Food seems to magically appear on our plates and shelves nicely cured and packaged.
We are spoilt for choice in our society with the luxury to access an abundance of foods from the shelves of our local supermarkets. Craving tropical fruit in the midst of Melbourne’s winter, no worries. Norwegian salmon, coffee from Colombia, a soft drink from the U.S.? Head to your local Woolies! As agricultural practices have progressed through advancements in science and technology and our world has globalised increasing trade the mass production of food has skyrocketed.
This readily available food, however, has many hidden environmental consequences. Eating up 50% of our habitable land and making up 25% of our global greenhouse gas emissions, our food structure and systems require reformation and review.
To help put together the processes and pieces behind your late-night snacks, we have compiled links to groups doing vital work in reforming our food systems and educational materials.
Image: ACE & A.R., Futureology, 2022. Featured in ‘You can’t eat the Metaverse, or can you? Health, Wellness and Sustainability in a Digital Era.’
Where Our Food Comes From
Helping bridge the gap from farm to fork.
From Paddock to Plate – Learn about food and fibre production in Australia and connect with the FPTP Community! Want to educate your children or youth in your work or community? Check out their school program and educational materials. Are you a farmer or know farmers? Look into their farmer network! Want easy, fresh recipes where you link with local farmers for ingredients download their app!
ESRI Australia Story Map – Want to know more about what’s food is imported in Australia? Explore the interactive map for both processed and unprocessed food imports, click on a country and expose the types of food imported including the top 10 countries of import priority.
Agrifutures – What are the processes involved going from farm to retail? How do we price these things? This research outlines how price-base competition shapes our food system and where we place value. How do we place monetary value on animals from live exports, food generally produced under unsustainble practices, is this even considered?
Why It Matters
Climate change effects are threatening the security of our food. Why, who’s at risk and what does our future looks like?
Climate Nexus – A group dedicated to changing the conversation on climate change and clean energy, here you can discover the key climate change-related issues surrounding food, with a fantastic resource on the significant impacts of animal agriculture.
National Geographic – Summary of key ecological impacts from the technological advancements in the way we produce food. From the world-renowned Nat Geo, hosting scientifically founded resources and information across a large range of environmental matters.
Australian Institute of Family Studies – Food insecurity does not impact everyone equally. In Australia, some groups are more vulnerable such as single-parent households and low-income earners. Here you can better understand this and the support the AIFS can provide.
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences – Direct research from our key government’s agricultural department providing reports on:
Further insights and understanding of the government’s perspective (important to note) and the structure of the industry can be found.
Explore the incredible sustainable alternatives and innovations challenging current unsustainable practices.
Food Tank – One-stop-shop information hub promoting sustainable food systems and food justice by raising awareness and providing information and resources on sustainable farming practices.
Agricultural Innovation Australia – Key driver of innovation and productivity in Australian agriculture using research and projects to support farmers, researchers, and businesses to adopt new technologies and practices.
Sustain – Passionate about the environmental and social impacts of food production and consumption, and promotion of sustainable farming practices in Australia. You can find plenty of resources and support as well as the capacity to engage in advocacy!
The Union of Concerned Scientists – Better understand sustainable agricultural practices and their benefits for farmers, the environment, and society from our concerned scientists responsibly using scientific research to address our climate crisis.
The Aboriginal Carbon Foundation – Working to support and empower Indigenous communities to participate in carbon farming and land management activities helping mitigate the effects of climate change.
Waste and Inequity
We deal with both significant food waste and disparity in food availability in our current food systems. Ironically. Connect with groups managing the impacts of these issues.
Local Food Connect – Connecting people with local food producers and sustainable food systems. Find a list of local food justice organisations in Australia promoting access to healthy, culturally appropriate and affordable food for everyone. Key groups listed include:
These organisations offer a variety of great services you can get involved with such as food banks, community gardens, nutrition education and food rescue programs!
Second Bite – Working to redistribute the surplus fresh food to people in need. They hope to combat food insecurity and waste by connecting the contrasting issues, partnering with over 2,000 community organisations such as shelters, soup kitchens, and schools. They provide education and training on food waste reduction, healthy eating and cooking.
Fareshare – With roots beginning in Melbourne in 2000 with a pastry chef inspired to take action on food waste and hunger, Fareshare also aims to reduce food waste and provide healthy meals for people who need them. Their interstate groups allow a large community to get involved in their diverse opportunities!