Diggings 26 April 2020

I’ve been scanning the covers of my collection of Australian cook books and this one takes my fancy.

No more smashed avo: Australian shoppers  turn to cheaper, ‘long-lasting’ fruit and veg  options during lockdown

Looking across the store, it is clear that Australians are gravitating toward products that can last weeks, not days. In the four weeks to March 22, frozen fruit recorded an all-time high for volume growth (+39.3%), while canned fruit sales also jumped by 73.9%. Given that the average price of fruit was 7.9% higher than the same time year ago, budgetary constraints may have influenced stronger frozen and canned fruit sales as well. The same pattern could be 


Mannish Water. Photo:allabouthelen

 A Guide to the World’s Most Comforting Foods of Grief

 While we can’t congregate, we can still cook. Around the world, mourners express empathy and self-care through food. From “feeding” the dead with fried dough in Kyrgyzstan to the sweet solace of Amish funeral pie, we use food to process our own grief and to acknowledge the grief of others. Many of these traditions involve the community stepping in to feed those in mourning.

I’m for several of these, especially the Mannish Water, being an offalphile. I will pass on the Amish Funeral Pie – oh, all right, just the thinnest slice then.


 More protein and good for the planet: 9 reasons we should be eating microalgae

‘As the climate warms, the land we use for growing energy-intensive crops such as wheat and corn is becoming less productive. We need to find ways to feed the earth’s growing population that isn’t so burdensome on the environment.

One potential solution is to cultivate microalgae – microscopic aquatic organisms that are packed with nutrients. Microalgae are single-celled organisms that look like tiny pills and taste a bit like grass.’

How NOT TO sell a product.


A number of these turned out to be fish bones and eel vertebrae. ZILHÃO ET AL. 2020

Holed Up in a Portuguese Cave, Neanderthals Supped on Seafood

Clam. Crabs. Seabirds. Seals. Perhaps dolphins. Certainly sharks. All were par for the course for the Neanderthals of what is now coastal Portugal, as researchers discovered during a dig that stretched from 2010 to 2013.

I am enjoying the new story emerging of the Neanderthals and the Denisovans. I recently read that a small piece of fibre was found stuck to a stone tool at a Neanderthal site that has proven to be the earliest evidence of thin fibre string.


‘Extinct’ Apple Varieties Are Actually Everywhere

This week, the Temperate Orchard Conservancy (TOC), in partnership with the nonprofit Lost Apple Project, announced that 10 apple varieties previously thought extinct are, in fact, alive and crisp as ever. It was the richest season ever for the Lost Apple Project, which “seeks to identify and preserve heritage apple trees and orchards in the Inland Northwest,” according to the project’s Facebook page.

Mihalyfi apples : Photo by Joanie Cooper/ Courtesy of Temperate Orchard Conservancy


Time for a New Narrative on Climate Disasters: Lessons from Australia’s Bushfires

 Food First’s Lessons from Australia’s Bushfires blog series will elevate the voices, insights and knowledge of Australian farmers and Traditional Owners who inhabit the landscape and are on the frontlines of climate change. They offer complimentary, but differing perspectives on agriculture, nature, and society that are grounded in lived experience and grassroots, community-led solutions. It is the collective experiences, voices, and defined action of people from impacted communities, in Australia and across the globe, that will help shape the vision for long-lasting, impactful, and transformative change.

I’ll be following closely posts from this series and will repost thme in Diggings.


In brief

Wine legs – New Scientist 4 April 2020 reports that modelling to determine the factors that cause wine legs when it is swirled indicate that they are caused by a mini shock-wave interrupting the ring of fluid that sticks to the glass.



%d bloggers like this: