This week in Aussie food: news bites
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
The United Nations has recognised a company created by a Sydney-born scientist. Nutrition Innovation has created a natural low GI sugar that reduces the sugar content in food by up to 70 percent. The technology to create this sugar can be retrofitted into existing sugar mills. It’s now being produced in Australia, Africa, Asia, Malaysia, India and South America. Nutrition Innovation was named one of the 50 best small and medium-sized enterprises in the UN Food Systems Summit comp “Best Small Business: Good Food for All”.
We need more workers
AUSVEG 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 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. They 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?
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. More than 4000 people have signed up since April. The program offers the chance to win one of ten $100,000 cash prizes. This comes with a $1500 cash payment from the government and a relocation payment of up to $6000. But with Delta spreading, this is preventing people from travelling interstate, and the industry is still short of workers.
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 acknowledges 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. But with more older Australians needing the support of Meals on Wheels now than ever, new volunteers are urgently required.
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.
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. These position themselves as “healthy” options but contain a tooth-achingly high 60 percent sugar or more:
Shonky: Rafferty’s Garden Strawberry Yoghurt Buttons (62.3% sugar)
Shonkier: Rafferty’s Garden Mixed Berry Yoghurt Buttons (62.9% sugar)
And then some: Kiddylicious Crispy Tiddlers Raspberry (63% sugar)
Shonkarama: Kiddylicious Smoothie Melts Strawberry & Banana (67% sugar)
Shonkiest: 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 Aussie 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. Dishes will cover 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
Low-carb keto company Locako has signed an exclusive deal with Woolworths to stock three of its collagen snack bars in stores nationally. The partnership is Locako’s first foray into a national supermarket chain. It signals a major ramp-up for the Aussie food business, which is run by Sydney mum-of-two Ally Mellor. Starting with an initial investment of just $2000 while juggling a newborn, Mellor has grown Locako into a million-dollar business. As more people embrace a low-carb lifestyle, it’s increased 400 percent year-on-year.
Stretch yourself this lockdown with a DIY pizza kit
Fratelli Fresh is stretching the takeaway pizza concept to a whole new level. “Dough It Yourself” pizza kits come with four sourdough pizza balls ready to be stretched, tossed and topped at home before being served piping hot, fresh from the oven. There’s also house-made pizza sauce and toppings like buffalo mozzarella, salami, kalamata olives, ham, sundried tomatoes, roasted capsicum, pepperoncini and marinated artichokes.
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
Melbourne cheese producer That’s Amore Cheese has gone national. The award-winning Aussie food business is expanding its home delivery service so Australians across the country can now enjoy the full That’s Amore range. These include cheeses, deli items, pantry essentials, hampers, cannoli, pizzas and hampers.
That’s Amore delivery is available in Vic, NSW, ACT, Qld, WA and SA. To browse the range and check if delivery is available in your area, click here.
Also in Aussie food this week…
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. Plus, we 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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