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Sustainable Kitchen - Low Food Mile Restaurant

posted 22 Nov 2010, 17:47 by Kestrel Maher

One of the most important things that we can do for the planet is recognise the impact of our choices in consumption.  Eating food is something we do every day.  Yet how many of us know where our food has come from?

Research indicates that the average Australian meal has travelled over 2000 kilometres to reach the plate.  Our humble sandwich may have an origin as grain on a farm in South Western Queensland, be transported to New South Wales where it is made into flour, then into Victoria where it becomes bread.  It's then wrapped in plastic ( made from oil that has been drilled in Saudia Arabia, shipped to China where it is made into plastic, shipped into Darwin and then shipped to the bakery in Victoria).  The cheese comes from a cow in a dairy in South Australia on the Murray River, the cheese manufactured in Victoria, transported to Woolies base in NSW before being shipped around the country.  The lettuce has been in cold storage for 10 days since it left its hydroponic farm in our countries "food bowl" in the Murray-Darling Basin, at a cost of 80 litres of water per lettuce and has never been in contact with sun or soil.  The mayonaise has been produced in Turkey, and includes imported vegetable oil from Iraq; the squeeze bottle it came in was manufactured in China from components sourced from the Middle East.

What is wrong with this picture?

*   Wasting the limited and valuable fossil fuel resources that were created over millions of years, shuffling food-stuffs all over the planet.
*   Packaging uses finite resources in its manufacture, and more resources in its disposal.
*   What are the health consequences of food that has been filled with preservatives to travel long distances?  Of food that has no connection with the soil?  What has happened to the enzymes and life forces of the food
*   What are the social and spiritual consequences of disassociating eating from our experience of growing, nurturing, harvesting food?

Sustainable Living Association Inc is working with Bellbunya to develop "The Sustainable Kitchen"; a low food mile kitchen where the bulk of food served is grown in South East Queensland, on ethically based organic farms and bought with minimal packaging, much of which is reused.  

This ties in with our eco-agriculture project, where we are working on supplying 90% of all fresh fruit and vegetables used in the restaurant from the Bellbunya site or within 10 kilometres by Easter, 2012, highlighting and supporting local organic enterprises.
Ethical, sustaining food production creating delicious, living, healthy meals with as close to zero food miles as possible.