I have just spent a week touring through rural QLD with Rabobank, speaking with women, celebrating International Rural Women's Day.
It has been a pleasure and a wonderful learning experience.
During my travels I realised a few things:
1. As consumers of food, most of us are totally controlled (though we don't recognise it) by major corporations...what we eat, when we eat, how we eat...we are now blindly accepting what we are marketed, believing what we read/see/hear about food and are being forced into purchasing patterns, which are not necessarily in our best interests.
2. The producers in Australia are also being forced into a supply chain that is not in their - or our - best interests and this alone contributes to MASSIVE and UNNECESSARY food wastage on farm, that is sickening.
3. There are few reconised mainstream Australian voices, loud ones anyway, in the Food Security conversation globally...we have the Food Inc, Food Matters, Jamie Oliver and Hugh Furnleigh Wittingstalls doing incredible work raising awareness, but we don't have the same in Australia - and our issues are just the same...but somehow it is easy to say, oh it is happening overseas, not here...well, I am afraid to say, it IS happening here!
4. Issues that can be food related; like skin conditions, stomach pain, reflux, thyroid and lethargy are RIFE, scarily, scarily RIFE and people just put up with feeling like crap!
5. Farmers and Producers should be 21st Century ROCK STARS!!!
6. Women are AWESOME!!!
What this opportunity has provided me is further consolidation of my goals and mission and has refocused my Food Activism and inspired me to continue speaking out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.
I am also more determined to raise the profile of FOOD as the cause and cure for many, many issues people face.
What a wonderful, whirlwind journey!