Monday, 26 April 2010

To the heart of food...

A couple of weeks ago I was involved in a discussion on Real Life Radio about childhood obesity.  DO NOT SWITCH OFF...I realise most are tired of constantly reading and hearing those two words together.  But, the conversation took a turn and we got talking about food choices, food and family, food and the environment.  This is the stuff I am absolutely passionate about. Which ever way you look at it, food frames the world we live in.  Food reveals so much about culture and climate.  If you want to feel the pulse of a nation, pop down to the local supermarket and there you'll find the answer.  A quick look up and down the aisles and you'll discover how the country is doing in terms of body health and economy health.

I come from Australia, and unless anything has changed, as far as I know all our fresh meat and poultry is sourced within Australia, all vegies too (with few very irritating exceptions such as fresh garlic from China).

It is an anomaly to come across a fresh food item that is not made in Australia.  So, when we arrived in the UK and I ventured into my first Tesco I was shocked to find my trolley full of fresh produce from Kenya, Israel, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, The Caribbean, Chile, Germany, Denmark and New Zealand (to name only a few!), which is why it will come as no surprise to you where possible I shop for my fresh food at the local green grocer and butcher.  My grocer and butcher only source produce from within a 100 mile radius of where we live, which is great news because I want to support my local farmers and the country's economy.  British farmers are a dying breed thanks to the demand for cheap food.

Foreign countries are able to produce an inferior product at much lower prices by taking shortcuts on labor and animal welfare.  For some reason we don't care....we just want the cheapest and quickest despite the fact that the corn we eat is picked by a 7 year old earning pennies for her hard labor, or the fact the meat that lands on our tables comes from farms that have no care or respect for animal welfare.  Food is expensive and whether you agree or not, good food should be a priority in your budget.  Local produce is good for you, better for the environment and fabulous for the local economy - that's your kids future I'm talking about. 

What do you know about the food you eat?  Where was it grown?  What do you know about the animal welfare standards of the meat and poultry you eat?  Has the food you eat racked up more frequent flyer miles than you?  Let's hope not!


  1. Lynette Young26 April, 2010

    Well Amy, I couldn't agree more and I love your page. Keep writing and I'll keep reading even though I don't have anyone but myself to worry about now. For me, it's about keeping healthy as I begin to age(gracefully) i hope and try to keep all the aches and pains at bay.American food is not to my taste at all as I am spoilt by having had the best in Australia.( the butter here is sooooooo terrible) I hardly ever eat it.Also the food is from everywhere here too! Anything to save money....If you want to buy natural foods it cost a fortune so you have to buy sparingly.

  2. Steve Robbo27 April, 2010

    You said that you're married to the most wonderful man in the world! What happened to Luke? Just Kidding : )

  3. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Michaela01 May, 2010

    That's why I leaning towards moving to the country and growing my own everything. Great article Amy.

  5. Anonymous10 May, 2010

    love the you. x Michaela.

  6. Anonymous13 May, 2010

    I couldn't agree more, Amy. I always want to know. We try to eat mostly organically and I pretty much know where most of our food comes from. However, when time is short and the fridge and pantry are bare I have found myself 'pulling a meal together' and I must admit as I sit, watching my kids indulge, my heart sinks. It hurts me to see them {possibly} eating stuff that isn't good for them.
    In an effort to not see this happen very often, I try to be as organized as possible. I was thinking just the other day about how people 'consider' what petrol to use for their car and yet for our bodies we just do whatever and go for 'cheap'. Weird, hey.