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How sustainable is your weekly grocery shop? These small changes can have big benefits

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michalis-hadjikakou-129930">Michalis Hadjikakou</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carla-archibald-283811">Carla Archibald</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ozge-geyik-1402545">Özge Geyik</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/pankti-shah-1547393">Pankti Shah</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>You might think eating more sustainably requires drastic changes, such as shifting to a <a href="https://theconversation.com/vegan-diet-has-just-30-of-the-environmental-impact-of-a-high-meat-diet-major-study-finds-210152">vegan diet</a>. While a plant-based diet is <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-023-00795-w">undeniably</a> good for the Earth, our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352550924001945#f0025">new research</a> shows modest changes to your eating habits can also have significant environmental benefits.</p> <p>We assessed how food products on Australian supermarket shelves stack up against key environmental indicators, such as carbon emissions and water use.</p> <p>We found swapping the most environmentally harmful foods for more sustainable options within the same food group, such as switching from beef burgers to chicken burgers, can significantly reduce carbon emissions – by up to 96% in some instances.</p> <p>The last thing we want to do is take the pleasure away from eating. Instead, we want to help consumers make realistic dietary changes that also help ensure a sustainable future. So read on to find out which simple food swaps can best achieve this.</p> <h2>Informing sustainable diets</h2> <p>The environmental impact of foods can be estimated using an approach known as a <a href="https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(19)30128-9#:%7E:text=In%20this%20Primer%2C%20we%20introduce,cycle%20of%20a%20product%20system.">life-cycle assessment</a>.</p> <p>This involves identifying the “inputs” required along the food supply chain, such as fertiliser, energy, water and land, and tracking them from farm to fork. From this we can calculate a product’s “footprint” – or environmental impact per kilogram of product – and compare it to other foods.</p> <p>Most studies of environmental footprints focus on the raw ingredients that make up food products (such as beef, wheat or rice) rather than the packaged products people see on shelves (such as beef sausages, pasta or rice crackers). Of the studies that do focus on packaged foods, most only consider a fraction of the products available to consumers.</p> <p>What’s more, a lot of research considers only the carbon emissions of food products, excluding other important measures such as water use. And some studies use global average environmental footprints, which <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aaq0216">vary significantly</a> between countries.</p> <p>Our research set out to overcome these limitations. We aligned environmental footprints with the products people find on supermarket shelves, and covered a huge range of food and beverage products available in Australia. We also included many environmental indicators, to allow a <a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2120584119">more complete picture</a> of the sustainability of different foods.</p> <h2>What we did</h2> <p>Key to our research was the <a href="https://www.georgeinstitute.org.au/projects/foodswitch">FoodSwitch database</a>, which compiles food labelling and ingredient data from images of packaged food and beverages. It covers more than 90% of the Australian packaged food market.</p> <p>We combined the database with a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652623029748">mathematical method</a> that sums the environmental impact of ingredients, to quantify the footprint of the product as a whole.</p> <p>From this, we estimated the environmental footprint of 63,926 food products available in Australian supermarkets. We then simulated the potential benefits of making “realistic” switches between products – that is, switches within the same food category.</p> <h2>Our findings</h2> <p>The results show how making a small dietary change can have big environmental consequences.</p> <p>For a shopping basket composed of items from eight food groups, we simulate the benefits of swapping from high-impact towards medium- or low-impact food products.</p> <p>Our analysis assumes a starting point from the most environmentally harmful products in each food group – for example, sweet biscuits, cheese and beef burger patties.</p> <p>A shift to the medium-impact foods for all eight items – such as a muffin, yoghurt and sliced meat – can lead to at least a 62% reduction in environmental impact. Shifts towards the most sustainable choice for all items – bread, soy milk or raw poultry – can achieve a minimum 77% reduction.</p> <p>This analysis ends at the supermarket shelves and does not include additional food processing by the consumer. For example, raw meat will usually be cooked before human consumption, which will expand its environmental footprint to varying degrees, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-020-00200-w">depending on the method used</a>.</p> <p>See the below info-graphic for more detail. The full results are available in <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352550924001945">our study</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="sR5yB" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/sR5yB/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <h2>What next?</h2> <p>Many people are looking for ways to live more sustainably. Insufficient or complex information can fuel confusion and anxiety in consumers, <a href="https://theconversation.com/reducing-eco-anxiety-is-a-critical-step-in-achieving-any-climate-action-210327">leading to inaction or paralysis</a>. Consumers need more information and support to choose more sustainable foods.</p> <p>Supermarkets and retailers also have an important role to play – for example, by giving sustainable products <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/07439156211008898">prominent shelf placement</a>. Attractive pricing is also crucial – particularly in the midst of a <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/topics/cost-of-living-crisis-115238">cost-of-living crisis</a> when it can be difficult to prioritise sustainability over cost.</p> <p>Government interventions, such as information campaigns and <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/07439156211008898">taxing high-impact products</a>, can also help.</p> <p>Food labelling is also important. The European Union <a href="https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/circular-economy/eu-ecolabel/product-groups-and-criteria_en">is leading the way</a> with measures such as the <a href="https://docs.score-environnemental.com/v/en">eco-score</a>, which integrates 14 environmental indicators into a single score from A to E.</p> <p>Apps such as <a href="https://www.georgeinstitute.org/projects/ecoswitch">ecoSwitch</a> can also <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1326020024000268?via%3Dihub">empower consumers</a>.</p> <p>The diets of people in developed nations such as Australia <a href="https://theconversation.com/sustainable-shopping-want-to-eat-healthy-try-an-eco-friendly-diet-89086">exert a high toll on our planet</a>. More sustainable food choices are vital to achieving a <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/commissions/EAT">sustainable future for humanity</a>. We hope our research helps kick-start positive change.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/234367/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michalis-hadjikakou-129930">Michalis Hadjikakou</a>, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Sustainability, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering &amp; Built Environment, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carla-archibald-283811">Carla Archibald</a>, Research Fellow, Conservation Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ozge-geyik-1402545">Özge Geyik</a>, Visitor, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/pankti-shah-1547393">Pankti Shah</a>, PhD student, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-sustainable-is-your-weekly-grocery-shop-these-small-changes-can-have-big-benefits-234367">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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Huge move to bring down cost of groceries

<p>Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced a series of new measures to help bring down grocery prices  ahead of the release of a wide-ranging review into the Grocery Code of Conduct.</p> <p>According to the treasurer, increasing competition among supermarket giants is key to placing “downward pressure on prices”, while also enforcing multibillion-dollar fines on retailers that fail to comply with the mandatory code of conduct.</p> <p>This code is set to dictate how supermarkets like Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and IGA’s parent company Metcash deals with producers and farmers, which will in turn see a reduction of prices for everyday shoppers. </p> <p>While Dr Chalmers stopped short of saying how far prices could drop, he told <em>Sunrise’s</em> Natalie Barr that a more competitive system would create “better outcomes for consumers,” and reduce grocery prices over time. </p> <p>“If it is more competitive, more transparent and people are getting a fair go, better outcomes will be seen at the supermarket checkout,” he said.</p> <p>The Treasurer said this would deliver a “fair go” for families, consumers and producers. </p> <p>“We recognise that the supply chains need to be better for farmers, growers and producers,” he said. </p> <p>“By doing that and making sure the supermarket sector is more competitive we can get better outcome for consumers.”</p> <p>Although the Albanese government has affirmed its support for the review, conducted by former Labor minister Craig Emerson, the final report rejected calls to expand the reforms to non-supermarkets like Bunnings, Chemist Warehouse, and Dan Murphy’s. </p> <p>“The review considers that the code should not be extended beyond supermarkets to cover other retailers,” the inquiry’s final report said.</p> <p>“This is not to say that these markets are functioning well for all players in those markets.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: MICK TSIKAS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Editorial/Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Kochie reveals the simple way to halve your grocery bill

<p>David Koch has revealed the simple trick to help you save big bucks at the supermarket as the cost of living crisis continues to hit hard. </p> <p>Kochie, who is the Compare the Market's economic director, calculated that Aussies can save up to $100 per trip to the grocery shop by making the switch to home brands. </p> <p>According to research of major Australian supermarkets, the average household can save big bucks by choosing not to buy well-known brands, which can lead to a saving of $5,000 per year. </p> <p>"So, when you're doing your supermarket shop, what's in a brand name? Well, let me tell you - plenty," Kochie said in a video posted to the Compare the Market Instagram account. </p> <p>"You are paying plenty more for that loyalty to a brand that you love."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C57UwVrvSZ5/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <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 style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C57UwVrvSZ5/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Compare the Market AU (@comparethemarket_aus)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Compare the Market took to a major supermarket and bought 25 items from big name brands, and another 25 similar items from a challenger supermarket selling cheaper home brands.</p> <p>Based on substituting big-brand products for lesser-known labels, grocery bills would fall from $201.19 a week to $103.51, taking the weekly saving up to $97.68.</p> <p>"Now, multiply that weekly shop over a whole year and that's a saving of over $5,000."</p> <p>"Almost three return economy airfares to London."</p> <p>Everyday Aussies are continuing to struggle with the rising cost of groceries, with the price of bread and cereal increasing by 7.3 per cent in the year to March, an official monthly measure of inflation showed. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Money & Banking

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These 10 smart grocery swaps can help reverse diabetes

<p><strong>Diagnosis diabetes</strong></p> <p>It can feel daunting to be faced with the need to make a major lifestyle change. You enjoy food, and you should. At Reader’s Digest, we like to think nature designed nutrition to taste delicious so it can be a source of pleasure in your day that’s fun to look forward to.</p> <p>If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, this diagnosis doesn’t have to take over your whole identity and all the things that bring you joy. There are ways to adapt some of your favourite foods so you can still have them!</p> <p>Registered dietitian Jackie Newgent lists interesting meal swaps you can make so that classic dishes can be healthier, while still plenty pleasurable.</p> <p>With some wisdom and dedication, it can be possible to turn your condition around and feel great for good.</p> <p><strong>Pair starchy with non-starchy veggies</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one kilo potatoes</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> 500g kilo potatoes plus 500g cauliflower</p> <p>This mashed potato hack keeps your total carbs in check without forgoing flavour. Whip equal parts boiled potatoes together with roasted or boiled cauliflower.</p> <p>The results of this dynamic duo may help you better manage your blood glucose, since they’re carb-friendlier than a huge bowl of mashed potatoes alone: 100 grams of cooked potatoes without skin provides 22 grams of total carbohydrates, versus 13 grams total carbohydrate in the 100 gram combination of cooked potatoes and cauliflower.</p> <p><strong>Pick fruit you can chew</strong></p> <div> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one litre apple juice</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one bag of apples</p> <p>Enjoy whole fruit rather than just the juice whenever possible to get all the fibre of the naturally sweet fruit with its edible peel…plus chewing satisfaction. One medium apple contains 4.4 grams of fibre while a 200ml glass or juice box of 100-percent apple juice has 0.4 grams of fibre.</p> <p>The soluble fibre in apples can help slow down absorption of sugars. Polyphenols in apples may have powerful antioxidant properties.</p> <p><strong>Grill a better burger</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> 500g 85% lean ground beef patties</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> 500g ground chicken breast</p> <p>Gram for gram, chicken breast has significantly less saturated fat than the marbly beef of classic burgers. Specifically, an 85g cooked 85% lean ground beef patty has five grams of saturated fat compared to 0.6 grams of saturated fat for a cooked patty made from 85g of chicken breast meat.</p> <p>Keeping saturated fat intake low is especially important when you have diabetes to help keep your heart healthy. Pro-tip: make chicken burgers juicier and tastier by combining ground chicken breast with a little plain yogurt, rolled oats, and herbs and spices before cooking.</p> <p><strong>Look for live cultures in the dairy section</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one container regular cottage cheese</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one container plain low-fat Greek yogurt or cultured cottage cheese</p> <p>Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help keep your gut healthy. For people with type 2 diabetes, research published in Advances in Nutrition suggested that probiotics may also have glucose-lowering potential. So, pop products with live active cultures (probiotics) into your cart while strolling by the dairy aisle. Choose plain low-fat Greek yogurt or cultured cottage cheese.</p> <p>Be sure to read the nutrition labels, since probiotics aren’t in all dairy foods. And, for the lower-sodium pick, stick with yogurt.</p> <p><strong>Choose healthier-sized grain portions </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> 1/2 dozen bakery-style plain bagels</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one package of wholegrain English muffins</p> <p>Swapping wholegrain in place of refined grain products helps kick up fibre and other plant nutrients. Studies suggests this is linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, opting for healthier-sized varieties, such as wholegrain English muffins rather than big bakery-style plain bagels helps cut kilojoules (and carbs) – not enjoyment – while promoting a healthier weight. In fact, you’ll slash over 1000 kilojoules by enjoying a whole-wheat English muffin instead of that oversized 140g bagel.</p> <p><strong>Get your munchies with benefits </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one bag of potato chips</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one jar or bulk-bin container of roasted peanuts</p> <p>It’s a no-brainer: a small handful of nuts is a better bet than potato chips. Peanuts, for instance, offer a triple whammy of dietary fibre, plant protein and healthy fat, which can boost satiety. Greater satisfaction means a greater chance you’ll keep mealtime portions right-sized.</p> <p>When peanuts or other nuts are eaten along with carb-rich foods, they can help slow down the blood sugar response. Plus, a Mediterranean study found that higher nut consumption may be associated with better metabolic status.</p> <p><strong>Dress a salad smartly </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one bottle of fat-free salad dressing</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one small bottle olive oil plus one small bottle balsamic or red wine vinegar</p> <p>Some bottled salad dressings can trick you. For instance, “fat-free” salad dressing may be loaded with added sugars. (For reference: four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.)</p> <p>So, read salad dressing labels carefully for sneaky ingredients, especially excess salt (over 250 milligrams of sodium per two-tablespoon serving) or added sugars (more than five grams added sugars per two-tablespoon serving). Better yet, keep it simple and make your own vinaigrette using 2-3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.</p> <p><strong>Select less salty soup</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one can/carton of vegetable- or bean-based soup</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one can/carton of low-sodium vegetable- or bean-based soup</p> <p>When compared to people without diabetes, sodium levels were higher in patients with type 2 diabetes, based on a meta-analysis published in European Journal of Nutrition. Curbing sodium intake is beneficial for people with diabetes since too much may increase your risk for high blood pressure.</p> <p>So, slurp up soup that’s low in sodium. And kick up flavour with a splash of cider vinegar, grated citrus zest, herbs, spices, or a dash of hot sauce.</p> <p><strong>Go for "naked" fish</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> Breaded fish sticks</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> Frozen salmon fillets</p> <p>Cut salmon into large cubes, season, and grill on skewers. Or make fish sticks by simply cutting into skinny fillets, season and roast. Why? Research published in Diabetes Care finds that eating oily fish may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Non-oily fish, like the whitefish in fish sticks, didn’t show this link.</p> <p>Salmon is an oily fish and a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, a heart-friendly fat. Plus: when you make your own salmon skewers or sticks, you won’t have extra carbs from breading.</p> <p><strong>Do dip with a punch of protein</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Instead of:</em></span> one container of sour cream &amp; onion dip</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Buy:</em></span> one container of pulse-based dip, like hummus</p> <p>Wise snacking can be helpful for managing blood glucose. It can also be delicious. Dunk veggies or wholegrain pita wedges into pulse-based dip, like hummus, black bean dip, or lentil dip.</p> <p>Check this out: one-quarter cup (that’s 60 grams) of onion dip has 870 kiljoules, five grams of saturated fat, 1.2 grams of protein, and 0.1 grams of fibre, while one-quarter cup hummus has 590 kilojoules, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 4.7 grams of protein, and 3.3 grams of fibre. Hummus clearly wins!</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diabetes/reverse-diabetes-10-smart-grocery-swaps?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p> </div> <div class="slide-image" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16px; font-style: inherit; box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> </div>

Food & Wine

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Groceries option even cheaper than ALDI

<p>With the cost of living crisis many Aussies are struggling to put dinner on the table, so they’re turning away from big chains like IGA and Coles and heading over to supersize store Costco.</p> <p>Originally an American chain, there are only 15 Costcos across the country, but with inflation rising to seven per cent and interest rates sitting above six per cent, Aussies are rethinking where and how they shop.</p> <p>Costco is being boasted as a lifesaver and worth the drive if you don’t live near one of the stores.</p> <p>Many Aussie parents have turned to Costco to help their families through the tough times, but it’s not your ordinary grocery store.</p> <p>Costco required you pay a $60 annual membership fee to shop there. The fee entitles members to exclusive access to its petrol stations as well.</p> <p>Although an upfront fee may leave shoppers hesitant, plenty of Aussies have shared online that it’s worth the money.</p> <p>Costco differs from other grocery stores because it’s a wholesaler, so you can only buy things in bulk.</p> <p>The idea is that shoppers spend more to begin with, but it ends up costing them less in the long run. It’s very much suited to large households.</p> <p>An Aussie mum posted on Facebook to share that popping her “Costco cherry”, saved her over $500.</p> <p>“I did a bit of maths, if I did the same shop at Woolies/Coles, I would have spent $1160. If I shopped at Aldi, I would have spent $985. If you can afford to buy in bulk, I highly recommend it will save you in the long run,” she wrote on Facebook.</p> <p>She shared exactly what she bought to have that much cash left over, and believes she managed to buy enough snacks to last an entire school term.</p> <p>“School lunch snacks x3 kids, will last the whole of next term (I do a three snack rule and put them in a zip lock bag, to grab and go, chips – vege chips, smith’s or jumpys, tiny teddy’s or panda Bickies and some muesli bar/fruit stick) then I just have to add a sandwich, fruit and popper.”</p> <p>The mum also bought some everyday items like, “Toilet paper, poppers and water,” and stocked up on meat to last a good while.</p> <p>“Mince, pork, beef, all divided up into 1kg lots and frozen,” she explained.</p> <p>She also stocked up on hand wash, cheese and fruit and veg, but shared that some of the most significant savings came from buying pantry basics.</p> <p>“Spices and sauces, Big savings here if you use a lot, like I do, as I cook most things from scratch,” she said.</p> <p>She added she thinks the membership is worth it if shoppers are savvy in their approach.</p> <p>“Everyone says the $60 membership isn’t worth it; well, if you shop smart, it’s well worth it; I’m going to aim to go 4 times a year,” she shared.</p> <p>She’s no outlier when it comes to Aussie mum’s shopping at Costco.</p> <p>One mum shared that with three kids in high school, the savings are worth it.</p> <p>“The snacks are so much cheaper than at supermarkets,” she revealed, adding that she heads over to Costo every few months to stock up.</p> <p>“I spend a few hundred every two or three months, and it saves me on buying expensive snacks every week.”</p> <p>Another mum chimed in, agreeing that it was a lifesaver for snacks and cheap meat options.</p> <p>“It is good for meat products and lunch box items,” the woman said.</p> <p>Another shared that it is worth the investment, particularly to find affordable options for school lunches.</p> <p>“If you have kids at school! 100 per cent I recommend it. I got a month’s worth of school stuff for what I was spending a fortnight,” she shared.</p> <p>While another revealed that Costo has helped keep her budget down during these tough times.</p> <p>“Costco saves us so much money on school snacks and meat alone!”</p> <p>Plenty of shoppers have been referred to ALDI if their regular shop is proving too costly, but Costco can save you the big bucks.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Food & Wine

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“Thank you stranger”: Woolies shopper left stunned

<p dir="ltr">A shopper at Woolworths was left shocked after a cashier’s unexpected act at the checkout.</p> <p dir="ltr">The single mum shared her feel-good story in a post on Facebook.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There was such a beautiful young lady working the checkout register tonight,” she wrote in the post.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I had a rough day, and when she asked how my day was, I answered with: ‘Not a great one’.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The mum-of-three was paying for her groceries with vouchers she’d been gifted from friends who wanted to “lend a hand” as her family was struggling.</p> <p dir="ltr">After she put her shop through the checkout, the vouchers didn’t cover the entire cost, so she asked the cashier to take a bag of bread rolls off the total.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Woolies worker surprised the mum by covering the cost of the bread rolls herself. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I don’t recall her name, but I feel that she deserves a massive thank you, as she made my day and turned it around with her kindness,” the mum said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So thank you stranger - you made an old tired mum have faith there’s still kindness in the world.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Woolworths responded to the mum’s Facebook post and said they would share her feedback with the store’s management team so the staff member can be acknowledged for her random act of kindness.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Prices to drop for everyday grocery favourites

<p>Aussie households struggling to keep up with the cost of living will be happy to know the low prices they’re paying for some grocery items will continue to drop further this year, with some farmers reporting a bumper crop.</p> <p>Industry experts have said price falls will include meat, poultry and grain, while some fruit and vegetable costs will remain low.</p> <p>The National Farmers Federation said there has been a strong supply of berries, lettuce and avocados to markets, and the prices will not increase further.</p> <p>“It’s great news for consumers,” NFF Horticulture Council executive officer Richard Shannon said.</p> <p>“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen dramatic increases to the cost of production. That’s a result of disrupted supply chains,” Shannon explained, in reference to the Queensland floods as well as increased prices for fertiliser, packaging and farm labour.</p> <p>“Some of those supply chains are starting to open up again,” he continued.</p> <p>Avocados Australia’s weekly supermarket report saw the price of a single avocado being about $1.80 to $3, depending on the variety.</p> <p>CEO John Tyas said customers could expect prices to stay that low, with avocado supply up 10 per cent for the May season.</p> <p>“We’re expecting pretty steady supply through to the end of the year,” he said.</p> <p>Lettuce was four times its usual price mid-2022, being sold at $12 a head.</p> <p>It is now priced at $3.50 at various stores.</p> <p>A spokesperson for the peak body representing vegetable growers, AusVeg, said the cost of winter vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, celebrity, pumpkin and beans would also see a drop in price as they come into season due to a strong supply.</p> <p>Other retail experts predict the price of meat and poultry will come down after having peaked in 2022.</p> <p>QUT Business School Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Gary Mortimer told Sunrise, “With growing conditions improving, we’ll start to see more supply into the market, and accordingly, prices will fall,” "I think we’ll see some price relief in some of the other fresh departments, including meat, particularly poultry and grain.”</p> <p>Mortimer also said as farmers, particularly in central NSW, recovered from two years of drought, there was more grain to feed their livestock.</p> <p>The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences’ latest forecast for sheep and lamb prices confirmed meat prices would fall because “farmers had rebuilt their flocks” and there were more animals available for slaughter.</p> <p>According to BARES' latest agricultural snapshot, “industry production and export values are forecast to hit record levels in 2022-23, with broadacre and dairy farm cash incomes remaining well above historical benchmarks”.</p> <p>Executive director Dr Jared Greenville said the good performance would likely continue into the foreseeable future, with weather partners expected to return to normal after several years of severe rainfall in some regions.</p> <p>“Despite the deteriorating conditions, strong soil moisture, full water storages and the rebuilding of our herds and flocks will provide a buffer for overall production, giving us another year in the high country,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Ground-breaking change coming to grocery stores

<p>While Australians are still copping the effects of supply chain issues in supermarkets, many shoppers are faced with the frustration of empty shelves at their local grocer. </p> <p>But now, a ground-breaking initiative could solve those issues for good.</p> <p>IGA's Local Grocer initiative will allow customers to actually decide what is in stores, in what is the biggest brand rollout in the country. </p> <p>With the use of technology, supermarket data and old school customer interaction, a bespoke offering will be created for locals, with no two Local Grocers will be the same, and each of the 400 stores set to open within months will cater to the specific wants and needs of their community.</p> <p>IGA’s flagship Local Grocer store has just opened in the Sydney northwest suburb of Epping, and the concept is already a hit with local shoppers.</p> <p>Run by brothers Antoine and Richard Rizk under the Mint Fresh banner, the Epping store is the pair’s fifth venture after working in the sector for more than a decade.</p> <p>Antoine told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/massive-changes-coming-to-hundreds-of-australian-supermarkets/news-story/0e07af390f34ed331689ee607ee31d55" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a> it was designed so that “locals can get pretty much everything they need in one place”, and he said they had even chosen not to install self-service checkouts “so that we can truly get to know our local shoppers”.</p> <p>He explained they had used an app and focus group to get feedback about the types of products customers wanted to see in store before the launch.</p> <p>“There’s a lot of customisation for the local Asian community, and we have quite a big range in the grocery, dairy, freezer and fruit and vegetable aisles,” he said.</p> <p>“Being locals within the geographical area, we spoke to a lot of people and looked at a lot of competitors, and we also used an app … to recruit customers for a focus group."</p> <p>“The survey provided us with a bunch of feedback about how frequently they cook and what kinds of products they require."</p> <p>“We’ve had customers come in nearly every day since we opened, and that’s a good sign. Our customisation is a huge point of difference and it gives us a competitive advantage. Having that local knowledge is critical."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Seven ways to save money on your groceries

<p>Buying groceries can take a large chunk out of your budget, so follow these tricks to slash those costs today!</p> <p>Grocery shopping can be expensive. But, as we all have to eat, it becomes a matter of outsmarting the supermarket. Can it be done, helping you save money in the process? Yes! Here’s some ideas.</p> <p><strong>Plan your meals for the week</strong><br />This tip is not only good for your hip pocket, but your waistline. By planning your meals and snacks in advance, you’re being disciplined about the fuel that’s powering your body. Plus, you won’t be tempted to buy baked goodies or other sweets that you see on sale, which is always strategically placed when you first enter the supermarket.</p> <p>Plan out your meals and write down what you need on a shopping list. Take this with you and stick to it! Everyone is guilty of making a shopping list and then adding to it while they’re browsing the aisles. This is a sure-fire way to buy treats or snacks you wouldn’t normally have planned for and to blow out your weekly grocery budget.</p> <p><strong>Make a list and stick to it</strong><br />Once you’ve planned out your meals, write down what you need on a shopping list. Take this with you and stick to it! Everyone is guilty of making a shopping list and then adding to it while they’re browsing the aisles. This is a sure-fire way to buy treats or snacks you wouldn’t normally have planned for and to blow out your weekly grocery budget.</p> <p><strong>Have a weekly clean-out of the fridge and cabinets</strong><br />Have you ever tried to find an ingredient, like the Worchester sauce, only to have to take out half the pantry because it’s at the back and the shelves are packed to the rafters? Over time, non-perishable items, such as sauces, baking goods, cooking oils, pasta, spices and other cooking essentials that don’t expire in the short term, accumulate in the kitchen pantry and surrounding cupboards – just like old crockery you don’t use anymore.</p> <p>By scheduling in a weekly review or clean-out, you can keep on top of what is in the pantry so you’re not doubling up in your grocery shop and ensuring that you’re using everything purchased until it’s completely empty.</p> <p><strong>Sign up for supermarket loyalty programs</strong><br />Free to join and easy to use, supermarket loyalty programs are a good way to save a few bucks here or there. While each differ with what rewards they offer their customers, it’s a good idea to sign up to all of your local supermarkets.</p> <p>Keep them handy and use them whenever you purchase groceries. While some loyalty programs will try to advertise certain products for a special price, if this a product you don’t normally buy, then avoid buying it now. This rule should apply to products purchase in-store that are advertised as “on special”.</p> <p><strong>Know what discounts your local supermarket offers</strong><br />Some supermarkets or local fruit and veg stores will offer their own special discounts for people over-60 for certain days. You may need to hold a Seniors Card to get the discount, so if you’re eligible consider getting a card. This can be done through your state government’s human services department.</p> <p><strong>Buy supermarket brands over established names</strong><br />A few years ago, home brand items in supermarkets carried a certain stigma around them. Now, however, with the competition considerably warmed up between supermarket giants, home brands have a revamped image. Most people today don’t have a problem buying supermarket-branded items, with many of these products taking over from traditional “name” brands.</p> <p>Price has become the biggest motivating factor for buying supermarket brands. If you’re not too fussy or loyal to any of the established brands, why not try a supermarket item? It could save you considerably at the checkout without affecting your tastebuds too much.</p> <p><strong>Don’t shop hungry!</strong><br />Did you know that hungry people are more likely to spend more at the supermarket and have bigger waistlines? While the advice to avoid grocery shopping when your stomach is grumbling for food has been around for a while, a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed just how much it can influence what you buy in a supermarket.</p> <p>Researchers gave a group of people a snack before sending them off to shop while another group was given no snack. While both groups bought a similar amount of food, the group of people who hadn’t eaten first bought more food with higher calories. Shopping while you’re hungry will also see your nose turn and your mouth start to salivate towards the whiff of freshly baked bread or roast chicken, perhaps even buying one of these when it wasn’t on the shopping list. If you’re hungry, you’re more likely to succumb to the delicious smells wafting in the air.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Savvy shopper reveals how to score free groceries at Coles and Woolies

<p>An Australian mum has shared her tips on snagging free groceries at the till. </p> <p>The woman from Sydney's north shore took to Facebook to reveal her secrets which managed to bag her a one kilogram tin of Milo and a roast chicken for free last week.</p> <p>“Is everyone aware of the Code of Scanning Practice 1984 at supermarkets?” she asked.</p> <p>“If the price on the shelf is lower than the price the item scans, you get it free."</p> <p>“Check your receipts before leaving [the] shop ladies. They have to refund [you] and give you [the] item."</p> <p>“I usually find two to three items every week!”</p> <p>The Scanning Code of Practice is a voluntary code that many supermarkets have signed up to, including Woolies, Coles, and some IGA and Aldi stores.</p> <p>Under the policy, if an item scans higher than what the shelf price says, the customer is entitled to receive the first item for free.</p> <p>Any subsequent item will be charged at the lower price.</p> <p>The code however, does exclude alcohol, tobacco and items without a barcode, while purchases disputed must be under $50. </p> <p>The policy is well detailed on Coles' website as part of its "promise on price scanning". </p> <div> <p>“If a single item scans at a higher price than the advertised or ticket shelf price for that item, we will give you that item free,” it says.</p> <p>Many people shared their experiences of utilising the policy on the Facebook post, while others shared times they have still been charged full price. </p> <p>“A lot of the time they think people don’t know this, and they will try to just change it to the shelf price,” someone said.</p> <p>“At the service desk, they have a Code of Scanning Practice brochure,” another wrote. “ If they try to argue, I whip it out of my purse.”</p> <p>“I never used to bother saying anything but got sick of getting ripped off at every shop,” someone else added.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Grocery do-gooder finally unmasked

<p dir="ltr">A mystery supermarket do-gooder has been unmasked and revealed to be a retired businessman who says he never wants to grow up.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dean Graham, the son of late rich-lister Neil Graham, came forward and identified himself as the one paying for people’s groceries or restaurant bills, which he says he does on a weekly basis around New Zealand, per the <em><a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/mystery-supermarket-angel-paying-for-peoples-groceries-in-canterbury/3FIF2AYHKUZPOUCM5NUGD2MP3Y/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">NZ Herald</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s just giving people something to put a smile on their face really,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“These days it’s a lot of doom and gloom, and things are tough for a lot of people.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Last month, the 56-year-old left more than $200 cash with a checkout operator at a Lincoln New World store to pay for the groceries of the family behind him in line.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jen Stewart, the mum who received his act of kindness, told Star News she and her young family had just been through a difficult period recovering from Covid and that Graham’s gift left her “speechless”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This person didn’t know how grateful I was on that very week that he would pay for my shopping,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">After using $100 to pay for her groceries, she gave the remainder to another grateful single mum to use for her bill.</p> <p dir="ltr">Graham said he first started his random acts of kindness two years ago, after seeing an elderly couple struggle to pay for their lunch at a local sandwich shop.</p> <p dir="ltr">When he went back to the store two months later, one of the staff memebrs told him the couple had begun doing the same for others.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I thought to myself, ‘If I can do that and change the way people think, I think it’s a good thing’,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I care, and I can help, I do want to change people’s lives.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I just think life is so short, I just want to put it out there to believe we all are for other human beings.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Graham has given even more generous gifts to his friends, including a $100,000 truck for a friend’s birthday and eight of his own motorbikes, but he isn’t worried about his generosity being taken advantage of.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Friends don’t hang around me for that, because they knew me from when I had nothing,” Graham said.</p> <p dir="ltr">He said he started at the bottom of Mainfreight, the trucking company his father co-founded, pinching pennies with flatmates while working as a storeman.</p> <p dir="ltr">His life has been anything but uneventful either, having been married twice, been a solo father of five for eight years, and now living with his partner and in the process of building his very own man cave.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-05599472-7fff-a929-aec1-4e935c8fe6f3"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Dean Graham (Facebook)</em></p>

Caring

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Cheaper in Oz: One Kiwi shopper’s savvy way to save on groceries

<p dir="ltr">A New Zealand woman has shared the unusual way that she saved 35 percent on her usual grocery bill - and it involves and it even comes with free shipping.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman, who asked not to be identified, told the <em><a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/kiwi-shopper-saves-35-per-cent-ordering-groceries-from-australia/BL3RATPOZGLJQASWDRVY3DC4O4/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">NZ Herald</a></em> that purchasing her usual groceries from Australia and shipping them to New Zealand ended up being significantly cheaper than shopping at her local supermarket.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Otago woman ordered 13 items from the neighbouring country, including pasta, nuts, dried fruit, rolled oats, toothbrushes, shampoo and hair dye, via Amazon.</p> <p dir="ltr">She told the publication she received her goods within five days, having paid just $AUD 93.30 ($NZD 100.59).</p> <p dir="ltr">“I only bought items that were included in a free shipping promotion, so I wasn’t charged for shipping. According to the receipt, shipping would have added $15,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">When she compared prices using the Countdown online shopping app, she found that the same items would have cost her an upwards of $30 more, totalling $NZD 139.96 ($AUD 129.82).</p> <p dir="ltr">She found the best deal was on toothpaste, which she paid $AUD 2.50 ($NZD2.69) for.</p> <p dir="ltr">“All the items were long-shelf life items. I don’t think ordering from Australia would work for fresh food,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though she made a significant saving, the savvy shopper says she might not repeat her “crazy little experiment” due to the carbon footprint that came with it.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-baad06f1-7fff-9595-6d01-0b32442ccaaf"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Drones are now delivering groceries in Canberra – how does it work?

<p>Major Australian supermarket Coles yesterday announced <a href="https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7641084/supermarket-to-offer-drone-delivery-for-grocery-items-in-canberra/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" data-type="URL" data-id="https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7641084/supermarket-to-offer-drone-delivery-for-grocery-items-in-canberra/">the launch of its partnership</a> with drone delivery service <a href="https://wing.com/en_au/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" data-type="URL" data-id="https://wing.com/en_au/">Wing</a> to bring drone-delivered groceries to customers in Canberra.</p> <p>The battery-powered <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/robotics/drones-for-good/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" data-type="URL" data-id="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/robotics/drones-for-good/">drones</a> have a one-metre wingspan, weigh about 4.8 kilograms, and are equipped with both fixed wings and hover propellers, allowing them to behave as miniature versions of both aeroplanes and helicopters. They can travel at speeds of more than 110 km/h and carry packages of up to 1.2 kilograms.</p> <p>According to Simon Rossi, General Manager at Wing Australia, the drones typically require less energy to make a delivery than a kettle does to boil. </p> <p><strong>So how does drone delivery work? </strong></p> <p>Products can be ordered using the Wing app. Coles is currently offering delivery of more than 250 of its most popular grocery items, including bread, fresh produce, healthcare items, and toilet paper. </p> <p>When the order is received, the products are packed and loaded onto a drone, which ascends to its flying altitude of about 45 metres above ground and sets off for the delivery location. The drone will follow a route planned by Wing’s unmanned traffic management (UTM) software. </p> <p>“The aircraft automatically monitors its systems to make sure it is safe to fly and will prevent take-off or automatically take contingency actions if a problem is detected,” Rossi explains.  </p> <p>“Our trained remote aircraft pilots oversee everything to make sure the system is operating smoothly.” </p> <p>Once arrived, the drone descends to its delivery height of about seven metres above ground and hovers as it lowers the package to the ground on a tether. The package is automatically released, and the drone returns to the delivery facility. </p> <p>Customers can track the progress of their delivery on the Wing app. According to Wing, the company’s fastest delivery time to date is two minutes and 47 seconds from order to delivery. </p> <figure class="wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-block-embed-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio"> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <div class="entry-content-asset"> <div class="embed-wrapper"> <div class="inner"><iframe title="Wing's drone delivery service in action in Australia" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4xrCuPACmq8?feature=oembed" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> </div> </div> </div> </figure> <p><strong>Is drone delivery catching on?</strong></p> <p>Wing has existing drone delivery partnerships with several businesses in both Canberra and Logan, Queensland. The service also has a presence in the US and Finland. </p> <p>According to Rossi, the company completed more than 100,000 drone deliveries in Australia in 2021, and 30,000 in the first two months of 2022. </p> <p>Early feedback from customers on the partnership with Coles in Canberra has been positive, he says. </p> <p>“Customers are ordering a range of items including pantry staples like bread, eggs, and milk, fresh produce and convenience meals, as well as health care items like over-the-counter cough medicine and bandages.”</p> <p><strong>Are there any risks to drone delivery? </strong></p> <p>Adding large numbers of unmanned flying machines to the air would seem to have the potential to be disruptive. </p> <div class="newsletter-box"> <div id="wpcf7-f6-p183733-o1" class="wpcf7" dir="ltr" lang="en-US" role="form"> <form class="wpcf7-form mailchimp-ext-0.5.56 resetting spai-bg-prepared" action="/technology/robotics/drone-delivery-groceries-canberra/#wpcf7-f6-p183733-o1" method="post" novalidate="novalidate" data-status="resetting"> <p style="display: none !important;"><span class="wpcf7-form-control-wrap referer-page"><input class="wpcf7-form-control wpcf7-text referer-page spai-bg-prepared" name="referer-page" type="hidden" value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/robotics/drone-delivery-groceries-canberra/" data-value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/robotics/drone-delivery-groceries-canberra/" aria-invalid="false" /></span></p> <p><!-- Chimpmail extension by Renzo Johnson --></form> </div> </div> <p>“Perhaps Wing’s most interesting feature is its airspace integration and deconfliction,” says Pauline Pounds, an associate professor in information technology and electrical engineering at the University of Queensland. </p> <p>“Balancing the needs of CASA [the Civil Aviation Safety Authority], commercial aviation operators and other drone operators requires some care.”</p> <p>Because they fly in a zone between ‘ground clutter’ and manned aviation traffic, the drones are likely to remain comparatively safe. This also helps explain why flying drones are increasingly integrated into our everyday lives, while driverless cars languish on the sidelines. </p> <p>“It’s far easier to build a robot to fly in clear air where obstacles are rare, rather than on roads where pedestrians and human drivers may behave erratically,” says Pounds. </p> <p>However, the drones’ airspace won’t be completely risk-free. </p> <p>“A collision between a drone and a bird is unlikely to be a pleasant experience for either,” Pounds admits. </p> <p><strong>Is drone delivery the future of grocery shopping?</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, a drone can’t yet do your entire weekly grocery shop for you, and Rossi emphasises that this isn’t the service’s intention. </p> <p>“Rather, it is to enable customers to quickly order small grocery and convenience items, coffees, and snacks which they may need in a hurry,” he says. </p> <p>But could it be done one day?</p> <p>“Scaling drones to carry heavier payloads is a fundamental challenge: the more the drone carries, the shorter its flight will be,” says Pounds. </p> <p>“Drones are optimised for specific payload-range characteristics. Improving performance requires more energy-dense batteries, more efficient propulsion systems; the same limitations that hold back flying cars. </p> <p>“However, a distributed network of mini-aerodromes allowing packages to make many short hops – like a drone ‘Pony Express’ – could allow these systems to scale without limit, much like mobile phone base station cells.” </p> <p>Coles frames the new partnership with Wing as part of its strategy to become Australia’s most sustainable supermarket, as drone delivery options could reduce the need for cars and trucks. </p> <p>Wing also emphasise their green credentials, describing drone delivery as “one of the fastest, safest and most environmentally friendly modes of delivering goods when compared to a truck or car”. </p> <p>But with the drones only able to carry a kilo or two, would environmentally-conscious supermarkets be better off investing in electric cars and trucks instead? </p> <p>“Flying is innately energy-intensive and will always be more demanding than a comparable electric vehicle rolling the same distance, but drones fly directly point to point and do not require detours or stop at traffic lights,” says Pounds. </p> <p>“However, both drones and wheeled electric vehicles also have differing manufacturing, maintenance and disposal costs; whether autonomous cars or drones turn out to be more energy efficient over their lifetimes has yet to be seen.”</p> <p><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --></p> <p><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=183733&amp;title=Drones+are+now+delivering+groceries+in+Canberra+%E2%80%93+how+does+it+work%3F" width="1" height="1" data-spai-target="src" data-spai-orig="" data-spai-exclude="nocdn" /></p> <p><!-- End of tracking content syndication --></p> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/robotics/drone-delivery-groceries-canberra/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/matilda-handlsey-davis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Matilda Handsley-Davis</a>. Matilda is a science writer at Cosmos. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Adelaide.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Wing (Facebook)</em></p> </div>

Technology

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“Hidden” sugars on our supermarket shelves

<div class="copy"> <p>Australians are buying large amounts of “hidden” added sugars in their supermarket groceries, according to a new study. The research, led by the George Institute for Global Health, found that over half of the food and drink bought in supermarkets contains added sugar, but it’s not clearly labelled as such.</p> <p>“We used supermarket survey data to look at the amount of added sugar that Australians buy when they shop at the supermarket,” says Daisy Coyle, a dietician and research fellow at the George Institute.</p> <p>The researchers looked at a year’s worth of purchases from 7,188 households. They found that on average, Australians are buying nine teaspoons (36g) of added sugar per person per day in groceries, with low-income households buying more.</p> <p>“It might not sound like a lot, nine teaspoons, but it’s recommended by the World Health Organization that we consume no more than 12 teaspoons each day. So we’re getting nine teaspoons just from packaged food from the supermarket alone,” says Coyle.</p> <p>Restaurant, takeaway and other non-supermarket food would need to be very lean in sugar indeed to avoid exceeding the recommended daily amount.</p> <p>Most of the added sugar comes from 10 different categories of food product. Coyle says that some of these products wouldn’t necessarily be thought to have large amounts of added sugar.</p> <p>“The usual suspects are up there, things like sugary drinks, and chocolates and lollies, but we’re also finding more of the everyday staple foods contain a lot of added sugar,” she says. “Things like breakfast cereals, pasta sauces and yoghurts.”</p> <p>The researchers believe these added sugars may make it more difficult for Australians to eat healthily.</p> <p>“The issue with added sugars is that it’s not on the nutrition label,” says Coyle. “So while consumers can pick up a product and look at, say, the protein, carbs and total sugar content, they can’t get any information about the added sugar. So you can’t compare products – you can’t make healthier choices.”</p> <p>Plenty of foods – like fruit and milk – contain sugar naturally, but this is less of a concern from a nutrition perspective.</p> <p>“Natural sugars come from healthy foods that contain other nutrients,” says Coyle. “If you’re talking about sugar that’s in fruit, you’re not just getting the sugar – you’re getting fibre and vitamins and minerals. Added sugar contains nothing but just sugar.”</p> <p>The researchers believe that this extra sugar needs to be addressed at a policy level. This could include making current voluntary <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/healthy-food-partnership/partnership-reformulation-program" target="_blank">sugar reduction targets</a> mandatory and lower, and introducing stronger labelling guidelines, among other things.</p> <p>“We always think that it shouldn’t just be on the consumer, it shouldn’t just be on the individual,” says Coyle. “Our food environments, our supermarkets, should be made healthier, so it’s easier to make a healthy choice.”</p> <p>A paper describing the research is <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2021.06.013" target="_blank">published</a> in the <em>Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics</em>.</p> <em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/added-sugars-australian-supermarket-products/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Ellen Phiddian. </em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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10 secrets for shopping healthier at the grocery store

<p><em>Image: Getty </em></p> <p><strong>When ‘healthy’ isn’t healthy</strong></p> <p>You probably know this, but food manufacturers don’t always have your best interests in mind when they’re selling you stuff. That’s why they pack sugar into ketchup and salad dressing, salt into soups, and extra chemicals into nearly everything. Arm yourself with these tips the next time you head out for a shop, and you can sidestep the worst foods.</p> <p><strong>Look for a short ingredient list</strong></p> <p>When you find a packaged food in the supermarket with a long list of ingredients on the label, just set it back on the shelf and look for a simpler version of the food. (We’re talking here about the ‘Ingredients’ part of the label. Nutrition Facts is another part; more about that later.) The truth is, many of those ingredients are various kinds of sugars and chemical additives, and they’re there to ‘enhance’ the looks, taste, or shelf-life of the food – not your health. While most of these additives aren’t explicitly harmful (although that’s an open question for some of those substances), they also aren’t good for you, either. So check the list of ingredients every time, recommends Dr Marion Nestle. Nestle says that a shorter ingredient list equals fewer added sweeteners and preservatives.</p> <p><strong>Think twice about ‘no cholesterol’ claims</strong></p> <p>The natural fat cholesterol occurs only in animal products (meat, fish, eggs, milk, and butter, for instance). So why do some plant-derived products claim in large letters that they contain no cholesterol? Because the food companies know that people care about their cholestersol levels, and they know that most people probably have forgotten or never knew that plants don’t contain any. Some of the offenders are cereal, bread, cookies, salad dressings, and, especially, oils and margarine. Oils are obviously fats, so the makers think you’ll be reassured to see that there’s no cholesterol in the corn oil, safflower oil, or olive oil. Next time you see the claim, just say to yourself, “Duh! It’s a plant product! Of course it doesn’t contain cholesterol.”</p> <p><strong>Learn what ‘organic’ really means</strong></p> <p>There’s considerable confusion about the use of the word ‘organic’ on food labels, so here’s some guidance: the organic label is earned through a certification process. “The term ‘organic’ is defined as a food or food product that hasn’t been produced using antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, petroleum-based fertilisers, or bioengineering,” says dietitian, Patricia Bannan.</p> <ul> <li>For organic fruits and vegetables, the Australian Certified Organic standard states that they must be grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers or GMO’s. Every step of process from paddock to plate must be audited according to the Organic Standard to be able to market a product using the sought-after organic logo.</li> <li>On meat, the organic seal means the animals may be fed only certified organic feed and no by-products of other animals. The animals can’t be given hormones or antibiotics. They must be allowed access to the outdoors and treated humanely.<br />All organic farms must keep records and be inspected by accredited inspectors. There isn’t enough organic food being produced to meet the demand for it, but its availability is increasing all the time. Many supermarkets now carry some organic food, and farmers’ markets, health food stores, and individual farms are good sources of organic food.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Be suspicious of natural labels</strong></p> <p>If you feel like the food labels ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are pretty much interchangeable, well that’s exactly what food companies want you to think. But here’s the truth: Use of ‘natural’ on labels is a much more loosey-goosey affair than use of the term ‘organic.’ “Unlike ‘organic,’ the term ‘natural’ is not defined or regulated and does not have any set standards or requirements,” says Bannan. “A food labelled as ‘natural’ does not imply it is made with organic ingredients, or that the quality of its ingredients are better quality or more nutritious.”</p> <p>Although there’s no single set of requirements for products claiming to be natural, such labels are still supposed to be accurate. If, for example, meat is claimed to be natural because the animal was not fed antibiotics or hormones, the label should say that and it should be true. Farmers or food companies that use the ‘natural’ label are not subject to inspections as a condition of using the label. You just have to take their word for it.</p> <p><strong>Be wary of serving size</strong></p> <p>Many ‘Nutrition Facts’ labels are designed to make you think you’re getting fewer kilojoules than you really are. For example, labels list the nutrients on a per-serving basis. But be sure to check the ‘serving size’ and ‘serving per container’ lines.  The chocolate bar that most people would eat all by themselves in a single sitting may say that it contains two servings. If you saw “420 kilojoules” on the label, you must make a mental adjustment – you’re actually eating two servings, so you’re getting 840 kilojoules.</p> <p><strong>Use pocket calculator to compare items</strong></p> <p>A calculator is the best tool for helping you figure out what the food industry doesn’t want you to know – the actual value of the nutrients in the food you’re buying. For example, say you’re trying to find out which breakfast cereal is more nutritious, <em>MultiGrain Cheerios</em> or  <em>Mini-Wheats</em> (the original version). The Cheerios serving size is listed as one cup, but the Mini-Wheats serving is 25 biscuits. You can’t really open the box in the store to see how that stacks up against the one cup, so the only way to compare unit to unit is to use grams, which are listed on both packages. The 59-gram Mini-Wheats serving is almost twice the size of the 29-gram Cheerios, so you have to cut in half the nutrients listed on the Mini-Wheats label. Gram for gram, they have similar kilojoules, fibre, carbs, protein, and fat content.</p> <p><strong>Get the ‘whole’ story</strong></p> <p>Marketers know that nutrition-conscious shoppers are interested in whole grains these days. Don’t be deceived into buying a product that’s labelled ‘wheat bread,’ however. What you really want is ‘whole wheat’ or ‘whole grain’ bread. “Any bread made with wheat-based flour is considered to be wheat bread,” says Bannan. “The difference is that whole wheat flour is made by grinding together the entire wheat grain, made up of the bran, germ, and endosperm. Refined wheat flour grinds only the endosperm part of the grain, eliminating the fibre-rich bran, and micronutrient-rich germ.” Look for bread that lists ‘whole wheat’ or ‘whole grain’ as the first ingredient.</p> <p><strong>Don’t confuse cereal hype with facts</strong></p> <p>If you want a healthy breakfast cereal – not just one that just claims to be – ignore the large-type claims on the package and go right to the labels. Look for a brief list of ingredients with ideally a whole grain as the first ingredient, advises Nestle. Sugar should be near the bottom (or absent altogether – you can always add sugar yourself if necessary.) Then look at the per-serving nutrients on the nutrition label. Look for a cereal with a lot of fibre in each serving. Highly sweetened cereals, when fed regularly to young children, condition their taste for sugar at an early age, forming habits that are hard to break. Nestle says that most breakfast cereals are now processed and sugared to such a degree that “they might as well be cookies – low-fat cookies.”</p> <p><strong>Don’t get soaked for watery foods</strong></p> <p>Water is the magic ingredient in prepared foods, and if it’s first on the list of ingredients, that’s a clue that there’s a long list of additives to follow to give that water some taste and texture. You might not be surprised to see water at the top of the list of ingredients in soups. After all, soup does take a lot of water. Many salad dressings contain more water than anything else, and since oil and water don’t mix, it takes a bunch of additives to hold everything together. Water is cheap, so the food industry likes it.</p> <p><strong>Scan the can for MSG</strong></p> <p>MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a synthetic version of the flavour known as umami (the taste was named by a Japanese scientist). The flavour occurs naturally in some foods, including Parmesan cheese, soy sauce and mushrooms, and it’s a prominent part of Asian cooking. MSG went out of favour when it became associated with headaches and other unpleasant symptoms but the food industry still sneaks it in as a flavour enhancer. How to find it? Check out the ingredient list on the labels of prepared foods – on soups, for example. Keep reading, because it’s pretty far down on a long list (although if there is no MSG, that’s usually prominently mentioned at the top).</p> <p>MSG is sometimes listed under its own name but often under other names, among them “hydrolysed soy protein, autolysed yeast, and sodium caseinate, but these are not interchangeable names for MSG,” says Bannan.</p> <p>The latest research, however, suggests that there are benefits of MSG if individuals don’t have side effects from it. According to a study in <em>Neuropsychopharmacology</em>, for example, researchers evaluated changes in the brains of women after they consumed chicken broth with or without MSG. They found that added MSG lit up areas of the brain connected to satisfaction and better eating control.</p> <p>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/10-secrets-for-shopping-healthier-at-the-grocery-store?pages=1">Readers Digest</a>.</p>

Food & Wine

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What is THAT doing here? ALDI shopper's intriguing find

<p>An ALDI shopper spotted something very out of place while doing her weekly grocery run.</p> <p>Taking to Facebook to share a photo of the "interesting" find, the woman explained she was shopping at ALDI when she came across the item.</p> <p>The item in question was a pack of Woolworths-brand Cocktail Frankfurts - the woman even circled the Woolies logo.</p> <p>"That's not the packaging I get from ALDI," one person said in the comments.</p> <p>Another person agreed it was "bizarre" seeing a competitor's brand in ALDI and asked if the woman was able to scan them.</p> <p>She said no, the Woolies brand Frankfurts were behind an ALDI variety, she didn't try scanning the Woolies Franks.</p> <p><img style="width: 452.52679938744257px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7840534/screen-shot-2021-03-31-at-30918-pm.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a2ab9cd4e88b4b42ac47ca8bdbc9ddd2" /></p> <p>The comments were soon inundated by people questioning how the Woolies Frankfurts ended up in ALDI.</p> <p>Someone suggested it may have been left there as a prank, while others said it's possible someone purchased them from Woolworths and somehow left them at ALDI.</p> <p>"Maybe someone went to Woolies first and did a shop there, dropped that from their bag?" someone suggested.</p> <p>However, people on Facebook posed other theories, suggesting the mix-up could have happened somewhere along the supply chain.</p> <p>"Some food is from the same factories, they package for other companies," one person said.</p> <p>"Occasionally they do get sent the wrong labelling."</p> <p>Others suggested someone packed the Woolies Franks in the wrong box.</p> <p>Both Aldi and Woolworths declined to comment.</p>

Food & Wine

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Coles makes huge home delivery announcement

<p>Coles is bringing a whole new level of service to online shopping with Coles Plus, a new subscription-based service aimed at rewarding its members.</p> <p>The service, which costs $19 a month, allows shoppers access to special benefits on liquor, home delivery and unlimited access to the supermarket giant's latest venture Click&amp;Collect Rapid.</p> <p>Click&amp;Collect Rapid allows customers to order up to 40 products with a minimum spend of $30, and pay a flat fee for $5 for it to be collected, packed and ready for collection 90 minutes later.</p> <p>Coles says the service is "unlike anything currently available in Australia".</p> <p>However, Woolworths offers a similar service called Delivery Unlimited, which has been running since 2019.</p> <p>Coles Chief Executive eCommerce Ben Hassing said Coles Online was building from 20 years’ experience to deliver a seamless customer experience and elevate the shopping experience for Coles Plus members.</p> <p><strong>What is Coles Plus?</strong></p> <p>“We know customers love the convenience of Coles Online, but they want more. Coles Plus is the latest way we are rewarding the loyalty of our digitally-engaged customers, ensuring Coles leads anytime, anywhere, anyhow shopping,” he said.</p> <p>“We continue to see significant growth in demand for online grocery shopping and we are investing in customer experience and capacity, which is having a positive impact on customer satisfaction.</p> <p>“Feedback from Australian families already using Coles Plus has been overwhelmingly encouraging and we are planning on adding more exciting updates in the future.”</p>

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