News bites: this week in Aussie food

14th August 2021 | Eativity editors

We’ve probably all spent a little too much time this past week doom-scrolling for news on COVID, but while Delta continues its deadly dance around the country, there’s still plenty going in the wide and wonderful world of food. To give you a break from endless press conferences and rising case numbers, we’ve compiled a brief rundown of what’s been happening this week in Aussie food – the good, the bad and the utterly delicious. There’s even a year’s supply of ice cream in the offing, just in case you’re interested…

Low GI sugar wins UN award

A company created by a Sydney-born scientist has been recognised by the United Nations. Dr David Kannar was inspired to develop a low GI sugar after losing his brother to type 2 diabetes. Founding food tech company Nutrition Innovation in 2017 along with fellow food scientist Dr Greg Szto, Dr Kannar has found a way to create a natural low glycaemic sugar and a sugar powder that reduces the sugar content in food by up to 70 percent. The technology to create these sugars can be retrofitted into existing sugar mills, and is now being produced in Australia, Africa, Asia, Malaysia, India and South America. Nutrition Innovation was named as one of the 50 best small and medium-sized enterprises in the UN Food Systems Summit competition “Best Small Business: Good Food for All”.

We need more workers

AUSVEG, the peak industry body for the Australian vegetable and potato industries, is calling for an increase in the number of workers from the Pacific Islands and an increase in Australia’s quarantine capacity to ensure Australia’s fruit and vegetable growers have access to the workers they need to harvest their produce. The call comes as the industry continues to face severe labour shortages of up to 24,000 for the coming peak harvest seasons. Industry has already brought in more than 10,000 workers since the Seasonal Worker Programme restarted in July last year, but growers are still struggling to find the workers they need to harvest, pack and distribute their fresh produce.

Support farmers, win ice cream

This Fairtrade Fortnight (August 6-19), Fairtrade Australia New Zealand is encouraging consumers to make the commitment to support farmers around the world by looking for products featuring the Fairtrade mark. Fairtrade empowers millions of farmers and workers around the world by tackling poverty and poor working conditions, and conserving the environment. Fairtrade certified farmers are guaranteed a fair price for their produce, and also receive a premium to invest in their businesses and communities. As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, you also have the chance to win a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which uses Fairtrade certified ingredients. Fair and delicious – what more could you ask for?

To enter for your chance to win, and to find Fairtrade products, head to fairtradeanz.org

Funding to boost recycling in NSW

The Australian and NSW governments have announced 22 new recycling projects across metropolitan and regional NSW as part of a $600 million national rollout of recycling infrastructure. “Remanufacture NSW” projects in Western Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle and regional NSW will create jobs and increase the state’s recycling capacity by an estimated 120,000 tonnes every year. The scheme will also provide retailers with more options to further improve recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Pick and win with Queensland strawberries

Queensland Strawberries’ program to encourage locals to try farm work has been a success, with more than 4000 people signing up since April. The program offers the incentive of the chance to win one of 10 $100,000 cash prizes, along with an additional $1500 cash payment from the Qld government and a relocation payment from AgMove of up to $6000. But with the Delta strain spreading, this is preventing would-be workers from travelling interstate, and the industry is still short by more than 1000 workers. However, according to Queensland Strawberries president Adrian Schultz, the lure of the lottery campaign provided farmers with just enough labour to get them through the month of June.

To apply for work, and for your chance to win 10 grand, head to qldstrawberries.com.au

Meals need wheels

Ahead of this year’s National Meals on Wheels Day, Meals on Wheels is making an urgent call for more wheels right across the country. The annual celebration, held on the last Wednesday in August, acknowledges and celebrates the dedication and commitment of its 45,000 volunteers. This year, Meals on Wheels is flagging the need for more delivery drivers to keep the wheels of 590-plus services turning. President of Meals on Wheels Australia, Sharyn Broer, says volunteers play an integral role within the organisation, and with more older Australians needing the support of Meals on Wheels now than ever, new volunteers are urgently required to ensure continual delivery of the service.

If you have a few hours to spare each week, head to mealsonwheels.org.au to volunteer.

Groceries delivered in just 15 minutes?

A new, exclusively online supermarket app is promising almost instant delivery. SEND allows users to browse and select products via the app, paying retail prices and a delivery fee of only $1.99, and delivery is guaranteed within 15 minutes or less. SEND is now servicing suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne, with designated “SEND Shops” being rolled out in Potts Point, Alexandria and Camperdown in Sydney, as well as Southbank in Melbourne. The SEND team aims to establish 30 locations by the end of the year. To manage the 15-minute delivery guarantee, SEND only services areas within 2km of its SEND Shops.

To find out more, head to sendapp.com.au

Parents: beware of “sugar shonks”

Five snacks targeted at toddlers have been named and shamed by consumer watchdog Choice as “sugar shonks”. The independent group is encouraging Australian parents to beware of the following toddler-marketed snacks that position themselves as “healthy” options but contain a tooth-achingly high 60 percent sugar or more:

• Rafferty’s Garden Strawberry Yoghurt Buttons (62.3% sugar)
• Rafferty’s Garden Mixed Berry Yoghurt Buttons (62.9% sugar)
• Kiddylicious Crispy Tiddlers Raspberry (63% sugar)
• Kiddylicious Smoothie Melts Strawberry & Banana (67% sugar)
• Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wriggles (68.8% sugar)

For more information on sugar in toddler foods and simple snack swaps that parents can make for their shopping list, head to choice.com.au/toddlersnacks

Toowoomba unveils a flavour-packed floral food trail

Dig out your stretchy pants, people – #trEATS is back! Introduced last year by Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, #trEATS (Toowoomba Region EATS) is a regional food trail that takes place across greater Toowoomba in southern Queensland throughout September, with cafes, restaurants and bars each offering a signature springtime dish inspired by the event. 36 cafes, restaurants, bars and outlets have registered to take part, with dishes covering the whole taste spectrum, from sweet, savoury and spicy to everything in between.

To check out the full menu of deliciousness on offer, head to tcof.com.au

Keto goes mainstream

Australian low-carb keto company Locako has signed an exclusive deal with Woolworths to stock three of its collagen snack bars in stores nationally from next week. The partnership is Locako’s first foray into a national supermarket chain and signals a major ramp-up for the Aussie business, which is run by mum-of-two Ally Mellor from her Sydney home. Starting with an initial investment of just $2000 and while juggling a newborn, Mellor has grown Locako into a million-dollar business which has increased 400 percent year-on-year as more Australians embrace a low-carb or keto lifestyle.

Stretch yourself this lockdown with a DIY pizza kit

Fratelli Fresh is stretching the takeaway pizza concept to a whole new level, with “Dough It Yourself” pizza kits enabling Sydney customers to build a pizza on par with those created by Fratelli Fresh Head Pizzaiolo, William Baffoni. Rather than a ready-to-eat pizza delivered already cooked and boxed, diners can add an entertaining twist to family mealtimes with sourdough pizza balls ready to be stretched, tossed and topped at home before being served piping hot, fresh from the oven. The DIY kit comes with four sourdough balls, house-made pizza sauce and toppings such as buffalo mozzarella, spicy salami, kalamata olives, ham, sundried tomatoes, roasted capsicum, pepperoncini and marinated artichokes. A rocket and parmesan salad and recipe instructions are also included.

The Dough It Yourself Pizza Kit is now available via the Fratelli Grocer website. Customers can pick up from Fratelli Fresh Manly, or have their purchases delivered to their home.

Cheese delivered with love – across Australia

Award-winning Melbourne cheese producer That’s Amore Cheese has gone national, expanding its delivery service so that Australians across most of the country can now enjoy the full That’s Amore range of cheeses, deli items, pantry essentials, hampers, cannoli, pizzas and hampers delivered straight to their door. That’s Amore already supplies many of Australia’s best restaurants and cafes, and a Victorian delivery service was launched in March last year. The team is now delighted to make delivery available nationally.

That’s Amore delivery is available in Victoria, NSW, the ACT, Queensland, WA and South Australia. To browse the range and check if delivery is available in your area, head to thatsamorecheese.com.au

Just in case you missed it…

This week, Eativity found out how you can snack like an Olympic athlete, and shared some deliciously different matcha-based treats. We also dug deep on the current debate that’s raging around the labelling of plant-based meats, and discovered the next big thing in milk alternatives. Finally, if COVID is really getting you down, we’ve offered some cheering advice on how you can grow your way through lockdown by getting back to nature.

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