Last week was One Planet Week, a week in which to challenge our habitual resource use and to live in line with the resources of one planet. In Australia the majority of us consume at the rate of three to four planets … meaning we need to find that many more resources if we want to keep up our current lifestyles. For One Planet Week a partner and I set ourselves the challenge of eating locally for the week, not driving and using as little electricity as possible. This included no air con and in the heat that I’m sure you all remember of last week, this was no small feat.
Day one started well enough with mint-from-the-garden tea and eggs on Kankun but after day three of every kind of variation of these ingredients it was getting rather repetitive. Now I should probably state that I was not as committed to this challenge as my friend. I pretty quickly decided that discounted food in the specials bin was fair game as too was stuff going limp in the fridge or gathering dust in the cupboard. Dinner on day three was going to be OK ...
Last week on Tuesday evening Woolworths’ fresh produce aisles bore a striking resemblance to some of my imaginings of what would happen in a remote town like Alice Springs if the food transport system failed. The whole section was eerily empty aside from a few disorientated staff wandering about attempting to look busy. The explanation, as I later found out, was that cooling systems in the Monday trucks had been faulty and when the fresh produce arrived it was all frozen and could not be sold.
While the Fresh Food People’s shelves were bare, my fridge shelves were brimming with heads of lettuce, shallots, basil, rocket and other fruit and veg. My housemate and I get a $30 fresh box of produce once a fortnight through Food for Alice. The box is stocked with locally grown fresh fruit and veg sourced from the Steiner school garden, back yard vegie patches and the Alice Springs Market Garden. Shortfalls are made up with produce from Adelaide. But what would it take for us to grow all that we need and not have to depend on trucks bringing it in?