I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the recent floods across much of eastern Australia have devastated many food crops and that consequently many farmers are doing it tough.
Have you thought about what you can do to help?
Here's four simple things you can do to help flood affected Aussie farmers:
1. Buy only Australian grown fruit and vegetables
It's now more important than ever to buy Australian-grown produce. I'm guessing many of you already buy local and Australian grown fruit and vegetables. If not, now is a good time to start. Do you really need to eat grapes all-year-round?
It's also a good time to take a closer look and assess whether imported produce is sneaking into your shopping trolley. How about your frozen peas, or your tinned tomatoes, or tinned fruit, or your orange juice. Are they all made entirely of Australian produce?
2. Buy 'ugly' fruit and vegetables
Our major supermarkets have generously (hint of sarcasm) said that in response to the floods they'll sell fruit and veg that wouldn't normally be up to their rigorous standards. Perhaps the tomatoes will be slightly spotted, or the potatoes slightly blemished, or your banana may, heaven forbid, have a dark patch.
I'd love to go off on a tangent and complain about the fact that they don't sell this kind of fruit and vegetables all the time (which results in HUGE wastage). But I won't because I want to keep this message clear and simple.
Go and seek out that 'ugly' fruit and buy it. We need to learn to love 'ugly' produce permanently. Send a clear message to our supermarkets that we want our farmers to be paid fair prices for good produce no matter what it looks like and we'd rather our fruit be blemished than see it wasted.
3. Be willing to pay a little extra
Some fresh foods may become more expensive in coming months and consequently the major supermarkets have said that they may import fruit and vegetables if crop shortages, due to flooding, 'drive prices beyond the tolerance of consumers' grocery bills'.
Do you think they'll drop the cheap imports once the Australian crops recover? Do you think the average Australian will then happily return to paying a fair price for fresh food once they've been spoilt by ridiculously cheap imports?
Let's not let the supermarkets get away with using the floods as an excuse to import cheap fruit and vegetables. Don't be tempted by cheap imported food. The cost is too high.
4. Boycott the major supermarkets
If you want to truly support Australian farmers, boycott the major supermarkets. Support farmers, not shareholders, by buying direct from farmers through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, or at a local farmers market, or through a local food co-op. Alternatively, at the very least, buy from a small independent green grocer.
And besides, picking up from a farm...
...or popping into the farmers markets, is so much more fun than going to the supermarket.
How about you? Does your dollar go to farmers or shareholdres?
Also, on a similar note, have you been following the milk wars? Please, please don't be tempted by that cheap milk. Again, the cost is too high.
Find this post informative? Feel free to share it with your circle of friends via email, Twitter or Facebook. Or simply rave to your friends and family about how much fun you have at the farmers market, or how delicious local organic prodce is.
Be well and happy,