Guest blog post by Kristen Ottaway
Food glorious food... we all need it, most of us really like it (some a little too much) but how many of us actually know where it’s come from? Do you know the name of the farmer who grew it, what was sprayed on it, how fresh it actually is?
If you answered no, you’re not alone. Most Australians have no idea where their food is coming from and many don’t even know how it’s grown.
We’ve become so ‘busy’ that we’ve allowed huge supermarket chains and industrial farms to take over our food system. We’ve lost our connection to food, to the land, to our farmers and as a result we’re sick, overweight, our farmers are struggling, our soil has been depleted and our environment is being destroyed.
It’s an inefficient, extraordinarily wasteful and short-sighted food system that benefits a handful of wealthy people while the rest of us get chemically-laden, poor quality food and the resulting dis-ease that come with it.
Strong words I know but the closer I look into this system the more disturbed I become. Did you know apples on supermarket shelves can be up to a year old? They look fresh, thanks to the chemicals they’ve been sprayed with to put them to sleep (after they’re picked under-ripe) and the next lot of chemicals they’re sprayed with to wake them up – but they’re anything but.
And the waste! While people in this world are literally starving to death, Australians are throwing around 4 million tonnes of edible food away every year! Lots of this is from us as consumers, throwing away food that goes bad before we eat it, but a lot of it also comes from a supermarket system that discards anything that doesn’t meet its criteria i.e. a banana that’s not the ‘right’ size (I highly recommend watching the documentary ‘Just Eat It’ for more on this).
BUT... there is a positive side to this story. People are waking up. They’re realising that what we eat matters and that where it’s come from and what’s been done to it matters too. Organic food is in hot demand and, I believe more importantly, LOCAL is becoming the buzz word.
Thanks to co-ops, buyers groups, farmer to family food schemes and not forgetting, our ability to grow some of our own food, it is now possible to know where your food is coming from and get almost all of it without having to set foot in a supermarket.
Imagine the kind of future we can create if we all get onboard with these things? One where our food is fresh, real (not chemically-laden), where we eat what’s grown locally in our area according to the seasons, where we know and appreciate our farmers and where sustainable agricultural practices are the norm rather than the exception.
It is possible but not without your support. Every time you take out your wallet you a voting for the kind of future you want to see. Make your purchases count – shop local, buy real, chemical-free food and don’t be afraid to ask the question: “Where does that come from and how has it been grown?”
Here’s a few Brisbane based organisations and resources I highly recommend checking out, including my own Spray-Free Farmacy and Inspired Living Events. And of course WHOLESOMENESS for delicious, local, organic ready-made meals!
FRUIT, VEGGIES, EGGS, GROCERIES
- Spray-Free Farmacy – fresh, chemical-free fruit and veggie boxes direct from small local farms (ie. Woodford, Wamuran, Lockyer Valley) plus genuine pastured free-range eggs direct from Goomburra (just south of Brisbane) and cold-pressed honey from Redland Bay. Order by midnight Wednesday for pick-up on Saturday (you can pick up at Wholesomeness!) And yes you can customise your box.
- FoodConnect - Local. Seasonal. Ecological Food Direct From Your Farmer. Set boxes and a wide range of groceries available.
- Northey Street Markets – organic, local produce plus a great community atmosphere.
- Picots Farm – 100% grass fed beef grown holistically on the Darling Downs.
- Siwa Fresh - Certified Organic, 100% grass-fed Lamb, Hogget, Mutton, Goat and Beef from Roma.
CO-OPS (here’s a few I know of – there are many more)
INFORMATION, INSPIRATION AND COMMUNITY
- Inspired Living Events – documentary screenings every month with local exhibitors (make some connections), organic meals and inspiring speakers.
Kristen Ottaway is a wife to Trevor, mother to 2 gorgeous girls (3.5 and 8 months) and an entrepreneur who’s passionate about healthy, happy, conscious living. Kristen created Inspired Living Events in 2013 and together with her husband, launched the Spray-Free Farmacy in 2015.