The feral flying under the radar: why we need to rethink European honeybees
Feral honeybees have successfully invaded most land-based ecosystems across Australia, including woodlands, rainforests, mangrove-salt marsh, alpine and arid ecosystems. They can efficiently harvest large volumes of nectar and pollen from native plants that would otherwise provide food for native animals, including birds, mammals and flower-visiting insects such as native bees. Their foraging activities alter seed production and reduce the genetic diversity of native plants while also pollinating weeds. Unfortunately, feral honeybees are now the most common visitors to many native flowering plants.
Australian ant honey inhibits tough pathogens, new research shows
Danny Ulrich of the Tjupan language group, operator of Goldfields Honey Ant Tours in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, says ‘For our people, honey ants are more than just a food source. Digging for them is a very enjoyable way of life. It’s a way of bringing the family together, to connect with each other and nature.’ There are also reports of traditional use of honeypot ant honey for treating ailments like colds and sore throats, and possibly as a topical ointment to help keep infections at bay, suggesting potential antimicrobial properties.
Prime energy drinks sold in convenience stores, despite exceeding caffeine limit
A dangerously caffeinated drink promoted by YouTube personalities is driving a black market in Sydney after it was banned from sale for not complying with safety standards. Prime Energy, which has twice the permitted caffeine content for a beverage under the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code, is being sold for up to $17 a can in convenience stores and online. The NSW food authority is asking members of the public to report sightings of the drink on store shelves so that it can crack down on illegal sales.
Is this the protein plant of the future? New study finds ‘sweetness gene’ that makes lupins tastier
Lupins are very high in protein and fibre, low in carbs, have a low glycaemic index, and they’re easy to grow in a variety of climates. However, some varieties also contain high levels of unpleasantly bitter alkaloids. In new research, an international team of researchers has for the first time identified the “sweetness gene” responsible for low alkaloid levels. This discovery may make it easier to reliably produce more palatable plants.
Is red meat bad for you? And does it make a difference if it’s a processed burger or a lean steak?
Many dietary guidelines around the world now also recommend limiting red meat consumption for environmental reasons. To optimise both human nutrition and planetary health, the EAT-Lancet commission recommends consuming no more than 98g a week of red meat and very low intakes of processed meat.
Can a Buddhist eat meat? It’s complicated
Buddhism is one of the fastest growing religions in many countries due to migration patterns and the religion’s adaptability and coherence with science, so its stance on animal ethics is important. What this non-violent religion proposes on such issues is especially relevant in our times with many people adopting vegetarian and vegan lifestyles due to the link between meat-eating, industrial farming and climate change. Can or even should a Buddhist eat meat? The answer is complicated and needs to take account of tradition and circumstances. Many practising Buddhist Tibetans in the West have now become vegetarian due to the diversity of foods available. There are even vegetarian momos!
This delicious fruit. Notes on the rosella Hibiscus sabdariffa in Australia
No farm should be without rosellas. They are easily grown, they bear heavily, they make an excellent preserve, and are infinitely preferred to the mulberry for puddings. The fruit also makes a delicious wine.
The Bundaberg Mail and Burnett Advertiser 1911
My first encounter with the rosella was a red tendrilled fruity homunculus dropped into a glass of champagne, turning the champagne red and sweet. I’ve grown a rosella plant and harvested it and made jam from it. But it wasn’t till I came across it while researching chutney in Australia that my interest was piqued enough for me to turn my attention to it.
Spam with your order? DoorDash fined for flooding customers, drivers with promos
“Australians find it incredibly frustrating when they receive marketing messages from businesses like DoorDash after they have taken the time to unsubscribe,” O’Loughlin said. “It is unacceptable that DoorDash’s prospective contractors were sent messages without an unsubscribe facility about a business opportunity that they may not have wished to pursue.”
How to Make Viking Funerary Flatbread
Ah, there’s nothing quite like an aromatic loaf of freshly baked bread, still crackling and steaming from the oven. But for archaeologists, that option—so enticing to normal people—might be a second choice to a fragment of bread that has been incinerated with a human corpse, then entombed for a millennium or two. Perhaps that sounds grim, but it happens to be the recipe for an ideal scenario to preserve the payload of information encoded in a bread-artifact for future excavation and analysis.