Reducing your food air miles equals drastically lowering your carbon footprint. You’ll likely also be eating healthier as a result and you’ll even be helping the economy. So how can you actually reduce your food miles?
Check the Labels
If you’re trying to eat healthier, have a particular diet or want to reduce your carbon footprint you’ll probably already be checking all food labels before making a purchase. Many labels can be misleading, so you need to know what you’re looking for.
- A Product of Australia label means that the majority of ingredients were grown in Australia and were processed in Australia
- A Made in Australia label can mean that the food was ‘sustainably transformed’ in the country and that a certain proportion of the production costs were incurred in Australia
Eat in Season
Eat in season produce to cut down on your food miles. Always check if the produce was grown in Australia and whether it’s in season. This seasonal fruit and vegetable guide for Australia can help you work out what produce is in season before doing the grocery shopping. Doing this will also help you and your family cut down on nasty chemicals and additives in foods to give them a greater shelf life.
Grow Your Own
There’s nothing like eating your own produce. It always tastes better, is usually organic and you’ll know exactly how safe it is to eat. Plus picking the vegetables and fruit when you choose gives it somewhat of a greater shelf life anyway. The only thing you need to think about in terms of food miles, is knowing where the seeds you use come from, which is often easier to work out then where your groceries come from. Plant in season and you’ll have delicious vegetables and fruit to eat year round.
Frequent Farmer’s Markets
If you’re unable to grow your own, whether you don’t have enough space to grow much or whether you simply don’t have the want or time, you should frequent your local Farmer’s Markets. There’s bound to be at least one, depending on where you live, though usually more. The produce will be local, often organic (check with the farmer’s directly) and of course within season. They’ll usually also taste a lot fresher and more flavourful than the produce you can buy at the supermarket.
Order Fruit and Veg Boxes
Many local fruit and veg stores and local grocers will be able to offer you fruit and veg boxes to order, to be delivered straight to your door. These boxes are packed with fresh, local, in-season produce. Sometimes you’ll be able to pick and choose which items you want delivered too or you can opt to get the lot and simply try something new. Quite often these boxes will include or will solely offer organic produce. A win-win for the local farmer’s and your stomach.
Reduce Packet Foods
In order to reduce your carbon footprint and your food miles, you’ll likely reduce the amount of packet foods you buy. This is a healthy move for yourself and the environment. Of course we all want a treat from time to time as well so check your labels and make sure at least the majority of the ingredients and packaging is Australian. Better yet if it’s 100% a product of Australia.