Making news in Aussie food this week
The government has finally released its plan to reach net zero by 2050. It hasn’t been very well received. But while the world prepares for the G20 summit in Glasgow, our farmers still have crops to harvest. Labour shortages remain critical, leading growers in Victoria to make a call-out for locals to take up fruit picking and packing work. Also making news in Aussie food, Foodbank has released its 2021 Hunger Report, Gourmet Traveller has named its restaurant of the year and a new meal delivery service has been launched. For dogs.
Net zero by 2050
The release of the Australian government’s plan for reaching net zero emissions by 2050 has been met with scepticism from international media and climate scientists alike. But the National Farmers Federation says that the plan confirms that our farmers and our agricultural lands hold the key to delivering Australia’s 2050 goal. In part, the plan outlines a strategy to use 90 million hectares of productive agricultural land as a carbon sink.
How will you celebrate AgDay 2021?
National Agriculture Day is less than a month away. The theme this year is “Choose your #AgVenture”. It’s a celebration of the many fulfilling career opportunities in agriculture. You can also get involved by entering the #AgVenture Photo Competition or registering for the #AgVenture Careers Expo. Teachers and students can also connect their school directly to a farmer with Farmer Time. And if you’re holding an AgDay event, register it online to receive an AgDay gift pack. You can also check out the I Love Farmers 2021 collection.
Growers urge Victorians: apply for harvest jobs
With the pandemic ongoing and closed borders limiting overseas workers entering the country, Fruit Growers Victoria is urging Victorians to get a fruit harvesting job this summer. With a significant lack of workers for the second year running, growers want to avoid crops going to waste this upcoming season. Growers have already been hiring pruners to prepare for the Harvest Trail season, which starts with cherries and finishes with apples.
Considering a job in fruit harvesting or packing in Victoria? Head to pickgv.com.au
New native raspberry discovery
Five years ago, forager and wild food researcher Peter Hardwick made a chance discovery next to a car park: a thornless native raspberry. While most native raspberries are delicious, the plants are very thorny, so picking them is a literal pain. This new variety has been hailed as a potential game-changer for the native food industry. It’s now being propagated at Daleys Fruit Tree Nursery in Kyogle, NSW, to see if it can be produced commercially.
Hunger: a fact of life for too many
Foodbank has revealed 1 in 6 Australian adults haven’t had enough to eat in the last year. And sadly, 1.2 million children have gone hungry. The 2021 Foodbank Hunger Report shows that more than half of people impacted by severe food insecurity go a whole day every week without eating. COVID has exacerbated pre-existing hunger issues in our community. In addition to those who were already struggling before COVID-19, the pandemic has caused others to experience vulnerability for the first time. Read the full report here.
Cookbook to raise awareness of child hunger
A gastronomic who’s who of the Aussie food scene has joined forces with World Vision to create its first famine-fighting cookbook, Hunger Bites. The budget-friendly book dishes up family feeds on a shoestring, with high-profile chefs like Neil Perry and Marco Pierre White sharing their recipes for $14 feed for a family of four. Also throwing their support behind the book are culinary superstars like Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander, Luke Mangan and Luke Nguyen. World Vision has launched the cookbook as a free eBook to shine a light on the 41 million people driven to starvation by the pandemic. You can download your free copy here.
See something? Say something
Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) has responded to an increase in reports of illegal Indonesian fishing vessels off the north coast of Australia. They remind water users to report any suspicious vessels. SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta says maintaining surveillance is extremely important to the our seafood industry. She encourages industry and other water users to report any suspicious or foreign fishing vessel sightings to the relevant authorities.
Lobster fishers rocked for a second year
China’s trade ban is hitting our rock lobster fishers for a second season. Many South Australian fishers and exporters are now seeking alternative markets. But crashing prices from lobster flooding the local market have led to others pulling in their pots to wait things out. Other Southeast Asian markets are still importing our lobster, but this is small beans compared to the huge Chinese market. While local seafood consumption increases over the Christmas period, with the market already oversupplied and Victorian and Tasmanian lobster seasons due to start soon, this is unlikely to do much for fishers’ hip pockets.
Who makes Australia’s greatest fish & chips?
In slightly less fishy fish news, the 2021 Great Australian Fish & Chip Awards are searching for the country’s best fish and chip shops. The awards aim to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses around the country and highlight the importance of buying Australian seafood and supporting our fishers and the foodservice industry. Voting in the people’s choice award is open until December 12, and winners will be announced on December 14. To vote for your favourite fish and chip shop, head to fishandchipawards.com.au.
Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards
Just as NSW and Victoria begin to reopen, Gourmet Traveller has announced the winners of its prestigious annual awards. Restaurant of the Year was awarded to Tedesca Osteria in Red Hill, Victoria. Chef of the Year went to Daniel Puskas of Sydney’s Sixpenny, while Best New Restaurant was awarded to Melbourne’s Gimlet. Jung Eun Chae of Melbourne’s Chae won Best New Talent. Restaurant Personality of the Year went to Sharon Romeo of Adelaide’s Fino Vino and Fino Seppeltsfield in Seppeltsfield, South Australia.
Done like a dog’s dinner
COVID has led to more people being at home more often. For family dogs, it’s been heaven. And most humans would be lying if they said they hadn’t been spoiling their pets more than usual. Meal kit provider Marley Spoon has leapt upon this opportunity, launching Bezzie. It’s a new service that home-delivers “human-quality” meals for dogs. The premium pet food provider promises “personalised” nutritious meals for pampered pooches. Currently, the service is delivering to NSW, ACT, Queensland and Victoria, but there are plans to expand.
Also making news in Aussie food this week…
This week, we grabbed our baskets and headed out to explore our neighbourhood as we discovered the joys of urban foraging. We also shared new nutrition research that gives us the green light to eat more fats and carbs. And with Halloween almost upon us, we also shared some spooky sweet treats that say “boo” to sugar. Next month is World Vegan Month, so before we swap our T-bones for tofu, we also tucked into some meaty news. What’s on the menu? David Blackmore has brought a new breed of premium beef cattle to Australia. Also, top Melbourne butcher Gary’s Meats is taking its business to the next level.
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