Last month, people around the state took up Sustainable Living Tasmania’s annual challenge to eat local food.
In its fourth year, the Tassievore Eat Local challenge saw participants completing weekly challenges to increase their consumption of local food, supporting local businesses.
The challenges included growing plants, asking for local produce, finding out where food is grown or produced, and sharing produce with others in the community.
Sustainable Living Tasmania project manager, Lissa Villeneuve, said there was an increased level of interest amongst participants compared with previous years.
“We’ve seen it grow a lot over the past four years.
“It has been really popular, a lot of people around the state have taken it up,” Ms Villeneuve said.
One of the initial aims of the Tassievore challenge was to alert participants to the gaps in Tasmanian food supply.
Ms Villeneuve said that when the challenge began there were limited local sources of legumes, chickpeas and lentils, but many of these gaps have since been reduced.
“There are a lot less gaps than four years ago when we started, particularly in terms of local growers of gluten free grains such as quinoa and oats.
“When we started there were also gaps in organic caffeine. Now we have growers of black tea,” Ms Villeneuve said.
While these increases in availability of local produce not only reduce food miles, they also encourage buyers to establish more direct connections with growers and gain an understanding of where their food comes from.
In the challenge’s third week, participants were asked to “find their food story” after a 2013 study by the Australian Council of Education had been shared by Sustainable Living Tasmania. Alarmingly, 25% of Australian grade 6 students think that yoghurt comes from plants. .
In light of this, participant Tom Crawford shared a watermelon grown by a relative in Grindelwald.
This is just one of the many people who shared their food stories throughout the Tassievore challenge.
The challenge concluded last weekend with a feast organised by Sustainable Living Tasmania, celebrating fresh local produce and community sharing.
While the March challenge may be over, you can still be a ‘Tassievore’ all year round.
Social media highlights of #Tassievore