Why Foodies are Embracing the Local Food Movement

1 Jul 2019 • Local

The three daily meals Australians eat have travelled well over 10,000 kilometres before they reach a stomach, with the 25 most common weekly food items in a Melbourne shopping trolley having travelled 70,803 kilometres (source: Fair Food, Nick Rose p.74)

The three daily meals Australians eat have travelled well over 10,000 kilometres before they reach a stomach, with the 25 most common weekly food items in a Melbourne shopping trolley having travelled 70,803 kilometres (source: Fair Food, Nick Rose p.74)

That's the most common weekly food items driving from Bendigo to Brisbane 44 times!

Let that sink in for a moment.

If our food has travelled so far to reach our tables, how can we know who has produced it and how it has been produced?

Savvy consumers are questioning their food choices

There is a growing appetite to know what the health and environmental impacts of our food choices are, and more of us are questioning the information we are provided through food marketing and messaging.

A big shift in consumer thinking has happened in the last few years, sadly through negative national events like the $1 milk dairy crisis which has seen devastating effects within our dairy industry and continues to do so; corporate practices which result in contaminated food products such as frozen berries and honey; the supermarket push for 'perfect fruit' resulting in tonnes of fruit wastage as seen on ABC's recent doco, 'War on Waste'; and the strawberry contamination which saw tonnes and tonnes of strawberries wasted.

As awareness builds, consumers (that's all of us really, because we all eat) are beginning to realise that the question of 'Why are farmers' markets so expensive? needs to be replaced with, 'Why is supermarket food so cheap?' and 'Who is being compromised?'

The solution to this very modern crisis? Local food.

'Out of adversity comes opportunity' Ben Franklin

A wider cultural shift towards embracing local food is seen in the growing popularity of accredited farmers’ markets and trusted networks such Food Fossickers Central Victoria Inc. Food Fossickers was formed by a passionate group of community individuals in 2002, out of the desire to connect our community and food industry to those who grow and produce our food within the Central Victorian region.

Through networking and transparency, Food Fossickers celebrates producers, shares their stories, and champions their regenerative practises. As the Food Fossickers producer network continues to grow, it is clear that Bendigo is ideally centred within an important Victorian food bowl.

Embracing the local food movement in Bendigo

The Central Victorian community has excellent direct access to a wide variety of locally produced food, and more of it than ever before. With regular accredited farmers' markets in Bendigo (the second Saturday of the month and the fourth Thursday), Castlemaine (the first Sunday of the month) and Lancefield (the fourth Sunday of the month), more and more Central Victorians are shopping directly with the people who are producing their food. This makes a huge difference to our food miles.

And for those who are not able to make it to an accredited farmers' market, locally grown produce is available through providores such as Bendigo Wholefoods. As a founding member of the Food Fossickers’ network, Wholefoods owner Daz Murphy lives and breathes local. He has helped establish and offers continued support to hundreds of artisanal producers throughout our region, as well as encouraging employment of local young people.

Eat local, shop local: here's how you can get involved

If all of this is not enough to convince you to change your shopping habits, here’s a statistic for you:

A recent research project, initiated through the City of Greater Bendigo, showed that by supporting a local, independent business you are keeping $70 of each $100 you spend in the local economy as opposed to buying within a chain store (just over $50) or online (a mere $3).

If you're still unclear about how you can support our local food economy, we're here to help. Head to the member listings within our website, connect with them, shop with them, dine with them, join our newsletter subscription and take part in our events, knowing you are truly supporting local.

Submitted by Master Admin on Mon, 07/01/2019 - 11:44