Menu
Rural

Sue's vocal about local food

LOCAL FOODIES: Organic farmer Sue Mangan says being a locavore on the Northern Rivers is easy with all the excellent produce available.
LOCAL FOODIES: Organic farmer Sue Mangan says being a locavore on the Northern Rivers is easy with all the excellent produce available. Mia Forrest

EATING only food grown within a certain distance from your home is not such a new concept, says organic farmer Sue Mangan of Federal.

While the locavore movement has picked up steam in recent years, Ms Mangan said it was out of necessity that humans in pre-industrial times only ate food that was grown near them.

"A locavore is a person who has chosen to eat food that is grown or raised within their local community or region, generally within a 160km radius of where they live," she said.

"The 160km radius provides so much food and variety that being a locavore on the Northern Rivers is almost too easy."

Ms Mangan and her partner Dave Forrest have been organic farmers for 33 years and grow ginger, oranges, macadamia nuts, coffee and various bush foods on their property.

"The locavore movement had its beginnings on World Environment Day 2005 where four Californian women coined the word locavore and challenged others to eat locally (within 100 miles) for a month," she said.

Ms Mangan said the best place to source locally grown food was farmers markets.

"Local farmers can pick at the peak of the food's quality," she said.

"This means (it) is going to have the best flavour, colour and nutrient value."

Ms Mangan and Mr Forrest took up a locavore challenge for two weeks in 2008 and found a few stumbling blocks.

"I had difficulty finding out if any of the dairy foods available in our region were actually produced from local milk.

So they made their own cheese and yoghurt.

Bread was another issue.

"It was only when I was lining up at the local organic bakery that it dawned on me that just because the bread may come from Lismore, it didn't mean the wheat did," she said.

"Bread was off the menu for two weeks."

The local honey Ms Mangan had bought specially, had to be eaten off the spoon.

"However, rice was on and local rice is sensational."

Topics:  shop local