To help seed and make change to support more people to enjoy healthy, reliable, sustainable food.
- Because Australia has high rates of diet related chronic disease – diabetes is a ‘burgeoning pandemic’ for all Australians, with numbers forecast to increase from 1.5 million to 3.5 million in 20 years.
- The resilience of our natural systems and the diversity of our rural communities and food systems are under pressure from climate change, an aging workforce and landuse conflicts.
- Indigenous Australians suffer a burden of disease that is two-and-a-half times greater than the burden of disease in the total Australian population.
- Poor quality diet is an important risk factor for three of the four major causes of death in the Indigenous population (cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes).
- Basic nutritious foods in rural and remote Australia often cost up to 30% more than in capital cities and are often not reliably available.
- Connections with family, friends, culture, and community through meaningful activities can address emotional health issues, that include alarming Indigenous youth suicide rates in remote areas.
- Access to nutritious food is paramount to learning, development and quality of life from conception through to old age, yet many Indigenous children ‘fail to thrive’ and those under four years of age suffer from nutritional anaemia and malnutrition at 29.6 times the rate for non-Indigenous children.
Foodswell undertakes research, education and related activities to promote the prevention of disease by assisting people to grow, access and enjoy more healthy fresh food in ways they want. Our practical research projects often address the particular growing conditions, design or community development requirements of remote and regional Australians.
Foodswell works in partnership, and by commission, to develop community programs, stakeholder workshops and events and to develop useful tools and resources. For example, RIG Network has worked with partners to deliver professional development workshops for community nutritionists and CDEP program managers. RIG Network was commissioned by FAHCSIA in 2012 to research and write Food and other gardens in and about remote communities: A Guide – planning considerations and project opportunities (published in 2013).