Sweeping paddocks of grain crops are a familiar sight that greet people across much of regional Australia, but how many stop to think that those crops end up in their sandwich or breakfast bowl?
In fact, the average Aussie wheat farmer produces enough grain to make 3 million loaves of bread and 2 million tins of Milo.
In the final week of a crusade to better connect consumers with where their food comes from – and to value that food – the NFF-led campaign under the Australians Farmers platform aims to connect those dots.
Collaborating with kitchen creatives and cookbook authors Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards from Cornersmith, the six-week campaign has put the spotlight on six foods and six farmers who have grown those foods.
NFF President Fiona Simson, a grain grower herself from New South Wales’ Liverpool Plains, hoped the Australian Farmers campaign had opened people’s eyes to just how much work farmers invested into growing food sustainably, even the everyday foods you wouldn’t normally think twice about.
“This week we’re putting the spotlight on a household staple – bread. It’s main ingredient, wheat, is also a staple in the farming world,” she said.
“Cereal grains comprise 21% of the agricultural production pie because they’re incredibly important to feeding Australians and people across the globe.
“You don’t have to drive far from an Australian city or town to see a grain crop, but how many people consider those crops might just end up as the main ingredient in a bowl of cereal or pasta?”
GrainGrowers CEO Shona Gawel said the organisation had crunched the numbers and found the average Australian grain farmer grows enough wheat to produce 3 million loaves of bread and 2 million tins of Milo each year.
“Australia produces a huge 23 million tonnes of wheat each year. This is used in bread, pasta, pizza dough, cake, instant noodles, dumpling skins and even animal feed,” Ms Gawel said.
“Our farmers work hard to grow crops sustainably, producing high quality food not only for today, but for generations to come.”
Given bread is one of the most wasted foods in Australian households, the Cornersmith duo will explain why bread is too precious to waste. They will show people how to store it properly and what to do if it goes stale (and it’s not throwing it in the bin!)
People will meet Brad Jones, a farmer from Western Australia, which is the nation’s largest wheat growing state, producing about 8.5 million tonnes each year.
From the outset Brad’s farm looks like any other cropping property, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find they’re introducing satellite imaging, have more than 700 soil testing sites and using a robotic sprayer to reduce chemical use by 95%.
When: At 6pm (AEST) tonight viewers will hear from Cornersmith about what to do when they find themselves with a stale bread situation, and tomorrow night meet Brad.