Research shows, if you live in the Wheatbelt, you are less likely to be healthy. Ironically, the Wheatbelt is world renown for growing the best quality food in the world! Then, why aren't we eating more of the food we grow?
One way to ensure you are getting the best possible nutrition is to eat more locally grown food.
5 reasons why you should eat locally.
Did you know, our Wheatbelt is amongst the top regions in the world for high quality food? Typically, Wheatbelt grains and meat are wholefoods that are nutritional dense meaning you get more "bang for your buck" when it comes to money and health. Beyond grains and meat, you may be surprised what's happening in high quality food production in the Wheatbelt in more recent times- granola, muesli, pure olive oil, single origin flours and lupin products and of course free range eggs, honey, butcher bacon, locally made jams, but to name a few.
2. Nutrition is locked in
Local food is obtained and consumed from nearby places instead of being transported over long distances. This means that the food is fresher and undergoes less processing, which results in a higher nutritional value. Local food has more protein, vitamins, and minerals compared to food that has been processed or shipped over long distances. This is because local food spends less time in transit and has less exposure to heat, which can damage the nutrients. Local food is also most likely preservative free which is typically added into processed food. The closer to nature, the better.
3. Fiber is your superpower
Forget berries sourced from some deep dark forest in another country, Fibre is the superfood. Fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, nuts & seeds - many of which grow in the Wheatbelt. Fiber helps maintain good bowel health, lowers cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels, aids in achieving healthy weight and therefore helps you live longer. Don't be fooled by products on the market that make outrageous claims - good old fashion fiber is the bread winner (excuse the pun!)
4. Cheap Eats
The world is feeling it right now - the cost of living is higher than ever - sadly out of our hands, however we can make better choices. Generally, cheaper options like oats, legumes, pasta and eggs for example are highly nutritious and can be stretched to make more than one meal. Buying meat in bulk can offer you quality meat at a discounted price or choosing cheaper cuts of meat like silverside or a roast lamb can be roasted and made into a lunch & dinner, not just one meal.
5. Local food can be convenient
We all do it! We often find ourselves turning to highly processed and convenience foods - we're a working town so it can be challenging to prepare and eat healthy 100% of the time. Convenient food is just that - convenient - yet should be kept to occasionally. These foods can actually cost more out of pocket and be a detriment to your health in the long run if consumed daily. Whilst they may be convenient, they can lack essential nutrients that only whole, fresh foods can provide. Just eat good local food wherever & whenever possible.
By Estelle Madaffari (Local Farmer & Nutritionist)