• Abbey

Do you check labels for Australian made?

Mum rolled her eyes and sighed. This was the 50th time I had stopped the trolley. I grabbed the sultanas. “Mum, these come from Turkey, put them back!” I said. Why are so many products imported from other countries? I decided to do some research.

I pulled everything out of the pantry at home. Pumpkin seeds from china. Tomato sauce from the Netherlands. Flour from Shi Lanka!

Out of the 18 products I looked at, only 4 were made in Australia. I was shocked!

And how confusing, Bega peanut butter is made in Australia from at least 10% Australian ingredients and our linseeds are packed in Australia from imported ingredients. We don’t even know where it comes from. The labels can be really confusing.

The next time we were shopping, I was on the lookout. In the freezer, I looked at 7 brands of frozen berries and only 1 was Australian grown fruit. Why can’t we grow and sell our own frozen berries? Why are we getting berries from Chile which is 13,000km away?

Statics show that imports increase by about 5% a year. 65% of the value of Australian grown food is exported. We export over $1million dollars worth of fruit and nut a year and 8 million dollars worth of Beef. Surely we can stop exporting these things and sell them here.

It seems like a big issue that is too hard to do anything about.

Unless . . each of us does a little part. Just change one habit here and there, it could make a really big difference.

We could also step it up and visit a local farmers market or you could start your own veggie garden. In my local area there is the Mountains to Murray Local Produce Guide. This guide outlines over 100 local farmers that sell directly to the public. If you have a look there is probably something similar in your area too.

I believe we can make a difference. My family and I are now on the lookout for more Australian made and locally grown foods. Please join me and take notice, every little change counts.

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