A wooden trug of freshly harvested vegetables, promoting healthy eating and living.
A wooden trug of freshly harvested vegetables, promoting healthy eating and living. Richard_Pinder

Why you should care about the story behind your food

OPINION: THE 21st century is bringing profound changes to the way we communicate, do business, shop and even plan our next meal.

Yet by complete contrast consumers are bucking this trend when it comes to the food they eat. At a time when global growth of online retail is burgeoning, more and more people are keen to discover the provenance of the food they share with family and friends.

Who produced it? where it was grown, caught or raised? How did it travel from its place of origin to their plate?

They're keen to understand the provenance of their food and are using this information to inform their shopping and dining choices.

Provenance is a term rarely used until about two years ago. Somehow in a very short period of time the use of the word provenance has slipped into our everyday language.

When it comes to food and drink, provenance has a particularly important role to play. At a time when global consumption means that ingredients are shipped as commodities from one part of the world to another for processing and packaging, before they are shipped back to your local supermarket or shop, its important to understand the journey of what you consume and feed your family.

We are very fortunate in Australia, we have arguable the strictest food and farming regulations in the world, all with the aim of making our food and drink the cleanest safest available.

This also means our food is highly sought after in other countries.

New labelling laws will soon start to show more information about where ingredients are sourced, but this will only be part of the picture.

It would be unwise to remain complacent about the provenance of food - you only need to recall the imported berry scare here in Australia and the melamine in foreign baby milk products to understand why you should care.

Many of our small to medium family farms, small independent food processors and value adders go to extraordinary lengths to provide absolute transparency about their products. Many of our larger Australian manufacturers also increasingly provide this information too.

As a consumer of food and drink each of us has the ability to help promote provenance, by the choices we make every day.

  • Rose Wright is an expert on provenance

Upcoming workshop

Rose Wright will speak at the upcoming Food and Agribusiness Network Sunshine Coast workshop on provenance on August 30 at Flame Hill Vineyard in Montville.

The event is from 8am to 12:30pm. 

For more information or to book tickets click here.

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