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The Issues Around Food 
See online resource with details on these topics at:
Food Miles - a study found that the total 
distance for all transportation for a typical food 
basket in Melbourne - 29 common food items, 
was 70,803 km - twice around the earth 
[rice 9700, sugar 2300, chips 2000, tea 8300 ] 
this is expected for Imported Foods, but mass 
produced Australian Products can also gain 
travel miles between picking, and packing. See 3-4 in 
online resource for more food miles information. 
Pesticide Residues - are an issue 
[apples 15%, lettuce 4%, bread 2%] because weeds 
and pest insects love acres of monoculture, high 
volume farmed food. The industrialisation of rural 
regions also sparks social issues like worker 
exploitation, and animal cruel factory farming.  
See 3-5 in online resource. 
Local & Home Grown - knowing where your 
food comes from, meeting the growers and 
makers, knowing what is in your food, and 
seeing your money recycle through the 
community. But what do the claims mean? - 
organic, chemical free, biodynamic, and 
permaculture? See 3-6 in online resource. 
Food Handling and Care 
Raw & Fresh - general hygiene and storage is key.  
Wash all food preparation areas, wash and scrub 
home harvested produce before bringing inside, and 
wash and rinse produce just before eating or making 
into the meal. See 3-9 in online resource.
Let’s Be The Change
Sustainable Living 
 in Moonee Valley 
Food & Garden
Half Processed - longer life preserved foods - dried fruit, 
vegetables, and meats; dehydrated products like 
spaghetti; bottled and canned foods are convenient and 
help us extend seasonal foods, but check the ingredients 
list on commercial items. See 3-10 in online resource. 
Ready to Eat - basically engineered food.  While 
convenient and tasty, the ingredient list highlights the 
salts, sugars, colourings, and flavour agents, needed to 
give these an appealing appearance, a long shelf life, 
and to use up cheaper base ingredients. Resource 3-11. 
- some packaging may be necessary for 
processed and bulk foods, and managing some plastic 
waste is less climate damaging than the current 20% of 
food wasted in shipping, storage, and supermarket 
display. Resource 3-7 and 3-8 
Do It Yourself Options - start with local, low food miles, 
shops and farmers markets; take your own produce and 
carry bags; reuse your own containers for tricky items- 
honey, peanut butter, cleaning liquids; and use beeswax 
or silicone wraps and cloth fridge bags to store foods.  
Compostable - the most basic is fruit and vegetable 
peelings and cuttings saved for your compost bin. But 
by using a Bokashi type fermentation system, prepared 
foods, meat, dairy, egg, coffee & tissues can also be 
turned into compost. Resource 3-12 
Everything Eaten - thoughtful planning means 
no wasted food, just enough for the one meal, or a 
cascade of left-overs into other meals. Resource 3-13 
Water Waste - hygiene and meal preparation 
comes first, but develop a plan for the separation and 
collection of this water, and use it to grow more food. 
Time is Money & Energy - cooking multiple 
meals at the same time - so investigate pressure 
cooking, pans matched to tasks, microwave, solar & 
turbo ovens. Resource 3-14
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Food Challenges 
For one meal – Just for you (or organise a multi household 
street event ) - try to source everything from just your local 
region - maybe only things from your farmers market. 
Over one month – Letter-box survey your neighbours 
asking who composts, and who has chooks, worm farms, 
and Bokashi bins, then suggest starting a food waste share 
program - swap food scraps for fresh eggs, or worm 
castings and juice, or just help some one with no garden 
manage their scraps. 
One weekend - look up the OpenFood Network or online 
search your town and plan a family walk, bike, or car trip, 
to visit a community garden, food co-op, organic farm, or 
just to find a new whole- foods grocer. 
During the year - look up Permablitz online. Explore going 
on a blitz to help out and learn garden skills, and then 
consider using a blitz to build or revamp your own garden 
Forever – Make one day a meatless day, and then see if 
you can add more days. 
Kids Fun - start a carrot top garden, or plant seeds in soil or 
potting mix in an egg carton. Give them their own space in 
your garden. Ask older kids to write out, and illustrate, 
vegetarian or local food recipes, and make a street recipe 
Activating Sustainable Living  
in Moonee Valley
Estimate Your Food Source Percentages 
Using the Season Food Guide from Transition Australia, - 
Resource 3-3 - estimate the percentages for each aspect of 
your food consumption - the Raw/Fresh, Local/Home, and 
Australian Produce percentages will show how [ sun light 
powered, In Season ] compared to [ fossil fuel assisted, Out 
of Season / Hot House Grown ] your food currently is.
Keep a Food Diary for A Week 
Make note of: 
• the source of each part - is the food imported, product 
of Australia, or sourced local item / home grown? 
• the type of packaging  - is the packaging all waste (red 
bin), recyclable (yellow bin), or your bags & handling? 
• the degree of pre-processing - is the food raw-fresh, half 
process (dried, frozen), processed/ready to eat? 
• the waste part - are the scraps fully compostable, 
everything eaten? Does it require cooking/washing 
water waste? 
• the cooking energy required - 30 minutes, 1 hour, more 
than 1 hour?
Global food production increased 250% from 1960 to 
2019 as we industrialised agriculture. Climate change 
impacts, and population growth, predict a further 70% 
increase will be needed by 2050 if we continue on the 
same path. The ecologic cost of having the current huge 
variety of out-of-season, imported, and convenience 
packaged foods is huge - 30% of our ecologic footprint. 
Important Information About Food Production 
• processing, packing, transport, storage and waste 
disposal consumes fossil fuel & energy. 
• large scale single product farming - monoculture - 
has depleted soil & caused erosion. 
• modified “high yield” crops need chemical fertilisers 
and pesticides (most made from oil). 
• Industrialisation needs money and so concentrates 
ownership and control. 
• convenience packaging needs salt & fructose for shelf 
life, and colouring for marketing. 
• high turnover, large scale farming needs locked in, 
large volumes, of water. 
More information on the real cost of food start here
 - Resour
ce 3-1 
So Where Do You Stand on Food? 
Let’s start wth a food audit of your meals and food 
sourcing. Download a general pantry and fridge audit - 
link above - Resource 3-2