It’s been a long journey for Lynton Tapp. From growing up on a remote cattle station in the Northern Territory, he’s become an established speaker, author and chef after his hard slog in 2013’s Masterchef. But now he’s working for a different cause.
“I grew up on a cattle station my whole life, and no one really knows what’s going on out there, other than the farmers,” he says. “We’ve lost touch with the general consumers of Australia.”
Lynton hosts the new documentary Appetite for Change – a look into the state of food sustainability in Australia’s rural regions. It’s an initiative of Earth Hour, an organisation that Lynton has a lot in common with.
“For the last few years I’ve done a lot of speaking about challenges that face the agricultural industry,” he says. “So my goals and what I’m trying to achieve align directly with Earth Hour.”
These ‘challenges’ are highlighted in the documentary. Irregular harvests, lower yields, and higher temperatures and humidity are just some of the issues caused by climate change that affect Aussie farmers and food.
Lynton says Australian farmers are caught between rising prices due to economics and lower yields due to climate change. “They are really jammed between the two of them and the farmer has no control at all,” he says. “They don’t control the economy by the government and no one can predict the weather.”
But how does all this affect us, the viewers at home?
“Whether it’s cost, whether it’s supply, whether it’s quantity – all of these issues faced on a farm is going to flow onto the supermarket,” he says.
Lynton says there’s some simple things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and help make our food industry more sustainable.
“There are little avenues you can take aside from recycling, like growing your own herbs, using energy saving lights, turning off your switches, buying ethically sourced food, sustainable seafood, local fruit and vegetables, investing in renewable energy.”
So what should viewers take away from the documentary?
“It’s about helping the viewers make that connection that climate change is happening and it is having a real effect on something that is tangible,” Lynton says. “Otherwise people will push it to the side and think they don’t have to worry about it.”
With a recipe book release just around the corner, Lynton has a lot on his plate. He says he’s grateful for the opportunities Masterchef has given him.
“I always knew I could work hard and now I have applied it to something I really care about and believe it,” he says. “Masterchef has given me that opportunity to show Australia what’s happening in the agriculture industry.”
Celebrate Earth Hour day and tune into Appetite for Change on 4.00 Saturday on TEN.