Wednesday, December 21, 2016

To end the year on some good - nay - great news - the Australian National Dictionary Centre's word(s) of the year is democracy sausage - yep, the one you have on election day at the polling station.

And in dumb arse news,  Geoff Roberts, the economic commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission and others of his ilk have drawn a 'latte line' across Sydney...the class war lives, comrades. 

Traditions revived as kids take to the bay

Yuin Nation fishermen (sic) have resumed teaching their community's kids in Yarra Bay traditional fishing techniques, reports the SMH 17 December 2016.  There has reportedly been a hiatus of 3o odd years in the practice, and it's now become possible as Indigenous fishermen (sic) were given back the right to resume fishing for mullet and other special occasions (sic) in March this year. 

SA foundation gets $1.25m grant to expand native foods industry

"Adelaide chef and restaurateur Jock Zonfrillo's Orana Foundation will receive $1.25 million from the State Government to foster the research, cultivation and production of native foods."

Congrats to Jock and all at the Orana Foundation

Hipsters’ insatiable appetite for superfoods is starving India’s ancient indigenous people

“The downside of turning quinoa, teff, and acai berries, all from the Amazon forest, or even moringa (drumstick), into new superfoods is that urban consumers start to compete with indigenous peoples for food resources. Through our demand for superfoods, we are pushing indigenous populations into switching to cheaper, less nutritious, and less flavourful imported staple, such as maize, rice and wheat....

Indigenous peoples have collectively managed forests for years but without legal recognition of their rights to the land and its produce, they increasingly face restrictions when it comes to foraging for food. This has put them at high risk for malnutrition and hunger, diminishing their food security and nutrition heritage.”

The article doesn’t discuss solutions but it did ask for comment so I took the opportunity to send them the link to the article above on the Orana Foundation project. It seems to me that building partnerships that can support continuing access by Indigenous populations to historically (I don’t want to use ‘traditionally’) foraged significant sources of food that can also engage Indigenous peoples in  production for market and so provide a hopefully longer term sustainable income are a great way forward for food justice in these situations.

Space salad days

New Scientist  10 December, 2016 reports: " NASA astronauts on the International Space Station have reaped their first harvest: red romaine lettuces.  They first ate space lettuce in August 2015, but that was just a taste. On 2 december, they cut enough for a whole salad. The plants grow in a microgravity farm system called Veggie, installed in 2014.'

But nothing said about what it tasted like, disappointingly.

Meat and potato pie 'sent into space' from Wigan

And in  other space news - 

"The pioneering delicacy was launched from Roby Mill, Wigan, at about 11:30 GMT ahead of the World Pie Eating Championship next week.
The aim is to see if its journey up to 100,000ft (30km) changes the molecular structure of the pie making it quicker to eat.
It is believed this is the first pie to be launched into the stratosphere."
But again I ask - what will it taste like :(

The futuristic utensils designed to help you eat bugs

'By now, you’ve probably heard that eating bugs is in your future. Insects are protein-rich and efficient to farm, and the UN has predicted we’ll largely be surviving off of beetle bites and caterpillar consommé by 2050. Chefs are already whipping up recipes for curried grasshoppers, buffalo worm nuggets, and chocolate mealworm spread—although, of course, the easiest way of tucking in to these delicacies is just eating the insects whole. So what’s stopping you?
Maybe your tongue has a few questions. But if it’s merely the lack of an appropriate utensil that is holding you back, designer Wataru Kobayashi has you covered. In his new project, BUGBUG, Kobayashi introduces a set of cutlery that’ll have you gleefully crunching exoskeletons, scooping scorpions, and sinking your teeth into a different style of wing.'
Unfortunately they can't be bought yet so I will still have to use my fingers on my upcoming entomophagic trip to Cambodia in Feb 2016

How to make spaghetti bolognese on Future Tense

I really like this approach to discussing the impact of climate change on foodways.

The surprising botany of ice cream

'As food historian Mary Işin mentions in her book on Turkish sweets, the history of salep in ice cream making was never documented, so we have only speculation and legend to turn to. Regrettably, the future of salep-yielding orchids is both less uncertain and more disturbing: increasing demand and unsustainable harvesting practices have endangered wild orchid populations. Over 40 million orchids are estimated to be annually harvested and ground to salep only in Turkey. The numbers are far from palatable."

No wonder my home efforts are less than fabulousness incarnate - carob flour, eh. 
Thanks to Barbara Sweeney for putting me onto Georgina Reid and The Planthunter from which this article comes via this year's Food and Words event. 

Paleo diet was a veggie feast with a side of meat

"Today's Paleo diet cookbooks might be missing a few pages. It seems out early ancestors were more adventurous with their plant foods than we might expect, with roasted acorns, sedges and water lily seeds on the menu, along with fish and meat."

Yes, in another blow to Pete Evans and his ilk Homo erectus guys and gals living at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov back in 780,000 ate no less than 55 kinds of plant, even if some of their choices may no longer be on the middle astern menu  according to this article in New Scientist 10 Dec 2016.

I have the article scanned for those who may be interested.

The Business of Eating: Entrepreneurship and Cultural Politics - Call for Papers 

"The sale of food is simultaneously the world’s biggest business and a site of innumerable micro-level transactions in which itinerant street vendors compete, albeit on an unequal basis, with transnational giants like McDonald’s and Walmart. This special issue will further our understanding of these complex markets by encouraging conversations across disciplinary and national boundaries between scholars of management, social sciences and humanities in the global North and South. We seek a robust understanding of the possibilities and restraints on culinary entrepreneurship. We build on the concept of “culinary infrastructure” to highlight linkages between the material nature of food systems and production, on the one hand, and the symbolic and social realm of culinary cultures. We encourage theoretical and empirical studies that illuminate the myriad networks connecting high and low cuisine."

And to end on a festive note

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