5 reasons to eat local | Gourmand and Gourmet

5 reasons to eat local

Locally sourced, sustainable, ethical – words that are thrown around a lot these days when it comes to food, but what does it mean and why should we care whether our bacon came from 100 kilometres away or 100,000? Well if you want only the freshest produce on your plate and a farming community that will be able to support our eating habits for generations to come, you should care a lot. Eating local isn’t just a passing fad, it’s a movement that’s changing the face of the food industry – putting the focus on supporting local producers, reducing food miles and packaging and getting to know who’s behind our food and how they produce it. Locavore is one Brisbane café that’s fully embraced the ‘eat local’ movement. With a menu that reads like a farmers market line up, the south side café aims to source almost all their produce from within a 160km radius of Brisbane. Did you even know everything from beetroot to peanuts to haloumi is produced in South East Queensland? Locavore sure does, and they do some pretty amazing things with it too – their strawberry and cream hotcakes will convince you to eat local if nothing else does. Another venue that’s all about knowing where the food on your plate comes from is Wild Canary, where they are so committed to using local produce they even grow their own herbs and edible flowers, and use produce from their kitchen garden wherever they can. Passionate about supporting the local food industry, they run regular Producer’s Lunch featuring specialty producers from around Brisbane – think cheese fests with people like Towri Sheep Cheese and White Gold Creamery, and egg-celent lunches with Eggcettera Eggs! wild canaryWe asked Food Connect, an online business that’s all about connecting farmers with foodies, to tell us why we should eat local – and they had some pretty persuasive suggestions! #1. Less food miles means less pollution and waste The less distance produce has to travel, the less energy it takes to get it to your plate, which means less clogging up our atmosphere with pollution, and less packaging required along the way. #2. Shorter travel and storage time means fresher, cleaner, healthier food Think about it this way: how would you feel after a few days in a warehouse and on a bumpy truck? Not at your best, right? Plus, the fresher produce is, the more nutrients are retained. And the less need for nasty preservatives. #3. We’re supporting the local economy Compared to supermarket chains, small business create three times as many jobs, and supporting them means increased economic resilience. You want to be able keep getting that bacon long into the future, right? #4. Knowing who grows our produce means knowing how it’s grown Transparency and accountabilty. They’re normally words used to describe what politics isn’t, but they should be applied to farming too. If you know just who’s growing your food, you can find how it’s raised and whether ethical practices are being used. #5. It just plain tastes better! Ever eaten a tomato that was picked within 24 hours? ‘Nuff said! Plus, locally grown food is usually more in tune with the seasons, which is means it’s at its peak flavour. Convinced yet? Words by Ranyhyn Akui