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Sydney restaurant refuses to remove “offensive” viral Facebook post

<p>A burger restaurant in Western Sydney has doubled down on a controversial Facebook post promoting its new dessert after thousands of people signed a petition to have it removed.</p> <p>Downtown Brooklyn in Penrith has come under fire after it posted a promotion for its peanut butter and chocolate dessert Reese’s Bowl on Tuesday.</p> <p>“Get those Epipen’s ready, because this is going to be worth it!” the post read. “Loaded with Ice Cream and drizzled in Peanut Butter and Chocolate, it sure screams, get me to the hospital ASAP!”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDBPenrith%2Fphotos%2Fa.513981688798552%2F1072529359610446%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="554" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The post sparked widespread backlash, with people asking for the post to be removed. “Disgraceful. The people who thought this one up need to visit the emergency department and watch someone having an anaphylactic attack,” one wrote.</p> <p>“This looks absolutely delicious, I would love to tuck into it BUT your choice of words in advertising is horrifying,” another commented. “It is not a joking matter and certainly not something to use as an advertisement.”</p> <p>“This is exactly the sort of media that leads to the ‘a little bit won’t hurt’ mentality and lack of care in kitchens that could kill someone. Not an acceptable way to sell desserts,” one added.</p> <p>A day after the promotional post was published, the restaurant issued a response to the criticisms.</p> <p>“We’re sorry people no longer know how to take a joke,” the restaurant said, claiming the “boss” also has nut allergy.</p> <p>“We’re sorry our Boss is Anaphylactic. We’re sorry her word’s that stemmed this post was, ‘…jab me now and call an ambulance cause I want to try that shit!’. We’re sorry she found it highly amusing. We’re sorry we won’t ever delete the post.”</p> <p>The restaurant also addressed a petition asking it to remove the “offensive” post, which has been signed by more than 3,000 people at the time of writing. “The boss wants to print it out and pin it on her office wall,” it said on a Facebook post.</p> <p>Since then, Downtown Brooklyn’s controversial post has made headlines, with features in British and American media outlets as well as KIIS FM’s<span> </span><em>Kyle &amp; Jackie O Show</em>.</p> <p>“We hope that our lightened dark sense of humour has brought about a new light of understanding allergies and spread the awareness. Whether this has been taken positively or negatively, we did the job to get that global reach,” the restaurant wrote.</p> <p>“P.S. If you actually do have an allergy, and didn’t get the joke, please don’t eat this.”</p>

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Warm up with delicious slow cooked massaman beef curry

<p>Make sure you leave enough time to cook this delicious recipe.</p> <p><strong>Serves:</strong> 6</p> <p><strong>Prep time:</strong> 30 mins</p> <p><strong>Cooking time:</strong> 3 hrs 45 mins</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>11/2kg beef chuck steak, trimmed, cut into 4cm pieces</li> <li>2 tbs olive oil</li> <li>1 large brown onion, finely chopped</li> <li>¼ tsp ground cinnamon</li> <li>¼ cup desiccated coconut</li> <li>1/3 cup (114g can) Massaman curry paste</li> <li>400ml can coconut milk</li> <li>½ cup beef stock</li> <li>1kg sweet potato, peeled, chopped into 5cm chunks</li> <li>1 tbs fish sauce</li> <li>1 tbs lime juice</li> <li>1 tbs finely grated palm sugar or brown sugar</li> <li>3 tbs roasted salted peanuts, chopped</li> <li>Steamed jasmine rice, to serve</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <ol> <li>Preheat oven 130°C fan forced. Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in an ovenproof casserole dish over a high heat. Add one third of the beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until browned. Remove to a plate. Repeat twice with oil and remaining beef.</li> <li>Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 tsp oil and the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally 3 minutes until soft. Add cinnamon, coconut and curry paste. Cook, stirring 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and stock. Return the beef and any juices, bring to simmer. Press a piece baking paper onto the surface and cover with lid. Transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours.</li> <li>Stir in the sweet potato. Cover with paper and lid and cook, in oven a further 11/2 hours until sweet potato is tender. Combine fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and stir into the curry. Scatter over the peanuts. Serve with rice.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Tip:</strong> If you don’t have a cast iron casserole dish suitable for both stove top and oven, cook step 1-2 in a frying pan then transfer to an ovenproof dish to cook in the oven.</p> <p><strong>Tip:</strong> The curry will keep 3-4 days in a ceramic or glass dish in the fridge.</p> <p><em>Recipe courtesy of Australian Sweet Potatoes.</em></p>

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The best Macaroni & cheese recipe

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In my house we just call it ‘cheesy pasta’ and it’s at the top of the most requested dinner list.</span></p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">400g macaroni</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">50g butter</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">25g plain flour</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">450ml full-cream milk</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">200g semi-hard cheese, grated (use whatever you have on hand)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">½ teaspoon seeded mustard</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">pinch of freshly grated nutmeg</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">40g (½ cup) fresh breadcrumbs</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 tablespoon grated parmesan</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a large stockpot, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.</p> <p>2. While the pasta is cooking, melt half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and stir in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring, and then gradually whisk in the milk, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir through the grated semi-hard cheese, mustard and nutmeg.</p> <p>3. Drain the pasta and transfer to an ovenproof dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and stir through. Melt the remaining butter in a small pan. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan and thyme and mix well to combine. Sprinkle this over the top of the pasta.</p> <p>4. Bake in the oven for about 15–20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is an edited extract from </span><a href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/69171/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fmilk-made-nick-haddow%2Fprod9781743791356.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Milk. Made.</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Nick Haddow published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $55 and is available in stores nationally. Image © Alan Benson.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/macaroni-cheese.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></p>

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Try this deep-fried salt and pepper octopus

<p>Time to prepare 40 mins | Cooking Time 2 mins | Serves 6</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Never cooked octopus at home? Try this easy entrée recipe today!</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Deep-frying, when done properly, is a great way to cook seafood. It’s fast, cooking most foods in a few minutes, it quickly seals the food’s surface, locking in flavour and moisture and it adds appealing crunch, colour and aroma.</span></p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1kg baby octopus, cleaned and cut into small pieces </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 tablespoons fish sauce </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 tablespoons lemon juice </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 tablespoons salt flakes, crushed </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 tablespoon crushed white peppercorns </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 cups tapioca starch </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vegetable oil, for deep-frying</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>1. Place octopus, fish sauce and lemon juice in a bowl and marinate for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.</p> <p>2. Place chilli, coriander, salt, pepper and cornflour in a large freezer bag, add the octopus and shake well to coat. Place octopus in a colander and shake well to remove excess flour.</p> <p>3. Heat oil in a wok or deep-fryer to 190ºC. Add octopus and cook for 1-2 minutes, until crisp and tender.</p> <p><strong>Tips</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Alternative species: Calamari, cuttlefish, squid, green prawns (peeled and deveined).  </span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Season: Available year round. </span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">To Buy: When purchasing fresh whole Octopus look for intact bright skin, intact head and arms, and a pleasant fresh sea smell. </span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">To Store: Make sure Octopus is gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/deep-fried-salt-and-pepper-octopus.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></p>

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“It’s literally alive!” Woman uncovers slimy visitor in her garden salad

<p>A woman has received the shock of her life after she made a surprising discovery in her salad.</p> <p>Karlie Allen from Wisconsin in the US recorded the incident unfold and posted the clip on Twitter.</p> <p>In the video, she can be heard screaming, “Oh my God, it’s literally alive!” as family members realise there’s a trapped frog inside the salad.</p> <p>The clip received mix reactions as many were in total disbelief while others felt sorry for the small amphibian.</p> <p>“Not sure why a frog is gross to everyone. You buy organic greens. It’s nature. At least he was alive. Free the little guy, wash your greens and be done with it already,” wrote one person.</p> <p>“I hope the little frog is OK. Poor little guy,” said another.</p> <p>Ms Allen tagged Simple Truth, the supplier of the organic mix, along with the caption, “Bon appetit! Nothing like salad with a side of live frog.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">bon appetit! nothin like salad with a side of live frog 🐸 <a href="https://twitter.com/SimpleTruth4U?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SimpleTruth4U</a> <a href="https://t.co/KG9bPjotZ9">pic.twitter.com/KG9bPjotZ9</a></p> — Karlie Allen (@kkarliea) <a href="https://twitter.com/kkarliea/status/1161673730378141696?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">14 August 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Another user on the social media platform questioned where she could “find companies like this”.</p> <p>“The fact the frog lived through that says they are legit organic!!! Frogs are extremely sensitive to chemicals and pesticides! I’m sold!” the person said.</p> <p>“That’s exactly what you might find if you grew it in your own garden. Place the frog outside, wash the lettuce and enjoy your fresh organic salad!” said another.</p>

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Australia’s best sliced white breads revealed

<p>White bread is a staple on Aussies’ dining table – whether you’re having a snag, an avo toast or a simple Vegemite sandwich, you can’t go without a slice or two.</p> <p>To find out the best brand on the market, consumer group<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.choice.com.au/food-and-drink/bread-cereal-and-grains/bread/buying-guides/bread" target="_blank">CHOICE</a> tested 30 supermarket breads from various brands to see which loaf rises above the rest in terms of taste and nutrition.</p> <p>A team of expert taste testers conducted a blind test on 24 regular breads and six gluten-free breads sold at major supermarket chains.</p> <p>Wonder came out on top of the regular white bread list with its Wholegrain White Smooth Wholegrain variant, which received a rating of 78 per cent. The experts praised the presentation, flavour and “sweet ferment aroma”.</p> <p>CHOICE spokesperson Jonathan Brown said, “This bread has a good overall appearance, with a soft, springy crumb. It also has a nice flavour, although it does taste more like wholemeal bread.”</p> <p>Following on the second and third spots are Wonder Active Low GI + Protein and Tip Top The One White Sandwich, which scored 77 per cent and 75 per cent respectively. Both loaves were noted for their texture and even crumb.</p> <p> </p> <p><iframe src="https://e.infogram.com/d8ad8499-bd6b-41e3-b5d3-07b424e7e85a?src=embed" title="Sliced white bread comparison_regular" layout="responsive" width="100%" height="1050" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border: none;" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Meanwhile, Coles and ALDI tied for the first place in the gluten-free category with their home brand loaves.</p> <p>Coles Gluten Free White Bread scored 77 per cent in the test. “This bread is the closest to regular white bread,” Brown said. “It’s springy and has a sweet, floury aftertaste.” </p> <p>ALDI Has No Gluten Free Sliced White Bread, which earned the same score, is the most affordable bread in the category at $0.80 per 100g. Experts described the bread as “very visually appealing”, with “a nutty flavour and aroma” and “a slight sweetness”.</p> <p> </p> <p><iframe src="https://e.infogram.com/b69e856a-5663-4ff5-8c95-e3b8553df055?src=embed" title="Sliced white bread comparison_gluten free" layout="responsive" width="100%" height="1050" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border: none;" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>When it comes to the least healthy options, CHOICE identified the breads with the highest amount of salt. The group found that Bakers Delight White Block Loaf, Buttercup Country Split White, Country Life Gluten Free &amp; Dairy Free White and Tip Top Sunblest Soft White Sandwich are the variants that fail to keep their sodium content under 400mg per 100g.</p> <p>According to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/frequently-asked-questions/salt-and-hypertension" target="_blank">National Health and Medical Research Council</a>, adults should limit their daily salt intake at 2,300mg to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.</p> <p>“It’s disappointing to see big bread brands persist with high levels of sodium in their product, especially after the industry committed to doing better,” Brown said.</p>

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“Brilliant news!” The sell-out $6 ALDI item that’s back in stores for good

<p>Shoppers are going wild over ALDI’s latest re-launch of their popular Le Pave, with many comparing the $5.99 creamy cheese to D’Affinois that retails for three times the price.</p> <p>Cheese fans can now grab the sought-after item in the refrigerated aisle after they’ve sold out two times prior.</p> <p>But now, the German retailer has announced that there’s no rush to grab the cheese before it runs out, as the popular item is here to stay.</p> <p>Taking to Facebook to announce the happy news, ALDI shared a photo of a platter, sending cheese connoisseurs into a frenzy.</p> <p>“STOP THE PRESS: Le Pave French cheese is back at ALDI,” wrote the supermarket.</p> <p>“You’ll be happy to hear it’s now part of our everyday range.”</p> <p>It didn’t take long for the post to gain traction, with hundreds of people describing the cheese as “delicious”, and “amazing”.</p> <p>“That’s brilliant news – it is absolutely delicious, oozy French cheese,” said one user.</p> <p>“This cheese alone is worth the trip to ALDI,” said another.</p> <p>“Hooray! This cheese is absolutely delicious!” wrote a user.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FALDI.Australia%2Fposts%2F2727998093924341%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="595" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Many compared the budget food product to its more expensive counterpart, saying it tastes better than D’Affinois.</p> <p>“I never thought I would say this, but it’s actually better than D’Affinois,” wrote one shopper.</p> <p>“It’s soft and creamy with a decent bite,” said another.</p> <p>D’Affinois is priced at $18 in supermarkets around the country, costing three times more than ALDI’s $5.99 Le Pave.</p> <p>“We are proud of the award-winning cheese range on offer at ALDI, including our popular Le Pave cheese,” said a spokesperson for ALDI.</p> <p>“Crafted from the heart of France, we have been stocking Le Pace cheese ($5.99/200g) at ALDI since April 2017.</p> <p>“Le Pave is produced within the Pays de la Loire region of France at one of the largest remaining dairy cooperatives in the country. To ensure its quality, the product is airfreighted to Australia on a weekly basis.”</p>

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Camembert hedgehog bread

<p>Ahh, the Camembert Hedgehog Bread—a stalwart of Twisted’s funk-cheese repertoire. Trust us, this will be your next dinner party show-stopper. Even the most amateur chef should feel right at home with this dish, but its ease is only half the appeal. All it takes is six ingredients, 10 minutes to make and 20 to bake, and boom, food heaven (and lots of weird dreams to boot).</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>1 large, whole camembert for baking, all packaging removed</li> <li>1 large sourdough loaf (or any other large loaf of bread)</li> <li>2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary, plus a few small sprigs</li> <li>3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus a few slivers</li> <li>6 tbsp olive oil</li> <li>Sea salt flakes</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.</p> <p>2. Using the bottom of your camembert box as a stencil, cut a hole in the middle of the loaf. Tear away the bread to make the hole as deep as the camembert.</p> <p>3. Working around this central cavity, carefully cut your loaf in both directions almost all the way down to the bottom of the loaf (it’s important not to cut through the bottom crust). You want to have 1-inch (2.5-cm) squared individual segments (the perfect size for dunking).</p> <p>4. Score one side of the camembert and cut away the rind. Pop the cheese, cut-side up, in the bread hole.</p> <p>5. Mix the chopped rosemary and chopped garlic into the olive oil and spoon all over the loaf, encouraging the flavoured oil into all the slits. Cover the loaf liberally with sea salt flakes. Pop a few mini sprigs of rosemary and a few garlic slivers in the middle of the cheese, along with a little drizzle of olive oil.</p> <p>6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and get your mates round!</p> <p><em><strong>This is an edited extract from<span> </span></strong></em><a rel="noopener" href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/69171/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Ftwisted-team-twisted%2Fprod9781849758444.html" target="_blank"><span><strong>Twis</strong><strong>ted</strong></span></a><em><strong><a rel="noopener" href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/69171/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Ftwisted-team-twisted%2Fprod9781849758444.html" target="_blank"><span> by Team Twisted</span></a><span> </span>published by RPS, $16.99, and available nationally.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Photographer: © Ryland, Peters &amp; Small</strong></em></p>

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“This is too funny”: Woman startled by bizarre find in Woolworths order

<p>A shopper has received a surprise item that dated back to nearly a decade ago in her recent Woolworths order.</p> <p>When the woman unpacked the supermarket click and collect order, she came across a packet of Continental Rich Beefy Mince recipe base with a best before date of April 13, 2012.</p> <p>The date indicated that the beef flavouring product would be best eaten then before it loses its nutritional value and quality.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwoolworths%2Fposts%2F3043169582421819&amp;width=500" width="500" height="650" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>“This is too funny. I’m unpacking my click &amp; collect to find an out of date item,” the woman wrote on Woolworths’ Facebook page.</p> <p>“I originally thought it was the wrong item being a different pack. But no, just old stock... only by 7 years.”</p> <p>Other shoppers also expressed shock at the woman’s find, with one blaming the mistake on inadequate stock monitoring. “It just shows what happens when you cut staff and don’t see what’s really going on,” one wrote.</p> <p>“What does that show you Woolworths? Put more staff on and maintain your stores properly.”</p> <p>According to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/woman-disgusted-by-find-on-woolies-grocery-delivery-but-can-you-spot-it-095619020.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia</a></em>,<span> </span>Woolworths offered the shopper a replacement package.</p>

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Strawberry pound cake

<p>This sweet cake features strawberries, which are rich in both vitamin C and folate to optimise your immune system.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <p>Cake</p> <ul> <li>250g unsalted butter, softened</li> <li>2 cups plain flour </li> <li>½ cup almond meal </li> <li>3 teaspoons baking powder</li> <li>1 teaspoon salt</li> <li>1 ½ cups raw caster sugar</li> <li>1 lemon, finely grated zest &amp; juice for glaze</li> <li>125ml thick Greek yoghurt</li> <li>5 large eggs</li> <li>¼ cup light flavoured oil (light olive, grapeseed or rice bran oil)</li> <li>250g fresh Queensland strawberries, finely chopped</li> </ul> <p>Glaze</p> <ul> <li>1 cup sifted icing mixture</li> <li>2-3 tablespoons liquid – try a mix of strawberry syrup, passionfruit and lemon juice</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (fan-forced). Grease and line 1.5 litre loaf tin.</li> <li>Sift dry ingredients together, mixing to combine.</li> <li>Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer on a medium setting; beat butter &amp; sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.</li> <li>Reduce the speed of the mixer to low, add eggs, one by one, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add yoghurt, then oil &amp; mix until just combined. Gradually add flour, mixing on low until just combined (do not over mix).</li> <li>Fold in chopped strawberries and lemon zest, spoon into prepared loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 50-60 minutes. The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.</li> <li>Cool in tin for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.</li> <li>To ice, mix icing to desired consistency (thin glaze to thick drizzle) and spoon over cake.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Notes:</strong></p> <ul> <li>The plain flour and almond meal can be substituted with 2 ½ cups wholesome blend (a supermarket pre-packaged blend of wheat, millet, oat and coconut) or 2 ½ cups of cake flour.</li> <li>The acidity in passionfruit and lemon juice work perfectly as a glaze with this cake.</li> </ul>

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Thick and fluffy strawberry pikelets

<p>These fluffcakes are thick, soft, and easy to prepare, making for a perfect morning delicacy.</p> <p>Serves 2-4</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <ul> <li>½ cup wholemeal self-raising flour</li> <li>½ cup white self-raising flour</li> <li>3 large eggs</li> <li>300g thick unsweetened Greek yoghurt</li> <li>200g fresh Queensland strawberries, ½ smashed &amp; ½ sliced for serving</li> <li>Butter or rice bran oil for frying</li> <li>To serve - strawberry butter, strawberry syrup and loads of fresh chopped strawberries</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then add yoghurt and beat gently together. Gradually sift in the flour, mixing gently until just combined.  Fold in the smashed strawberries. For maximum fluffiness, rest the mixture for 15-30 minutes at room temperature.</li> <li>Heat a heavy based frying pan over a medium high heat. Add a teaspoon of butter or a tablespoon of Rice Bran oil. When the pan is hot, ladle batter into pan (approx. 1/4 cup per pancake), reduce heat to medium low and cook for 3-4 minutes until bubbles form on the surface. Flip, cook for a further 2-3 minutes until golden and cooked through. Repeat.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Notes:</strong></p> <ul> <li>These are thick pancakes, so it will be important to regulate your heat to make sure they both stay golden and cook through.</li> <li>Serve with strawberry butter and strawberry syrup and lots more fresh Queensland strawberries!</li> </ul> <p><strong>How to make easy strawberry butter</strong></p> <p>Process 150g softened unsalted butter with a large handful of chopped Queensland strawberries.  Using baking paper or cling wrap, roll the butter into a log and refrigerate or freeze until required.</p>

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A sweet delight: Blueberry and passionfruit pavlovas

<p>For a fruity, delightful dessert, look no further than this recipe. The juicy passionfruit and blueberry flavours are complemented with the meringue-based concoction, creating a treat to remember.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">3 egg whites, at room temperature</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pinch salt</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 teaspoon vanilla essence</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">3/4 cup caster sugar</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 teaspoons cornflour</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 eggs</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 egg yolks</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">3/4 cup caster sugar</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">1/3 cup chilled, unsalted butter</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">3 tablespoons passionfruit pulp</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">200g cream</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">1/2 cup Greek yoghurt</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 cup blueberries</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Preheat oven to 110°C.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Using a 10cm cookie cutter, draw 4 circles on a sheet of baking paper. Flip the paper and place ink-side down on a baking tray.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Place the egg whites, salt and vanilla essence into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high for 5 minutes or until soft peaks form. Combine sugar and cornflour and gradually add to eggs whisking until sugar has dissolved and mixture is thick and glossy.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Using a spatula evenly spoon mixture and spread out over circles.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cook for 1 hour or until the meringues are crisp. Turn the oven off and keep door slightly adjar with a wooden spoon allowing to cool slowly over a 2 hour period or until cooled completely.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">For the passionfruit curd, place eggs, yolks and caster sugar in a medium sized saucepan and whisk for 1 minute or until smooth.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Place over low heat and add butter and 2 tablespoons of passionfruit pulp</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whisk mixture constantly for 3-4 minutes or until thickened.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before transferring to a container and storing in fridge.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">For the whipped cream add cream into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Fold in yoghurt with spatula and set aside, covered in fridge.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">To serve, spread cream mixture over the tops of the meringues. Top with passionfruit curd and blueberries. Serve immediately.</span></li> </ol>

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Grilled salmon with blueberry balsamic sauce

<p>For a main course to impress, this recipe will just do the trick. The salmon fillet pairs well with the flavourful sauce, which features the cardiovascular-friendly blueberries.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 teaspoon olive oil</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2 x 150g salmon fillet, skin on</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 tablespoon butter, melted</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 teaspoon brown sugar</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1/2 teaspoon paprika</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1/4 cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1/2 cup (80g) blueberries</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 tablespoon maple syrup</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1 tablespoon butter</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">4 cups (500g) green beans</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1/2 teaspoon salt</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Olive oil</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1/2 cup pomegranate seeds</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fresh dill, chopped</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare a tray with baking paper.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil into a non-stick pan over a high heat. Place fish in, skin down. Cook for approx. 2-3 minutes until crisp.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Remove from pan and place skin side down onto prepared tray.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and paprika.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Place the salmon in the oven for 15 minutes for medium.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the meantime bring a medium sized saucepan to the boil. Using a slotted spoon carefully lower in the beans and boil for 2 minutes before removing and immersing in a bowl of ice water.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Drain then finely julienne the green beans. Place in a mixing bowl and season with salt, olive oil, pomegranate seeds and dill.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Remove fish from oven and set aside. Meanwhile, place a small saucepan over a medium heat.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes or until reduced by a third, then add the blueberries and maple syrup.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cook for another minute, stir in the tablespoon of butter and serve over salmon.</span></li> </ol>

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Warm toasted teff salad

<p>Like any decent salad, it's full of 'good bits' like spiced roasted root vegetables, sautéed greens and toasted teff with salty feta crumbled on top.</p> <p>If you haven't heard of teff, it's a tiny little grain widely used in Ethiopia, and is naturally gluten-free, rich in essential amino acids, low GI and high in fibre and iron. It's deliciously satisfying and the leftovers make a great lunch the next day!</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <p>1/2 cup brown teff grain<br />3/4 cup water<br />2 medium sweet potatoes<br />2 parsnips<br />2 teaspoons garlic powder<br />1/4 teaspoon chilli powder<br />1/2 bunch curly kale<br />100g feta cheese<br />Small handful of fresh dill<br />Olive oil<br />Sea salt</p> <p><strong>Directions:</strong></p> <p>1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Chop the sweet potato and parsnip into small cubes, place onto the prepared tray, sprinkle over the garlic powder and chilli powder, drizzle over some olive oil and toss everything together so that the vegetables are evenly coated. Spread the vegetables out on the tray in one layer and bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until browned.</p> <p>2. While the vegetables are baking, toast the brown teff grain in a fry pan over a medium-low heat until it starts to make popping noises. Add the water and a pinch of sea salt to the pan, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, with the pan uncovered and stirring regularly, until all of the water has been absorbed. Once the water has been absorbed, fluff teff with a fork and tip onto a plate and set aside.</p> <p>3. Remove the stalks from the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Tip the leaves into the frypan used for the teff and gently toss the leaves over a low heat to warm them through. Take the pan off the heat and dress the kale with a good drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.</p> <p>4. To serve, tip the roasted vegetables, teff and kale into a serving bowl and toss to combine. Crumble over the feta and sprinkle with fresh dill.</p> <p><strong>Tips:</strong></p> <p>Teff is cooked in a similar way to quinoa. You can lightly toast it before cooking, which is what I've done in this recipe.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/warm-toasted-teff-salad-ld.aspx"><em>Wyza.com.au</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Does almond milk deserve to be called “milk”?

<p>At a conference about <a href="https://proteintech.events/">disruptive innovations in food production</a> last week, dairy industry spokespeople criticised the “milk” labelling of non-dairy products such as almond or rice milks.</p> <p><a href="https://www.fedfarm.org.nz/">Federated Farmers</a>, a rural advocacy group, prompted media headlines with a suggestion that we should call a beverage made from almonds <a href="https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018706641/should-vege-products-be-able-to-use-meat-and-dairy-terms">almond juice</a> because it is “definitely not a milk under the definition in the Oxford dictionary”.</p> <p>In a similar vein, the chief science officer for the dairy cooperative Fonterra, <a href="https://www.fonterra.com/nz/en/about/our-markets.html">the world’s largest dairy exporter</a>, said:</p> <p>These plant-based milks have a positioning that says they are milk and that they are plant-based. Unfortunately, from a content basis, they are providing inferior nutrition compared to what you find in dairy products.</p> <p>Their position is that labelling plant-based beverages as milk is misleading consumers into buying nutritionally inferior products. This position is gaining momentum around the world. The US Food and Drug Administration (<a href="https://www.fda.gov/home">FDA</a>) is <a href="https://www.vox.com/2018/8/31/17760738/almond-milk-dairy-soy-oat-labeling-fda">considering making “milk” a label exclusive to dairy products</a>. And the European Court of Justice has already upheld a law <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/business-40274645">restricting the use of dairy terms on soy products</a> (even though almond milk is exempt).</p> <p>We disagree. Calling the product “almond milk” makes sense and doesn’t mislead anyone.</p> <p><strong>Defining milk</strong></p> <p>“An almond doesn’t lactate,” according to <a href="https://reason.com/2018/10/17/an-almond-doesnt-lactate/">FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb</a>, so almonds cannot be milked. But defining milk by its method of production won’t cut it. The US-based company Perfect Day, for example, makes <a href="https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/7/15/20694715/vegan-ice-cream-lab-grown-dairy-perfect-day">dairy products</a> without the involvement of any udders or even cows. They genetically modified a protein-creating microorganism to produce the same proteins found in cow’s milk: casein and whey.</p> <p>A more useful way to define something is to look at its intended function. Consider a mouse trap. A mouse trap is a thing that is designed to trap mice. These traps use various materials and trapping mechanisms, but these differences don’t matter. The function of all these traps is the same, so they are all “mouse traps”.</p> <p>Almond milk and other plant-based beverages function as milks. They go well with cereal, can be consumed by themselves, and provide nutrition. In fact, almond milk has been used widely as an animal milk substitute <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/nut-milks-are-milk-says-almost-every-culture-across-globe-180970008/">since the middle ages</a>. Plant-based milks do what animal milks do, with the advantage of being acceptable for people who cannot or do not want to consume animal milks.</p> <p>Just like different traps are “mouse traps” because they all have the function of trapping mice, different kinds of consumable liquid, from cows, goats, coconuts, soy or almonds are all “milks” because they all perform the functions we associate with milk.</p> <p><strong>Milk and nutrition</strong></p> <p>Animal <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/milk">milk is nutrient rich</a> and <a href="https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/is-plant-based-milk-healthy/">more nutrient rich than many plant-based milk</a>alternatives. But, basing the definition of “milk” on nutritional claims might not help the dairy lobby distinguish their products from plant-based alternatives.</p> <p>As soon as a nutrition threshold is set for milk, plant-based beverages could be fortified with additives until they became milks. Some <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325425.php">soy milks are already fortified</a> with calcium and nutrients to aid calcium absorption. Emulating the higher levels of protein and certain vitamins and minerals (but presumably not fat and sugars) might not be too challenging, especially given the impressive, ongoing advances in food technology.</p> <p>Given that almond milk performs all of the milk functions we expect, including having some nutritional value, it makes sense to call it “milk”.</p> <p><strong>Misleading consumers</strong></p> <p>Even if you don’t like functional definitions, consumers are not being misled by product names like “almond milk”. Consumers don’t think that peanut butter has dairy butter in it. They also don’t think that almond milk is cows’ milk with almond flavouring.</p> <p>The companies making almond milk should not want consumers to think their product has dairy in it. Many consumers of plant-based milks choose them because they want milk but not the <a href="https://nutrition.org/going-nuts-about-milk-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-plant-based-milk-alternatives/">dairy-related moral or dietary problems</a> that come with it. If many people believed that almond milks contained dairy, the companies would quickly change the name to almond juice.</p> <p>Consumers also aren’t misled by the lower nutritional value of plant-based milks (relative to animal-based milks). Only very health-conscious people buy animal milk for a specific nutrition profile. And, <a href="https://www.sph.umn.edu/news/reads-nutrition-facts-food-labels/">very health-conscious people read nutritional labels</a>, so they are not going to be misled by low-nutrition juices masquerading as milks.</p> <p>Being misled about a product can have harmful effects. Requiring cars to be sold with a recent warrant of fitness is important because it can prevent the expensive mistake of “buying a lemon”. Labelling poisons as such is even more important because poison-related consumer mistakes could be deadly. But we need to find a workable balance between adequately protecting consumers and not placing too many burdens on producers.</p> <p>Consumers realise that almonds don’t lactate, and that plant-based milks are designed to be functional alternatives to animal-based milks. So, the name “almond milk” doesn’t mislead anyone.</p> <p><em>Written by Dan Weijers and Nick Munn. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/almonds-dont-lactate-but-thats-no-reason-to-start-calling-almond-milk-juice-121306"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Foods that help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

<p>With the rise of fad diets, “superfoods”, and a growing range of dietary supplement choices, it’s sometimes hard to know what to eat.</p> <p>This can be particularly relevant as we grow older, and are trying to make the best choices to minimise the risk of health problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart (cardiovascular) problems.</p> <p>We now have evidence these health problems <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25142458">also all affect brain function</a>: they increase nerve degeneration in the brain, leading to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain conditions including vascular dementia and Parkinson’s disease.</p> <p>We know a healthy diet can protect against conditions like type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Fortunately, evidence shows that what’s good for the body is <a href="https://yourbrainmatters.org.au/diet-the-evidence-base">generally also good for the brain</a>.</p> <p><strong>Oxidative stress</strong></p> <p>As we age, our metabolism becomes less efficient, and is less able to get rid of compounds generated from what’s called “oxidative stress”.</p> <p>The body’s normal chemical reactions can sometimes cause chemical damage, or generate side-products known as free radicals – which in turn cause damage to other chemicals in the body.</p> <p>To neutralise these free radicals, our bodies draw on protective mechanisms, in the form of antioxidants or specific proteins. But as we get older, these systems become less efficient. When your body can no longer neutralise the free radical damage, it’s under oxidative stress.</p> <p>The toxic compounds generated by oxidative stress steadily build up, slowly damaging the brain and eventually leading to symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.</p> <p>To reduce your risk, you need to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26682690">reduce oxidative stress</a> and the long-term inflammation it can cause.</p> <p>Increasing physical activity is important. But here we are focusing on diet, which is our major source of antioxidants.</p> <p><strong>Foods to add</strong></p> <p>There are plenty of foods you can include in your diet that will positively influence brain health. These include fresh fruits, seafood, green leafy vegetables, pulses (including beans, lentils and peas), as well as nuts and healthy oils.</p> <p><strong>Fish</strong></p> <p>Fish is a good source of complete protein. Importantly, oily fish in particular is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.</p> <p>Laboratory studies have shown omega-3 fatty acids <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6236236/">protect against oxidative stress</a>, and they’ve been found to be lacking in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.</p> <p>They are essential for memory, learning and cognitive processes, and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30205543">improve the gut microbiota and function</a>.</p> <p>Low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids, meanwhile, is linked to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28466678">faster cognitive decline</a>, and the development of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (changes in the brain that can be seen several years before for onset of symptoms such as memory loss).</p> <p>Omega-3 fatty acids are generally lacking in western diets, and this has been linked to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27825512">reduced brain cell health and function</a>.</p> <p>Fish also provides vitamin D. This is important because a lack of vitamin D <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23042216">has been linked</a>to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and vascular dementia (a common form of dementia caused by reduced blood supply to the brain as a result of a series of small strokes).</p> <p><strong>Berries</strong></p> <p>Berries are especially high in the antioxidants vitamin C (strawberries), anthocyanins (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) and resveratrol (blueberries).</p> <p>In research conducted on mouse brain cells, anthocyanins have been associated with lower toxic Alzheimer’s disease-related protein changes, and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28931353">reduced signs of oxidative stress and inflammation</a> specifically related to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29401686">brain cell (neuron) damage</a>. Human studies have shown <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28249119">improvements in brain function and blood flow</a>, and signs of reduced brain inflammation.</p> <p><strong>Red and purple sweet potato</strong></p> <p>Longevity has been associated with a small number of traditional diets, and one of these is the diet of the Okinawan people of Japan. The starchy staple of their diet is the purple sweet potato – rich in anthocyanin antioxidants.</p> <p>Studies in mice have shown this potato’s anthocyanins protect against the effects of obesity on blood sugar regulation and cognitive function, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29344660">and can reduce obesity-induced brain inflammation</a>.</p> <p><strong>Green vegetables and herbs</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29555333">traditional Mediterranean diet</a> has also been studied for its links to longevity and lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.</p> <p>Green vegetables and herbs feature prominently in this diet. They are rich sources of antioxidants including vitamins A and C, folate, polyphenols such as apigenin, and the carotenoid xanthophylls (especially if raw). A carotenoid is an orange or red pigment commonly found in carrots.</p> <p>The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals in the vegetables are believed to be responsible for <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-food-030216-030125">slowing Alzheimer’s pathology development</a>, the build up of specific proteins which are toxic to brain cells.</p> <p>Parsley is rich in apigenin, a powerful antioxidant. It readily crosses the barrier between the blood and the brain (unlike many drugs), <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28237914">where it reduces inflammation and oxidative stress</a>, and helps <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6304859/">brain tissue recovery</a> after injury.</p> <p><strong>Beetroot</strong></p> <p>Beetroot is a rich source of folate and polyphenol antioxidants, as well as copper and manganese. In particular, beetroot is <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10715762.2011.641157">rich in betalain pigments</a>, which reduce oxidative stress and have anti-inflammatory properties.</p> <p>Due to its nitrate content, beetroot can also boost the body’s nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels resulting in lowered blood pressure, a benefit which has <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30400267">been associated</a> with drinking beetroot juice.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29077028">recent review of clinical studies</a> in older adults also indicated clear benefits of nitrate-rich beetroot juice on the health of our hearts and blood vessels.</p> <p><strong>Foods to reduce</strong></p> <p>Equally as important as adding good sources of antioxidants to your diet is minimising foods that are unhealthy: some foods contain damaged fats and proteins, which are major sources of oxidative stress and inflammation.</p> <p>A high intake of “junk foods” including sweets, soft drinks, refined carbohydrates, processed meats and deep fried foods <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2001.122">has been linked</a> to obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.</p> <p>Where these conditions are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31062323">are all risk factors</a> for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, they should be kept to a minimum to reduce health risks and improve longevity.</p> <p><em>Written by Ralph Martins. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/are-there-certain-foods-you-can-eat-to-reduce-your-risk-of-alzheimers-disease-117096"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Nursing home nightmare: Why the food being served is worse than prison

<p>The <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/aged-care-royal-commission-59847">Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety</a> this week turned its attention to food and nutrition. The <a href="https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/hearings/Documents/transcripts-2019/transcript-16-july-2019.pdf">testimony of maggots in bins</a> and rotting food in refrigerators was horrific.</p> <p>When so much of a resident’s waking hours is spent either at a meal, or thinking of a meal, the meal can either make or break an elderly person’s day.</p> <p>So why are some aged care providers still offering residents meals they can’t stomach?</p> <p>It comes down to three key factors: cost-cutting, aged care funding structures that don’t reward good food and mealtime experiences, and residents not being given a voice. And it has a devastating impact on nutrition.</p> <p><strong>How much are we spending on residents’ food?</strong></p> <p>Our <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1747-0080.12368">research from 2017</a> found the average food spend in Australian aged care homes was A$6.08 per resident per day. This is the raw food cost for meals and drinks over breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper.</p> <p>This A$6.08 is almost one-third of the average for older coupled adults living in the community (A$17.25), and less than the average in Australian prisons (A$8.25 per prisoner per day).</p> <p>Over the time of the study, food spend reduced by A$0.31 per resident per day.</p> <p>Meanwhile the expenditure on commercial nutrition supplements increased by A$0.50 per resident per day.</p> <p>Commercial nutrition supplements may be in the form of a powder or liquid to offer additional nutrients. But they can never replace the value of a good meal and mealtime experience.</p> <p>Cutting food budgets, poor staff training and insufficient staff time preparing food on-site inevitably impacts the quality of food provided.</p> <p>At the royal commission, chefs spoke about using more frozen and processed meals, choosing poorer quality of meats and serving leftover meals in response to budget cuts.</p> <p><strong>Malnutrition is common, but we can address it</strong></p> <p>One in two aged care residents <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1741-6612.2008.00324.x">are malnourished</a> and this figure has remained largely the same for <a href="http://www.jnursinghomeresearch.com/784-poor-nutritional-status-is-associated-with-worse-oral-health-and-poorer-quality-of-life-in-aged-care-residents.html">the last 20 years</a>.</p> <p>Malnutrition has many causes – many of which are preventable or can be ameliorated. These include:</p> <ul> <li>Dental issues or <a href="http://www.jnursinghomeresearch.com/784-poor-nutritional-status-is-associated-with-worse-oral-health-and-poorer-quality-of-life-in-aged-care-residents.html">ill-fitting dentures</a></li> <li><a href="https://journalofdementiacare.com/the-lantern-project-shining-a-light-on-food-in-aged-care/">Dementia</a>(because of difficulty swallowing and sensory sensitivities)</li> <li>A poorly designed dining environment (such as poor acoustics, uncomfortable furniture, inappropriate crockery and table settings)</li> <li>Having too few staff members to help residents eat and drink and/or poor staff training</li> <li>Not supplying modified cutlery and crockery for those who need extra help</li> <li>Not offering residents food they want to eat or offering inadequate food choices.</li> </ul> <p>My soon-to-be-published research shows disatisfaction with the food service significantly influences how much and what residents eat, and therefore contributes to the risk of malnutrition.</p> <p>Malnutrition impacts all aspects of care and <a href="https://www.thelanternproject.com.au/">quality of life</a>. It directly contributes to muscle wasting, reduced strength, heart and lung problems, pressure ulcers, delayed wound healing, increased falls risk and poor response to medications, to name a few.</p> <p><strong>Food supplements, funding and quality control</strong></p> <p>Reduced food budgets increase the risk of malnutrition but it’s not the only aged care funding issue related to mealtimes.</p> <p>Aged care providers are increasingly giving oral nutrition supplements to residents with unplanned weight loss. This is a substandard solution that neglects fundamental aspects of malnutrition and quality of life. For instance, if a resident has lost weight as a result of ill-fitting dentures, offering a supplement will not identify and address the initial cause. And it ends up <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/47/3/356/4791131">costing more</a> than improving the quality of food and the residents’ mealtime experience.</p> <p>Our other soon-to-be-published research shows the benefits of replacing supplements with staff training and offering high-quality food in the right mealtime environment. This approach significantly reduced malnutrition (44% over three months), saved money and improved the overall quality of life of residents.</p> <p>However, aged care funding does not reward quality in food, nutrition and mealtime experience. If a provider does well in these areas, they don’t attract more government funding.</p> <p>It’s not surprising that organisations under financial pressure naturally focus on aspects that attract funding and often in turn, reduce investment in food.</p> <p>A research team commissioned by the health department <a href="https://agedcare.health.gov.au/reform/resource-utilisation-and-classification-study">has been investigating</a> how best to change aged care funding. So hopefully we’ll see changes in the future.</p> <p>Aged care residents are unlikely to voice their opinions – they either won’t or can’t speak out. Unhappy residents often fear retribution about complaining – often choosing to accept current care despite feeling unhappy with it.</p> <p><strong>We lived in an aged care home. This is what we learned</strong></p> <p>New <a href="https://agedcare.health.gov.au/quality/aged-care-quality-standards">Aged Care Quality Standards</a> came into effect on July 1 (I was involved in developing the guidelines to help aged care providers meet these standards).</p> <p>However, they provide limited guidance for organisations to interpret and make meaningful change when it comes to food, nutrition and mealtime experience. Aged care providers will need extra support to make this happen.</p> <p>We’ve developed an evidence-based solution, designed with the aged care industry, to address key areas currently holding aged care back. The solution offers tools and identified key areas essential for a happier and more nourishing mealtime.</p> <p>At the end of 2018, our team lived as residents in an aged care home on and off for three months. As a result of this, and earlier work, we developed three key solutions as part of the <a href="https://www.thelanternproject.com.au/">Lantern Project</a>:</p> <ul> <li>A food, nutrition and mealtime experience guide for industry with a feedback mechanism for facilities to improve their performance</li> <li>Free monthly meetings for aged care providers and staff to discuss areas affecting food provision</li> <li>An app that gives staff, residents and providers the chance to share their food experiences. This can be everything from residents rating a meal to staff talking about the dining room or menu. For residents, in particular, this allows them to freely share their experience.</li> </ul> <p>We have built, refined and researched these aspects over the past seven years and are ready to roll them out nationally to help all homes improve aged care food, nutrition and mealtime experience.</p> <p><em>Written by Cherie Hugo. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-nursing-home-food-so-bad-some-spend-just-6-08-per-person-a-day-thats-lower-than-prison-120421"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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