agriculture, environment, food

Fixing the food system with [better] alternatives


Eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act.

– Wendell Berry, 1990

Recently, I set aside all the messy issues in my head over the state of Australia’s food system and why things were hard to fix. Instead I asked if we…..

If we could change the way consumers ate and bought food, would this would force a change in the way food was sold, produced, processed in our value chains or its ownership.

If we could tackle industrialised agriculture with small-scale production, eat less meat and change our protein preferences; rethink sustainable aquaculture and eat less seafood or reduce food waste through shorter and more direct supply chains.

Instead of telling consumers what they ate was bad or wrong, what if we could create a product that was right in the intersection of solving hunger, is healthy and sustainable? This would certainly solve the challenges we have over implementing a country of origin labelling for food. Or from having to turn to Soylent because we’ve bled our food producers dry. Better yet, to avoid the need to commercialise laboratory-grown meat.

We’re taking small steps and while not all of you would agree with the examples below, I’m using them to represent an intersect product or brands that can feed us in a healthier way and is/can be more sustainable (less food waste, shorter supply chain).

From permaculture to local: When alternative food systems marry local producers, the playground is about to get serious. Milkwood who run great courses on urban and small-scale farming is promoting Ooooby to its members. While you wait for your first harvest, a couple of locally sourced boxes of fruit and veg could inspire you to take food production in-house.

Eat with your neighbours: Not technically but almost. Neighbour Flavour, is touting itself to be the Airbnb of home cooked meals. Cooked a bit too much and not wanting it to go to waste? Put it on the marketplace and out with the hassle of shopping, food prep, washing and cooking. I love the ‘community’ value proposition and it would be amazing to see the birth of a movement of locally prepared meals to reconnect you with your neighbours.

Chia Pots: As Americans and Australians ditch cereal for breakfast, the ready to eat chia pots will likely climb into our time poor diets as a on-the-go option. What’s there not to love about chia pots? It dairy and gluten free and probably requires a smaller carbon footprint to grow and process compared to cereal. Enter The Chia Co. with their refrigerated Chia Pod verses Woolworths with their refrigeration free Macro Chia Pot.




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