When was the last time you thought about where your food came from, how it was grown and how it got to you?
Food production requires many things … healthy soil, water, electricity, fuel, skill and hard work.
Thankfully Australia has these things in spades.
I’m not sure if you caught the recent Great Southern Land series on TV but it celebrates Australia the country and tells her amazing story – including how she provides enough food to feed more than 60-million people.
Presented by Professor Steve Simpson, the four-part series features spectacular footage as it tracks the country’s natural history.
I have a DVD copy of Great Southern Land to giveaway to a reader (details of how to win further down).
Great Southern Land is full of amazing facts.
Did you know that the Australian coastline stretches 63,000km, which is greater than the earth’s circumference?
Or that Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world?
Of that Melbourne is Australia’s fastest-sprawling metropolis, outstripping all others over the last decade. It’s growing by 1500 people each week!
Did you know that more Australians are killed by Eastern Brown Snakes than any other snake?
Think your electricity bill is high? Did you know the national electricity bill is $10billion a year?
Love your rice? Well as a nation we export 70,000 tonnes a year, most of it goes to Asia, in particular Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.
Not only do we feed our entire population, Australia exports 60 per cent of everything it grows. Not bad for one of the driest nations on earth.
In effect that means Australian farmers feed 60 million people overseas, almost three times our own population.
Our biggest food export is wheat (20m tonnes a year), making us the world’s second-largest exporter after America.
Did you know that the Lockyer Valley is Australia’s beetroot capital, and produces 90 per cent of the country’s beetroot. As a country we love our beetroot – we’re the biggest consumers of it per capita. Did you know that 70 per cent of all supermarket beef comes from 600 feedlots?
Great Southern Land really is a celebration of Australian agriculture. Prof. Simpson tells us that our continent, with just six per cent arable land, supports our population of 23 million. They’re fed with produce from 120,000 farms and only two-million hectares of farmland is irrigated.
The program studies the work of a South Australian farmer, who pumps 300-million litres of treated bolivar water on his farm to grow carrots in sand in a region which receives just half a litre of rain a year.
Want to know more?
Well you’re in luck. The series is about to be released on DVD (November 21) and I have a copy of Great Southern Land to give to a reader.
To win, answer this question in the comments section below: Per capita, Australia eats more of this vegetable than anybody else?
Is it (A) Carrots (B) Beetroot or (C) Broccoli?
(Competition closes 5pm November 15)