Food production and waste has a major impact. Our new series Life Swaps looks at how to live more sustainably, starting with better food choices
Sitting down to lunch or dinner may not feel like an act of environmental destruction, yet all that eating isn’t doing the planet many favours. Vast quantities of water, chemicals, fuel and other resources are splurged on food production and transport, and then we devour only a fraction of that output.
Each year, Aussie consumers turf around 3.1m tonnes of edible food, which ends up rotting in landfill, giving off methane gases that further harm the environment.
The solution to this is simple: eat locally produced, chemical-free food and use it all up, just like our grandparents did. Across the country, grassroots initiatives exist to help Australians do just that – and fairly cheaply. So be inspired by our guide on how to eat better without costing the earth.
The easy option: buy certified organic food
The most obvious alternative is to buy organic food at the supermarket or via direct-to-your-door companies like Sydney’s Doorstep Organics and Adelaide’s Organic Box. It’s quick and easy, but look out for packaging green washing. Only foods that carry certification are guaranteed to have been produced without chemicals and synthetic fertilisers – products emblazoned with words like “all-natural” and “no nasties” are often all talk.
Confusingly, six bodies have department of agriculture approval to certify food as organic. NASAA Certified Organic and Australian Certified Organic are among the most well known, but there is also AUSQUAL, Bio-Dynamic Research Institute, Organic Food Chain and Safe Food Production Queensland.
The downside? Certified organic food is often more expensive, although buying in season can help keep costs down.
Swap and share to eat for free
Free food sharing movements around the country offer the chance to grab organic food without paying a cent. Homemade carts are popping up in front of homes and businesses, emblazoned with the words Grow Free. Organised via a closed Facebook group of 14,000 members, Grow Free encourages people to leave excess home-grown produce and seedlings at the carts. Anyone can grab what they need and swapping is encouraged but not completely necessary.
The brainchild of Andrew Barker, who lives in Strathalbyn, an hour south of Adelaide, the concept has spread to Perth and Victoria. “The fact that organic food is expensive immediately precludes a huge percentage of people and means they have to eat fairly nutritionally deficient crap. If I wasn’t growing it, I probably wouldn’t be able to afford a lot of organic food,” Barker said. “But sharing is really powerful. People feel joy and happiness when they give freely to one another, whether it’s their neighbour or a complete stranger through a sharing cart.”
Read the rest of the article.. click here
Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd
Koren Helbig Sat 3 Feb 2018 08.19 AEDT