Food waste

in Australia this year


Food wastage

in Australia today


Food-related carbon emissions

in Australia this year


Food-related carbon emissions

in Australia today



Week 3 Eco-friendly Food Challenge

Posted on May 7th, 20126 comments

Week 3

Pantry ItemsThis challenge seeks to give you an understanding of where the foods in your pantry come from. Past participants of the challenge have been surprised at how much of the food comes from overseas. For example:

"I found this activity extremely insightful (it was also a great opportunity to reorganise my pantry!). It's hard to believe that more than three quarters of my panty items are either imported or contain imported ingredients! Although I was aware that many products in the supermarkets these days are imported. I didn't expect that it would include the most basic eneryday things like canned tomatoes and raw sugar. It was also really interesting to see that although many products might be 'Packed in Australia' or 'Made in Australia', a significant proportion of them do still contain imported ingredients. In fact, I think the most common food label I came across was 'Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients' (with varying wording)".... Stephanie, 2011


During Week 3, you might was to comment on:

  • Your experiences from Week 2
  • Why is the distance that food travels an important factor in considering food system sustainability?
  • What role does Life Cycle Analysis play in answering questions of food system sustainability?
  • Does supporting Australian agriculture effect long term food security in the Australian context? What effect might protectionism have on global food security?
  • Where does Fair Trade and animal welfare fit into responsible food purchasing in your view?
Author: Barbara (Queensland Health)


Lisa said...

I always read place of origin information on my food and even though I usually have to pay a bit more I always buy australian made items. However I recently bought "Helgas Sandwich Thins" and as it was a bread product I didn't even think of checking county of origin. Bread, I thought, was always made in Australia due to the freshness issues. When I got home I was amazed to read this product was made in the USA!! I have been eating it, but due to the huge number of food miles this product has travelled, it always leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I certainly won't be buying this again.

May 7th, 2012 at 12:53:15 PM

Barbara said...

I decided today was a good day to clean out my kitchen cupboards and do the pantry audit. It is bad enough that I have so many items that have travelled so many kilometers but even worse, some of them are past their use by date. What a total waste! My oldest one was November 2009. Has anyone got anything earlier than that?

May 7th, 2012 at 06:09:49 PM

Holly- student said...

When I look at the labels on food items, my eyes wonder straight to the Nutrition Information Panel. Being honest, looking at the place of origin for where my food was produced is a criteria I rarely use when buying food items. So looking in the pantry cupboard will be shockingly interesting. But what will astound me is the number of heavily processed items that require an incredible amount of energy to produce and that travel so far to get to my panty only to end up sitting there untouched for years. I will see tonight if any food items extend beyond November 2009! Food items without labels (ie. cereals that have been put into containers) beg the question of where they are actually produced. It looks like a bit of research is on the cards tonight! Does anyone know where Sultana Bran comes from?

May 10th, 2012 at 10:07:08 AM

Sandy said...

I'm not sure where Sultana Bran comes from.. As with things like marinated olives, mixed nuts, sauces etc I have noticed that they come from local and imported ingredients. I often wonder what % is local and what is imported. I think we have the right to know this type of information.. It certainly influences what I purchase. In my pantry now I tend to buy bulk food items such as dried beans, lentils etc from wholefood stores rather than a supermarket so that I can talk to the proprietor and find out where foods come from which are usually Australian and if not then they are 'fairtrade'. This sits well with me. I use old recycled jars to store everything in and none of it is processed or minimally.

May 10th, 2012 at 10:29:13 AM

Nazurah (student) said...

Dear Barbara, I have to confess few days ago I threw out a box of raisins that had already expired 4 years ago. That is even worse! So I decided to clear my kitchen cupboard and throw out a lot of food I couldn't even remember buying. I noticed even without doing the pantry audit and organising my food shelf I have foods from everywhere. I guess it’s mainly because I can't find noodle 'tai tong' or 'belacan' (shrimp paste) made in/product of Australia. If I am able to find those locally made I would definitely try.

p/s: another confession - I gave away the '4 years preserved raisins' mainly because it was ‘sustaining’ an army of ants.

May 10th, 2012 at 02:09:39 PM

Gabrielle O'Kane said...

Not that long ago my mother was having trouble with moths in the kitchen, so I suggested that we do a complete clean up of what was in the cupboard. I was sure she had to have some flour or something that was not in a jar. She was adamant that this was not the case, but sure enough, there were packets of flour and all sorts of things that had not been cleaned out for years. Who knows how old some of it was. My parents are in their 80s, so this is what happens when you get old - you do not think cleaning out cupboards is a priority!!
I do look at country of origin when buying food. It was not that long ago and I was checking out the Woolworths home brand jams and they were all made overseas. I asked one of the shop assistants why there was a need to buy jam from overseas - remember this was just the homebrand jam, not a specialty jam. She did not have an answer, but suggested I email the customer relations section of Woolworths. I did so, as I was feeling pretty cross about this, and I received a reply to say that there are times when Australian suppliers cannot supply jam, so they import it. This is how dependent we have become on having everything we want whenever we want. So, instead of waiting for the next season's plum jam, we import it!

May 11th, 2012 at 04:30:24 PM

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