Monday, August 3, 2009

eating local

I love this simple graphic above (top) that is part of the campaign referred to  here. Victoria is one of the states of Australia for those not familiar with this region)...and whilst good food producers are to be found in all states of the Australian continent ... Victoria, and its capital Melbourne, are outstanding for the way they champion their growers of food and wine, restaurants and cafes, markets and enormous diversity of food cultures. This does seem to translate into heightened awareness of current agendas in quality food production.
Where I now live in North East Australia there appears to be an abundance of dedicated food producers but I would hazard a guess to say far less is made of this fact than in Victoria. However, when I attended the Brisbane Ideas Festival at the magnificent Queensland State Library in April I did notice that the audience at 2 different seminars on food and politics were absolutely electrified during question time, comments were laden with conviction, passionate pleas and so much feeling expressed about the future of food. It was as if this public outpouring of thought and feeling on this topic had been so suppressed... that so few opportunities exist in public forums for this dialogue... that at this timely event the floodgates were opened. It it is such a critical part of all our lives that we are shaping,  consciously or not, each and every day.
 I found the reference to the 'victorian table' campaign on the friday, July 31st post "eating local" from the wonderful 'Another outspoken Female' on her blog
 - Confessions of a food nazi. This I found through the excellent blog 'nourish me' where I was pleased to discover Lucy has collaborated with Kathryn of Limes and Lycopene to produce, and launch last week, a fabulous e-magazine called "An honest Kitchen". Its good to notice all this amazing creativity going into re-thinking and re-inventing our cultural understanding of food and what's that we, as consumers, may see more clearly the consequences of all our options and choices. It would be a huge understatement to say that food is a complex web of choices now. A certain fatigue can set in around all this thinking...what to buy, where and so on. Fostering relationships between producers and the public is such a crucial bridge to increase true, sustaining values and wellbeing to this much tampered with part of life. Like the Creative Arts Sector who require heathy community relationships of all kinds to sustain long-term careers, so do our producers of quality food where the stakes are often very high and the return can be challengingly  low! A wonderful local organisation here in Brisbane called Food Connect  is addressing this need to collaborate between local farmers and city folk.Not only do households know who grows each particular item in their weekly produce box, but they can visit the farms and contribute to helping make the region more food secure.


Lucy said...

It's amazing that we're finally catching the imagination of 'eaters' in Victoria, but I'm certain that people just like you Sophie (and clearly there are a tonne of passionate and thoughtful consumers given your experience at the Ideas Festival) are making a difference everyday.

Fabulous post - one full of hope.

Sophie Munns said...

So pleased to hear from you Lucy. Its good to generate hope where possible...and like you hint person's mind being opened leads to the next and so on...good ideas and important things do shift when the understanding catches on.