Diggings 28 June 2020


How blending teas helped a young Indigenous woman connect to her culture

“I’d made a lemon myrtle and ginger tea, and Sharlee started thinking a little bit more deeply that you can get lemon myrtle tea anywhere. So Sharlee thought maybe strawberry gum might be an interesting addition. “So we popped some strawberry gum in and it made all the difference.”


 Endangered Australian fish being sold in shops and restaurants

Scalloped hammerheads are critically endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red list. In Australia they are fished both for their fins, which are sold into export markets, and meat. They are also often caught as bycatch in multi-species fishing operations. Much of this fishing occurs off northern and north-east Australia, including inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Under the laws governing the marine park, even a species listed as conservation dependent is automatically protected from commercial exploitation. But in 2018 the then environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, amended reef regulations to allow for the catch of scalloped hammerheads within the world heritage area


Cheap sushi and bountiful cheese: what stands out about eating in Australia

I am content for vastly different reasons: the affordability of good-quality red meat. In my first year in Australia, I ate copious amounts of frozen lamb or beef meatballs in tomato sauce. I then took it as a challenge to make each component of that meal myself. Now I have it down to a reasonable standard. I top it with couscous even when people tell me it tastes better with pasta. It took a few years, but I finally have a scrappy fusion dish to call my own.


 Ban on toxic mercury looms in sugar cane farming, but Australia still has a way to go

The use of mercury-based pesticide has also created a high risk of exposure for sugar cane workers. At most risk are those not familiar with safety procedures for handling toxic materials, and who may have been poorly supervised. This risk has been exacerbated by the use itinerant workers, particularly those from a non-English speaking background.


Stayin’ alive’: Spending returning to normal after months of turmoil

The tracker developed by credit bureau illion and consultancy AlphaBeta, a part of Accenture, shows purchases at cafes have recovered rapidly to be 4 per cent below normal in the week to June 14. Restaurant purchases were 20 per cent higher than usual owing mainly to strong demand for food delivery.


Woolworths to cut 1,350 jobs and admits it owes at least $90m more to underpaid workers

Unions have slammed Woolworths as “heartless” for deciding to replace 1,350 warehouse workers with robots after employees put in extra effort to see the supermarket giant through the coronavirus crisis. The company on Tuesday revealed plans to cut 1,350 warehouse jobs at the same time as admitting to a blowout of at least $90m in the cost of backpay for other workers it has underpaid.


The Pandemic Shows Us The Genius of Supermarkets

How did we take something built to satisfy the simplest human need and make it so utterly baroque? The supermarket does not “curate.” It is a defiantly encyclopedic catalog of our needs and desires, each and every one of which it attempts to satisfy. With nothing but a can opener, you can get a “turkey dinner in gravy,” “chicken shrimp and crab stew,” “saucy seafood bake,” “chicken and turkey casserole,” “prime filets with salmon and beef,” “bisque with tuna and chicken,” “ocean whitefish dinner with garden greens in sauce,” or a “natural flaked skipjack tuna entrée in a delicate broth.” And that’s just in the cat-food aisle.


Raúl Mondragón (left) and Pedro Capultitla (right) covering a chinampa in dried grass for mulch. COURTESY OF COLECTIVO AHUEJOTE

In Mexico City, the Coronavirus Is Bringing Back Aztec-Era ‘Floating Gardens’

At a time when people are worried about the risk of shopping at a crowded market or grocery store, buying directly from a chinampero at an outdoor pick-up point in their neighborhood is one way of limiting exposure. Quarantine has also given many Mexicans more time to cook, Mondragón points out, and they are taking a greater interest in where their food comes from.


Inside Ethiopia’s Endangered Wild-Coffee Forests

Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. In 2000 it had 66 million people; today there are 115 million. With such growth comes the need for more farmland and the continual threat of deforestation. In the early-20th century, forests covered about 35 percent of the country. Today it is around 4 percent. For decades, deforestation looked ready to claim the coffee forests, along with the genetic diversity they safeguarded. While scientists are preserving wild varieties of other important crops in seed banks and gene reserves, coffee seeds do not store well using such conventional methods. The best place to safeguard their genetic resources is in their original home.


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