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Woolworths’ new move to counter criticism over plastic bag ban

<p>Woolworths has quietly introduced paper bags at selected stores as an alternative to plastic reusable ones.</p> <p>Speaking to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/supermarket-chain-woolworths-trials-20-cent-paper-bags-at-21-stores/news-story/03e34ba6095a1a4444128f92cd5f374f" target="_blank"><em>news.com.au</em></a>, a spokeswoman from Woolworths said the trial is currently being conducted in 21 stores.</p> <p>They are priced at 20 cents each, are reusable and recyclable – although they are priced higher than the 15 cent reusable plastic bags available in every store around the country.</p> <p>“The vast majority of our customers bring their own bags to shop, but we know there are occasions when they forget or visit our stores unplanned,” said the spokeswoman.</p> <p>“Some customers have told us they would like the option of a paper bag when this happens.</p> <p>“We’re trialling paper bags in around 20 stores to test customer demand and will closely monitor feedback as we do.”</p> <p>The spokeswoman revealed that the plastic bags will still be available for customers to purchase.</p> <p>The paper bags are made from 80 per cent recycled and 20 per cent virgin paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). They are also recyclable.</p> <p>After news broke that the supermarket giant will be offering paper bags, shoppers took to social media to voice their thoughts.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Wow, they used to have paper bags in the 70s.</p> — Shane (@sgt_rawk) <a href="https://twitter.com/sgt_rawk/status/1184691130970992640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">17 October 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Good luck to those waiting for a tram/bus home and it rains.</p> — VelvetTeaLeaf (@VelvetTeaLeaf) <a href="https://twitter.com/VelvetTeaLeaf/status/1184687847627874304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">17 October 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“Everything old is new again. We had this before and we changed to plastic bags to save the trees,” wrote on user on Facebook.</p> <p>“Back to the 50s, 40s, 60s, we go,” said another.</p>

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Woman shares outrage over popular Woolworths dessert

<p>A woman has voiced her outrage over a popular Woolworths dessert after realising that the vegetable the sweet treat was named after was barely in the product.</p> <p>The item in question was the retailer’s standard carrot cake.</p> <p>The dessert has been praised in the past for its moisture, texture and taste.</p> <p>“Great size. Nice size cake to share when visiting my parents,” is one of the countless rave reviews on the site.</p> <p>But after one woman decided to go through the ingredients list with a fine-toothed comb, she discovered that carrot was barely present in the formula.</p> <p>Taking to Woolworths’ Facebook page, the shopper shared her frustrations on the deceptive title and contents of the dessert.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 500px;" src="/media/7831828/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/bb5de65b4f944e0c9137c4587eec7ac0" /></p> <p>“I recently bought one of your ‘carrot cakes’,” the review stated. “I thought it didn’t taste at all of the carrots and I could only see tiny flecks of orange in it, which might have been carrot-related.”</p> <p>She then took matters into her own hands and found out just how much carrot is present in the cake.</p> <p>“I checked the ingredients list and note that it only contains 3 per cent carrot,” she said.</p> <p>“In a 300g cake, this equates to 9g or about three thin slices of carrot PER CAKE, or half a thin slice of carrot per serve of cake.”</p> <p>Speaking to the<span> </span><em>Daily Mail</em>, the supermarket giant defended their item saying it goes through “rigorous customer tasting” and has always satisfied the taste buds of consumers.</p> <p>Others called out the angry customer, saying her complaint is “pathetic”.</p> <p>“Make it yourself … I think we all know that there is no nutritional value in a Woolies cake,” said one woman.</p>

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“Kmart turned my baby green”: Woman’s terrifying find in daughter’s bath

<p>A mother walked into a “horrifying” situation after she heard her daughter yelling for her in the bathtub. </p> <p>Kerri Sackville, author of<span> </span>Out There: A Survival Guide for Dating in Midlife<span> </span>wrote Kmart “did the dirty” on her after a $15 unicorn themed bath bomb kit turned her daughter and their entire bathtub a deep sea green. </p> <p>The author wrote in<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/kids/look-mum-im-an-alien-kmart-bath-bomb-turns-girl-green/news-story/d44b4b1fb5d8534a1577cd8a30811956" target="_blank">news.com.au</a><span> </span>that while she loves Kmart, she felt “betrayed” by her favourite retailer. </p> <p>Sackville said she should have known the horror that would await her in her daughter’s bath after her 8-year-old took to making her own bombs following the kit’s instructions. </p> <p>“There was green on the table and green on the floor and green on her hands and a bit of green in her hair, and if you think that should have alerted me to a potential issue, you are right,” she wrote. </p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 280.3992740471869px;" src="/media/7831821/kmart-mum.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5792e94c9fc44537953abd1af16a2fca" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Image: news.com.au</em></p> <p>It was later once she heard a worrying call to come quickly that she realised her daughter was “green” from the Kmart bath bombs. </p> <p>“My precious child was emerald green. So was the bath water, the tub, and much of the surrounding wall.”</p> <p>Sackville scrubbed away at her daughter’s skin for what felt like “hours” but still “streaks of green remained. </p> <p>“...This was no water-soluble bath bomb; it seemed to be made from crushed permanent markers, or oil paints.”</p> <p>While she eventually managed to clean her bathtub, she says “a glint of emerald remains in the grout.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 280.3992740471869px;" src="/media/7831820/kmart-mum-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0a2b14b61857490c811870786e1705b8" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Image: news.com.au</em></p> <p>A Kmart spokesperson told news.com.au they urge any other customers who have had similar issues to get in touch. </p> <p>“At Kmart Australia, we are committed to the quality and safety of all of our products. We have not received an inquiry of this nature, but we welcome the opportunity to resolve this directly with the customer.</p> <p>“We encourage all customers who have experienced an issue with any of our products to please get in contact with our Customer Service Team on 1800 124 125.”</p>

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“That’s just disgusting”: Frustration over Woolworths issue spotted in store

<p>Customers aren’t thrilled with Woolworths’ “disgusting” use of plastic which has been used to package “mini” versions of fruit.</p> <p>The photo, which was posted to Woolworths Facebook page, shows dozens of plastic packets of fruit, including bananas, apples and mandarins.</p> <p>The poster wrote:</p> <p>“Seriously Woolworths... All this plastic, for what reason? Because they’re “mini”?”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7831761/plastic-woollies.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/81f5ff4492dc4793b83ce79ab54ba376" /></p> <p><span>Others were quick to agree, saying that they think the retailer should be more responsible with their packaging.</span><strong><br /></strong></p> <p>“That’s just disgusting and a complete disappointment. Open your eyes Woolies. This isn’t what customers want. And while you’re at it, get a new manager in charge of packaging,” one person wrote.</p> <p>One person pointed out that if people didn’t buy the pre-packaged fruit, there wouldn’t be a demand.</p> <p>“If people didn't buy them but bought the loose ones instead then Woolies wouldn't make a profit on them and stop selling them. Shame on the people that buy them over loose,” they said.</p> <p>A spokesperson from Woolworths was quick to comment on the post.</p> <p>“Most produce will be available loose for purchase as we know both options appeal to different customers, with many taking advantage of pre-packed versions to better manage budgets at the checkout,” they wrote in a comment.</p> <p>“The packaging on produce helps with reducing food waste. Packaging protects the quality and extends the shelf life of fruit and vegetables as they’re transported from the farm, to the store and to our customers.”</p> <p>However, marketing expert at the University of Technology Sydney Dr David Waller explained to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/a-complete-disappointment-outrage-over-disgusting-photo-in-woolworths-store-025052783.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia</a><span> </span></em>that the concept is sound, but was “poorly executed”.</p> <p>“It’s another example that Woolworths is being inconsistent with their message,” Dr Waller said.</p> <p>“They take away single-use plastic bags, but then they sell bags for 15 cents, then they talk about being green, and reducing plastic, but then give away plastic toys.”</p> <p>Dr Waller also stated that Woolworths likely packaged the fruit this way to target children.</p> <p>“They probably would’ve thought that by aiming at a kid’s market, mothers would love them. There are even many reviews from parents saying they enjoy using them,” he said.</p> <p>“I think they should continue with the campaign to get more kids to eat fruit, but leave them as unpacked fruit, or have them in recyclable mesh or brown paper bags.”</p>

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Why snacking could be damaging your health

<p>Only until relatively <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2796.2003.01170.x">recently in human evolution</a> have we eaten three meals plus snacks every day.</p> <p>Breakfast simply didn’t exist for large parts of history. The Romans, for example, didn’t eat it – usually consuming only one meal around midday – <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20243692">breakfast was actively frowned upon</a>. Regular working hours following the industrial revolution brought <a href="https://academic.oup.com/past/article/239/1/71/4794719">structure to mealtimes to sustain labourers</a>. And by the late 18th century the pattern of eating three meals a day in towns and cities emerged.</p> <p>But these days, people are eating more frequently than they ever have before – and often outside of meal times. New smartphone app <a href="https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/pdf/S1550-4131(15)00462-3.pdf">data</a> shows that we now have erratic eating patterns. Many of us are continually snacking rather than eating at defined times – which means we spend <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4635036/">up to 16 hours a day in a “fed” state</a>.</p> <p><strong>The issue with inflammation</strong></p> <p>Your body has two metabolically different states: fasted (without food) and post-fed. The absorptive post-fed state is a metabolically active time for your body. But is also a time of immune system activity. When we eat, we do not just take in nutrients – we also trigger our immune system to produce a <a href="https://www.unibas.ch/en/News-Events/News/Uni-Research/Every-Meal-Triggers-Inflammation.html">transient inflammatory response</a>.</p> <p>Inflammation is a normal response of the body to infection and injury, which provides protection against stressors. This means that just the act of eating each meal imparts a degree of physiological stress on the immune system. And so for people snacking around the clock, their bodies can often end up in a near constant inflammatory state.</p> <p>For around four hours after each meal, gut microbes and their components leak into our bloodstream – silently triggering inflammation by the immune system. This process is driven largely by the activation of a critical immune sensor of nutrients called the “inflammasome”, which releases an <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/ni.3659">inflammatory molecule known as “interleukin-1β”</a>.</p> <p>Inflammation is only ever meant to be a short-term protective assault by our immune system. But inflammation after eating – known as “postprandial inflammation” can be exacerbated by our modern lifestyles. This includes calorie dense meals, frequent eating, excessive <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22525431?dopt=Abstract">fructose</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17991637">fatty foods</a> – particularly saturated fat.</p> <p>Persistent postprandial inflammation <a href="http://www.eurekaselect.com/93095/article">is a problem because it</a> inflicts recurrent collateral damage on our body that is extremely detrimental to our health over time. Chronic low-grade inflammation has emerged as an important link to many noninfectious lifestyle-related diseases including heart disease and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261561418301286?via%3Dihub#bib13">type 2 diabetes</a>.</p> <p><strong>Stop the snacking</strong></p> <p>We still don’t know the cumulative impact on disease risk of healthy adults who spend longer periods of time in a post-fed inflammatory state. But what is clear, is that low-grade inflammation is the most important driver of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4634197/">unhealthy ageing</a>.</p> <p>Reduced frequency of eating through <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23244540">intermittent fasting</a> or <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388543/">time-restricted eating</a> also highlights the broadly beneficial effects that eating less has on human health. This includes aiding weight loss and lowering the risk of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes. On the basis of available data, the fact that such a fundamental aspect of our dietary habits – the number of meals we eat every day – has not yet been subject to rigorous scientific investigation is remarkable.</p> <p>But what we do know is that not only does snacking increase your likelihood of elevated <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4549297/">inflammatory markers</a>, but eating excessive calories also leads to weight gain. Eating late has also been linked to elevated cholesterol and glucose and can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29486170">make you more insulin resistant</a>. This leave you feeling more hungry the following day.</p> <p>So it might be worth consolidating your food into fewer, more satisfying meals. You might also want to reduce your eating window to ten hours day or less, and aim to eat your last meal earlier in the day – your body will thank you for it.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/100978/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Jenna Macciochi, Lecturer in Immunology, University of Sussex</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/why-snacking-could-be-damaging-your-health-100978" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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“We’re all human, right?”: New Masterchef Judge Melissa Leong defends old negative tweets on The Project

<p>One of the new Masterchef Australia judges has been forced to defend herself on<span> </span><em>The Project</em><span> </span>last night over negative tweets she made in the past about the show.</p> <p>Not long after the announcement yesterday of the new judges, who are Melissa Leong, Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo, tweets from 2012 of Leong’s resurfaced.</p> <p>They weren’t exactly complimentary about the show she is now the face of.</p> <p>One of Leong’s tweets from 2012 said:</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7831699/masterchef-tweets.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/36a65d9a2fea4f5b9de8540aa4137dd0" /></p> <p>Another tweet was a retweet of someone’s comment about Masterchef, which said:</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7831698/masterchef-tweets-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/07af99042f9d428c8c2e5ea950ddd475" /></p> <p>The new trio of Masterchef judges appeared on<span> </span><em>The Project</em><span> </span>and host Waleed Aly brought up the elephant in the room.</p> <p>“Now Melissa, I’m sorry to have to do this, but there are some questions that simply have to be asked,” Aly said.</p> <p>“You’ve tweeted in the past and some of your old tweets have surfaced today … my first question is: Why didn’t you find the delete button?”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">It’s Channel 10’s biggest reveal since The Masked Singer on Tuesday night. Introducing, the new MasterChef judges for 2020! <a href="https://t.co/KNsCt96R3C">pic.twitter.com/KNsCt96R3C</a></p> — The Project (@theprojecttv) <a href="https://twitter.com/theprojecttv/status/1182212586869334019?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Leong didn’t hold back in her response.</p> <p>“We’re all human, right?” Leong, a successful food and travel writer, said.</p> <p>“We all have perspectives on things that change over time and so, you know, why should I scrub all my social media clean of former opinions that I’ve had?</p> <p>“I may not believe the same things I did before but I also don’t believe in presenting a sanitised version of myself that’s highly edited because that’s not who I am.”</p> <p>At the time of writing, t<span>he posts appear to have been deleted.</span></p> <p><span>There will be a lot of pressure on the new three judges when season 12 of Masterchef starts next year, as many fans were fond of the old judges, Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris.</span></p>

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New Masterchef Australia judges finally announced

<p>Channel 10 has finally announced the new judges for<span> </span>Masterchef Australia<span> </span>and it’s incredibly likely you’ve never heard of them.</p> <p>After rampant speculation that the new judges would be household names such as Maggie Beer, Curtis Stone or Poh Ling Yeow, Channel 10 has cast a trio of relative unknowns.</p> <p>The network announced that Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Any Allen will replace George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston for Masterchef’s 12th season, which will air next year.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3afWq6g648/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3afWq6g648/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">We’re thrilled to reveal your new MasterChef Australia Judges: Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen! #MasterChefAU</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/masterchefau/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> MasterChef Australia</a> (@masterchefau) on Oct 9, 2019 at 3:17pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>If you’re not sure who the trio of judges are, you’re not alone.</p> <p>Zonfrillo was named Australia’s Hottest Chef in 2018 and hosted a range of TV shows, including<span> </span>Nomad Chef<span> </span>and<span> </span>Restaurant Revolution.</p> <p>Leong is an accomplished food and travel writer as well as a radio broadcaster and television presenter.</p> <p>She was shocked to discover she had gotten the Masterchef gig.</p> <p>“It came as a huge surprise for me, and is, without a doubt the opportunity of a lifetime,” she said in a statement. “I am really looking forward to getting stuck in.”</p> <p>Long-time fans of the show might remember Andy Allen who won season four of the cooking show.</p> <p>The new judges will be joined by celebrity chefs throughout the season, including Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Curtis Stone.</p> <p>Network 10 chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said: “In a nation obsessed with food, we are thrilled to welcome Jock, Melissa and Andy as judges to MasterChef Australia.</p> <p>“Their combined culinary credentials coupled with their passion and sheer joy for food, and their relentless enthusiasm to explore ingredients, preparation and cooking methods ensures we are in for a real treat.”</p> <p>The original trio of George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan were booted from the show after there was controversy surrounding Calombaris due to underpaid staff at his restaurants.</p> <p>There were also rumours that Preston and Mehigan had demanded a 40 per cent increase on their $1 million per season salaries.</p> <p>However, Preston has denied this.</p> <p>“We’d agree on the offer with Ten,” he said on ABC radio. “We’d sent a note back to their offer, we’d agreed to the financial terms. We’d agreed to make the next series of MasterChef, and it was the other terms that fell down.”</p> <p>He has also confirmed that it’ll be a long time before the trio are seen together on television again.</p> <p>“I think that the next step for us is to drop out of sight for a nice, long time,” he said on ABC radio.</p>

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How water-wise is your diet?

<p>Our diets can have a big environmental impact. The greenhouse gas emissions involved in producing and transporting various foods has been well researched, but have you ever thought about the water-scarcity impacts of producing your favourite foods? The answers may surprise you.</p> <p>In research <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/8/1846">recently published in the journal <em>Nutrients</em></a>, we looked at the water scarcity footprints of the diets of 9,341 adult Australians, involving more than 5,000 foods. We measured both the amount of water used to produce a food, and whether water was scarce or abundant at the location it was drawn from.</p> <p>The food system accounts for around 70 per cent of global freshwater use. This means a concerted effort to minimise the water used to produce our food - while ensuring our diets remained healthy - would have a big impact in Australia, the driest inhabited continent on Earth.</p> <p><strong>Biscuits, beer or beef: which takes the most water to produce?</strong></p> <p>We found the average Australian’s diet had a water-scarcity footprint of 362 litres per day. It was slightly lower for women and lower for adults over 71 years of age.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso:14046:ed-1:v1:en">water-scarcity footprint</a> consists of two elements: the litres of water used, multiplied by a weighting depending on whether water scarcity at the source is higher or lower than the global average.</p> <p>Foods with some of the highest water-scarcity footprints were almonds (3,448 litres/kg), dried apricots (3,363 litres/kg) and breakfast cereal made from puffed rice (1,464 litres/kg).</p> <p>In contrast, foods with some of the smallest water-scarcity footprint included wholemeal bread (11.3 litres/kg), oats (23.4 litres/kg), and soaked chickpeas (5.9 litres/kg).</p> <p>It may surprise you that of the 9,000 diets studied, 25 per cent of the water scarcity footprint came from discretionary foods and beverages such as cakes, biscuits, sugar-sweetened drinks and alcohol. They included a glass of wine (41 litres), a single serve of potato crisps (23 litres), and a small bar of milk chocolate (21 litres).</p> <p>These foods don’t only add to our waistlines, but also our water-scarcity footprint. <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/8/11/690">Previous studies have also shown</a> these foods contribute around 30 per cent of dietary greenhouse gas emissions in Australia.</p> <p>The second highest food group in terms of contributing to water-scarcity was fruit, at 19 per cent. This includes whole fruit and fresh (not sugar-sweetened) juices. It should be remembered that fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet, and generally Australians need to consume more fruit to meet recommendations.</p> <p>Dairy products and alternatives (including non-dairy beverages made from soy, rice and nuts) came in third and bread and cereals ranked fourth.</p> <p>The consumption of red meat - beef and lamb - contributed only 3.7 per cent of the total dietary water-scarcity footprint. These results suggest that eating fresh meat is less important to water scarcity than most other food groups, even cereals.</p> <p><strong>How to reduce water use in your diet</strong></p> <p>Not surprisingly, cutting out discretionary foods would be number one priority if you wanted to lower the water footprint of the food you eat, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions of production.</p> <p>Over-consumption of discretionary foods is also closely linked to weight gain and obesity. Eating a variety of healthy foods, according to energy needs, is a helpful motto.</p> <p>Aside from this, it is difficult to give recommendations that are relevant to consumers. We found that the variation in water-scarcity footprint of different foods within a food group was very high compared to the variation between food groups.</p> <p>For example, a medium sized apple was found to contribute a water-scarcity footprint of three litres compared with more than 100 litres for a 250 ml glass of fresh orange juice. This reflects the relative use of irrigation water and the local water scarcity where these crops are grown. It also takes more fruit to produce juice than when fruit is consumed whole.</p> <p>Two slices of wholegrain bread had a much lower water-scarcity footprint than a cup of cooked rice (0.9 litres compared with 124 litres). Of the main protein sources, lamb had the lowest water-scarcity footprint per serve (5.5 litres). Lambs are rarely raised on irrigated pastures and when crops are used for feeding, these are similarly rarely irrigated.</p> <p>Consumers generally lack the information they would need to choose core foods with a lower water-scarcity footprint. Added to this, diversity is an important principle of good nutrition and dissuading consumption of particular core foods could have adverse consequences for health.</p> <p>Perhaps the best opportunities to reduce water scarcity impacts in the Australian food system lie in food production. There is often very large variation between producers in water scarcity footprint of the same farm commodity.</p> <p>For example, a study of the water scarcity footprint of tomatoes grown for the Sydney market reported results ranging from 5.0 to 52.8 litres per kg. Variation in the water-scarcity footprint of milk produced in Victoria was reported to range from 0.7 to 262 litres. This mainly reflects differences in farming methods, with variation in the use of irrigation and also the local water scarcity level.</p> <p>Water-scarcity footprint reductions could best be achieved through technological change, product reformulation and procurement strategies in agriculture and food industries.</p> <p><strong>Not all water is equal</strong></p> <p>This is the first study of its kind to report the water-scarcity footprint for a large number of individual self-selected diets.</p> <p>This was no small task, given that 5,645 individual foods were identified. Many were processed foods which needed to be separated into their component ingredients.</p> <p>It’s hard to say how these results compare to other countries as the same analysis has not been done elsewhere. The study did show a large variation in water-scarcity footprints within Australian diets, reflecting the diversity of our eating habits.</p> <p>Water scarcity is just one important environmental aspects of food production and consumption. While we don’t suggest that dietary guidelines be amended based on water scarcity footprints, we hope this research will support more sustainable production and consumption of food.</p> <p><em>The author originally disclosed that he undertakes research for Meat and Livestock Australia. His disclosure has been updated to specify that the above research is among the projects to which the MLA has contributed funding.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/123180/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Brad Ridoutt, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Agriculture, CSIRO; Danielle Baird, Research Dietitian; Gilly Hendrie, Research scientist, CSIRO, and Kimberley Anastasiou, Research Dietitian, CSIRO</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/it-takes-21-litres-of-water-to-produce-a-small-chocolate-bar-how-water-wise-is-your-diet-123180" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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New fruit scare: Needle found in ALDI grapes

<p>A year on from the strawberry contamination crisis, another warning has been raised yet again as an ALDI shopper found a needle in her freshly purchased grapes.</p> <p>In a Facebook post shared on Sunday, the woman claimed she discovered a short needle poking through a grape she bought from an ALDI store in the Melbourne suburb of Caroline Springs.</p> <p>“Please check all your grapes before eating especially if your giving them to your kids!” she wrote. “Police &amp; store has been contacted!”</p> <p>The post has been shared more than 7,100 times and received over 3,200 comments at the time of writing.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fchloe.borg.5%2Fposts%2F10214536576438273&amp;width=500" width="500" height="726" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Victoria Police confirmed that it had received the report and was “currently investigating” the case.</p> <p>“Police have been told a needle was located in a grape bought from a store in Caroline Springs on October 6,” a statement from the police read.</p> <p>“The community is reminded that anyone found to be contaminating food products can be charged with a serious indictable offence with penalties including up to 10 years in jail.”</p> <p>Police urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.</p> <p>An ALDI spokesperson told <em><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/mum-terrified-after-horrific-find-in-aldi-grapes-231607860.html">Yahoo News Australia</a> </em>it was working alongside police to find the person responsible for the offense. “Food tampering, involving the deliberate interference with food is a criminal offence and we work with authorities on all reported incidents,” the spokesperson said in a statement.</p> <p>Last year, Australia was rocked with a nationwide strawberry contamination scare that began in south-east Queensland in September. More than 180 reports of fruit contamination were made across the country, many of which were found to be fake or copycat crimes.</p> <p>In November 2018, a 50-year-old farm supervisor was <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-11/strawberry-needle-scare-woman-arrested-in-queensland/10486418" target="_blank">arrested and charged with seven counts of contaminating goods</a>.</p> <p>Police alleged that the woman, who was working at the Berrylicious/Berry Obsession fruit farm near Brisbane, was planting needles in strawberries in one of the initial cases of contamination.</p>

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Will a vegetarian diet increase your risk of stroke?

<p>A UK study finding vegetarianism is associated with a higher risk of stroke than a meat-eating diet has made <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/food/vegetarians-and-vegans-at-greater-risk-of-stroke-than-meat-eaters-new-study-reveals-c-436993">headlines</a> around the world.</p> <p>The study, published in the <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/366/bmj.l4897">British Medical Journal</a>, found people who followed vegetarian or vegan diets had a 20% higher risk of having a stroke compared to those who ate meat.</p> <p>But if you’re a vegetarian, there’s no need to panic. And if you’re a meat eater, these results don’t suggest you should eat more meat.</p> <p>While we don’t fully understand why these results occurred, it’s important to note the study only showed an association between a vegetarian diet and increased stroke risk – not direct cause and effect.</p> <h2>What the study did and found</h2> <p>The researchers looked at 48,188 men and women living in Oxford, following what they ate, and whether they had heart disease or a stroke, over 18 years. The researchers grouped the participants according to their diets: meat eaters, fish eaters (pescatarians) and vegetarians (including vegans).</p> <p>While vegan diets are quite different to vegetarian diets, the investigators combined these two groups as there were very small numbers of vegans in the study.</p> <p>In their analysis, the researchers accounted for variables which are known risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including education level, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.</p> <p>They found vegetarians had a 22% lower risk of heart disease than meat eaters. This is equivalent to ten fewer cases of heart disease per 1,000 vegetarians than in meat eaters over ten years.</p> <p>Yet the vegetarians had a 20% higher rate of stroke, equivalent to three more strokes per 1,000 vegetarians compared to the meat eaters over ten years.</p> <p>The decrease in heart disease risk seemed to be linked to lower body mass index (BMI), cholesterol levels, incidence of diabetes, and blood pressure. These benefits are all known to be associated with a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26853923">healthy vegetarian diet</a>, and are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5686931/">protective factors</a> against heart disease.</p> <p>This study showed fish eaters (who did not consume meat) had a 13% lower risk of heart disease, but no significant increase in the rate of stroke when compared to meat eaters.</p> <h2>As with any study, there are strengths and weaknesses</h2> <p>The main strength of this study is that it closely followed a very large group of people over a long period of time.</p> <p>The major weakness is that being an <a href="https://theconversation.com/in-defence-of-observational-science-randomised-experiments-arent-the-only-way-to-the-truth-49807">observational study</a>, the researchers were not able to determine a cause and effect relationship.</p> <p>So this study is not showing us vegetarian diets <em>lead</em> to increased risk of stroke; it simply tells us vegetarians have an increased risk of stroke. This means the association may be linked to other factors, aside from diet, which may be related to the lifestyle of a vegetarian.</p> <p>And while vegetarian and vegan diets may be seen as generally healthier, vegetarians still may be eating processed and ultra-processed foods. These foods can contain high levels of added salt, trans fat and saturated fats. This study did not report on the whole dietary pattern – just the major food groups.</p> <p>Another major weakness of this study is that vegans and vegetarians were grouped together. Vegetarian and vegan diets can vary considerably in nutrient levels.</p> <h2>So why would the vegetarian group have a higher stroke risk?</h2> <p>These kind of observational studies are unable to provide what scientists call “a mechanism” – that is, a biological explanation as to why this association may exist.</p> <p>But researchers will sometimes offer a potential biological explanation. In this case, they suggest the differences in nutrient intakes between the different diets may go some way to explaining the increased risk of stroke in the vegetarian group.</p> <p>They cite a number of <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/32/4/536/666950">Japanese studies</a> which have shown links between a very low intake of animal products and an increased risk of stroke.</p> <p>One nutrient they mention is vitamin B12, as it’s found only in animal products (meat, fish, dairy products and eggs). Vegan sources are limited, though some mushroom varieties and fermented beans <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4042564/">may contain</a> vitamin B12.</p> <p>Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anaemia and <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780">neurological issues</a>, including numbness and tingling, and cognitive difficulties.</p> <p>The authors suggest a lack of vitamin B12 may be linked to the increased risk of stroke among the vegetarian group. This deficiency <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19357223">could be present</a> in vegetarians, and even more pronounced in vegans.</p> <p>But this is largely speculative, and any associations between a low intake of animal products and an increased risk of stroke remain to be founded in a strong body of evidence. More research is needed before any recommendations are made.</p> <h2>What does this mean for vegetarians and vegans?</h2> <p>Vegetarians and vegans shouldn’t see this study as a reason to change their diets. This is the only study to date to have shown an increased risk of stroke with vegetarian or vegan diets.</p> <p>Further, this study has shown overall greater benefits are gained by being vegetarian or vegan in its association with reduced risk of heart disease.</p> <p>Meanwhile, other studies have shown meat eaters – particularly people who eat large amounts of red and processed meats – have <a href="https://theconversation.com/confused-about-your-cancer-risk-from-eating-meat-heres-what-the-figures-mean-49888">higher risk</a> of certain cancers.</p> <p> </p> <p>Whether you’re an omnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan, it’s important to consider the quality of your diet. Focus on eating whole foods, and including lots of vegetables, fruits, cereals and grains.</p> <p>It’s equally important to minimise the intake of processed foods high in added sugars, salt, saturated and trans fats. Diets high in these sorts of foods <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6320919/">have well-established links</a> to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. <strong>–Evangeline Mantzioris</strong></p> <h2>Blind peer review</h2> <p>The analysis presents a fair and balanced assessment of the study, accurately pointing out that no meaningful recommendations can be drawn from the results. This is particularly so since the majority of the data was collected via self-reported questionnaires, which reduces the reliability of the results.</p> <p>While in many cases the media has reported an increased stroke risk in vegetarians, total stroke risk was not actually statistically different between the groups. The researchers looked at two types of stroke: ischaemic stroke (where a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is obstructed) and haemorrhagic stroke (where a blood vessel leaks or breaks).</p> <p>A statistically significant increased risk in the vegetarian group was only seen in haemorrhagic stroke – and even there it’s marginal. Statistically, and in total numbers of people affected, the reduced heart disease risk in the vegetarian group is more convincing. <strong>–Andrew Carey</strong><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/123083/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Evangeline Mantzioris, Program Director of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of South Australia</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/will-a-vegetarian-diet-increase-your-risk-of-stroke-123083" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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What does a healthy diet look like for us and the planet?

<p>I want people to think about the food that they eat not just from “field to fork” but from “seed to soul”. I’ve studied how to make the world’s food supply sustainable for more than 30 years, so people often ask me what’s the best diet for the planet. The problem is, most people want easy answers to that question. Sadly, there are none.</p> <p>For example, I’ve often thought about becoming vegetarian for ethical and environmental reasons. But I wouldn’t want to eat soya or other foodstuffs imported from the other side of the world because of the carbon emissions involved in transporting them. And if we’re going to acknowledge the ethical quandary of eating animals, what about the animals in the soil? Why is crushing, slicing, and dicing mini beasts in agricultural operations alright, but not for the big beasts? When I follow these arguments through to their full conclusions, I end up as an organic, temperate, fruitarian – only eating fruit grown close to home, without the use of pesticides.</p> <p>When it comes to finding a sustainable diet, there are many contradictions. A concept such as <a href="https://theconversation.com/uk/topics/food-miles-6475">food miles</a> can be helpful for figuring out the carbon emissions involved in bringing particular food items to your plate. It’s simple to understand – but it’s also likely to be meaningless. After all, it’s not just about how far something has travelled, but the environmental cost of that journey and how it was originally produced.</p> <p>It can be argued that New Zealand lamb consumed in the UK has less of an environmental impact than locally produced lamb. New Zealand lamb production involves <a href="https://www.nzagrc.org.nz/beef-sheep-sector,listing,390,what-options-are-available-to-limit-emissions-growth.html">fewer carbon “rich” inputs</a> such as fertilisers. There is also a highly efficient transport system in New Zealand that is based on bigger farms and bigger lorries – producing and transporting more meat with less land and fewer emissions. This results in less greenhouse gas <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1553456/Greener-by-miles.html">per kilogram of meat</a>.</p> <p>But just because things are complicated, it doesn’t mean that we should give up. It’s clear that our health and the planet would benefit if people ate more fruit and vegetables and less meat. Eating seasonal produce, or food fresh from the fields, is a good idea too, particularly as it reconnects people with food and the land in which it’s produced. It forces us to engage with the reality that different crops are produced at different times of the year. Strawberries are a celebration of summer, spring greens of the spring.</p> <p>But what does a seasonal diet look like for someone living in a temperate climate such as the UK’s? With the help of technology, we can grow many exotic crops in the UK which would otherwise perish in the climate. The problem is that much of this involves carbon-hungry technology, such as glasshouses heated by burning gas or vast fields of plastic polytunnels.</p> <p>What would our diet look like if we grew all our food within the natural seasons and climate of our local area?</p> <h2>Dinner dates</h2> <p>Summer is great as we can feast on a wide range of fruits and vegetables. It’s easier during this season to follow the health advice to eat the rainbow. That is, to eat as broad a spectrum of colourful fruit and vegetables as possible. British summer affords strawberries, radishes, tomatoes and blueberries.</p> <p>There are salads and summer puddings to enjoy for an injection of other colours, particularly green. If people are clever, many crops can be preserved for the coming winter. Ironically, during summer when much of our natural produce is plentiful, the UK still imports much of its food.</p> <p>As we move into autumn, unless crops are protected by growing them inside a glasshouse or polytunnel, many of the more delicate foodstuffs start to wither away. We become increasingly dependent on roots such as beetroot, carrots, potatoes, swede and parsnips, and the leafy brassicas such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. Of course there are other ingredients – let’s not forget leeks and swiss chard – but this is a time to hunker down and embrace what the Scandinavians call “hygge”. Getting cosy and comfortable with stews, soups and broths.</p> <p>Things get more austere as winter progresses. This is one reason why our ancestors had midwinter feasts around Christmas and the winter solstice. Nights were long, they needed to have a party to forget the winter and look forward to spring. Even in late February and March, when we start thinking of spring, there’s a hidden problem – the hunger gap. This is when the autumn crops that have survived through winter start to die off and the spring crops are yet to come.</p> <p>Little things such as purple sprouting broccoli – also known as poor people’s asparagus – can offer some solace as they are ready to eat in winter. Of course, we can also preserve food from one season to another, but this requires energy. There are traditional skills that require less energy, but at the same time demand increasingly rare knowledge and time.</p> <p>For example, how many people bottle their surplus fruit and vegetables or pickle eggs? Consuming local seasonal food in large amounts throughout the year will mean restructuring traditional food production systems and supply chains. These have been decimated by the concentration of food supply in the hands of fewer and fewer retailers and contract caterers. Winter would test our ability to preserve the bounty of summer and autumn, but spring would relieve us with artichokes, beetroot, new potatoes, rhubarb, rocket, sorrel and spinach. After that, the cycle begins again.</p> <p>As I say, a truly sustainable food supply isn’t going to be simple. Much of it involves reviving cultural knowledge and processes that commercial supermarket chains have replaced. But the rewards of a local and seasonal food supply are great for nature and your health. Reconnecting with the land and its seasonal rhythms could do us all a great amount of good.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Sean Beer, Senior Lecturer in Agriculture, Bournemouth University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/what-does-a-healthy-diet-look-like-for-me-and-the-planet-it-depends-where-you-live-123470" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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The big change coming to Coles

<p>We’ve all been there. You’re in the supermarket trying to figure out what to make for dinner, but nothing is coming to mind.</p> <p>But Coles has solved that dilemma by launching a food concept that could solve meal woes through its first-ever restaurant where shoppers can eat ready-made meals in-store.</p> <p>The supermarket giant announced its first-ever restaurant-supermarket hybrid, with a test store kicking off in Tooronga, Victoria, offering ready-to-eat food through partnerships with a fresh meal provider, EARL Canteen and national sushi chain Sushi Sushi.</p> <p>Even though the concept will only be available in Coles stores, both companies will be running the department-store style concessions using their own staff and products.</p> <p>Things on offer include barista-made coffee and sushi rolls with Coles’ “special burger sauce”.</p> <p>According to Coles head of convenience, Louis Eggar, the concept was introduced in the hopes to make life easier for customers.</p> <p>“The Tooronga supermarket is just the first Coles in the country with independent restaurants in store as part of our ongoing transformation to make Coles a destination for convenience and health-focused shopping,” he told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/eat/coles-unveils-firstever-food-hall-with-independent-restaurants/news-story/66bc47132a5b1e904b6020f5cc284758" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>.</em></p> <p>It will include 450 lines of Coles’ expanded range of Fresh Kitchen salads, ready-to-do breakfasts, pre-cut fruit and vegetable, and homestyle-inspired ready-made meals.</p>

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Bread in fridge? Question sparks furious debate

<p>A picture of loaves of bread has sparked a furious debate and divided opinions all over the nation. </p> <p>A man posted a snap of two loaves of bread in the fridge to a Perth Facebook group where he asked in disbelief: "Seriously! Who puts bread in the fridge?”</p> <p>On the shelf above the two loaves was another item from a supermarket bakery. </p> <p>The original posted explained in the comments the photo was taken inside the fridge of his workplace. </p> <p>The post went on to spark a heated debate about what to do with a nice loaf of bread to keep it fresh, with many claiming the Aussie climate turns bread mouldy quicker than normal. </p> <p>Others insisted refrigeration bread isn’t that unusual. </p> <p>"I normally freeze a loaf for later on and thaw it as needed but first time I’ve seen bread in a fridge," one man commented.</p> <p>"Fridge or freezer…lasts longer," another said.</p> <p>"Mine goes mouldy … in a few days especially during warm weather so always fridge it," another added in the debate.</p> <p>"I always freeze my bread and thaw as needed," one woman said. "Always as freshly baked."</p> <p>However, other bread lovers claimed the practice ruins the freshness of the bread. </p> <p>"Bread shouldn't last that long – buy it fresh when and as you need it," one commenter said.</p> <p>"Keeping bread in the fridge will make it stale quicker," one woman said.</p> <p>To add fire to the already intense flames, a disgruntled user said the practice is “yuk”. </p> <p>"I suppose the Vegemite and tomato sauce is in there too."</p>

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Enjoy a hearty salmon and redbelly in cartoccio with smashed potatoes

<p>This seafood dish with a citrus twist from Lyndey Milan is the perfect meal for a summer's day.</p> <p><strong>Time to prepare: </strong>10 minutes</p> <p><strong>Cooking time: </strong>12 minutes</p> <p><strong>Serves: 4</strong></p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <p><strong>Smash potatoes</strong></p> <div class="article-body"> <ul> <li>800g chat potatoes, boiled until very tender</li> <li>2 tablespoons (40ml) extra virgin olive oil</li> </ul> <p><strong>Salmon</strong></p> <ul> <li>6 redbelly citrus (also known as blood oranges)</li> <li>4 salmon fillets</li> <li>1 baby fennel, cored, thinly sliced, fronds reserved</li> <li>20 green Sicilian olives, stoned</li> <li>2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed</li> <li>Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper</li> <li>⅓ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <ul> <li>1. Pre-heat oven to 200⁰C (180⁰C fan-forced).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Smashed potatoes</strong></p> <ol> <li>Place boiled potatoes on a paper-lined baking tray and use the back of a fork or a potato masher to lightly crush each potato. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.</li> <li>Bake for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden, turning once half way to encourage browning. Increase oven to 220’C (200’C fan-forced). Leave potatoes in the oven.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Salmon</strong></p> <ol> <li>Cut eight 34 x 30cm pieces of baking paper. Lay four pieces over the bench, top each with a second piece.</li> <li>Wash 2 redbelly citrus, leave skin on and slice into rounds. Juice 1 redbelly, cut 3 redbelly into segments and cut a small slice off the ends of each remaining redbelly. Stand up on one end, and carefully, following the contour of the redbelly, cut down to remove the peel and the pith. Holding the fruit in one hand, cut down one side of the membrane on one segment, almost to the core. Cut down along the inside of the opposite membrane, to cut out a wedge with no pith or membrane attached. Repeat until you have cut out all segments. Squeeze juice out of the remaining core into the juice then discard the core.</li> <li>Place a bed of redbelly slices in the centre of each layer of baking paper, and top evenly with salmon fillet, fennel, olives, capers, salt and pepper and drizzle with redbelly juice and olive oil.</li> <li>Bring the long sides of each piece up and fold and roll firmly down. Then fold in the 2 short sides and tuck them under tightly to create a pocket. Repeat to make five more parcels.</li> <li>Place parcels seam side on oven tray. Bake until just cooked through 10 minutes.</li> <li>Remove straight onto serving plates, carefully open the top of each parcel. Serve with smashed potatoes.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Tips:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Any fish can be used or try thinly sliced chicken breast or pork medallions.</li> <li>Vegetarian alternative: replace salmon with zucchini strips and mushrooms.</li> </ul> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/lyndey-milan-salmon-and-redbelly-in-cartoccio.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Devour some rich brisket ragù

<p>When I lived in Texas I fell in love with beef brisket, and couldn’t understand why this delicious cut of meat wasn’t more popular in Australia. I put it down to people not knowing what to do with it. Because of all the thick connective tissue it has to be cooked very low and very slow, otherwise it is as tough as old boots. Cooked correctly, it simply melts in your mouth.</p> <p>You need to get started on this recipe well ahead of time, but the upside is that it makes a huge amount and tastes even better the next day. Serve it with fresh pasta for the most amazing meal of your life. (Big call, but my good friend Poppy made it!)</p> <p><strong>Note:</strong><span> </span>This recipe uses a thermo cooker.</p> <p><strong>Serves:</strong> 10</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>2kg boneless beef brisket</li> <li>30g macadamia oil</li> <li>6 sprigs fresh rosemary</li> <li>2 brown onions, peeled and halved</li> <li>4 garlic cloves, peeled</li> <li>700g tomato passata</li> <li>400g can diced tomatoes</li> <li>250g red wine</li> <li>60g stock concentrate</li> <li>50g balsamic vinegar</li> <li>20g Dijon mustard</li> <li>20g brown sugar</li> <li>100g rocket</li> <li>100g pecorino or parmesan, shaved (optional)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <ol> <li>Preheat oven to 200°C.</li> <li>Place meat flat in a large casserole dish, fatty side up. Choose a dish that fits the meat snugly, but still allows it to lie completely flat. Rub meat with 10g macadamia oil and scatter with rosemary sprigs. Roast for 30 minutes, uncovered.</li> <li>Meanwhile, place onion and garlic in thermo cooker bowl, chop for 5 seconds, speed 5. Scrape down sides.</li> <li>Add remaining 20g macadamia oil, sauté for 6 minutes, 100°C, speed 1.</li> <li>Add passata, tomatoes, red wine, stock concentrate, vinegar, mustard and sugar. Mix for 5 seconds, speed 4.</li> <li>Cook for 10 minutes, 100°C, speed 1.</li> <li>Remove meat from oven and pour over the tomato mixture, ensuring meat is submerged as much as possible. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or foil. Reduce temperature to 140°C and roast for 4 hours.</li> <li>Remove lid or foil and cook, uncovered, for a further 1 hour, or until sauce is thick and reduced and meat pulls apart easily.</li> <li>Remove meat from oven and set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Shred meat using two forks and stir through pan juices.</li> <li>Serve ragù with fresh pasta, polenta or mashed potato. Top with rocket and cheese.</li> </ol> <p><em>Recipe extracted from Everyday Thermo Cooking by Alyce Alexandra, published by Penguin Random House, RRP $39.99. Available in all good bookstores and <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.penguin.com.au/books/everyday-thermo-cooking-9780143784456" target="_blank">online</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image credit: Loryn Babauskis.</em></p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/rich-brisket-ragu.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></em></p>

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Indulge in some filling mushrooms and ancient grain salad

<p><strong>Time to prepare:</strong> 10 mins</p> <p><strong>Cooking time:</strong> 20 mins</p> <p><strong>Serves: </strong>4 - 6</p> <p>If you're finding your healthy New Year's resolutions have started to wane, try this mushroom and grain salad that is sure to get your body back on track!</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>1 packet superblend (fibre) – freekeh, green and yellow lentils and beans</li> <li>80ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil</li> <li>2 punnets swiss brown mushrooms, cleaned, quartered</li> <li>2 lemons, zest finely grated, juiced</li> <li>1 red onion, halved very finely shaved</li> <li>1 bunch coriander, finely chopped, including the stems</li> <li>80g pine nuts, toasted</li> <li>200g feta, optional</li> <li>Salt and pepper, to season</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <ol> <li>Cook the grain blend according to packet instruction, then drain, set aside and cool.</li> <li>Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes or until golden and cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.</li> <li>Meanwhile, combine the lemon zest and juice with the onion in a large bowl. Add the remaining oil, cooled grain blend, mushrooms, coriander and pine nuts and toss to combine. Season well with salt and pepper. If using, top with the feta to serve.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Recipe courtesy of<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.australianmushrooms.com.au/" target="_blank"><span>Australian Mushrooms</span></a>.</strong></p>

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Tea drinkers at risk of ingesting billions of plastic particles

<p><span>A single tea bag may leave billions of microplastic particles in your cup, a new study has found.</span></p> <p><span>Research published by the American Chemical Society’s journal <em>Environmental Science &amp; Technology</em> discovered that one plastic tea bag released about 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles into brewing water – thousands of times higher than those previously recorded in other foods.</span></p> <p><span>“We were very, very surprised,” Dr Nathalie Tufenkji, a professor of chemical engineering at McGill University and co-author of the study, told <em><a href="https://globalnews.ca/news/5948570/plastic-teabags-microplastics-in-tea/">Global News</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>“We thought [plastic teabags] maybe release a couple of hundred [plastic] particles, maybe a few thousand. So we were really shocked when we saw they’re releasing billions of particles into a cup of tea.”</span></p> <p><span>The study, which analysed four different commercial teas in plastic packaging, found that the teabags shed two different types of plastic particles that are invisible to the naked eye: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and nylon.</span></p> <p><span>The McGill University researchers said it is not known whether the ingestion of micro- and nanoplastics could have adverse effects on human’s health. </span></p> <p><span>In its first report on the health risks of plastic in tap and bottled water released last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) said microplastics “don’t appear to pose a health risk at current levels”.</span></p> <p><span>However, the WHO said the findings were based on “limited information” and called for more research on the matter.</span></p> <p><span>Researcher Laura Hernandez told <em><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49845940">BBC</a> </em>shoppers should avoid plastic packaging instead of specific brands. </span></p> <p><span>Some tea manufacturers are moving away from paper in favour of plastic mesh to create a pyramid shape, which was claimed as helping the tea leaves infuse better. Many teabags on the market also use polypropylene as a sealant, preventing the bag from breaking in the cup.</span></p> <p><span>“We encourage consumers to choose loose teas that is sold without packaging or other teas that come in paper teabags,” said Hernandez.</span></p> <p><span>“There is really no need to package tea in plastic, which at the end of the day becomes single-use plastic, which is contributing to you not just ingesting plastic but to the environmental burden of plastic.”</span></p> <p><span>Last year, a study of 250 water bottles from nine different countries revealed that microplastics were found in nearly all major brands.</span></p> <p><span>Sherri Mason, a professor of chemistry at the State University of New York at Fredonia and the research’s leader said the study is not about “pointing fingers” at certain brands.</span></p> <p><span>“It’s really showing that this is everywhere, that plastic has become such a pervasive material in our society, and it’s pervading water — all of these products that we consume at a very basic level,” she told <em><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43388870">BBC</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span><a href="https://wwf.panda.org/our_work/markets/?348375/Plastic-ingestion-by-humans-could-equate-to-eating-a-credit-card-a-week">A study released by the University of Newcastle</a> in June suggested that the average person consumes 5 grams of plastic every week, or about a credit card’s weight.</span></p>

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Cheesy polenta with meatballs

<p>The creamy and cheesy polenta is the star of this dish so roll up your sleves and dig in!</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>Ingredients</strong></h3> <ul> <li>2 tablespoons olive oil</li> <li>600ml tomato pasta sauce (bought is fine)</li> <li>½ teaspoon chilli flakes</li> <li>1 tablespoon oregano leaves</li> <li>2 fresh bay leaves<span> </span></li> <li>Freshly grated parmesan, to serve</li> </ul> <p><strong>Meatballs</strong></p> <ul> <li>1 small onion, chopped</li> <li>2 garlic cloves</li> <li>4 slices pancetta</li> <li>Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves</li> <li>6 sage leaves</li> <li>3 slices white bread, crusts removed</li> <li>300g minced pork</li> <li>300g minced lean beef</li> <li>2 eggs</li> </ul> <p><strong>Polenta</strong><br />500ml (2 cups) chicken stock<span> </span><br />500ml (2 cups) full-cream milk<br />300g instant polenta<br />100g fontina cheese, rind removed, cut into small cubes (see tip)<br />1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked</p> <h3 class="tint">Directions</h3> <p>1. Start with the meatballs. Put the onion, garlic, pancetta, parsley, sage and bread in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the pork and beef mince and eggs, and keep pulsing until well combined. Season well with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and finish mixing by hand. Using wet hands, form the mixture into walnut-sized balls, setting them aside on a plate as you go.</p> <p>2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Carefully add the meatballs and cook until they start to brown on all sides. Add the tomato sauce, chilli flakes, oregano and bay leaves and simmer for 30–40 minutes until the meatballs are cooked and the sauce is reduced and thick.</p> <p>3. To make the polenta (this will take 10–15 minutes, so try and time it to be ready at the same time as the meatballs), place the stock, milk and 500ml (2 cups) water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Gradually add the polenta and use a whisk to stir it through until well incorporated. Reduce the heat to low and stir continuously for 3–4 minutes until the polenta is thick and creamy in texture. Add the cheese and rosemary and stir until the cheese is melted through.</p> <p>4. To serve, pour the polenta onto a large serving platter and make a shallow well in the middle. Spoon the meatballs and sauce over the top and sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan. Serve immediately.</p> <h3 class="tint">Tips</h3> <p>Fontina is a mild washed-rind cheese from the Valle d’Aosta in the north of Italy and is one of the best melting cheeses I know. Raclette is a good substitute, or any other washed rind with the rind removed.</p> <p><em>This is an edited extract from<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/69171/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fmilk-made-nick-haddow%2Fprod9781743791356.html" target="_blank"><span>Milk. Made.</span></a><span> </span>by Nick Haddow published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $55 and is available in stores nationally. Image © Alan Benson.</em></p>

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Chard, leek and walnut crostata

<p><strong>SERVES 4-6</strong></p> <p>This forgiving tart comes together pretty quickly. The star here is the flaky walnut-spiked pastry.</p> <p>It sits around a centre of sweet buttery leeks, chard and some verdant green herbs.</p> <p>The tart is free form, so if the pastry cracks you can pinch it back together with your finger easily- just be sure to do a final check around the outside of the pastry once it’s filled to make sure all holes are pinched and no filling can escape.</p> <p>I serve this with some simple boiled potatoes and a lemon dressed salad.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>olive oil</li> <li>2 leeks, outer leaves removed, washed and finely shredded</li> <li>a bunch of chard (about 200g)</li> <li>2 cloves of garlic, chopped</li> <li>a pinch of dried chilli flakes</li> <li>1 teaspoon fennel seeds</li> <li>1 tablespoon red wine vinegar</li> <li>1 small mixed bunch of thyme, rosemary and sage, finely chopped</li> <li>26g Parmesan (I use a vegetarian one)</li> <li>3 medium organic eggs</li> <li>FOR THE PASTRY</li> <li>60g walnuts</li> <li>200g white spell flour</li> <li>teaspoon flaky sea salt</li> <li>100g very cold butter, cut into cubes</li> <li>2 tablespoons ice-cold water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <ol> <li>First, make the pastry. Put the walnuts into a food processor and blitz until you have fine, uniform crumbs, but keep an eye on it - if you go too far, they will start to come together as a nut butter. Add the flour and salt and pulse a few times to mix everything evenly.</li> </ol> <ol start="2"> <li>Next, add the butter and pulse a few times until you have a rough looking dough. With the motor running, add a tablespoon of the very cold water and pulse again for four turns of the blade.</li> <li>Take the lid off and pinch the dough with your fingers. Add a little more water if it feels dry and keep blitzing until the dough comes together in a ball; it should be a buttery pastry and not feel crumbly.</li> <li>Wrap the dough in cling film or greaseproof paper and put it into the fridge.</li> <li>Next, warm a frying pan over a medium heat, pour in a drizzle of olive oil and add the leeks, the finely chopped herbs and a pinch of salt Fry for 5-7 minutes, until the leeks are soft and sweet.</li> <li>While this is happening, wash the chard and strip the leaves from their stalks. Slice the stalks into 2cm lengths, then roll up the leaves and slice across the middle into 1cm wide ribbons.</li> <li>Back to the leeks. Add the garlic, dried chilli and fennel seeds and fry in the pan for a couple of minutes to toast the spices. When the pan is smelling aromatic, add the chard stalks and stir.</li> <li>Cook for 5 minutes until the stalks lose their rawness, then stir in the leaves and add the vinegar. Cook until the leaves have wilted - about 4 minutes.</li> <li>Put the vegetables onto a plate to cool and preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.</li> <li>Grate in the Parmesan and whisk in the eggs with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.</li> <li>Take the walnut pastry out of the fridge and line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Drizzle some olive oil into the centre of the paper. If your baking sheet is quite flat, you should be able to roll the pastry out to a round - about 30cm across and 1cm deep. If you have a standard deep roasting tray, flip it over and place the paper on the underside instead.</li> <li>Mix the cooled vegetables with the egg mixture. Arrange the vegetables in the centre of the pastry, leaving about 3cm around the edge. Gently fold the pastry border back over the vegetables, pleating a little as you go. It will be crumbly and more difficult to handle than other doughs and may break at its edges, but it will be worth it for the flaky short pastry at the end.</li> <li>Place the crostata in the centre of the hot oven and bake for 35 minutes, until the edges are deep golden and the filling is starting to bubble, then turn the heat down to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and bake for a further 15 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through.</li> <li>Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then slide on to a wire rack to cool and let the pastry crisp up.</li> </ol> <p><em>Recipe from The Modern Cook’s Year by Anna Jones for Meat Free Week 2019. The campaign </em><em>runs from 23-29 September in support of Bowel Cancer Australia. See <a href="https://www.meatfreeweek.org/">meatfreeweek.org</a> to sign </em><em>up.</em></p>

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