Let the GROW Challenges begin!

Campaigning for change article written on the 24 Apr 2013

Oxfam Australia has launched six months of sustainable and fair eating challenges to help ensure that everybody has enough food always.

How? By taking up actions such as eating seasonal, organic, and sustainable foods; supporting small-scale farmers in developing countries; eating less meat and dairy; reducing food waste, and saving energy in the kitchen.

The first challenge…….eat seasonally

“By eating seasonally we can reduce the distance that food travels by almost 40%” (CERES Fair Food, 2013)

Eat seasonally? What does that have to do international development I hear you ask! Well, we waste lots of energy trying to grow food in the wrong place, at the wrong time of year. Seasonal fruit and vegetables don’t use as much energy to reach our plate, which in turn helps reduce the amount of fossil fuels burned to feed us. This helps limit greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, which is threatening small-scale food producers across the world.

In a nutshell, a smaller food-footprint is good for farmers, which is good for feeding the world.

Now are you ready for the challenge?

Your challenge: Cook up a storm with seasonal produce – click it – and flick it up on OxfamAustralia’s Facebook page! You’ll go into the draw to win a signed copy of GROW Ambassador Julie Goodwin’s new cookbook Gather!

Some inspiration for eating seasonally……

How about starting simple, popping your meal in a jam jar so that it’s convenient, seasonal and upcycling all at once! Check out the Veggie Patch Van to find out how good a chickpea can taste!

But what about the price issue? Surely seasonal food is just for those with deep pockets? Not the case when it comes to Alfalfa House in Sydney. Check out the top five reasons to visit farmers market, or read about how good it can be to grow your own seasonal produce!

Check out why industrial farming systems are problematic when it comes to a huge raft of sustainable and fair food criteria discussed in the film, Food Inc.   By choosing one product over another, you are voting!

Bloggers are a great source of inspiration. This article will give you a sense of why three foodie bloggers are passionate about sustainable, seasonal and ethical food.

Another brilliant way to start get the gastronomic juices flowing is by jumping onto Seasonal Sunday Lunch and hosting or attending a lunch made with seasonal produce. The recipes you’ll find on this site are bound to get you feeling very motivated for that next big (or small) cook up.

What about getting a seasonal fruit and veggie box? Foodconnect and Fair Food  can help you with that. Check out these and other ‘Fair Foodie’ friends on our Eat Seasonally page and how they can help you with your seasonal produce needs!

Seasonal availability of course varies by region, but a few ways you can find out what’s in season in your neck of the woods by visiting the Seasonal Food Guide Australia.

Oh, and did anyone mention that seasonal fruit and veg tastes better? Our Pintrest boards pay homage to the colour and flavor of seasonal and fair food.

We hope you will join in the challenge to make our everyday actions help reduce hunger and food insecurity worldwide.  We look forward to seeing your kitchen creations, and reading of how you vote each time you buy food.
By Melita Grant, Oxfam’s GROW Team and fair foodie




Take the GROW Challenge

Each month from April to September, we will profile a different principle from the GROW Method with information, inspiration, recipes, and delicious competitions. Be part of a growing movement of people who want to use their everyday buying and cooking power to create sustained change in the world.

Take the GROW Challenge