At a time when one billion people globally experience hunger, as much as 50% of all food produced—up to two billion metric tonnes—is thrown away every year. In Australia alone, as much as 44 million tonnes of food is wasted annually.
Last year, French supermarket chain Intermarché launched a highly successful campaign encouraging consumers to purchase “ugly” food. This year, France became the first country in the world to implement laws cracking down on food waste, with new legislation banning supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food. Under this new legislation, supermarkets are required to donate any unsold food to charities or for animal feed.
Australia’s food supply chains are increasingly vulnerable to shocks and trends related to the impacts of a changing climate. With Sydney’s population of 4.2 million expected to grow by 1.6 million people in the next 20 years, local food production is further threatened by the need to house–and provide infrastructure for–a growing population. More
Cheap and convenient
People are motivated by many factors when shopping for food; there are the sensory aspects, cost and accessibility, health, cultural influences, social and psychological factors, to name but a few.
Yet Malcolm Knox, author of the new book Supermarket Monsters, believes Australians value cost above all else. He says the vast majority of Australians demonstrate at the checkout that price is all-important, and that they will tolerate a decline in quality if they can pay cheaper prices. He’s not alone in this view. More
A delicious tree change
Growing up in coastal New South Wales, Fiona May craved life in the country, so when it was time to leave the family home, she moved to Scone. This is where she met Stuart, her husband.
They relocated north to Toowoomba and stayed on a dairy farm, owned by her sister-in-law and husband. Enjoying the farm work experience, Fiona and her husband bought a small property nearby. Along the way they had children and acquired “a few chooks, a few lambs, a couple of beefys, pigs and a retired cow from the dairy.”
Inspired by Tasmin Carven who hosts lunches and workshops using farm produce and the book Seasons in my Kitchen Garden, she decided to start a farm business. She also studied farms like Jonai Farms & Meatsmiths, Bundarra Berkshires, Autumn Farm and McIvor Farm Foods.
“It just made sense to create a business and life I loved here on-farm,” said Fiona. “So I opened our farm gates to the community.” More
In Chef Curtis Stone, more than just a cardboard cut-out (Good Food 2015), the author wonders why Curtis associates himself with Coles. Curtis says that he believes he can make a difference, to help the supermarket make “better decisions”. He points to Coles’ elimination of beef with hormone growth promotants (HGP), RSPCA-accredited chicken, and sow stall-free pork.
Like all Coles’ communications, you have to see where they are pointing, then look the other way. What they don’t say is often more interesting than what they do. More
During the summer of 2009, Penelope Dodd grew a bumper crop of tomatoes. And so it seems did many in her corner of the world. She tried to give some tomatoes away but her friends couldn’t take any more. “What happens to all the excess backyard produce?” she wondered.
She began gathering excess fruit and vegetables—not only from household gardens, but also from local farms and processors—then gave it to people in her community who needed it most. More
Food literacy has three dimensions, writes Bill Bellotti. Knowledge about the impact of our food choices on our health. Knowledge about the impact of our food choices on our ecological footprint. And knowledge about the impacts of our food choices on the businesses and communities that grow and provide our food.
We can only eat as good as we know. More
It’s cruel irony that Australians striving for optimum health purchased frozen berries, and now risk being infected by hepatitis A. More
As a child I’d put out the glass empties at night for the milkman. The next morning, full bottles would miraculously appear. We scratched the foil tops open for the cream. Such a treat! I hadn’t given much thought to milk since then; it was always just there.
Until Coles reduced the price of home brand milk to $1 per litre. I knew it’d impact the entire milk supply chain. Spurred on, I searched for milk where farmers could attain a fair price. I discovered farmhouse brands. And rediscovered milk. More
December 2017 update: This chicken may be harder to source because Sommerlads’ Poultry, the breeder, have closed their business. In time, however, production should return to usual, as several farmers are now breeding the chickens.
Chicken, once a rare treat, is now our most popular meat. We’re the fourth largest consumers in the world, eating 600 million chickens a year or 45 kilograms each. Supermarkets own the largest slice of the chicken pie, selling over 50 per cent produced.
It’s convenient and cheap, deemed the ‘healthier’ meat, mildly flavoured so appealing to kids. Available year round so we eat without thought, much less ceremony.
Whereas I’ve been anticipating this chook. For. A. Year. More