As a little girl called Dorothy once told us, “There’s no place like home.” And when it comes to sourcing the ingredients to stock your sugar-free kitchen, we agree!
Here’s why we think it’s best to eat local food (and a list of the best home-produced goods around).
Why we love the locavore philosophy.
Locavorism is a movement that ironically promotes less movement! It connects local food producers and consumers, and urges people to eat foods that are grown, raised or produced nearby.
So how local is local? While some prefer to stick to a “100 mile diet” (161 kilometres), others just encourage us to pick food that has travelled fewer miles.
Either way, eating food that is locally sourced is better for us, the environment and the community. As Sarah says: “If it’s not in season you shouldn’t be eating it for a whole bunch of reasons – health, carbon miles and undercutting local farmers.”
Keep it close to home: How to eat local in Australia.
Fortunately, Australia is blessed with an abundance of ingredients that make buying local easy. Here are our top suggestions for foods that will bring out the inner locavore in you.
We’re nuts about nuts, and one of our absolute favourites are almonds. But with California, which produces 70 per cent of the world’s almonds, in the midst of a devastating drought, we took a closer look at other Aussie nuts. And we were impressed!
From macadamias, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts and pecans (which are so good that farmers from traditional pecan growing countries such as the U.S. regularly visit our shores to learn our techniques), you’d literally be nuts to buy your nuts anywhere else!
Aussie beef has an excellent reputation abroad – Hugh Jackman, Liam Hemsworth and, of course, our cattle!
In fact, Australian farming practices are among the best in the world, for which we’ve earned global respect. All beef is pasture-raised (and grain-finished if required), all lamb is pasture-fed, and both are free-range for the majority of their lives. Compare this with the handling and processing of livestock in neighbouring Indonesia, for example, and you’ll begin to understand why we’re reluctant to go elsewhere.
Given that Australia has made a commitment to sustainable fishing practices, it’s a shame that about 72 per cent of seafood eaten in Australia is still imported. Many overseas processes do not have the same high standards we do locally, often raising fish in farms which use antibiotics to prevent disease. Plus farmed salmon is both lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants and pesticides.
And while the Australian Marine Conservation Society is campaigning for clearer labelling laws, with a few extra insights you can still eat local. Make the neighbourhood fishmonger your mate and ask for insider advice on what fish to eat.
Fruit and vegetables.
As Sarah famously quipped in I Quit Sugar: Simplicious: “If they don’t have pink grapefruit, get over it!” And she’s not wrong. Imported fruit and veggies impact nutritional value, carbon miles and local farmers. “Always look for ‘grown in’ or ‘produced in’ notes on the pricing label,” Sarah says.
As for the grapefruit: “use lemon and raspberries instead.”
Are you up for an eat local challenge? Try sticking to locally sourced foods for the next few days and let us know how you go below.