Everyone eats, so capturing the diversity of eaters was important to this project. Our eaters come from diverse backgrounds and locations. Some of them are city dwellers, others remote, some on low incomes, single or with large families to feed. Some are students, others work in hospitality or the arts, are academics or have professional careers. Some are couples with more choice, higher incomes, or living in areas with more choices. They have different skills and access when it comes to food. However, the eaters in this book share a common theme of helping to transform the food system as individuals determined to make a change. No matter their location, family situation, education or income, these are eaters who care about the food they consume, where they source it from, how it is grown, prepared and eaten.
Caley provides a First Peoples perspectives and the challenges of taking back food sovereignty when they have been dispossessed from their Traditional Lands. Caley is committed to looking at ways that food creates opportunities to reclaim and heal fragmented ecosystems of care: for food, Country and people.
Some have a focus on doing it themselves. Simon and his partner Cassy have recently purchased their own block of land, are advocates of permaculture, already growing much of their own fruit and vegetables as well as honey and eggs. They buy meat directly from local farmers and have been members of community-supported agriculture systems. They eat seasonally and incorporate a more Asian style diet due to the tropical climate and availability of local food. The long term plan is to integrate more animals into the system for meat, preferring ethically raised, quality meat over quantity. He’d love to see the return to a bartering economy.
Olivia is renting but has a dream of a place of her own, working together with others in a community setting to grow their own food. She spends a lot of time learning about food abundant in the local area so that she can forage, as well as identify foods in her share-house backyard. Along with her partner who lives on a nearby suburban block they grow a significant number of herbs and leafy greens in a small area.
For Hannah and Sharolyn the challenges of bringing up families highlight the importance of food and health but also touch on the limitations of time, finance and access. Hannah’s remote Northern Territory location means accessing fresh seasonal food is a challenge and food shortages are increasingly common. Sharolyn juggles a larger family and finances with her husband working two jobs, she buys as locally as possible, accesses a Community Food Bank and is famous among friends for rescuing food from dumpsters too.
Ashley and Olive connect to the community through food and have experienced major impacts of bushfires and flooding, they see the social importance of food in their local area and describe their experiences. Both have been involved in food relief programs in times of disaster. Olive buys through a Community Supported Agriculture scheme, but highlights the difficulties of accessing medicinal, culturally appropriate and nourishing food. Ashley started a hobby garden and is keen to learn ways to be more self-sufficient when it comes to growing her own food. She is passionate about community-led, social transformation.