Conscious Consumption, an event recently presented by Stone & Wood Brewing, Slow Food Brisbane and OzHarvest, sought to celebrate local produce and raise awareness about sustainable food consumption.

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“As chefs, we have a responsibility to be conscious of sustainability and food ethics, which has gone unnoticed for so long,” says QAGOMA Executive Chef Josue Lopez, as he turns over some beef roasting on the barbecue. This beef, along with all the other meat for Conscious Consumption, comes from two young beasts selected specifically for the event.

Including the more “unconventional” pieces like tail, the cuts were delivered to the different producers in attendance to prepare various dishes with them. No part was to be wasted; indeed, “Every part is delicious,” says Sara Bologna, representative for Slow Food Brisbane.

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In presenting the event, Hugh Doyle and Ross Jurisich of Stone & Wood Brewing emphasised making the most of the ingredients available, especially those that are local and seasonal, again echoing the theme of reducing wastage. Even the cows were fed with spent grain from the Stone & Wood Brewery!

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Leftover food at Conscious Consumption is further “rescued” to be delivered to charities across South East Queensland, a term Cameron Hickey, Queensland State Manager for OzHarvest, used as he spoke of the many tonnes of food gone to waste each year.

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The themes of sourcing local, knowing your producers, choosing sustainable produce and minimising wastage were driven home that sunny afternoon. The next time you prepare a meal, be sure to have a think about how conscious your consumption is.

Words by Rachel Lee | Images by Georgia Hoare