Native plants are incredibly important to the biodiversity of our planet. At Suncoast Fresh, we work with a variety of growers who understand this significance. Select farmers grow all types of beautiful native produce that you can use in your kitchen! But wait, what is biodiversity and why should you consider using native ingredients in your kitchen?
The air you breathe, the food you eat and the water you drink all rely on biodiversity. The trees supply our oxygen and absorb air pollution. The beautiful bees pollinate plants, which increases plant production (fruit trees), and coral reefs can even protect against natural disasters like cyclones. (The Guardian, 2018)
Everything is connected and each species and organism is vital.
When left undamaged, everything balances and the world goes around. But the truth is, with over 7 billion people on Earth, we have impacted biodiversity. We are living the consequences and so are our species. Animal extinction and the rise of climate change are the leading effects. CSIRO, a Science and Research Organisation, along with several other reputable sources, including Nasa, National Geographic, the University of Queensland, plus many more, have studied and observed climate change and all conclude that human activity is, in fact, the cause. The good news? We can change our behaviour and therefore change the future outlook. Yes, you’re only one person, but if each of us aims to do better, we can change what is going on around the world.
It’s the small everyday choices like:
- Driving less
- Flying less
- Avoiding waste in the kitchen for waste is only a lack of creativity.
- Lowering or completely cutting our meat and dairy (easier said than done)
- Supporting sustainable seafood, check out the app called GoodFish Australia
- Avoid single-use plastics.
- Use your energy at home and work wisely while saving money at the same time – consider washing your clothes on a cold cycle, look for the energy star rating when purchasing new appliances, get energy-efficient light bulbs, and the list continues…
- Invest in renewables and eco-conscious businesses where you can
- Start the conversation with your peers to spread awareness.
- Get politically active – sign petitions and vote for the right movements forward.
- Shop locally, cook with natives and even plant a few in your backyard and finally continue to educate yourself!
But why does this even matter?
Okay, so now we’ve just had a heart to heart and a climate change lesson, let’s get back onto natives. Why are they so important? Well, we’re glad you asked because climate change, biodiversity and native plants all connect. The truth is, a perfectly manicured lawn and exotic trees just aren’t it! Yeah, it looks cool, and your neighbours Karen and Greg are raging with jealously, but it does nothing for our environment.
Native plants are unique and suited to the environment that they’re in and can rely solely upon the natural rainfall and soils to survive. But, we’ve removed natives and replaced them with exotic plants, buildings, houses and roads. Humans now govern this Earth and we’re using resources, constantly consuming more and more. The argument is but, ‘we need houses and road’ and you’re right, of course, we do. It’s not necessarily about changing what we do, but how we do it. It’s about considering the science and changing the how because now we know the why. We’ve succumbed to instant gratification and now our lives revolve around quick wins. Our critical thinking skills are often fogged by the money we can earn and the convenience we need in our lives. But this thinking is only deemed to f*ck us up in the end. Maybe not you directly, but our future generations (your babies, babies) will for sure feel the heat, and that isn’t just a play on words – they will physically feel the heat.
“Protecting areas of remnant native vegetation is essential in preserving biodiversity. Good biodiversity creates healthy ecosystems that clean the water, purify the air, maintain healthy soil, regulate the climate and provide us with food and resources.” (Department for Environment and Water, 2011.) So the more we plant and, in this case, re-plant, the better the biodiversity in our world will become. Our water and air will stay pure and clean, we won’t be subjected to decreased food resources, our climate won’t continue to heat at a rapid rate, and animals won’t become extinct, and so on. You get the picture!
Now, are we saying that cooking and eating natives are the only solution? No, definitely not. But it is one big piece of the puzzle we call Earth. But ultimately, the more you use in your kitchen, the more motivation our farmers will get to farm natives and our world will slowly but surely become better. Let’s make natives popular and help this world go around! Although we still have a long way to go when commercialising native produce, we are edging closer and have a few fantastic products on offer.
Native Produce on offer at Suncoast Fresh
- Finger limes
- Blood and sunrise limes
- Lemon Aspen
- Strawberry Gum
- Lemon, aniseed and cinnamon myrtle
- Davidson Plums
- Pepper Berry
- Bush Tomato
- Native Mint
- River Mint
- Native Thyme
- Bunya Nut
- Sea Purslane
- Beach Mustard
- Stinging Nettles
- Karkalla – green & red
- Iceplant Heartlead
- Samphire – green
- Warrigal Greens
Please note that the availability is subject to supply depending on several factors like weather, demand, etc. So please chat with your Account Manager to discuss availability and check out our native guide here.
Department for Environment and Water . (2021, 10 01). 5 top reasons to plant natives in your garden. Retrieved from Government of Australia: https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/goodliving/posts/2019/08/benefits-of-native-gardens
The Guardian. (2018, 03 12). What is biodiversity and why does it matter to us? Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/12/what-is-biodiversity-and-why-does-it-matter-to-us
Wilson, E. O. (2012). The Biological Diversity Crisis. Bioscience Vol. 35, No. 11, 700-706.