<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.

How did your local food challenge go?

Choosing local

Credit: iStockphoto

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So how did you go with your challenge to eat locally this month?

I had some ups and downs. I did really well with fresh fruit and vegetables, plenty within my 160 km zone, and more if I expand to 300 km. Eggs, dairy, olive oil and honey were also easy to get within 200 km, not quite within the 100 Mile Diet range, but still pretty good, I think. Plus beer and wine, so I was able to have a little treat if I felt like it.

But things like sugar and flour just don't seem to be made near here: so although I can buy bread and biscuits, am I just pushing off the local responsibility to someone else to deal with? And when I ate in restaurants or grabbed a sandwich from a lunch bar, I had no way of knowing where anything was from. It might have been local, it might not.

I'll definitely be keeping up the local eating now that the challenge is done. I've found good sources for local vegies, I've switched the brand of milk and yogurt that I buy, and have found several sources of not only local but free-range eggs. The dairy and eggs are quite important to me, because animal products usually have a higher environmental footprint than plant products. So anything I can do to reduce my impact there is a worthwhile change.

But I'm afraid I'll definitely go back to eating chocolate and drinking coffee. It's unlikely I'll ever find local versions of these: Perth is not a good climate for either one! Even our sub-tropical areas in north Australia don't have quite the right climate to grow them, I believe. I'm going to make the effort to choose organic and fair trade instead. If I can't lower my impact one way, I'll keep trying to find others.

And isn't that the point, really? We keep trying, keep challenging ourselves to do better. And we hope that as a group our choices will have a knock-on effect, like dominoes. While we're at it, we get to find delicous local goodies to eat. Sounds like a winning tactic to me!