While our previous blog post touched on the benefits of eating locally to you, farmers and the environment, there are also many benefits which uniquely impact Australians. We are lucky in that we are one of the few countries in this world that has the capabilities to be completely self-sufficient in food generation, having a vast landscape of varying climates coupled with a relatively small population. In fact, we can create a comfortable surplus of food for export while still providing what is needed for our population. Through eating locally we can all enjoy the positive social, economic and environmental impacts that it would have on Australia and its people.
Socially, eating locally produced food engages communities in food conversation. Whether buying your fruit and veg at a local famers’ market or a road side stall, buying from someone who has produced the product themselves means you can get the exact information needed about the quality of what you are buying. While locally grown doesn’t necessarily mean 100% perfect product, you can be almost 100% sure that if it’s local, it’ll taste good! Physically eating out in your local environment also encourages positive social engagement, encouraging a community spirit where ideas, tips and thoughts on food can be shared in your local area. Check out http://outstandinginthefield.com/about/ for amazing examples of where people have dined in the same areas their food was produced, or search OUT_INTHEFIELD on Instagam.
Economically, eating fresh local food also has a great impact on Australians. While most economies change over time with changing demands for resources, food is something everyone, everywhere will need, so why not invest in something that will always be on high demand? While it is all good and well to obtain food from oversees that has been produced more cheaply, not only do these countries have looser quality control, but we can’t be sure that this supply will last if something was to cut off our supply. Be it international agreements, war or natural disaster, all these things always pose a threat to imports, and thus we should embrace our beautifully stable climate and grow our own food. With the potential to harvest an abundance of food, why not make the quality fresh food that Australia is capable of producing a priority export, and secure the future of an industry which will always need attention.
Environmentally, locally produced food means less food miles. If we can all make that effort to buy something that has travelled less to get to our dinner plate, together we can make a huge impact on the emissions we put out into the environment. Also, “While global markets demand monocultural production – which systematically eliminates all but the cash crop from the land – local markets give farmers an incentive to diversify” (sourced http://www.daff.gov.au). This means that when we make the decision to support famers, they can produce a number of different products from the same farm to cater to our food needs, which is much for sustainable for the land.
Keep posted for more on how you can support yourself and your community through eating local food!