The week that was (22 October 2015)

And finally the soap box:

- Spring is about asparagus and broadies and, as I discovered today, Magpie Goose, an indigenous game bird that I know embarrassingly little about. I am sad to say I have never eaten it. Like most indigenous ingredients, there is very little to be read on the web either.

Here's a very basic idea of how it rolls: each year an estimated 2-3 million magpie geese take to the skies in coastal northern Australia. The hunting season typically begins in September and runs for four months. This year licences are restricted to 7 birds per person (dropped from 10 due to drought condition in the last couple of years). Different hunting regulations apply to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people: for example native title holders can hunt on traditional lands, while non-Indigenous hunters are restricted to three reserves around Darwin. Watch Jock Zonfrillo/The Orana Foundation's beautiful vid here. Rumour has it there may be a wholesaler looking to supply a limited number into restaurants too.  

-  Is sugar the new tobacco? Jamie's getting all up in sugar's grill, and has taken his Sugar Rush campaign to David Cameron to pitch a 7p tax on all soft drinks (with a teaspoon sugar count on bottles and a ban on junk food advertising until 9pm for good measure). This week the SMH cover story looked at the same. I am not a fan of demonising a food group, but think this story has merits in regards to spotlighting the hidden sugars added into "low-fat" product, in "wholegrain" cereals etc. The article notes: "... you can endlessly define the world by what it's not. What we should be saying is what it is. My last meal had no plutonium in it either." 

- On the other side of the scale I liked the review of Dan Buettner's Blue Zone in the Oz, a look at the diets of people in regions (the blue zone) who significantly outlive the rest of us. "They include, cheeringly, drinking wine (people in all blue zones “drink wine moderately and regularly”); natural movement, such as walking to work or doing housework; eating mostly plant-based food (what he calls the plant slant) and stopping eating when your stomach is 80 per cent full (blue zones eat their smallest meal by early evening). Blue zones also drink strong coffee ... When it comes to beverages, the blue zone way is to have coffee at breakfast, tea in the afternoon, wine at 5pm and water all day, and never to have fizzy drinks, including diet ones." There's also less meat (next to none), replaced by beans and lentils. I'm not one for diets but I like the sociological/historical perspective in his studies. And I also like a glass of wine.