World Food Day 2022 falls on Sunday the 16th of October and this year’s theme is “leave NO ONE behind”, with a focus on building a sustainable world where everyone, everywhere has regular access to enough nutritious food. One of the simple ways that we, as individuals, can all help the cause is by choosing local and seasonal produce, as well as reducing food waste.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our very own Produce Guide with a focus on Spring so that you can learn more about the importance of shopping seasonally, how to find good produce and our top fruit and vegetable picks for Spring.
Local vs overseas produce
Did you know that the fruits and veggies that you buy at your local grocery store can come from all around the world when they’re not in season or easily accessible in Australia? You’ll be able to tell where the produce has come from based on their product labels (this is a legal requirement).
When produce is imported from outside of Australia, it will undergo a transit process that is typically a lot more extensive and lengthy than buying from Australian sources. Due to the length of transit, the overseas produce is usually cold-stored and can be stored away for weeks before it makes its way into your local supermarket.
The benefits of shopping seasonally and locally
Now you might be wondering, “does it really make a difference if I buy seasonal and local produce?”… Yes, it definitely does! We’ve outlined the main benefits of shopping locally and seasonally below. Keep reading…
The demand for produce that isn’t in season requires farmers to use other farming methods that put more emphasis on processing and packaging, including energy-intensive fertiliser practices, all of which can contribute to higher carbon emissions.
When you purchase local produce that’s been sourced in Australia, the food miles are drastically reduced. This means that the transportation process and costs are much lower and have less of a strain on the environment.
Fresher and tastier produce
Fruit and vegetables are fresher and tastier when they’re harvested in season. When you purchase produce from overseas, the time in between farm to plate may also has an impact on the produce’s freshness and flavour due to the transportation process involved..
When a certain fruit or vegetable is in season, it generally means that there is an abundance of it available and this equates to lower produce costs as there is less demand and pressure on farms to offer produce that isn’t in season.
Support small businesses
Purchasing fresh produce from smallholder producers, for example from a farmer’s market, means that you are not only supporting small businesses, but you’re also supporting their communities too!
What’s in season in Spring (Australian edition):
- blueberries (start of Nov.)
- blueberries (start of Nov.)
- asian greens*
- brussels sprouts
- onion, spring
- sweet potato
Information from sustainabletable.org.au
A few of our favourite producers
Here are a few of our favourite places to get fresh fruit and veggies in Sydney:
- Sydney Fruit and Veg
- Carriage Works Farmers’ Markets
- Northside Produce Market
- Orange Grove Market
We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful and if you have any other favourite places to source your fresh product, leave a comment below to let us know! If you would like to learn more about World Food Day and how you can take action, check out their website here.