Friday, June 11, 2010

The health of our food

Through my Landcare work we recently hosted a series of seminars with ex-CSIRO scientist Dr Maarten Stapper. These seminars really began to bring home to me the issues with declining food quality in our modern world.  "Fresh" produce is being grown, processed and stored in ways so that it's nutritional value has been destroyed or substantially lessened.

As a follow on from these seminars this week I have been watching snippets of the film Food Inc and are hoping that the film will make it's way to a nearby cinema soon.

One person that has been shot into the international spotlight following the release of this film is US organic farmer from Polyface Farms - Joel Salatin.   Joel Salatin was interviewed on Landline earlier in the week - I missed it on TV but have just watched the episode online - Food for Thought.

In the interview it was said that Joel has been labelled as "a bio-terrorist and it's true he's urging revolution, all the way from the farm to the supermarket shelves".  It is great that we have people willing to preach the stories of food health but it is also important that we take action ourselves as individuals.

Our need to take individual action was highlighted in another comment that was raised in the Landline episode by an Australian organic farmer Fiona Chambers - "If the consumer goes to the supermarket and just constantly chooses the cheapest possible product then that's what farmers are going to be driven to produce. So don't point the finger at the farmers. It comes back to the consumers."

So I guess it is time that we all take action for the sake of the health of our food and ourselves.

We as a family are trying to buy food based on these principles:
- locally produced and fresh
- organic where possible
- lowest level of processing (e.g., wholegrain or raw ingredients)
- to have a regular supply of fruit and vegies from our backyard

We will try to get to the Orange Farmers Markets around soccer this weekend and I would like to spend some much needed time in our vegie patch if it's not too cold - feels like its nearly snowing here.

I also have a couple more books to add to my must read pile - Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore's Dilemma.

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