The local food movement aims to connect food producers and food consumers in the same geographic region, in order to develop more self-reliant and resilient food networks, improve local economies, or for health, environmental, community, or social impact in a particular place.

“Local food. It’s a trendy term and means different things to different people, but broadly speaking I take it to mean food that comes from within a defined or understood region and that is consumed within that region.

It’s my passion, and my work revolves around it. But I’m not a strict locavore (“a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food”) – I love eating rice and spices and coffee. Instead, I like to call myself an ‘ethical omnivore’: someone who consumes meat, eggs, dairy and produce that can be traced back to farms that raise grass-fed, free range, antibiotic- and hormone-free livestock, use GMO-free feed, and grow chemical-free fruits and vegetables.

JS-20 B-smBut even then, I’m not a purist. It’s not always affordable to eat ethically, so I select the foods that are particularly important to me and to my son and make sure I buy the best quality I can afford. The rest? I substitute better quality as my budget (and foraging time) allows. I don’t give myself a hard time about it – I believe if we stick to the ‘good-better-best’ principle, it’s making a difference without it being an ethical burden.

In doing so, I can put on the table meals that taste good and provide good nutrition, have low environmental impact, support my farmer friends and feel good to share.

My work, principally through delivery of the annual Real Food Festival, is about supporting the food supply chains that take local food from paddock to plate. In essence, I’m an active member of the local food movement.”

Julie Shelton

Founding Director, Real Food Festivals

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