Top food news headlines this week
This past week, there was plenty for Australian seafood to cheer about. Winners of the Sustainable Seafood Awards were announced, and new markets are opening up for local rock lobster fishers. In other food news, a fresh Tassie festival is on the cards, and a WA dairy brand achieves an Australian-first. Also, if you’re an egg-lover and you live in SA, we’ve found a cracking way that you can eat eggs and help science while you’re at it.
Rock lobster exports get a boost
An Australian government grant awarded to Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative (GFC) will allow rock lobster fishers to expand into new markets. The grant will also allow for the enhancement and modernisation of lobster processing facilities. This will increase domestic processing capacity of value-added lobster products. GFC, which represents more than 300 fishing family businesses across 1000km of coastline in WA, SA and Victoria, estimates the grant will increase its customer base by 20 percent. Lobster exports will make their way to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Dubai, France, Spain, Italy the US, as well as new markets in South Korea and Mexico.
Aussie seafood makes a splash
The Marine Stewardship Council and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council have announced the winners of the sixth Sustainable Seafood Awards Australia. Best Sustainable Seafood Product went to Bidfood’s new Nordic Select Salmon range. Best Sustainable Seafood Product in the wild catch category was won by ALDI for its Ocean Rise Skinless and Boneless Pink Salmon alongside Mars Petcare Australia for its Dine Fresh & Fine Adult Wet Cat Food in Jelly Tuna & Salmon. Other notable wins included Tassal, which won the Above and Beyond Award for its Responsible Business Roadmap focusing on reducing plastic waste; and South Australia’s Yumbah Aquaculture, which won Best Responsible Producer.
Pick of the crop: mango machine
The world’s first automatic mango harvester, developed by Central Queensland University, could soon be picking mangoes on Aussie farms. The robotic picker uses a combination of clever tech to find mangoes and pluck them from trees. After several years of trials and improvements, the harvester is now almost ready for commercialisation. It’s hoped that the machine will help to solve some of the problems caused by ongoing labour shortages.
Local proteins on a global menu
With an expected two billion extra people on the planet to feed by 2050, the world is going to need to produce more protein, more sustainably and from more sources. A new roadmap by the CSIRO shows how Australia can serve up a wider range of high-quality proteins to feed the world’s growing population and help capture a $13 billion market opportunity. Growth opportunities include new plant-based products, turning lesser cuts of red meat into value-added protein powders, developing higher-protein and better-tasting legume crops, creating a new sustainable industry in Australian white-flesh fish and exploring non-traditional forms of protein like cultivated meat and edible insects.
Impossible Foods lands in Oz
In plant-based food news, US-based plant-based meat producer Impossible Foods has launched its flagship product, Impossible Beef Made From Plants, in supermarkets across Australia. Impossible Beef mince and burger patties are now available at 800 Woolworths stores nationally. This is the first time Impossible Beef can be purchased in supermarkets; the company initially landed in restaurants across Australia four months ago.
Western Australian dairy brand Browne’s Dairy has become the first in Australia to use Tetra Pak’s unbleached milk cartons. The milk cartons are made from sustainably sourced, renewable plant-based materials. The packaging is a natural brown colour, which requires less processing. Additionally, the cartons are lighter than traditional cartons, requiring less materials to pack the same amount of milk. By switching to plant-based polyethylene in the cartons, Browne’s also reduces its carbon footprint by 16 percent.
A new event by the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail is set to showcase the farmers, growers and makers of Tasmania’s northwest. TrailGraze will see local producers open their doors for a weekend of workshops, behind-the-scenes tours and tastings, as well as delicious food conceptualised by some of Australia’s best chefs. Held on the weekend of April 23 and 24, the event will feature more than 20 producers. Offerings will range from wine, cider, craft beer and spirits to gourmet foods, fruit, vegetables, nuts, meat and seafood. TrailGraze is free to attend, however you will need to register here.
Cracking news for SA egg lovers
Boiled, scrambled or fried, if you’re an egg lover, you couldn’t find a better breakfast. But with eggs often associated with high cholesterol, it can be hard to know whether they’re healthy or not. A new study from the University of South Australia hopes to crack this long-standing conundrum. The study will test the effects of high and low-egg diets and compare blood cholesterol and other blood lipid levels to determine whether eggs help or hinder heart disease risk. UniSA is now recruiting for the study. To find out more, click here.
Healthy lollies? Yup!
A new Australian business is taking on the big boys of the confectionery world, offering Aussies a healthier choice to satisfy their sweet tooth. Darren and Andy Paterson, a couple from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, were prompted to launch Daz & Andy’s Healthy Lollies when they started to take note of their sugar intake. They then discovered how much sugar was in practically all packaged goods. Wanting to reduce their sugar consumption, they discovered that there were sugar-free lollies available that not only tasted great; they also had a range of other health benefits. The business now offers a range of sugar-free sweets, including Zollipops, Dr John’s Healthy Sweets and Jealous Sweets.
Get a slice of the action this Easter
In the lead-up to Easter, Ballarat-based Springhill Farm in NSW has teamed up with Melbourne vegan outlet Smith + Deli to celebrate the release of Springhill Farm’s hot cross bun-flavoured vegan Easter slice. The first 100 coffees sold at Smith + Deli on Sunday, April 17, will receive a free slice with their coffee. Springhill’s Hot Cross Buns Slice puts a spin on the Easter essential. It offers a blend of sweet cinnamon, spiced nutmeg, juicy currants and zesty orange topped with white chocolate swirls.
Also in food news this week…
Monday is always the best day to start things fresh. That’s why we kicked off the week with fresh tips on why you should eat a rainbow of fruit and vegies, every day. In other fresh food news, we also shone the spotlight on the oft-misunderstood Shepard avocado, which is now in season. With Easter coming up, we explored the history behind hot cross buns, as well as which buns rate best. And in cooking, former MasterChef star Tim Bone shared his recipes for some delicious organic meaty meals. They’re perfect for cool autumn evenings.
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