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July 9, 2011

Eating Local in Australia

In Australia there is a growing interest in wanting to know where your food comes from. With most of the food we consume being transported long distances to our plates eating locally can be beneficial to both the environment and your health. Buying local produce means you’re also supporting the local community and farmers.

Processed foods that contain additives, artificial sweeteners or preservatives along with meat and dairy products have more of an environmental impact due to the processing and transport involved in their production. Buying meat locally and replacing processed foods in your diet with fresh local produce will reduce your carbon footprint.

But how are people doing this? Here’s a few ways you can source local produce.

Farmers Markets in Australia

byron bay farmers market

The Byron Bay Farmers Market provides a regular option for people to buy local produce.

Farmers Markets are a regular market designed to allow you to purchase seasonal and fresh local produce directly from the person who produced or grew it. The food is local, seasonal and fresh plus you can also ask any questions about the produce and get the answers straight from the source.

The Australian Farmers Market Association defines a farmer’s market as, “a predominantly fresh food market that operates regularly within a community, at a focal public location that provides a suitable environment for farmers and food producers to sell farm-origin and associated value-added processed food products directly to customers.”

The Australia Farmers’ Market Association has an extensive list of farmers markets in Australia.

Growing your own food

Growing your own food is a good way to eat fresh produce, save money and reduce the carbon footprint of your diet. There’s a great guide to growing vegetables in Australia provided by Gardening Australia. You can grow your own vegetables by setting up a veggie patch in your backyard or you might be interested in getting involved with a local community garden.

Veggie box deliveries

There are many businesses offering to deliver a selection of seasonal fresh fruit and veggies right to your door – often for a cheaper price than buying it from the supermarket. You will receive regular deliveries of fresh local produce allowing you to eat fresh while saving time and money.

Shop at local produce stores

Local markets and independent fruit & vegetable stores are more likely to source local produce than larger food chain stores in Australia with some local shops proudly selling only local produce.

Checkout this interesting short video on local food called “Think Global Eat Local – a diet for a sustainable society” produced by SEED International.

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