Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Shelves are bare, but don't despair

Published: 8th January, 2011

Whilst our thoughts go out to those in the flood zone of southern Queensland, we are lucky to have in this region, our own dairy industry, meat and seafood industry and a diverse fruit and vegetable industry that can support our community. Yet it’s when the flooded roads are cut off and the supermarket shelves run bare, that we realise how much food is transported to the region. It is times like these that add to the growing trend (mentioned last week) for consumers seeking local produce.

So how do you access local foods when you have a family to feed? Looking around Rusty’s it is easy to see who really sells local food and who doesn’t? But I must say that Rusty’s stallholders have recently accentuated ‘local’ fruit and veg. and they offer a lot more local processed foods such as milk and yoghurts, cheese and seafood, breads and dips. Perhaps a return to the friendly little butcher and seafood shop where they get to know your name and what your buying habits are, or to the local fruit and veg stall in a shopping centre or on the roadside. A trip to the Tablelands or Cassowary Coast can make a fun day out as well as buying up on some well-priced vittles. Most IGA stores tend to stock local foods and are stepping up to the demand.

How are restaurants coping? ‘Due to floods, this menu item is not available’! Well last year there was a strong swing with chefs to source local foods which has paid off for those who did. Having foods from other regions on a menu can be disastrous in times such as these and the longer a chef has been in our region the more knowledgeable they are to understand the importance of using local seasonal foods.

It’s clear that we do have produce here; it can be a new and interesting experience to source it.

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