Australia produces enough food to feed three times or more of our population. However, it doesn’t mean we won’t have problems with food security and value chains. The issues are likely to arise with supply chain problems in getting food from paddock to plate.
Overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown food security into chaos around the world. Broken down machinery along the supply chain can also lead to interruptions. Short supply of some food will cause price hikes.
The national lock-downs sowed economic chaos. In the past few months, we’ve seen vegetable seedlings and packets of seeds snapped up from retailers, farmers and nurseries around the country like never before. It is a sure sign people are returning to home gardening.
The COVID-19 pandemic is driving a home gardening resurgence encouraging the nation to become more self-sufficient, discover new ways to be creative, and find peace in their backyard oasis.
A new report has affirmed Australia’s credentials as one of the world’s most food-secure nations, with our farmers producing substantially more food than Australians consume, even during drought years.
The latest report by the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics details almost 89% of the food Australians to enjoy grown right here. Only 11% s imported, of which 1.6% is fresh produce and the remainder, non-perishable goods.
Eat seasonally and live off your home garden.
Eating seasonally and living off the home garden can have a hugely positive impact on the environment. It will also keep your costs down and providing more food security. Even if you only have pots on a balcony in a high-rise apartment. It’s a chance to indulge in the fresh flavours of the season. It also offers ample opportunity to experiment in the kitchen with tasty surplus crops during tough times.
You could look at this as a silver lining and want to encourage your community to follow suit. They can grow some and exchange some of the produce they produce and make the most of your gardening spaces.
When quarantined, the chances are you will reacquaint yourself with the forgotten spices and canned food keep along with eggs and dairy? Well, the first thing you should know is expiration dates are not expiration dates. They are a guide only to the peak performance of the food.
As long as there is no outward sign of spoilage such as bulging or rust, or visible decay when you open it such as cloudiness, moldiness or rotten smells, they’re fine. Your canned fruits, vegetables and meats will remain as delicious and palatable as the day you bought them for years.
Oil in open containers can vary significantly in shelf life, but all will last longer if you don’t keep them near or above your stovetop, where heat can get to them. It also takes a long time for eggs to go bad. Follow your nose.
Key Message: So why not take the opportunity to plant, potter and play and put your newfound confinement time to good use and maintain your food-security?
“Anything which can slow us down and force patience, everything which sets us into a better state of mind, has to be a benefit during a crisis”. Peter Sergeant
“In times of adversity, your garden is an excellent place to hang out and dig up inspiration for your future”. Peter Sergeant