Oxfam GROW

GROW-logoA growing movement of people who want to use their everyday buying and cooking power to create sustained change in the world.

A weighty statement, but the principals of the GROW method are quite simple. Making small changes in the way we buy, prepare and eat food, can make a big difference to the lives of people across the globe struggling to feed their families. Creating big change in the world through small actions by individuals is the focus of the GROW initiative from international development organisation Oxfam Australia.

Over the next few months Oxfam is asking Australians to take up six practical actions in their own homes to help ensure that “everybody has enough food, always”.

According to Oxfam, 870 million people going to bed hungry each night. For many it is not because there isn’t enough food to go around, but because much of it does not reach those in need. “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,” says Oxfam Australia’s food justice spokeswoman Melita Grant.

What is GROW?

GROW is about eating seasonal, organic, and sustainable foods; supporting small-scale farmers in developing countries; eating less meat and dairy to conserve resources; reducing food waste, and saving energy in the kitchen.

Each month from April to September (yes, we are a running a bit behind these days), Oxfam will profile a different principle from the GROW Method with information, inspiration, recipes, and competitions. Here at Seasonal Sunday Lunch we think these actions are pretty good to adopt all year-round, and if you are on this site you are probably doing many of them already!

Eat by the SeasonBuying Food In Season: We waste lots of energy trying to grow food in the wrong place, at the wrong time of year. Fill your plate with food that is in season near you and you’ll not only discover all sorts of new fruit and vegetables, but will cut down on greenhouse gas emissions as they use less energy to produce and to reach your plate.

Support Small FarmersSupporting Small Farmers: When buying items produced both close to home and overseas choose products that ensure small farmers get a fair deal. Fairtrade is about environmentally friendly, sustainable farming practices and community development. When you support small-scale food producers you’re helping 1.5 billion people that live and work on small farms in the world.

Less Meat & DairyEating Less Meat and Dairy: Meat and dairy have an enormous impact on resources. It takes over 8,000 litres of water to produce 500 g of ground beef. By reducing meat and dairy consumption you’ll drastically reduce the impact of your diet on the environment. When you do eat meat look for ethically raised animals and farms with sustainable practices.

Reduce Food WasteReducing Food Waste: More than 30% of the food produced never makes it to our plates. Wasted food also means the water, energy, and resources used to grow, harvest, transport and process food is wasted. According to the 2012 Foodwise report, each year Australians throw away more than $8 billion worth of food, most of which could have been eaten. By being aware of your food wastage and making a few simple changes you’ll help to make the most of the precious resources that go into producing food.

Cook SmartCooking Smart: We rely on precious fossil fuels to cook and heat our food, and these everyday tasks add up to big emissions, as well as big energy bills. Cut down on used and wasted resources by being aware of the amount of water and energy you are using to prepare food.

Sustain the PlanetGrowing and Eating Sustainably: The current global food system is close to reaching its limits. In order to build an alternative food future which produces enough food to feed the world and reduces demand on these scarce resources we need to look at alternatives now. Eating seasonally and locally with reduced energy consumption is only the first step to food sustainability. Reducing chemicals & restoring the health of our land and water systems starts at home.

How to participate:

As Oxfam’s GROW ambassador, chef and author Julie Goodwin, says,  “It’s unthinkable that there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, but it does not reach the people who need it. 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.”


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About JJ

JJ is editor and co-founder of Seasonal Sunday Lunch. She is a recipe developer, photographer, stylist, marketing consultant, freelance writer and creator of the popular food blog 84th & 3rd. JJ believes food should be fun, healthy does not mean boring and if all else fails pie makes everything better. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

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