A recent move towards home delivery of fast food in an area that already has a high rate of obesity has alerted Slow Food Noosa Incorporated to respond. It has been announced that McDonald’s will start providing Hervey Bay residents with a home delivery service at the end of this month.
According to recent reports, Hervey Bay has two out of three adults and one in four children classified as overweight or obese. Slow Food Noosa is concerned that with these statistics and all of our knowledge about the health risks of too much fast food, extending the reach of these outlets to make them more accessible would be a backward step for community health and wellbeing.
Erika Hackett, Slow Food Noosa President sees fast food as the greatest challenge in building stronger communities through sensible and healthy choices of food and eating. She is concerned that fast food outlets continue to look for new ways to infiltrate people’s lives and said ‘with today’s knowledge of the dangers of too much over-processed, salt and sugar laden fried foods, it is astounding that the fast food industry continues to thrive’.
The Fraser Coast Mayor’s claim that the home delivery trial would ‘bring extra investment and employment to the community’ is also disputed by Slow Food Noosa, as they don’t see how this ‘trial’ in Hervey Bay could result in extra investment or employment - unless the Mayor was referring to the additional health services that may be required to deal with an increase in obesity.
Ms Hackett calls on our Noosa Council – as caretakers of the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, to protect the ‘man’ in UNESCO’s ‘Man and Biosphere Program’, to support our local community to make wise food choices and to continue education programs in local libraries. Slow Food Noosa has sponsored many school kitchen gardens, established a community garden at Noosaville, and funds a horticulture therapy course for residents at Carramar NoosaCare to promote health and wellbeing.
Noosa Community Garden spokeswoman Wanda Jardine said the Noosa Community Garden in Earl Street Noosaville was open to the public with a regular gardening and harvest session every Friday. “We invite anyone to join us on Friday mornings to garden, meet new people and take home some wholesome food picked fresh from the soil - now that’s fast food! We have seen fast food chains respond to the community’s desire for healthier choices with salads and the like, however nothing beats picking fresh leaves from your own garden or getting your fruit and vegetables fresh from the farmer.”
Members of the community are invited to visit the Noosa Community Garden in Earl Street from 9am until 11.00am every Friday. In addition, there is lots of free information readily available for in Noosa’s public libraries, which also run regular educational programs on nutrition and food.
Noosa recently hosted Slow Food Australia’s national meeting and conference, with special guest speakers from Slow Food International who travelled from Italy, and some of Australia’s most renowned nutritionists, including Dr Rosemary Stanton. The gathering featured representatives from around the country to share ideas and coordinate activities to spread the Slow Food message of good, clean and fair food for all.
The Slow Food International began in Italy 38 years ago when two Italian Chefs and a journalist called Carlo Petrini were appalled to discover the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant at the bottom of the famous Spanish Steps in Rome.
Concerned about their traditional Italian trattorias being overtaken by a multi-national fast food company, the trio put their heads together and created the Slow Food movement.
Since then, the movement has grown into an international, not-for-profit organisation in 150 countries, which aims to educate people about the good taste of good food. It aims to support the local growers when choosing and buying food as well as encouraging sustainable agricultural practices in preference to industrial farming, in order to protect our planet.
Slow Food Noosa Inc.
Friday 29th of August 2014