Tree Hugger

The Melbourne Sunday Brunch happened on Saturday today. I like to live on the edge occasionally.

We checked out Brighton Schoolhouse. Beautiful building on St Andrews Street in Brighton. I’ve been thinking about trying it out because i’ve been curious about the up and coming ‘almond milk latte’, and this place is one of the few Bayside cafes that offer it. I did a quick read on the net and found out a bit more which was what inspired this post today! Brighton Schoolhouse is big on food ethics and sustainability. Two of my favourite things! Ingredients are sourced as locally as possible and the menu changes depending on what’s in season, which is a big principle i like to work by.

Food sustainability is a bit of a problem in Australia at the moment. I think people have become completely disconnected and isolated from their food. We go to the supermarket, we buy our milk/meat/fruit in nice packages and then we go home. Does anyone stop to think where it came from? We are spoilt for choice at the big supermarkets… cherries are a stand out, cherries in winter, how lucky! But those cherries are from America, and have travelled thousands of kilometres to get to that shelf. It’s not just the shelf life that I’m concerned about..nutritional value also decreases, especially Vitamin C, the longer the produce is exposed, as well as something called ‘food miles’. Food miles refer to the effect that transport has had on the environment, such as the green house gases that have been emitted from the truck driving our bananas from Cairns to Melbourne.

(If this is something that interests you, you can read a bit more about what the Public Health Association of Australia is doing about it here.)

A few simple things you can do to lessen your impact…

  • do a bit of research and find out what’s in season, buy and cook according to that! I like to use this guide.
  • go to farmer’s markets – i know i am a food nerd but i love going to the markets on Saturday morning! Not only do you get access to great produce, you get to meet the people who grew it too! (and did i mention free samples?)
  • take a look at the signs in the fruit and veg section, if it says ‘imported’ then it’s pretty safe to assume it’s not in season here in Aus and has come a long way away to be on the shelf.
  • if you’re a real keen bean check out CERES Fair Food Program – they do a fruit and veg home delivery or local pick up service and their produce is organic and locally sourced 🙂

Ok – now that the ranting and raving is over, i should probably mention what i ate! The almond milk latte I would give a miss next time, I am a soy girl through and through. The almond milk would be good in a chai though…And for lunch i got a lovely quinoa (i know i know i can’t get enough of it) salad with jerusalem artichokes, kale and haloumi. If you have never tried jerusalem artichokes, go get some! Winter is prime time for them and they are delish when you roast them in the oven.

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