Why we eat local

By Alexandra McCarthy |

I Quit Sugar - Why we eat local

When it comes to sourcing fresh produce, we stick to two simple rules: the produce should be in season and sourced locally!

The local food movement – also known as locavorism – encourages consumers to eat foods that are raised, grown or produced close to where you live.

But, just how close are we talking?

Well, that’s up to you. We prefer to source food from our local farmers markets, which is usually populated with farmers from the local area, whilst other people prefer to follow a “100-mile diet”, where they only consume food produced within a 161 kilometre radius.

Eating locally sourced food is far better for your health, your community and the environment in general. Our founder and director, Sarah, also stresses the importance of only eating what is currently in season.

“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.”

How to eat locally in Oz…

We’re a lucky bunch Down Under, thanks to the abundance of fresh produce that is available which makes it pretty darn easy to eat locally. But, these are the products we always try to make sure are produced in Australia…

  • Meat.

The farming practices in Australia are some of the best in the world, which helps to produce quality meat. Because our continent isn’t connected to any other countries, we also have a natural barrier which keeps our animals disease-free. And, all Australian cattle are pasture raised – with some being grain-finished – which means they spend most of their lives outside. So, when you’re buying meat try and find locally produced animals!

  • Nuts.

It might surprise you to learn that California is actually the world’s largest producer of almonds – around 80 per cent, in fact – but Aussie nuts are just as good! So, next time you pick up a bag of nuts, make sure they’ve been grown on our shores. And, there’s no need to stress about a lack of variety – Australia produces everything from almonds to chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamias and walnuts!

  • Fruit + veggies.

It’s (unfortunately) super easy to buy fruit and veg that has been flown in from other countries so make sure to keep an eye on where your produce was grown. While many of us have grown accustomed to having certain fruit and veggies available to us all year round, there’s no need to be noshing on an apple when it’s not in season.

  • Seafood.

Unfortunately, around 75 per cent of seafood that Aussies eat is actually imported – a whopping 200 plus species are brought into the country with the biggest amounts being prawns, salmon and tuna. And, carbon miles aside, the quality of the seafood isn’t as good thanks to the relaxed standards overseas which sees seafood bred in farms which are often flooded with antibiotics to prevent disease. While the Australian Marine Conservation Society are campaigning for stronger labelling laws, it’s important to keep your eyes peeled when buying seafood!

Is eating locally important to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

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.

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