vote mal eat pal oct 2017

The Dinners That Shaped History

The bombast of the title aside, three vignettes that made me wonder what an Australian list might look like.

Mintel reveals 5 global food & drink trends for 2018

‘Texture is the next facet of food and drink manufacturing that is being leveraged to consumers in 2018, according to Mintel. Opportunities will be created for the sharing of food experiences, particularly in the online space. The multi-sensory food and drink experience that texture provides is especially appealing to younger generations, according to the report.’

Okay, what on earth can this mean. Are we going to lick our monitors?

Food waste in Australia totals nearly $10 billion each year, Rabodirect report

‘The report reveals the habits which are contributing to food waste in Australia, including never eating food past its ‘best before’ date and not eating leftovers.’

Health panics and those who generate them and profit from them have a lot to answer for.

CSIRO comes up with innovative way to reduce food waste

‘The CSIRO has been able to develop a process for stabilising the pulp so that it does not degrade and retains its flavour and nutritional value. It is believed that this process can be applied to other fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, peaches and grapes. The stabilised apple pulp can be turned into paste, powder or pellets and used as a component for many different foodlike products.’

I am all for finding ways to recycle what is not but is considered to be waste, so I look forward to eating my apple pellet a day to keep the doctor away. But if we don’t also do something at the harvesting end and on sell to supplier’s parts of the chain we are still way short of making big inroads into reducing waste.

This Is What You Eat When Everyone Is Struggling For Food

‘There’s poverty. Then there’s life in Niger, where insurgencies inside and outside its borders are forcing people to forage for food to make up for what international aid can’t cover.’

This is a superb photo/text essay – I don’t need to editorialise it it speaks for itself.

Where the peppers grow

‘While Sichuan pepper could still be sourced in the U.S. if you had connections or luck, the Sichuan restaurateurs the Times talked to were worried, and with good reason. “The Economics of Agricultural and Wildlife Smuggling,” a 2009 USDA report published after the ban looked at smuggling to the U.S. from 2002 to 2006. It found that China was by far the worst offender for plant products as measured by interdictions, or confiscations (which were larger and more easily tracked than import refusals), and that Sichuan pepper was by far the most-confiscated product: 338 interdictions, weighing 801,332 pounds and valued at $1.2 million. Even including interdictions from other Asian countries and Mexico, Sichuan pepper topped the list as the most-confiscated agricultural product during that period.’

But this is not a story about smuggling. It is a story about how a little more research at the time could have prevented a ban and subsequent regulations for the reintroduction of a product at the core of an expatriate cuisine. Holliday doesn’t ask it, but the question for me is why was a fundamental error made; carelessness or care lessness.

Does anyone know whether the same ban applied in Australia?

The Secret History of Paris’s Catacomb Mushrooms

‘Parisians found uses for the quarries long after miners winched the last block of stone up through the deep wells. In the late 1700s, after several cave-ins at the Holy Innocents Cemetery, city officials disinterred what was left of the remains and transferred the bones to these underground tunnels. This set the stage for the ossuaries of the Catacombs of Paris, which now hold the remains of more than six million people, including prominent French revolutionaries. Two centuries later, the French Resistance used the abandoned quarries to organize the Liberation of Paris far from Nazi eyes. One lesser known use? The cultivation of a unique species of mushroom.’

I came across this story on the eve of the Day of the Dead, a.k.a. All Souls Day, November 2. Felicitousness or oogie-boogieness I leave you to decide.

Fresh Food Precinct in Western Sydney is a must, KPMG report

‘New technology would underpin the precinct, with the use of blockchain and robotics enhancing food safety and quality processes. Blockchain provides a platform for food assurance, serving as an archive for data that demonstrates where, how and when food was produced, processed and distributed. It improves the traceability and transparency of food. KPMG Partner Robert Poole said the development of the Western Sydney Airport provides an opportunity for a food precinct to exploit lucrative overseas fresh food markets via air freight.’

But does this mean anything is actually going to grown there?

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