Why it’s important to know where your food comes from

By Alexandra McCarthy |

I Quit Sugar: Why it’s important to know where your food comes from

While cooking skills are crucial for living a healthy life, it’s just as important to know exactly where your food is coming from…

And, we think that this is something that should be taught to children from a young age! Unfortunately, the reality is that many kids are unaware of how or where food is produced and some are even unable to name certain foods.

A survey from 2014 – which gathered information from teens aged 15–18 who lived in cities across Australia – found that a whopping 92 per cent of them didn’t know that bananas grow on plants, while 59 per cent of the teens also couldn’t identify a leek! Another survey of primary school children found that one in four kids didn’t know that butter is made from cow’s milk. Scary stuff!

While city dwellers are a little more removed from the process of food production in comparison to those who live in rural areas, it doesn’t mean they should remain in the dark about how this produce ends up in their local supermarket.

So, whether you’re a kid or not, here are a few reasons why it’s important that you know where your food is coming from before you chow down on your meat and three veg…

1. You know what’s in it.

When you pick up meat from the supermarket, you’re never quite sure where it comes from or what exactly is in it – which is just one of the many negatives of the mass-produced food market. The beef, chicken, eggs or even veggies you’re consuming could have been flown across the country to get to you, or worse, across the world. And, your meat could also have been pumped full of antibiotics and fed on cheap grain. In contrast, your local butcher will be able to provide information on where the animals they source were raised and exactly what they were fed on – which is something you’ll rarely find at a massive supermarket. This gives you insight into exactly what you’re serving up to your family every night at dinner.

2. When you know how much work went into producing your food, you appreciate it more and are (hopefully!) less likely to waste it.

It’s easy to feel disconnected from food production when you’re used to buying your fruit, veg and meat from the supermarket and it’s even worse when that food is already pre-packaged! Not only does that negatively impact the environment, but you also aren’t getting the opportunity to see the produce in its natural state, freshly pulled from the ground. Shopping at local farmers markets allows you to form relationships with growers and farmers directly. And, hopefully, this gives you a greater appreciation for the people producing it and the food itself! Food waste is a killer – around 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted worldwide every year – as it contributes to greenhouse gases and costs the government a pretty penny. So, doing your best to reduce this needless waste is paramount!

3. And last, but not least, living sustainably has never been as important as it is now, so it’s time to focus our attention on eating fresh, local produce.

Educating ourselves and our children on where food comes from and how to sustainably source it is super important! As the world becomes more polluted with waste (that includes food waste too!), we need to become picky about where we spend our money and who we give our business to. We don’t want to continually undercut farmers by buying imported foods – if a fruit or veggie isn’t in season then too bad! Knowledge is power and knowing where your food comes from is just that!

Do you shop locally and know where your food is coming from? Let us know!

Please be respectful of other participants in the conversation. We'd love you to keep your comments respectful, friendly and relevant. Differences of opinion are welcome, but trolling and abuse of other commentators and the IQS editorial team is not and will result in blacklisting.

Latest tweets
Join our 1,400,000 followers!
IQS newsletter freebie
Simply Sweet Treats

Join our newsletter for the
best IQS tips, tricks and recipes
+ a free eBook!

Please enter a valid email address
Please enter a valid name