Oxfam Australia is challenging Australians to take up six practical actions to help ensure that everybody has enough food always, as part of the GROW Challenges initiative launched today.
From now until September, people are invited to eat seasonal, organic, and sustainable foods; support small-scale farmers in developing countries; eat less meat and dairy; reduce food waste, and save energy in the kitchen.
Oxfam Australia’s food justice spokeswoman Melita Grant said the challenges were a series of practical steps that, if enough people carried them out, would make a big difference to the lives of people who were struggling to feed their families across the globe.
“The GROW Challenges will make people think about how their actions – in the supermarket and the kitchen – can help poor farmers feed themselves and their communities, help tackle climate change that is affecting agricultural production, and help ensure valuable resources such as water are not wasted,” Ms Grant said.
Oxfam’s GROW ambassador, chef and author Julie Goodwin, said: “It’s unthinkable that there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, but it does not reach everyone, and people go hungry.
“The good news is that by adopting some simple principles, we can all be a part of the solution and contribute to a world where everyone has enough to eat.”
Ms Grant said Oxfam research showed that if enough people were to take up these everyday actions, significant reductions in fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions could be achieved, which could help tackle hunger.
“A changing climate is affecting farmers’ ability to grow food worldwide,” Ms Grant said.
“For example, countries in sub-Saharan Africa could experience catastrophic declines in crop yields of 20 per cent to 30 per cent by 2080 due to climate change.
“Oxfam research shows that if urban families in the USA, UK, Spain and Brazil ate a meat-free meal once a week, the energy savings would equate to taking more than 3.7 million cars off the road for a year.
“And here in Australia, livestock is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so reducing meat and dairy in our lives is a simple and effective way to help tackle climate change.”
With one-third of the food produced for human consumption thrown away, despite 870 million people going to bed hungry each night, Oxfam is also calling on everybody to reduce food waste .
“Everybody is invited to be part of a growing movement of people who want to use their food buying and cooking power to create sustained change in the world,” Ms Grant said.
“Individual actions done collectively do make a difference – if we all take small steps in our everyday lives, we can help address the wrongs of the broken food system.”
Oxfam will provide people with information, inspiration, recipes, and competitions to enter. Prizes include a signed copy of Julie Goodwin’s new cookbook Gather, and sumptuous fair and sustainable food hampers.
People can register for Oxfam’s GROW Challenges at:
GROW Method on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/oxfamgrowmethod/
For more information and interviews, please contact Laurelle Keough on 0425 701 801