The Byron Bay region has always been a consciously minded community when it comes to food. But as our town evolves and our lives become busier, we forget to look after ourselves, even though we know what is best for us. We shop at the supermarket for our post-work-quick-fix after 5pm, sometimes over-looking what we are putting into our mouthes and body.
Enter Munch Crunch Organics run by Alasdair Smithson, is your local community supported agriculture organic farm, and certified organic home delivery service for Ballina, Lennox Head, Byron Bay, the Northern Rivers Region, and the Gold Coast. MCO has over 300 Organic Certified products and arrives on your door-step every week, just in time for dinner!
We have a few questions for Alasdair, so here goes…
Where do you think your passion for Organic food began?
I was born on the West Coast of Scotland to Hippy English parents, I was bought up in a very rural setting surrounded by nature and a diet of organic food. After rebelling as a teenager and feasting on fast food for a couple of years I soon realized that good organic food wasn’t such a bad thing and my parents weren’t so freaky after all.
How did Munch Crunch Organics start?
I fell in love with the Byron Bay region as a 19-year-old backpacker, and enjoyed farm work which I did to subsidise my backpacking adventures, in Aussie slang it’s called “woofing”, working for board basically. I loved being on the farm and learning where food comes from.
So I went back to the UK, and completed a degree in Organic farming and worked on an Organic Farm in Devon in the Uni holidays which also ran it’s own delivery service. After graduating and a few years of working for a not for profit charity helping conventional farmers make the switch to organic farming, I got the opportunity to move to Australia. I then started looking into the possibility of working in Australia and leasing some land through the regions local papers, and not before long my dream of running my own Organic Farm and Delivery Service in Australia, back in my beloved Byron Bay!
Tell me a bit about Munch Crunch Organics?
MCO offers a regional delivery service of certified Organic and mostly locally grown produce, delivering from Ballina to the Gold Coast (and soon to be Brisbane). We have built good relationships with other Certified Organic Farmers in our bio-region and we now have a range of over 300 certified organic products in our online shop.
I wanted to build a direct relationship with the consumer, helping them understand why you should buy locally Organic Produce and thus eliminating food miles in the process. People need to understand where food comes from and how it is grown. Supermarkets don’t give a consumer a realistic picture of where food comes from and it’s nice to offer a service that personalises the food experience, whilst also supporting the environment and the local community.
It’s also nice to offer a service to people that don’t have time to shop and buy locally grown produce. By having the delivery and ordering service online, everyone within our region has the opportunity to enjoy yummy Organic produce without feeling rushed down the supermarket alley.
Why should people move towards living organically?
I think the public are becoming more aware of pressing issues such as climate change, their on-going health and the impact we have on the environment. By choosing to shop locally and eat Certified Organic Produce we are at least doing our part to lower our global footprint on the planet, and feeling better as a bonus.
The re-localisation of Organic food is paramount to food security. There is too much emphasis on the Organic export market from the fertilizers to the food miles. Farmers should be encouraged to farm organically and sell locally to keep their energy emissions low, thus employing the local community as well.
To be a part of the Munch Crunch Organics community and order a box of tasty local produce, visit their website – munchcrunchorganics.com.au