Lately, I have been thinking a lot about food and sustainability. And I have talked to many amazing people who are making a difference in this space. Some are adopting regenerative farming practices. Others are developing plant-based meat alternatives or are connecting communities to fight food waste.
But the more I learn, the more complicated it all seems. Here are a couple of problems I have been mulling over.
1. Lack of connection with the origin of our food
In the little bubble that I inhabit, it seems like we’re making incredible progress in terms of people making more informed choices about the provenance of their food.
Many people I know are very aware of the issues surrounding food and sustainability. They aim to buy produce that has been grown responsibly. Many are eating less meat, but of much higher quality. And some have given it up altogether.
But I am under no illusion that I am mostly surrounded by people who are very similar to me.
To achieve far-reaching change, it seems that we need to find a way to re-connect people with the origin of their food and what it takes to bring it from farm to table.
How do we do that an increasingly urbanised world? Do we do enough to educate kids on the importance of how food is grown?
2. Confusing or misleading food labelling
I know many people who are trying to do the right thing and buy food that is grown responsibly.
But to be frank, it’s bloody hard to do! Food labelling and marketing can be extremely confusing.
While regulation in Australia seems to be better than in other countries, it’s still difficult to differentiate what is actually organically grown product or if it’s just the excessive use of words like ‘natural’, ‘quality’ or something equally wholesome sounding that makes me think it might be.
How can we make it easier for consumers to make better choices?
3. Access to and affordability of quality produce
While there are so many great entrepreneurs doing amazing things, it seems to me that right now the movement is very much driven by the premium end.
How can we make sure that it doesn’t stay that way? How can we make sustainably grown produce more affordable and accessible?
As you can tell, I have more questions than answers and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!