Episode 2 The Real Food Chain Podcast!

Listen to the show here: PODCAST LINK

Hello and welcome to episode two of the Real Food Chain podcast! I’m Jon and we’ll hear from my co-host Rich later in the show.

This month’s focus is urban farming here in sunny Australia. Rich will be talking with Margaret Paton about her experiences growing food in her Blayney backyard using permaculture principles.

Before that let’s have a deeper look at urban farming.

Continue reading “Episode 2 The Real Food Chain Podcast!”

Will the “Organic and Regenerative Farming Investment Co-operative” be good for the sector? What about consumers?

Recent changes to funding options for organic producers look likely to shake up the industry.  The Organic and Regenerative Farming Investment Co-operative, a Victorian based funding concern is but one example of the possibly seismic shifts rippling through the Organic Sector.

To quote Sue Neales in the Australian:

A new model for funding organic farming is set to expand the boom sector, as wealthy local investors and superannuation funds move to grab a stake in the organic food industry and its meaty profits.

What are the implications? For producers, access to capital funds represents a chance to grow their business, to expand their marketing and to implement their plans.

How about the effect of all this growth on the organic ethos? To this observer, the point of the organic movement is its local-ness. Feeding people nearby, reducing food kilometres and removing transport costs, both dollars and carbon from the food chain. The Organic Sector is in danger of becoming the beast it set out to disrupt. A $10 million enterprise is not going to sustain its own weight by selling through local farmer’s markets. Certainly not into a city of 40,000 persons or less. The only answer is to join the global food system. Now that’s fine if that’s your business model.

Maintaining “Organic-ness” through long supply chains is difficult. World Organic News reported back in 2015 that in the North American context, organic grains contained almost as much glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup) as conventional grains. The problem appears to be the ubiquity of glyphosate in the environment. The longer the supply chain, the greater the possibility of contamination.

The nature of the transport system is that the same truck can be moving chemically laden grains one day and organic the next. The standards of cleaning required are not too well explained by organic certifiers. Similarly in a flour mill. Unless there is a dedicated organic production line then cross contamination is not just likely but inevitable. Indeed, unless the whole mill is organic there is the possibility of chemical transfer throughout the building.

I have been unable to find any studies on the “stickiness” of glyphosate on metal surfaces or any other surface for that matter. So we don’t know if the chemical reacts with materials and then contaminates whatever else passes over that surface. If we don’t test, we can’t know. To ensure organic “purity”dedicated harvesting implements, trucks, mills, processing facilities and probably other things too are required. That’s if the organic producer is going to join the industrial food system. There is a reason organic producers are often smallholders.

Continue reading “Will the “Organic and Regenerative Farming Investment Co-operative” be good for the sector? What about consumers?”

Greenwashing a threat to Oz organic food industry: report

The latest Australian Organic Market Report has shown that our demand for organic produce has outstripped supply. The study, commissioned by Australian Organic, has shown that organic operations have grown five percent between 2015 and 2016 with 2,075 certified organic producers, 1,163 certified processors and 513 certified handlers in Australia in 2016. Researchers found there was a remarkable export growth of organic produce from Australia with exports seeing a phenomenal rise of 17 percent in 2016.

However, there are some threats to the industry, most notably the practice of “greenwashing”. Continue reading “Greenwashing a threat to Oz organic food industry: report”

The Real Food Chain podcast No.1

 

Click the image to hear the podcast!

The Real Food Chain podcast No.1

The first podcast for The Real Food Chain gave us — co-hosts Rich Bowden and Jon Moore — a chance to say hello and discuss our aims for this new Oz-themed wholefoods show.

We chatted about how wholefoods is really a return to the past of food production. We explore how organic food is not a new concept at all, but a return to the ways our grandparents farmed and ate real food — sans chemicals.

Key quote: Organic food is what they used to call food ~ Jon Moore

In the second half of the show, you can hear me (Rich) talk about who we are aiming at reaching with the website and podcast. The answer is it’s ordinary people, like us. Those of you who are interested in organic foods for health foods but may not be able to afford the premium that organic grocers attract. Or perhaps you need to change your diet to improve your health for medical reasons. Or you may be a young Mum or Dad looking for the best for your kids’ diet but looking at ways to keep costs down.

I talk about our idea of making The Real Food Chain a reference point for anyone interested in real foods but something more. I want it to have that distinct Aussie accent. Taking inspiration from around the world yes, but keeping it local for Australians. I add that each podcast will be based on a relevant wholefoods topic and Jon and I will be interviewing guests who will give us an insight into organic food.

Topics we’ll be covering in future podcasts:

  • Fermenting foods
  • Gut health
  • Where to find affordable organic food
  • Growing your own organic produce
  • Cooking with wholefoods
  • Breadmaking
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • And much, much more.

Links:

The Real Food Chain

The Real Food Chain Facebook Page

The Real Food Chain Twitter Page

World Organic News (Jon’s site)

Michael Pollan interviewed by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman

Podcast one step closer!

One of the big things we set out to achieve when we launched the RFC website was to produce a high standard podcast on a single topic each fortnight. (We may vary this depending on what you — the listener — suggest!). Based on chat and interviews with guests, the podcast will consist of a range of subjects and questions of interest to you, the consumer (or potential consumer) of organic food. Continue reading “Podcast one step closer!”