Granted, I bang on a bit about waste (see my post here for kitchen waste and here for reducing plastic waste) but for very good reason. Waste, be it food in our own kitchens, plastic waste left on the beach or waste at the supermarket end of the scale, is one of the biggest environmental and social disasters we face today.

Yes it's THAT big.

This is why the team at Sustainable Table (including moi) have produced a short doco about it, called Waste Deep. It's not in-your-face in the way a big hefty beer-swigging bloke can be when he's chatting to you at the pub. It's a gentle gentle nudge in the right direction. For the most part, the doco points at what we can do, as individuals, to make a real difference. And the message is clear. We - you, me, our friends, families, everyone - can make a difference.

In fact, we're really the only ones that can.

Watch the doco here (and if you're at work, tell 'em you're doing your bit for Australia and they should watch it too):

Some salient points:

  • Our farmers are doing it very tough. Consumers have been responding to low prices and perfect produce, so the big supermarkets push our farmers for those two things. But it's hurting them. Many have walked off the land and continue to do so. They have the highest rate of suicide in the country. In the country. Without our farmers, we're screwed. To put it bluntly.

  • Imports are contributing massively to the above. Yet technically we can produce more than enough incredible quality produce to keep us happy. More than enough.

  • 1 billion people are obese at the same time as 1 billion are going hungry. So you know, there's something wrong with the way we're doing things, no?

There are things each of us can do to make a big difference to the situation. And they're really bloody simple. Apologies if I get a little didactic here, but keep in mind these are also things I do my best to do every week:

  • Shop directly (as directly as you can get) from farmers. Ways to do that are to:
    - get to your local farmers' market and buy as much of your produce as you can from there.
    - find a food box delivery system online - you won't even have to leave your house.
    - find a co-op nearby.
    This article explains the various shopping options available that are infinitely better for The Issue than shopping at your big supermarkets. It also links to where you can find these outlets near you.

  • Buy locally-produced things. If you're shopping via any of the above modes, you'll be ticking this off effortlessly. If not, you need to ask where the produce has come from. As local as possible is best (like, in your State). Imports, well, it's best to avoid them when it comes to produce we also grow here. Buying local generally also ticks the 'chemical-free' or 'organic' box.

  • Don't buy more than you'll eat, and make the best use of what you buy. The post I wrote a little while back about how to create a zero waste kitchen at home spells this out and gives you tips. Check it out here.

In all honesty, there are plenty more things we can do to make a diff (and they're outlined in the doco) but if we could all do just those things above, the difference it would make would be phenomenal. Such small steps in the grand scheme of our own lives, I think, but such a big difference.


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