The name for our condition...
We've finally discovered the name for our condition (no rude comments from up the back, please). Turns out we're 'climatarians'.
This means that, like many others, we make every effort to eat in a way that reduces our carbon footprint and, whether it's potatoes or pork, we try to ensure that the food we consume and sell is local and arrives at the end of a short supply chain. It's produced in ways that increase fertility and diversity, with minimal human intervention and we don't need a PHD in molecular science to understand the ingredient list.
Because we're butchers, we know the people growing the meat we sell (and we've frequently met the animals). And because we buy from Sift Produce, we also indirectly know the people growing the majority of our vegetables.
Whatever we don't eat goes into our compost and chook bucket and feeds our garden and chickens which, in turn, feed us. We don't need to tell you how rare that level of transparency and short supply chain is in urban food retailing, and it's hard won.
In fact, last week, one of the most gruelling weeks in this most gruelling of years, when all we wanted to do was hide under the table with a bottle of local gin, it took all our resolve to stiffen our upper lips to concrete levels and remind ourselves of why we do what we do and why, after 15 years, we need to keep on bloody doing it.
We are climatarians.
Along with millions of others, we are trying to stem the tide of natural destruction that sees our species perilously close to ruin. Our tiny contribution is to support farmers who are regenerating landscapes, restoring balance and building diversity and resilience. Butchers, packers, pickers, drivers, customer service - everyone at Feather and Bone knows why they come to work here every day.
But because everything is connected and we're all in this together, our work doesn't have much impact unless we can sell the produce we source from these farms. Which, of course, is where you come in.
But whatever you call yourself (carnivore, omnivore, pescatarian, flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan or just human-trying-to-make-more-sustainable-choices), whatever you eat and wherever you live, do your research and empower yourself with enough knowledge to know if you're being hoodwinked about where your food comes from and how it was produced.
Choose food with recognisable ingredients, that comes with a short, transparent, verifiable supply chain and that has been subjected to as few processes as possible. Don't get me started on the insanity of Beyond Burgers.
Hold your retailers to account, demand transparency and vote with your wallet by choosing food that doesn't cost us all the earth.
To read more in this vein, try We're All in This Together.
Photo: Burraduc Buffalo farmer, Andrei Swegen, and Mrs Feather overlooking the national park that borders Burraduc Buffalo farm, mid-north coast of NSW. Photo by Alan Benson