Two months flew by and we now must sadly say goodbye to our team member Mette Winther! It is time for her to explore the rest of Australia before heading back to Denmark. She has kindly provided us with a reflection on her time here which you can find below. Mette has been an invaluable presence to us around the office and at the markets and she will be sorely missed!
Mette reflects on her time with MFM:
During the past two months, I have been interning with MFM as a part of my university course, Global Nutrition and Health. The past two months went by too fast and I cannot get into my head that I am leaving already. During my time here I got the chance to help at the different markets, The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival as well as working ‘behind the scenes’ in the office at Collingwood.
The work that is being done at Melbourne Farmers Market is remarkable. The people involved are so passionate about what they do, trying to make a change. A change that will not only benefit us, the farmers but also future generations. As the American author, Michael Pollan said: Cheap food is an illusion. There is no such thing as cheap food. The real cost of the food is paid somewhere. And if it isn´t paid at the cash register, it´s charged to the environment or to the public purse in the form of subsidies. And it´s charged to your health.
Seeing the world from my perspective, everything is being “wrapped up”. Going to the supermarket, we are being surrounded by wrapped up food. Food that should look to be fresh but might have travelled days from the other end of Australia or even from the other side of the world. Exotic yes! Sustainable? Many foods are being bought cheap from the farmers, processed, value added and wrapped in plastic before ending up on the shelf in the supermarket. All this is done to make it more convenient and valuable for the consumer. However, does this food really add any value to us as consumers? We eat less wholefoods and more processed foods. We use less time cooking and eating with family or friends and more time on our own eating food someone else choose and prepared for us. Alongside with this trend we are getting more and more overweight. See the pattern?
Melbourne Farmers Markets are offering a beautiful contrast to the “wrapped in” world. Stepping into their markets you will find yourself surrounded by fresh locally produced foods alongside with the stars of our days – the Victorian farmers. Genuine farmers who use all year to produce fresh food ready to end up on our plate. Bring your family, soak in the relaxing atmosphere and enjoy the fresh air while stocking up with healthy fresh food.
Being a part of MFM and the local food movement, have broadened my view on the possible solutions for the challenges that I, as a health promoter, face. I believe that using your dollar at the market will benefits your health, help ensure fair food prices and protect the environment. I am sure that we will see a lot more of the markets in the future – after all the greatest wealth is health.
Thanks to all the fantastic team behind the MFM, the lovely stallholders and all the people I met at the markets. You have all made my time here memorable!
Cheers, Mette Danish intern for MFM