The week that was (30 July 2015)


- If you have an interest in Australian produce, please think about getting behind the plight of David Blackmore. Quite likely the most innovative Wagyu farmer in Australia, David and Julie have worked tirelessly to change the way we farm Wagyu (theirs is one of very few free-ranging Wagyu farms achieving such a high marble score, using supplement ration feeding but allowing the cows a life on grass, not in pens). This month David's request for an intensive farming application was denied, despite recommendations from his local planning department to the contrary. Apparently it is Alexandra's hobby farmers who don't like the machinery. His world class product speaks for itself, but more than that the changes he has made to the free-ranging nature of his herd are amazing. This is the kind of "intensive farming" we should be encouraging. Sign the petition. Please.  
- I have also spent the week pondering the demise of the cookbook. I mentioned last week that Penguinwere closing their cookbook arm and Julie Gibbs is departing alongside it. Good cookbooks are not just a pic and a method, they are indicative of a country’s culinary culture. The experts that make this happen are fundamental to that (not just the writers but the editors, the academics, the visionaries who will take a leap of fate). Serious cookbooks like Stephanie’s Cook's Companion are fundamental to encouraging a better food culture. We need to do more talking up to people and less dumbing down. I fear this move will result in more of the latter and less of the former.