<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Join the locavore crowd

WA apple

Credit: Julie Grundy

- Advertisement -

So how are you going with your local food challenge? I've had some wins and a few misses, but so far so good.

For example, my first shop resulted in bread, milk, eggs, biscuits and beer all from within the greater Perth area, no trouble at all and easily within 160 km of home. The biscuits came from the bulk foods area of the shop, instead of the packaged biscuits aisle. Plus, I managed to get yoghurt and cheese from within WA (from the south-west region), and some vegetables.

I have no idea how close to home my fruit is, since it was only labelled with "Australia" with no more information than that. Garlic is out for now, because I can only get it from China, and my favourite brands of organic tinned tomatoes are from out of the country as well.

Last time I wrote about reasons you should eat locally, but I left one out because it was a bit shallow! The thing is, it's actually quite trendy right now to be a locavore.

It started with Alisa Smith and J B McKinnon, a couple living in Vancouver, Canada, who wanted to reduce the impact of transport on their carbon footprint. They picked a 100 mile limit (160 km) and spent a year eating from only within that region. When they wrote a book about it, The 100 Mile Diet: A Year of Eating Locally, it really caught on. You can find out more about the couple here.

Since then, lots more people have given eating locally a go. Some of the more famous examples have been author Barbara Kingsolver, whose book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is one of my favourites. It's a funny account of her and her family learning how to eat locally - the part where they discover what turkey mating rituals look like cracked me up.

Colin Beavan, who you may know as No Impact Man, set a 250 mile limit for his adventures in being a locavore - it was the range in which a farmer could drive to a community farming centre near Beavan's home, unpack his goods and get home again all in one day.

Michelle Obama is also a big fan of local and organic food, going so far as to dig up part of the White House lawn in order to get some really local stuff. Celebrity chefs like Kylie Kwong, Gordon Ramsey, Alice Waters and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall are also keen to get people to appreciate fresh, seasonal ingredients that can be found locally instead of being packaged and imported from all over the place.

I think it's a nice change to have the celebrity chefs encouraging us to eat local, seasonal and organic food prepared simply, instead of the fancy, too-hard-to-recreate-at-home recipes that were more popular at the beginning of the decade. Finally, a food trend I can heartily enjoy!