LIFESTYLE: The Sustainable Table / Helping the Challenges our Environment is Facing One Meal at a Time


But convenience comes at a cost to our planet and lots of it is food related.  Whether it’s the single use plastics our foods are wrapped in, the bags we take it home in, the excessive quantities we put in the bin because we bought too much, left it too long or didn’t know how to use those tasty leftovers. A staggering 5 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill each year in Oz alone!   

Then there’s the expectation that if we want it we should be able to buy it - all year round.  But seasons matter if we want to help reduce the carbon footprint of what we eat and reduce the use of pesticides just for starters. And let’s not just blame big business who’ve made it their mantra to deliver everything the customer wants, 365 days of the year.  We can choose to buy seasonal, locally grown and organic where possible. We can help the challenges our environment is facing one meal at a time.

Organisations such as OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, are making a difference at a corporate level.  Across the country they rescue more than 180 tonnes of food each week from supermarkets, hotels, airports, wholesalers, farmers, corporate events, catering companies, shopping centres, delis, restaurants, film and TV shoots and boardrooms. It’s been a 16 year journey thus far, and underpinning all of their efforts is education, with their program FEAST which is now being rolled out in schools Australia-wide.



The Sustainable Table is working too to ‘build an engaged community of people who want to learn about sustainable food production and how they can support a food system that restores and nurtures the natural systems it relies upon.’  They’re an environmental not-for-profit that provides Australians with the tools and information to make ethical eating easy.  And let’s face it, if it’s easy, we’re much more likely to do it!

So just recapping the things we can do to make our tables more sustainable, are easy and don't make life too inconvenient for us:

  • check out your local produce markets to buy seasonal, local and most likely organic.  They abound in the regions and the big cities too.
  • choose fruit and veg that roams free on your supermarket shelf, not wrapped snugly in a plastic cocoon
  • select free range meats - and try to eat less of them 
  • only buy what you need and that means a bit of planning and making a shopping list (argh!)
  • take your own shopping bags - jute, cotton, reusable
  • reduce waste by cooking up your vege peelings for your dogs or animals - or don't peel at all!
  • be armed with some good recipes to use your leftovers (try Jamie Oliver's leftovers recipes for some inspo...)