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A Happier, Healthier Food Culture

Food fuels and creates our everyday life, culture and work. It is not only vital to our health and well-being but also affects our moods and behaviour.

Check out the ideas below to bring a cornucopia of tastes and experiences to enrich your life.

First bite

Australian Breastfeeding Association provides invaluable advice on feeding your new baby

Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Foundation links food growing with delicious eating in schools

Edible classrooms - Helps with the growing of food.

Children's Cooking Classes - Little Kitchen children's cookery centre in North Fitzroy uses all organic ingredients and gives children hands on cooking experience.

Grant available for canteens

Jamie Oliver and the school dinners programme that showed how truly awful British school dinners are and the terrible effect on children

The French approach to gourmet school meals lures children away from fast food

Maybe canteens could employ Mums (and Dads) as chefs. As well as providing lunch, these canteens could prepare "take home" meals that kids would pick up so working parents could have freshly cooked food brought home to them.

Alternatively, canteens could use local cafes or home based parents to make some food and transport it to the on-site school canteen. Fresh, local food would contribute to both health and the local economy.

Out and about

Think global, eat local.

Buying locally grown food massively reduces food miles and so minimises your carbon footprint. It also means fresher food and supports your local farmers and economy.

Farmers markets in Victoria

There are 25 farmers markets in Victoria, check out where your local one is.

Australian Community Food - a wonderful site where you can find community gardens, food and farmer co-ops, farmers markets, farm gate sales, harvest trails, seed saving networks and anyone else involved in connecting growers with local communities.

Slow food - the antidote to fast food. Cooking classes, events and information.

Colllingwood Childrens' Farm. - a city farm, open daily with a cafe and a monthly farmers market and many other events. Situated on a beautiful bend in the Yarra river it is a breath of fresh air close to the city.

Melbourne Community Farmers' Markets

Ceres Community environment park. Beautiful park with a nursery, cafe, organic market and much more. Courses and workshops on food and sustainable agriculture.

Conscientious consumer

Ceres Fair Food & Sydney and Brisbane Food Connect

Original Foods - catering for everyone

Buy Healthy - Australia's first Health and Organic Shops and Products Directory

Santos Wholefoods for organic and natural Food.

Grow your own

Diggers club - Members receive a mail order catalogue specialising in Heirloom seeds, informative articles, gardening advice including how to cut your food bill by $1000's.

Diggers also has two wonderful gardens open to the public. Heronswood, in Dromana, has an environmentally friendly cafe serving locally grown seasonal food. St Erth Garden and Nursery is in beautiful Blackwood, not far from Woodend and Daylesford.

Sustainable Gardens Australia - providing home gardeners with accurate and consistent advice on environmentally sustainable gardening.

Seed savers Network - "Give peas a chance" all you need to know about seeds. Courses and lots of information about seeds and their vital importance to our us. A truly global approach to our agricultural treasures.

Yarra Urban Harvest Swapmeet - Meets the first Saturday of each month, 10am till Noon, next to the playground at Smith's reserve, Fitzroy. Meet nearby foodgardeners and bring along to swap: excess homegrown herbs, fruits, veggies; fave garden produce recipes; organic gardening tips; seeds, cuttings, seedlings; inspirations for edible neighbourhoods.

Port Phillip Urban Fresh Food Network PPUFFN connects people throughout Port Phillip who want to grow, access, cook, save and share affordable fresh food. From edible balconies to food and garden swaps; from community kitchens to community gardens, PPUFFN represents a wide range of interests across the food spectrum.

Permablitz - join up with others to create permaculture gardens. Good food and good company go together.

Eat the suburbs - creative suburban adaptions to Peak Oil and Climate Change.

Learn how to garden at Ceres OR Bulleen Art and Garden

Get cooking

CAE courses - lots of wonderful cooking courses

Neighbourhood Houses - find out if your local Neighbourhood House has cooking or gardening classes

A Community Kitchen involves a group of like-minded individuals coming together on a regular basis to socialise and cook before enjoying delicious, affordable and nutritious meals with new friends. Find out more at Community Kitchens

Good books:

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Michael Pollan - The Omnivore's Dilemma