Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Food Waste Levels Are Horrendous

Some recent data puts food waste in countries such as the US, Canada,  and Australia as around 40%.

Figures are being quoted for the US, but the survey from which they are using the statistics also included some other countries including Australia - it is not just the US.

This is an awful indictment on western society. Especially when the areas of waste are mostly in the home and the restaurant areas.  It is also a waste of an awful lot of the money we have spent on food.

It also  brings into question the use of "use by" and " best by" systems in relation to food that are now slavishly adhered too, rather than being used as a guide.  Is it fear of legal issues or just plain lack of common sense that is the issue?

There is a great article written on the subject and is worth reading and pondering on the  naivety of consumers over these issues.

The link is here:

How many times have you eaten leftovers for lunch or as another quick meal a few evenings later, as well as drunk milk on a date past that on the bottle, or used other products near or past the use by date.  Sure, do not use anything that might be unusable - with a quick smell or appearance check a good guide - and better than a formal printed date.  Many charities use packaged foods that are past the "date" to provide excellent meals to the less well off.

Are we so stupid that we cannot be sensible enough to also be practical in using food, purchased with our money, sensibly.  Treat these dates as a guide - and remember, many supermarkets discount food items getting close to the "use by"date - so a bit of careful shopping can be $$ saving.

There are some ideas in the links shown, so  can you act somewhat wiser?

More details in the full article which also targets the supermarkets.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Picking up Chicks at Erldunda

Erldunda's main tourist attraction just got a whole lot smaller.

The emu pen is one of the first things you notice when you drive into the roadhouse about 220 kilometres south of Alice Springs.
While you may only see one or two emus wandering the fence line, it's now a flurry of activity, since eleven chicks hatched in the last few weeks.
Carer Jan Rolston says the males are proving to be particularly good parents to the chicks that are about 30 centimetres tall with black and white stripes.  "The males had been sitting on the eggs for several months, so it was certainly big news around the place when they all hatched.  "They're certainly very protective especially when the chicks arrive, it's difficult to get close.  "They'll fluff up their chest feathers and have a go at you if they get half a chance."
Ms Rolston says the father emu are protective with good reason.  "To be honest, there have been one or two that have disappeared and we presume that might have been hawks.  But we're feeling quite proud of ourselves that we've got them this far."

So where is Erlunda?

[ most of this was pinched off the NT Country Hour today......but aren't the emu chicks cute?]

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Olympics are Over.

It has been tough for the past two months with the Olympics rapidly following the Tour de France.

Any Aussie wanting to see these events live needed to stay up late at night, and for the Olympics sometimes get up early.

That has now finished and one can revert to a normal sleeping pattern.

There is to be a degree of soul searching over the performance of Australian competitors, as many believe we have not done well.  Lets just congratulate those who mad the standards to compete.  They are pretty tough anyway.

The sailing was terrific, and Australia has at last received some rewards in this area.  The women's match racing was excellent, with the final between Australia and Spain a bit of a gut wrenching event for Australia with the skipper being lost have to go back and get them!!!  So Australia won the silver medal.  But it was quite a good spectacle to watch.

If you have been watching late night European sport.......well..........yes, the Vuelta is coming soon.

Back to some late night TV soon.

Monday, 13 August 2012

It Can be Cold in the NT

It is cool......very cool........very, very cool even, with Darwin recording the lowest ever August temperature overnight of 13.1 C.  This is a great dry season!

Inland a little the temperatures were much lower, around 5C.  That is COLD by our standards.

Now, at around 1000hrs, while the temperature has risen to around 22C the apparent temperature which combines temperature and wind and RH is still around 15C.  And the office is distinctly cool, still. 

The dog is sitting in the sun, enjoying the warm sunshine, and this morning was very quick to find any small area of sunshine in the back yard on the S side of the house, where there is not a lot of sun until a month or so later in the year.

Even yesterday evening it was very cool early, around sunset.  We had a yiros and a drink on the cliff top at Nightcliff and most locals were complaining about how cool it was - and sitting in light jumpers.  We forgot ours and moved home to warm up, soon after eating and the sun had set.

Need to enjoy the cool weather while it is here - come November we will be complaining how hot it is even after the sunset!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Some Gold Medals Have Arrived

Australia has won some gold medals in the last few days, with possibly more to come.  It seems assured of a gold in one of the sailing classes, with maybe a second posible in another class.  That adds to the one in the Laser class won by Slingsby.

And both Sally Pearson [110m hurdles] and Anna Meares [ womens cycling sprint] have won gold medals over night.
There might be more medals to come.  But in mens pole vault.......not so sure as Steve Hooker is not at his best it seems.

But lets not forget that competition is VERY STRONG, with lots of countries now performing much better than a few years back.  Maybe what hurts most is that Australian coaches are plotting at the highest level for the opposition - yes, some of the best coaching talent is helping other countries'athletes to achieve at their best.  BUT.......wait......has not Australia used Chinese diving and gymnastic coaches, European rowing and cycling coaches - with the father of silver medallist Jessica Fox in kayaking from the UK.

It is a two way trade.

I think is that where it matters is that some of these coaches now operating overseas or coaching overseas athletes, at the highest levels and with outstanding success, were spurned by Australian authorities to coach Australians.

Media stories are likely to expand over coming days on this issue, methinks!

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Olympics - Are You Disappointed?

Some great events, some remarkable competitors both winners and just competitors, some crass behaviour often after events, and a few memorable moments.

For me, so far was the silver medal performance of Jessica Fox in the womens single kayak slalom event.  Saw the sem final, where she was ok, but definitely not seen as a medallist would, I think, have been my view. But there she was - a silver medallist. And relatively young for that sport at 18.  Showed a lot of poise and steel - and remember it is the mind that assumes much greater importance at that level.  Well done.

Some drama at the track cycling - with the Brit women's sprint team disqualified, then another DQ in the final, with Australia winning a bronze.  Bradley Wiggins was a deserved mens time trial winner over Tony Martin [ gold in Beijing], but remember Martin had a bad fall in the Tde F with a broken wrist, so that has been a big recovery for him.  Still more track cycling to come with the Meares v Pendelton sprint a big one to watch.

It seems as if the way the dice has fallen over a few things, has not been in Australia's favour, but that is sometimes how it goes.

Whie not yet over, the performance of Kim Crow in the womens single sculls so far has been amazinghas a fluid grace with the sculls  that seems to indicate absolute effortless performance.  I am sure it is not, but so far she has been outstanding in all races I have seen.

And swimming..........changing of the guard, too much on Magnussen and some say, some swimmers not adequately hungry to win.  And still Phelps goes on - 200IM win today.  While he may not have the in your face stand out talent seen a few years ago, he gets the job done, very well, so congratulations to him.

Still more to come.......