New research published by the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance shows that most Australians have never heard of the term ‘food security’. Only 25% of the adult population feel confident in saying what it means. Also, most Australians have no concerns about Australia’s food supply over the next several decades.
These findings point to the need for a sustained national campaign of food literacy, starting in our schools but not limited to them. Food literacy means ‘understanding the story of your food, from farm to the table, and back to the soil’. Food is too important to be taken for granted; and the first step towards moving out of complacency is to deepen our appreciation and understanding of food, and of those who produce it.
Millions of Australians already have such an appreciation, and millions more are developing it. This research also found that 53% of Australians are growing and /or raising some of their own food. While this is a practice with deep roots – half a century ago, food growing was commonplace across Australian suburbs – it is clearly experiencing a renaissance. Nearly three-fifths of those growing and / or raising food began doing so in the last five years, and nearly a fifth in the last 12 months alone.