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!