securing our food future
It is with a deep sadness in our connected hearts as a nation, having all witnessed the devastating effects Cyclone Gabrielle has had on our northern motu recently. The flow on effects are still felt very strongly today, with the long road to recovery underway, families and businesses are still struggling, and the severe damages are already done to the horticultural and agricultural supply of food and feed product.
Our world is undoubtedly sliding quickly into a climate crisis, one where the increasing rate of droughts, floods, desertification and extreme weather events are reducing our ability to feed everyone on the planet. So here at Revology we are focusing in on Food Security this month and finding out what this means exactly? So to help break it down, let’s start with the basics… WHAT is food security, and WHY is it important?
The World Health Organization defines food security exists when:
“All people at all times have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”
Food security is built on four pillars:
- – Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.
- – Food access: having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
- – Food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.
- – Food stability: stable access to foods at all times, without the risk of running out of food.
Food security exists when there is a reliable supply and people have access to healthy foods that are culturally acceptable, nutritiously adequate, affordable and safe. The definition is also moving towards inclusion of sustainable production methods.
The current global food system is out of balance. With most of our food being consumed in cities, food insecurity is becoming an increasingly urban problem. This scenario is no different in New Zealand. With larger populations and higher density living, accessing fresh produce can be tricky even without the ever increasing price tag attached! These issues are now spanning out into our own little town where we have definitely seen the prices soar on the supermarket shelves steadily over the past 18 months.
Achieving Food Security in Aotearoa requires all of us working together, to collaborate and co-create to shift our food systems to better support our people, community, and environmental wellbeing. Our communities hold collective cultural and life wisdom that could effectively help shape our food system so that it is supportive of our nations wellbeing and our environment. To reconnect to our indigenous wisdom, valuing our diverse cultural knowledge around food supply and demand – where food is produced in ways that nourish our people and protect our environment.
The Good Food Road Map is a plan to tackle food insecurity in Aotearoa, a proposal taking a realistic approach based on harnessing international experience and local knowledge. Leveraging existing resources from different stakeholders The Good Food Road Map is about working together to influence the necessary policy and behaviour changes to achieve food security and ensure that food sovereignty remains in the control of our communities in Aotearoa.
The recovery of our people is intrinsically tied to the recovery of our food system, since food itself is medicine; not only for our body, but for the soul, it is the spiritual connection to our whenua, it’s history, and our ancestors.
help your community
+ Grow Wānaka
+ The Longwood Loop
+ The Wanaka Seed Library
+ Community Networks Wānaka
Grow your own veges and plant fruit trees
Food security starts in your own backyard, making the most of our region’s fertility and climate. We’ve collected a whole host of gardening and growing tips from experts Dr. Compost and Grow Wānaka – find it here under food resilience resources. Or take a look at Dr. Compost’s winter gardening flyer here.
Community Produce Stands
Ensuring that people in the community have access to healthy food on a regular basis, whilst reducing food waste are the goals of community food pantries. Anyone can use these stands to share fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, herbs, jams, preserves, and baked goods. There are now stands across the Upper Clutha from Wānaka to Albert Town, Hāwea to Luggate. Find the locations on their website.
Join a Community Garden
If you don’t have the space or time to garden at home, you could consider joining a community garden project in your local neighbourhood or visit your local council and ask them if they have plans to create one.
Visit your local farmers market
Help support your local growers, makers and bakers at your nearest Farmers Market. There are also some great initiatives emerging in smaller communities, like the The Longwood Loop that connects farmers and growers in the Southland District to deliver food packages of fresh produce to their regional communities.
Find your own food
Learn how to fish, dive or hunt for your own food, we have so many beautiful spots throughout Aotearoa to get back into nature. For the more low-key outdoor adventurers, Central Otago has a fantastic foraging map for finding free produce – from apple trees to wild thyme. It’s a fantastic resource for food security – and lots of fun for all the family too! Just be sure to do your research first before consuming anything from the wild.
Did you know we have a huge range of amazing local growers, producers and sellers in the Upper Clutha?
Market Gardens: Frog Song Farm, Harvest Homegrown, Wānaka Willows, Redbridge Berries and Wild Things Wānaka
Producers like: People’s Bread and Kitchen Window Catering
Sellers like: FreshLink, Honest Wholefood Co and Organic Wholefoods.
hot & cold composting
Grow Wānaka, Outlet Road map here.
- – The amazing benefits of compost
- – Hot vs. Cold composting
- – Managing the pile and knowing when it’s ready to use
- – The process for making amazing hot compost – what materials can be used and in what ratios