Forget turkey and mince pies. This Christmas Australians are being urged to serve native foods such as smoked kangaroo with wild lime and brandy sauce and wattle seed pavlova. \nDespite an abundance of unique fruits, nuts, and meat that have sustained the country's Aboriginal inhabitants for centuries, Australians are only now embracing native food, with some supermarkets starting to stock indigenous produce this year. \nThis step into the mainstream has inspired campaigners who have struggled to get indigenous foods onto the nation's dining tables and destroy the image of native food as simply juicy fat witchetty grubs, protein-rich bogong moths, and honey ants. \n"For 200 years of white settlement there's been resistance and ignorance about indigenous foods and it's only in the past year the market has started to take off," said Juleigh Robins, founder of native food group Robins Australian Foods. \n"But it is so logical to use indigenous food, with foreign crops and livestock contributing to severe land degradation problems. I think in the next year or so we'll see a major increase in the use of native foods in Australia and overseas." \nWhen the British first colonized Australia in 1788, the ill-prepared settlers didn't know where to find food and overlooked the fact that the continent's indigenous Aborigines had successfully lived off the land for up to 60,000 years. \nThe British arrivals didn't identify the millions of wild kangaroos or emus as edible protein, preferring to eradicate them and instead raise cattle and sheep with which they were familiar. They also shunned native plants, which were rich food sources, and converted the land to European agriculture to raise cattle and plant traditional orchards for European-style fruits. \nOld habits die hard and until the 1950s Australian cooking was synonymous with British food. But gradually the influence of Asian migrants spread to Australian kitchens, with a Chinese restaurant becoming a standard fixture in every country town. \nBut bush tucker is still regarded as eccentric and niche, with the industry only worth about A$17 million (US$13 million) a year. Tourists are often keener to try unique Australian fare while the locals still opt for beef rather than kangaroo. \nGrowing interest from the five million overseas visitors to Australia every year has spurred some restaurants to focus exclusively on native foods, using such ingredients as bush tomatoes, lemon aspen (a citrus-flavored leaf), and lemon myrtle (a small fruit) on emu, crocodile and stingray. \nThis has generated a new respect for native foods within Australia, where Aboriginal art was also largely shunned until it earned international accolades. \nSome supermarkets in Britain and Germany have started to stock sauces and pickles made from indigenous foods. They are marketed as healthy, organic and environmentally friendly, and distributors from France and Ireland are also entering the market. \nAware of the market's potential, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corp has set up a five-year plan to develop the native food industry which now involves about 500 mainly small businesses, from harvesters to restaurants. \n"There is significant interest from export markets in Europe and North America. This interest is fostered by the success overseas of Australian wines, meats and seafood," the group, funded by the government, said in a recent report.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: The publisher’s ‘Apple Daily’ newspaper has had to raise the number of copies printed from 70,000 to 550,000 to meet a huge surge in demand They have occupied Hong Kong’s central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the territory’s streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are now wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai (黎智英), the publisher and outspoken government critic who was on Monday arrested under the territory’s new national security legislation, Hong Kongers have been piling into shares of his media company Next Digital. The result: a more than 1,100 percent surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year