Ever since reading Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and writing this post I’ve been making a concerted effort to eat more locally, especially when it comes to fresh produce. We’ve been deliberately steering clear of imported fruit and veggies, that come with a huge carbon footprint, and have been opting for Australian grown (and locally grown wherever possible). Reuben and I are lucky enough to live in a country that is capable of producing vast quantities of fresh produce, so from a sustainability point of view, it just doesn’t make sense for us to buy fruit and vegetables grown overseas. I absolutely love blueberries but have even managed to refrain from buying the pretty little punnets of New Zealand berries in the shops.
All that said, today Reubs and I were picking up some groceries and I was in a bit of a rush to get home. I hadn’t had any lunch so was starving and, as supermarkets are pretty much the worst place to be when you’re hungry, I was keen to get out of there as quickly as possible. In my haste I spied packages of kiwi fruit for just $2. I really, really hate when supermarkets pack fruit and vegetables in excessive plastic so I did hesitate for a moment before I put them in my trolley, but the idea of lovely, fresh kiwi fruit for such a great price was so nice, I couldn’t resist them. It wasn’t until after I got home and was unpacking everything until I noticed this:
That little plastic package of kiwi fruit had travelled all the way from Italy to land in my fridge. When I realised this I wondered exactly how far the distance between Australia and Italy was, so I googled it, and apparently it’s about 14, 400 km. That equates to a lot fossil fuel burned, just so I could eat kiwi fruit out of season! Then when I considered that the package of fruit had cost me just $2, and thought about all the money that must have been spent on transporting and storing them and making a profit for all the parties involved, I couldn’t help but wonder how much the poor farmer who grew them must have received. Suddenly, those sad little kiwi fruits really didn’t look so appealing.
Two years ago, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed where my fruit came from, let alone worried about it. And though I’ll never be able to buy everything I need or want locally, I understand now that every little bit counts. Every purchase I make sends a message. Silly as it might sound, those Italian kiwi fruits were a good reminder that we are on the right path. Together Reuben and I are learning and making positive changes to our lifestyle every single day. It’s the little, seemingly insignifcant, incidents like this one that show us how far we’ve come. And equally, how far we have to go.