Diggings 5 March 2019

golding banking inquiry jan 2019

Followers of Diggings will know I consider Matt Golding to be one of our best political cartoonists particularly for his use of Australian food – as in this one on the Royal Commission inot the banking industry.

The trouble with fake meat

Jenny Rosborough is a registered nutritionist who worries that vegan “meats” are perceived as automatically being healthier. Rosborough points out that meat-free burgers contain on average even more salt than meat burgers: 0.89g per serving as against 0.75g. Rosborough also notes that when switching to these products you also need to consider what nutrients might then be missing from your diet, such as iron and B vitamins. “A vegan hotdog is probably no better for you than a meat one,” says Renee McGregor, a registered dietitian who works with athletes and is the author of Training Food. As a vegetarian, McGregor sometimes uses tofu sausages but feels they do not deserve the “health halo effect” they sometimes get, just on account of being vegan. “The key thing is that any food that has been highly processed should be eaten mindfully – so not necessarily avoided completely, but I wouldn’t recommend a vegan sausage weekly due to the high salt content and most likely list of additives and preservatives,” says McGregor.

Readers of Compost will know that my basic line is fake meat is stooped. Sure, make whatever you like out of whatever you like, but don’t call it meat, fake or otherwise. Find some new names and do the marketing pitch for them as such. Pretend meat is kinda like pretend vegan to me.


And also…

Meat in a dish could be bad for the planet

New Scientist 2 Feb 2019 p6

 Lab-grown meat may be worse for the environment that farming cattle in the long run.

 John Lynch and Raymond Pierrehumbert at the University of Oxford compared the emissions from cattle-farming and lab-grown meat and modelled their climate impact over 1000 years.

 Livestock farming produces about 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but lab-grown meat could have a bigger impact, thanks to high energy requirements, which would mean high carbon dioxide emissions.

 While methane gas has a greater warming effect than C02, it remains in the atmosphere for only 12 years, whereas CO2 accumulates over millennia. If meat consumption declined, the warming effects of methane from cattle farming would decrease while the effect of CO2 from lab-grown meat would persist.

How Racism Has Shaped the American Farming Landscape

One exceptional moment occurred in the decades after the Civil War, when freed slaves and their descendants accumulated 19 million acres of land. In 1910, 14 percent of all farm owner-operators were Black or African Americans. By 2012, however, they comprised only 1.5 percent. The causes of that decline, and today’s disparities, are rooted in the structural racism that has been part and parcel of the development of modern U.S. agriculture. Not only were Native Americans often violently removed from their homelands (which were further segmented by federal laws), but a series of federal Homestead Acts gave mainly white male settlers and corporations hugely subsidized land.

So much in this resonates with structural racism in agriculture and pastoralism in Australia.

indue cashless card food jan 2019

Lamb ads and purposeful marketing

Partly intentionally and partly through the force of circumstance, the promoters of lamb have entered the arena of purposeful marketing, albeit covertly. Their stated purpose is unity, but the unstated message is that unity is not possible while we celebrate Australia Day when we do.

They don’t always get it right, and this year’s is a little long for my liking, but they are the only ads taking the discussion about celebration v invasion/survival seriously, so good on em.


Cultural burning to return to Victoria after 170 years in the hope of revitalising the land

DDWCAC director Trent Nelson said bringing back Indigenous cultural burnings will not only help reconnect Indigenous people to their history, but also assist in maintaining the land for future generations. “For Dja Dja Wurrung people it’s about having our right to bring back our practices that our ancestors did many years ago,” he said.

Looking forward to seeing the results from this and the Bega project on cultural burning.


Is This the Death Rattle of Mail-Order Meal Kits? 

‘But the real problem with meal kit companies’ business models, Cohen argued, is that the kits serve as “training wheels” of sorts for newbie cooks; once subscribers grow more confident in their abilities to sauté and figure out which ingredients complement one another, they inevitably cancel. Discussions in the r/BlueApron Reddit forum seem to support that theory: “I think of it more as a cooking lesson, and save the recipe cards,” one user wrote. Another former subscriber who cancelled after a few months said, “What it taught me was that I needed to spend an hour or so a week meal planning and looking for fun recipes, and I needed to set aside an hour to shop. I did really enjoy learning to cook new things.”

 …or they could as easily do what so many of us, myself included to, and go online and find recipes for practically anything, and just skip the middle bit of paying for package wasting expensive service.


Perth council cuts red tape to allow residents to plant fruit and veg in public parks

Spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Chris Cornish, he said he believed it was the first initiative of its kind in Australia. “In essence we have created some very simple guidelines that allow residents to nominate a smallish section of their local park and plant some edible plants, whether that be a tree or something similar,” Mr Cornish said. “If someone sees a suitable location where they’d like to plant a macadamia tree or something, they just have to phone or email the city, state what they want to do and where they want to do it.

A truly good news story to end this edition of Compost.


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