Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sydney Restaurants And Risky Behaviour

A Sydney fish market stored its crabs in a toilet cubicle...SMH

We have pointed out the risky nature of eating at restaurants and suggested improvements.
A coackroach in a meal in one of Manly's 'better restaurants' put an abrupt end to 'eating out'. These unsanitary and unprofessional practices are not the exception in Sydney.

"The past 12 months has seen a number of disturbing breaches on the name and shame list, including cockroaches, rats, a band-aid, a cigarette butt and now this case." SMH "The Food Authority... has issued 1,000 fines the past 12 months against 594 businesses." ABC.
A small fine and it is back to 'business as usual'.

Food Authority NSW

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fruit & Vegetables and Persistent Organic Pollutants in Australia

Eat only organic fruit and vegetables

"The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an international environmental treaty that aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) ." Wikipedia

In Geneva 150 governments have met to advance global efforts to rid the world of some of the most hazardous chemicals produced by humankind, such as pesticides, flame retardants. The list includes "Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane; Beta hexachlorocyclohexane; Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether; Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether; Chlordecone; Hexabromobiphenyl; Lindane; Pentachlorobenzene; Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride." UNEP

"According to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority website, Lindane is still registered for use in Queensland, and is used for the prevention of white grubs and symphylids in pineapples." abc

"Australia refuses to join ban on pesticide". Endosulfan is used "...on a variety of crops, including tomatoes, carrots, beans, sweetcorn, peas, cereals, oilseeds, citrus fruit and cotton.This stance has placed Australia in the minority of major economies still using the pesticide, along with the United States, Brazil and India" SMH
Australia might be 'forced' to stop using poisons on food."Endosulfan has been linked to breast cancer, immunosuppression and birth defects, and was recently implicated in the discovery of millions of two-headed fish larvae in a Noosa River hatchery...It is still permitted for use on a wide range of citrus fruit, vegetables and cereals, despite a global trend of banning endosulfan outright." SMH 251009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mushrooms - Saffron Milk Cup & Slippery Jack

Found two unusual mushrooms at the Manly Farmers Market. Both seem to be naturalised in Australia, especially in Pinus radiata plantations.

The one on the left is Slippery Jack (Suillus luteus) and the one on the right Saffron Milk Cup (Lactarius deliciosus).

With the Saffron Milk Cup, remove the stems, wash and cut. Fry in olive oil.
Nami-nami has a' Wild Mushroom & Potato Gratin' for their "bountiful" harvest.

The Slippery! Jack: Peel, wash, check for grubs/worms. Be aware that some people are allergic to them or dispute that they are edible at all. Cut and fry in butter if there weren't too many bugs that turned you off.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Slow Coffee

The dictatorship of speed requires ubiquitous instantaneity. The cup of coffee has to be ready in no time in the home, work-space or 'on the run'. Machines sell this handy illusion. By now there must be mountains of junkspace from electric coffee machines consisting mainly of plastics.
Ever larger machines developed for the service industry and the home market. The person handling and maintaining the automat became the barista. The problem with all machines of production is that they are supposed to 'make money' and some coffee on the side and not be a cost-factor. Unserviced machines, temps instead of an trained barista, chemical residues or rancid milk make for an awful cup. The grinding and treatment of the oily coffee beans, as well as the daily clean also contribute the the aroma of the "beans". Power uncertainty and the need for an array of (cleaning) products put the user in a position of dependence. It is also a good idea to refrain from all plastic parts in any coffee equipment or beverage cups.

If one has time to drink - then one probably has the time to let it drip through. So I propose that a porcelain filter with unbleached filter papers is the most mobile, space-saving and sustainable method. Simply use your hands to pour the boiling water slowly on the gound coffee to release the flavour. A preheated coffee pot helps. Rewash porcelain filter and feed paper filter and coffee ground to the worms in the compost. They love speed and a junk-free world.

On roasting & different methods to make coffee

Image: Hans Baluschek, 1895, Kaffeklatsch, via Zeno

How coffee could help against neurodegenerative diseases in a world of ubiquitous pesticides