23.2 C
Byron Shire
March 1, 2024

Global pandemic changes attitudes to food

Latest News

Investment fraud charges – Gold Coast

Detectives from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group have arrested and charged five people in relation to an alleged ‘boiler room’ investment fraud operating on the Gold Coast.

Other News

Appeal following attempted abduction – Tweed Heads

Investigators are appealing for public assistance as investigations continue into an attempted abduction in Tweed Heads at the weekend.

Man dies at unpatrolled Yamba beach

A man has died after being swept into surf at Pippi Beach, near Yamba, north of Coffs Harbour.

Save Wallum

I listened to the Byron Shire Council (BSC) meeting to hear the fate of the Wallum site. Congrats to...

Tintenbar-East Ballina face tough test to make LJ Hooker cricket finals

Tintenbar-East Ballina (TEB)senior cricketers face a stern test to make it through to the finals of the LJ Hooker first grade league after losing to Casino in their most recent two day-game.

Silence broken on gender pay gaps

The exposure of the gender pay gaps in large Australian organisations is a turning point for gender equality, but more must be done to hold employers to account, says a University of South Australia researcher.

Stolen ute, ransacked service station and vandalised police cars

Stolen Brunswick Heads ute allegedly taken on wild adventure ransacking service station and being party to vandalising police cars before being abandoned in the bush at Coraki.

Participants at the Suffolk Park Community Garden said there is lots of fun and learning to be enjoyed by participating in your local community gardens. Photo Jeff Dawson

Philippa Clark

COVID-19 and lockdown have changed attitudes towards food consumption and waste, according to recent research – a finding echoed by local community gardens groups who experienced a spike in participation and awareness during the first months of the pandemic.

The 2020 Food Waste Report released by Rabobank found that food waste went up 13 per cent during the lockdown.

Cooking at home more often was cited by 46 per cent of respondents as a reason they wasted more food.

Meanwhile, a survey of 3,000 Australians by financial advice provider She’s On The Money found that respondents were worried they were spending too much on food, with 60 per cent spending $150 or more per person a week on groceries and takeaway.

Home grown surges

In Byron Shire, when the pandemic hit, community gardens immediately noticed an increase in people concerned about sustainable food sourcing and home-based growing.

‘When the lockdowns happened in March, we had a huge rush for private allotments,’ said Vice-President of the Mullumbimby Community Garden, Corrina Beacham.

‘We were on skeleton staff trying to survive, but we had a lot more people coming to volunteer because they want to be part of a community and [have] food security.’

Ms Beacham said lockdown had made people much more aware of food miles and sustainability.

‘I think it brought home, not just to the Mullumbimby community but the entire community globally, I guess, that it’s very wise to grow your own food, we don’t need to rely on the corporations’ chains to provide for us.’

At Suffolk Park Community Garden, president Craig Scanlan said that while drought meant not much was growing when lockdown began, ‘we had a lot of people asking for seeds, wanting to start their own gardens.’

For those concerned about food costs, Corrina Beacham said the community garden was a great way to save money.

‘We provide organic food by donation, people can come and pick that, they can rent an allotment, and that’s very affordable. They can grow their own food.’

According to the Rabobank Report, 29 per cent of people wasted food because it was hiding in the fridge and they forgot that they’d bought it. Craig Scanlan said sourcing food locally and shopping at markets helped to address that issue because ‘you can shop more regularly, and get fresh food, and eat that rather than… if someone shops once a week.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

How to supply water to the increasing population?

It is predicted that the next 40 years will see the demand for water increase by 50 per cent in the local government areas that Rous County Council supply with water.

Protections can’t wait another seven years for NSW critical habitat 

Protections are needed now for native habitat in NSW as the state has seen a significant increase in native habitat clearing following the NSW...

Appeal following attempted abduction – Tweed Heads

Investigators are appealing for public assistance as investigations continue into an attempted abduction in Tweed Heads at the weekend.

Floodplain fury

With the two-year flood anniversary being recognised this week, Council appears to be pushing on with its plans to seek approval from the state government for floodplain development in Mullumbimby.