.au/.
Another great tip to finding the best farmers’ market is to ask friends and family members about their experiences. Since shopping at markets often leads to a more personal experience between you and the seller, you’re social connections and their experiences will often give you a good idea about the quality of produce and service available. If someone has tried an amazing freshly made danish recently at their local market, chances are they’ll remember it, and hopefully share their knowledge and recommendations with you!
Do you have any recommendations? Feel free to comment and share so all of us can benefit from quality local eating! 🙂
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged clean eating, farmers markets, food, fresh, fresh food, local, local eating, markets, marrickville, produce, Sydney
With a high percentage of the Australian population living in urban areas, the idea of growing your own veges at home has always seemed to far fetched right?
Meet Cathy and Warren Scott. The Melbourne couple ripped up there dying lawn through a period of drought and turned it into a have for growing their own organic and super-local food at home.
“In the past I had found vegetable gardens messy, but I’ve tried to ensure there is a formality and symmetry here that’s pleasing to the eye”, Cathy says, when explaining how it is possible to grown your own food in city areas (information sourced from http://www.homelife.com.au/gardening/features/inner+city+vegie+garden,15345).
The couple now reap the benefits of their decision, saving money while eating fresh vegetables all-year-round. While constantly learning of news ways to maximize their vege patch, Cathy and Warren could not be more happy with their decision.
“We have learnt to stagger the planting times and plant a week apart so that the harvest covers a longer period. We’re really just experimenting with what works for us” Cathy says.
Let this be motivation for all of you! If you have any experience in building a vege patch, feel free to share for others! 🙂
Not only is eating locally good for our personal health, eating local food also reduces the food miles that your meal has to travel to get to your plate. Why is this important? Less food miles means less greenhouse gasses being produced to bring you your food, creating a happier healthier world for everyone.
“By purchasing an orange grown in Mildura rather than California you reduce food miles from 12,879 km to 567 km” (Sourced from http://www.ethical.org.au/get-informed/issues/food-miles-buying-local/)
Here is a summary of country of origin labeling to help reduce your food miles.
– ‘Product of Australia’: This means all ingredients must come from Australia, with the majority of processing also conducted in Australia.
– ‘Made in Australia’: This means at least 50% of the production costs have been incurred in Australia. This does not mean the ingredients for the product have come from Australia, with the possibility that in fact 100% of ingredients have come from oversees.
– ‘Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients‘: Whichever comes first is the greatest portion of the product. So if imported comes before local, more than 50% of the ingredients have been sourced from oversees.
So where does this leave you? When shopping in your local supermarket always choose items labeled ‘Product of Australia’ as your first preference. Better still, shopping at local farmers’ markets still remains the best way to ensuring your produce is Australian. Make the effort, you’ll be doing yourself and your community a favor!
Here’s a handy little list of ways to make sure what you’re buying is local 🙂
1. Look for the ‘Australian Made’ Logo – Probably one of the easiest ways to make sure what you’re buying from your supermarket is Australian. Read further though, not everything that is made in Australia is grown in Australia.
2. Read Further Over the Label – Be weary of words such as ‘Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients’. Although this still supports a healthy Australian economy, you can’t be sure of the quality control and regulations in place for food production in other countries.
3. Learn What Food is In Season – Knowing what is in season in your local area will help you to know what food is local on the supermarket shelves or at your local market. While you can usually be safe with bananas, it’s most likely that a pineapple in winter probably isn’t from Australia!
4. Shop at Farmer’s Markets – While all markets have different food sourcing guidelines, most food is highlighted as local, and a more personal approach can allow you to ask questions to the seller behind the stall. Check out http://www.greenvillages.com.au/our-pick-of-the-best-sydney-markets-for-local-produce/ if you’re from Sydney and looking for a good Farmers Market. You can also see the link on the Postcode Produce Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/postcodeproduce 🙂
5. Plant a Garden! – If you want to get ultra-local and have the space, start a vege patch. Even if it is just a few herbs, you can have the satisfaction of clean seasonal seasoning if you’ve grown it yourself.