Eating tasty, fresh, reasonably-priced food is easier when you know how. Supermarkets have lots of imported food that have travelled long distances to reach us. The journey by plane or boat produces carbon emissions, that along with the energy used to refrigerate and freeze food to keep it fresh, contributes to climate change. That distance travelled is known as food miles. The good news is there are lots of ways to reduce food miles, and you don’t have to look far.
SAVE MONEY - EAT SEASONAL
Some fruit and vegies are seasonal meaning they are plentiful and cheap during the months they grow, then are in short supply, expensive, or unavailable for the rest of the year. Purchasing them dried or frozen is a cheap way to enjoy them year-round. Imported food is more expensive because food mile costs are included in the price. On the other hand, New Zealand-grown hasn’t travelled far so has much lower miles, is cheaper, fresher and supports local farmers and communities. 5aday shows you what’s in season, storage tips and meal suggestions - helping spark different ideas for your shopping list! Finding out where things are grown is easy – just check the signs, stickers or packets they come in.
TRY A MARKET
There are lots of reasons to visit your local market – fresh local food, supporting and meeting local producers, reducing food miles, and getting amongst the local market vibe. While often being a destination for foodies, they are also a great place to buy and sell home baking, chutneys, pre-loved clothes, books and toys, locally made jewelry, art and crafts –plus it gives you the opportunity to meet people from your neighbourhood or community. To find your local check out Auckland Markets.
GROW YOUR OWN
There is something truly satisfying about eating straight from the garden. Whether it’s your own herb pot in the kitchen, a fruit tree in your backyard, or a shared community vegetable garden - you get the freedom to grow what you want and have it on hand at the fraction of the price. It’s also a cheap way to eat organic, and if you keep your own chickens, endless free-range eggs. If you’re new to gardening, herb gardens are an easy way to start off. All you need is space in your backyard, a pot or bucket with holes in for drainage, dirt and seedlings. You can pick them all up from your local hardware or garden center, then you’re set to go! Schools are doing this through the Garden to Table programme, changing the way children think about food.
Planning your meals helps avoid wasting any of the amazing food you’ve purchased – or grown. If you do have leftovers, or your fruit tree has more than you can use, there are lots of things you can do.
- Use leftovers for another meal
- Get creative - too many apples? Make an apple crumble. Bananas going off? Bake a cake or freeze for smoothies!
- Share what you’ve grown with family and friends, or donate to your community pantry or fridge.
- Sell them at your local market
- Compost food scraps
- Preserve any left-over fruit