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Remember that your food dollar is also your vote. When doing the food shopping each week, you can ‘vote’ to support the things you feel are important – wether it be:
- chemical-free farming
- free range farming
- vegan or vegetarian living
- less packaging
- gluten-free products
- fair trade production
- Australian grown
- locally made
- small businessess
- etc etc
…so much power & influence lies in where you choose to place your dollars each week!
Remember around 15 years ago – there were only 1 or 2 certified organic products available on the shelves of Australian supermarkets (you had to go to healthfood stores to find them).
Now, thanks to the ‘food dollar votes’ of all of us who’ve chosen to support organic growers & food producers despite extra costs, there are now whole sections & aisles of Coles, Woolies, IGA & Aldi, displaying organics & health foods. Mainstream food retailers have been forced to listen, & go with consumer demand, sourcing more & more organics & ‘consciously produced foods’ for their shelves.
The increased demand from consumers & retailers means that many more farmers & producers have now chosen to go down the organic route – which keeps their little piece of the planet chemical free. The more little pieces of the planet where our soil is kept nourished & protected, air is kept clean, & water is left unpolluted – the less environmental mess we will leave our children to deal with. And with a bit of luck & careful ‘voting’ with our food dollars – our grandkids may still be able to inhabit this well-used planet.
You don’t have to buy everything local, free range, fair trade, organic or without plastic every shop – but remember, with every purchase there are decisions you can make that mean your dollar contributes a vote towards a better place, or a vote that says ‘I don’t really care’. Make sure you are ‘caring’ as much as you can, think about the difference you can make over a year of buying. And the direct influence you can have on your network – a friend who comes over & tries your favourite brand of organic fair trade coffee may suddenly convert their weekly ‘I don’t care’ coffee dollars into ‘I do care’ votes.
One person can’t fix our food issues alone, but together we can make some difference! Imagine if everyone decided ‘cigarettes really have no place in our shops, we don’t want them available for purchase anymore’. Or ‘overconsumption of soft drink is causing so much sickness in our population that it should no longer be available in stores for teenagers to buy’.
So many votes to think about…a good place to start is by shopping mostly at your local farmer’s markets. You will be supporting your local community, local farmers & small businesses, plus many local organic / chemical free / free range / grass fed / no artificials / & hand made products & their producers. They can help explain to your kids where food really comes from. And – you won’t be giving your dollars (or your vote) to the profit-driven retail giants who care little for our planet, farmers & producers. It is a start that you can build on :)
I’d love to get an email from you with where your vote lies…