Placeholder Content Image

Cafe providing free meals to families faces shutdown

<p>Kirsty Parkes spends a lot of her time providing food and clothes to those in need amid the cost-of-living crisis by running a community cafe. </p> <p>But now, her beloved cafe may close if she doesn't receive urgent financial help. </p> <p>"We need to pay our bills in order to keep this going and if we don't pay our bills, people don't eat," Parkes, who has a big family of her own, told <em>A Current Affair</em>. </p> <p>Community Cafe in Sydney's south-west became a safe haven for dozens of men, women and children, with over 100 people showing up every day. </p> <p>The cafe is a place where people can get food, clothes and toiletries for free, as well as connect with others. </p> <p>"We want to help people restore their value and restore their dignity," Parkes said.</p> <p>"Our currency is just a little bit different. So instead of using money, we use manners. Because manners and kindness are free."</p> <p>However, with an increase in costs and a lack of donations, the beloved cafe may soon be forced to close. </p> <p>"Whether there's a rate rise, whether there's a petrol hike, all of these little things affect us tremendously and affect the numbers here," she said.</p> <p>"We need to come up with some funds really desperately before then just to keep us open," she added. </p> <p>She said that at this stage they require "around about $20,000. Our electricity bill alone is almost $10,000."</p> <p>She added that  Cabravale Diggers, who have been paying the cafe's rent, and Liverpool City Council, who have also been providing financial assistance, can't continue to hold responsibility for all of the bills. </p> <p>"We've had fantastic sponsorship, we have fantastic people that back us ... but they can't carry the burden of this," Parkes said.</p> <p>"This is something that the whole community needs to get behind and support."</p> <p>The cafe provides invaluable support for customers like Ted and Lola, who find it hard to find a similar community. </p> <p>"I go to church. Not even a church will help me," Lola said.</p> <p>"These people - I don't even know them and out of nowhere they're taking rich and poor, whoever turns up."</p> <p>"It's hard living on a pension. It's very hard," Ted added. </p> <p>Parkes added that as things are starting to run out, she has had to impose rations, which has been difficult for her. </p> <p>"We've had to then turn around and say 'look today, sorry we can only give you two loaves of bread because we just don't have enough for everyone that's going to come through the door'," Parkes said.</p> <p>"That stuff breaks my heart. It absolutely kills me because people are hungry."</p> <p>From Friday, customers may have to be turned away.</p> <p>"It's terrible. How can we close? We see over 120 people a day. It's terrible," one of the volunteers at the community cafe said. </p> <p>"The community needs it. We can't close. We absolutely cannot close."</p> <p> Those who would like to help the cafe stay open have been encouraged to visit their <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Communitycafe.inc" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Facebook page</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: A Current Affair</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Internet icon falls asleep during interview with Karl

<p>An interview on the <em>Today</em> show has gone pear-shaped after the famous guest seemed to fall asleep live on air. </p> <p>Hosts Karl Stefanovic and Sarah Abo were joined by Jack Karlson: the man behind the infamous “Democracy Manifest” news segment from 1991, which later became a much-loved online meme.</p> <p>Karlson, who appears in the vintage news clip being arrested outside a Brisbane restaurant after enjoying what he referred to as a “succulent Chinese meal”, was joined by one of his arresting officers on the morning show to discuss the incident. </p> <p>The interview kicked off and quickly went downhill, as the elderly gentlemen seemed to be having audio problems and couldn't hear Karl and Sarah's line of questioning.</p> <p>Then, as the former police officer began answering questions, Karlson closed his eyes for over a minute, seemingly having a nap live on air. </p> <p>Stefanovic noticed Karlson's impromptu kip, asking, “I just got a little worried there, Jack might’ve nodded off like <em>Weekend at Bernies</em>. You still with us, Jackie boy?”</p> <p>Karlson opened his eyes and rejoined the conversation to discuss the upcoming documentary <em>The Man Who Ate A Succulent Chinese Meal</em>, based on Karlson’s life.</p> <p>Directed by Heath Davis and co-produced by Tim Randall and Mark Dapin, author of <em>Carnage: A Succulent Chinese Meal</em> based on the now-viral event, the film is currently set for release in March 2025.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PeihcfYft9w?si=QX2m9akJwHEwwBev" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>The video of Karlson’s arrest became an meme when it was finally uploaded to the internet in 2009. </p> <p>In the video, Karlson declared while resisting arrest by police: “This is democracy manifest!”, “Get your hand off my penis!” and “What is the charge? Eating a meal? A succulent Chinese meal?” </p> <p><em>Image credits: Today </em></p>

TV

Placeholder Content Image

SecondBite's Feed the Future Program: cultivating hope, one meal at a time

<p>In a world where food insecurity continues to plague communities, there shines a beacon of hope in the form of <a href="https://secondbite.org/">SecondBite</a>. Since its inception in 2005, SecondBite has worked tirelessly to rescue and redistribute surplus food, ensuring that no Australian goes to bed hungry. Now, with the launch of their Feed the Future program, they are taking their commitment to combating hunger and waste to new heights.</p> <p>The impact of SecondBite's efforts is truly staggering. Having already rescued and redistributed the equivalent of almost 300 million meals, they have become a lifeline for countless individuals and families facing food insecurity across the nation. But as the demand for their services continues to rise, so too does the need for support from generous donors and supporters.</p> <p>At the heart of SecondBite's purpose is the belief that every Australian deserves access to nutritious food, regardless of their circumstances. Through their Feed the Future program, they are not only addressing immediate hunger but also working towards a future where hunger and food waste are relics of the past.</p> <p>One individual who embodied this spirit of generosity was the late Frank Costa AO, a prominent Australian businessman and philanthropist. His unwavering commitment to giving back to the community lives on through a generous $1 million donation to SecondBite's Future Trust, ensuring that his legacy of compassion and service will continue to make a difference for years to come.</p> <p>“Frank was so passionate about health and the role that nutritious food plays in keeping us healthy,” says his widow, Shirley Costa. “He always said that the best way to preserve your health is to put the right food in your body, in particular, fruit and vegetables. He felt genuinely proud to provide a service to people, but also to contribute to their health and happiness. And he hoped that his gift would allow SecondBite to continue this legacy.”</p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70396" src="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/SecondBite_Hero_02.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="500" /></p> <p>For those considering leaving a gift to SecondBite in their will, the Feed the Future program offers a unique opportunity to create a lasting impact. By becoming a member, supporters can join a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to building a future where no one goes hungry.</p> <p>Membership in the Feed the Future program comes with a range of exclusive benefits, including a certificate of recognition, a special lapel pin, invitations to events, and even a symbolic apple tree to plant in your garden as a testament to your commitment to ending hunger.</p> <p>But perhaps the greatest reward of all is the knowledge that your gift will help SecondBite continue their vital work, providing nourishment, hope and dignity to those in need. Together, we can create a future where every Australian has a place at the table, and no one is left behind.</p> <p><img class="alignnone wp-image-70420 size-full" src="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Cropped-Image_secondbite_770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="500" /></p> <p>“If you share our vision of a place at the table for all Australians, so that every child, woman and man has access to a regular nutritious food supply,” says SecondBite co-founder Ian Carson, “please consider joining our Feed the Future program and making a gift to SecondBite in your Will.”</p> <p>To learn more about how you can support SecondBite's Feed the Future program and make a difference in the lives of those facing food insecurity, contact their team today at 1800 263 283 or visit <a href="https://secondbite.org/gifts-in-will/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">secondbite.org/gifts-in-will</a>.</p> <p>Join us in cultivating a brighter future for all Australians, one meal at a time.</p> <p><em>Images: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with SecondBite.</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

“Completely tacky”: Bride slammed for asking for dinner payment

<p dir="ltr">A bride has caused a stir online after asking if it is appropriate to ask her wedding guests to pay for their meal when they RSVP to the big day. </p> <p dir="ltr">The woman took to a popular wedding Facebook page to ask the opinions of other brides, sharing an example of her invitation created by her wedding planner. </p> <p dir="ltr">The invitation asks guests to confirm whether or not they will be attending the nuptials, before asking if the guest intends to eat at the wedding ceremony, and which meal they would prefer. </p> <p dir="ltr">The price of each meal was also included: $20 for grilled chicken with rice, mashed potatoes and green beans and $25 for a salmon alternative.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We invite you to eat with us but ask for you to provide your own payment. Please select which meal you'd prefer,” the invite stated. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My wedding venue requires me to purchase food through them for the reception, but has said people sometimes choose this option,” the woman wrote on Facebook. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Nothing about my reception is very typical anyway, SO I'm wondering how insane or rude or cost-effective/smart this is.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“The planner set me this as an example of how to present it to guests.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But when the post was quickly criticised by others, the bride clarified the event was more of a “fun dinner party” rather than a “wedding” as she and her partner had already legally married five months prior. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Ultimately I'll do what I want BUT I did not choose this option. It was only a suggestion from the venue that I was curious about others' opinions on,” she added. </p> <p dir="ltr">“This is for the reception. I'm most definitely not asking for money or gifts and by the time they come to the reception, we will have already been married for five months.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The post was shared in another wedding shaming Facebook group and critiqued by dozens of wedding experts.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Oh hell no! This is completely tacky!” one wrote, another said, “So she asks if it is rude then gets offended when people say it's rude?”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am a veteran pro planner and would NEVER suggest this!” another said. </p> <p dir="ltr">Someone else wrote, “I'm especially shaming the venue for suggesting that people often pawn off the cost of dinner to their guests. Encouraging rude behaviour.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Facebook</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

Bring a plate! What to take to Christmas lunch that looks impressive (but won’t break the bank)

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-kirkegaard-1401256">Amy Kirkegaard</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/breanna-lepre-1401257">Breanna Lepre</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>Christmas lunch is at your friend’s house this year, and they’ve asked you to bring a plate. Money is tight. So, you find yourself wondering, “What’s cheap, healthy but also looks impressive?”</p> <p>While a tray of mangoes would certainly be a cheap, healthy and colourful contribution, you want to look as if you’ve put in a bit of effort.</p> <p>If you’re struggling for inspiration, here are some tried and tested ideas.</p> <h2>First, choose your ingredients</h2> <p>Check your pantry for inspiration or ingredients. Crackers, dried fruit or nuts are great ideas for a charcuterie board. You can use herbs and spices to add flavour to dishes, or you could use up packets of dried pasta to make a <a href="https://nomoneynotime.com.au/healthy-easy-recipes/salmon-and-pasta-salad">pasta salad</a>. This is also a great way to clean out your pantry.</p> <p>Focus on fruit and vegetables that are in season, so are cheaper and more readily available. Keep an eye out at your local fruit and veggie shop or market as it will usually have in-season fruit and vegetables in bulk quantities at reduced prices. Check out <a href="http://seasonalfoodguide.com/australia-general-seasonal-fresh-produce-guide-fruits-vegetables-in-season-availability.html">this seasonal food guide</a> to help you plan your Christmas menu.</p> <p>Ask around for deals by chatting to your local butcher, fishmonger or grocer and let them know your budget. They may suggest cheaper cuts of meat (such as, <a href="https://www.australianbutchersguild.com.au/the-blog/the-abg-blog/underrated-cuts-of-beef/">oyster</a>, <a href="https://www.australianbeef.com.au/know-your-meat/beef-cuts/">blades, rump caps</a>). Try cooking <a href="https://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipes/slow-cooker-corned-beef-mustard-sauce-recipe/z47lwrbv?r=entertaining/9clz7475&amp;h=entertaining">corned beef</a> or <a href="https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/slow-cooker-roast-chicken">roast chicken</a> in a slow cooker with lots of vegetables. Slow-cooked meals can be frozen and can come in handy for left-overs.</p> <p>Lean into <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608274/">legumes</a>. These are packed with fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. They are also budget-friendly and a great way to add texture to salads. Tinned chickpeas, or cannellini, kidney, or butter beans are quick and easy additions that can make filling dishes go further. You could even turn tinned chickpeas into homemade hommus for a healthy and delicious side dish. Check out these healthy legume <a href="https://nomoneynotime.com.au/healthy-easy-recipes/filter/keywords--legumes">recipes</a>.</p> <h2>7 ways to keep food costs down this Christmas</h2> <p><strong>1. Plan ahead</strong></p> <p>Plan your menu by asking how many people are coming and checking for any food preferences or dietary requirements. Check for items you already have at home, and make a shopping list for only what you <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/BFJ-12-2017-0726/full/html">need</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Use free recipes</strong></p> <p>Use free online recipe collections and e-books tailored for budget cooking that can help you design your Christmas menu to meet your budget. This <a href="https://nomoneynotime.com.au/uploads/Our-Guide-to-the-Perfect-Christmas-Feast.pdf">one</a> was created by a group of <a href="https://dietitiansaustralia.org.au/working-dietetics/standards-and-scope/role-accredited-practising-dietitian">accredited practising dietitians</a> and has healthy, budget friendly recipes and ideas. You could also try this budget friendly collection of Christmas recipes from <a href="https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/budget-christmas-recipes">taste</a>.</p> <p><strong>3. Involve the family</strong></p> <p>Get together with other family members and make it a challenge to see who can make the cheapest, most delicious dish. Get the kids involved in fun activities, such as making a DIY gingerbread house or putting together mixed skewers for the barbecue.</p> <p><strong>4. Pool your resources</strong></p> <p>Larger quantities of a single dish will be cheaper than multiple different dishes (and easier to prepare).</p> <p><strong>5. Frozen is fine</strong></p> <p>Use frozen fruits and vegetables if you need to. These can have just as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25526594/">many vitamins and minerals</a> as fresh, are often cheaper than fresh produce and last longer. Try using frozen berries to decorate the pavlova or add them to your favourite cake, muffin or pie.</p> <p><strong>6. Make your own drinks</strong></p> <p>You could make your own drinks, such as home-brewed iced tea. See if anyone in your family has a soda stream you can borrow to make sparkling mineral water. Add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime for extra flavour.</p> <p><strong>7. Reduce waste</strong></p> <p>Use your own crockery and re-use leftovers to reduce waste. After all, washing up is cheaper than buying plastic or paper plates and better for the environment. Remember to save any leftovers and re-use them. Leftover fresh vegetables could be used to make a hearty soup or chutney.</p> <h2>It doesn’t have to be perfect</h2> <p>Christmas comes and goes quickly. If your cooking ideas don’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. Choosing healthy foods on a budget is important all year around, so you may like to think about trying these tips throughout the years to come. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/196565/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718"><em>Lauren Ball</em></a><em>, Professor of Community Health and Wellbeing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-kirkegaard-1401256">Amy Kirkegaard</a>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/breanna-lepre-1401257">Breanna Lepre</a>, Research Fellow, Mater Research Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, Dietitian and Researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/bring-a-plate-what-to-take-to-christmas-lunch-that-looks-impressive-but-wont-break-the-bank-196565">original article</a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

Meal kits are booming – but how do they stack up nutritionally?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kylie-fraser-1483094">Kylie Fraser</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-spence-720195">Alison Spence</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/karen-campbell-224857">Karen Campbell</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/penny-love-1060241">Penny Love</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>Meal kits are a <a href="https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/online-food-delivery/meal-delivery/australia">billion dollar industry</a> selling the promise of convenience while cooking healthy meals at home. Delivering ingredients and step-by-step recipes to the doorstep, meal kits reduce the time and energy to plan, shop and prepare meals. But do they deliver on their promise of health?</p> <p>While people may <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195666321007236">think</a> meal kits are healthy, <a href="https://academic.oup.com/heapro/article/38/6/daad155/7441372?searchresult=1">our new research</a> suggests this varies.</p> <p>The range and quantity of vegetables in a meal is a great indicator of how healthy it is. So we assessed the <a href="https://academic.oup.com/heapro/article/38/6/daad155/7441372?searchresult=1&amp;login=false">vegetable content</a> of recipes from six Australian meal kit providers. We found when it comes to nutrition, whether it be budget friendly or high-end, it’s more about the meals you choose and less about what company to use.</p> <h2>What we found</h2> <p>For our <a href="https://academic.oup.com/heapro/article/38/6/daad155/7441372?searchresult=1&amp;login=false">new research</a> we purchased a one-week subscription to nine Australian-based meal kit companies to access weekly recipes. Six companies provided their full week of recipes. The vegetable content of these recipes were analysed.</p> <p>Of the 179 meals analysed, we found recipes use a median of three different types of vegetables and provide a median of 2.5 serves of vegetables per person. At first glance, this looks promising. But on closer inspection, the number and types of vegetables vary a lot.</p> <p>Some recipes provide less than one serve and others more than seven serves of vegetables per person. Not surprisingly, vegetarian recipes provide more vegetables, but almost one-third of these still include less than two vegetables serves per person.</p> <p>The variety of vegetables included also varies, with recipes providing between one and six different types of vegetables per meal.</p> <h2>What’s for dinner?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10200412/">Dinner</a> is the time when we’re most likely to eat vegetables, so low levels of vegetables in meal kit meals <a href="https://theconversation.com/food-as-medicine-why-do-we-need-to-eat-so-many-vegetables-and-what-does-a-serve-actually-look-like-76149">matter</a>.</p> <p>Eating vegetables is known to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5837313/">reduce the risk</a> of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6266069/">obesity</a> and some cancers. What’s more, food preferences and eating habits are <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17367571/">learned</a> in childhood. So being exposed to a wide range of vegetables from a young age is important for future health.</p> <p>But few Australians eat enough vegetables. According to the <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-dietary-guidelines-1-5">Australian Dietary Guidelines</a>, children should be eating 2.5 to five serves and adults at least five serves of vegetables each day. Currently children eat an average of <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4364.0.55.012main+features12011-12">less than</a> two serves and adults less than three serves of vegetables per day.</p> <p>So there’s room for improvement and meal kits may help.</p> <h2>Meal kits have advantages</h2> <p>The good news is that using meal kits can be a healthier alternative to ordering takeaway delivery or prepared ready-to-heat meals. When we cook at home, we have much more say in what’s for dinner. We can use healthier cooking methods (think grilled rather than deep-fried), healthier fats (olive or canola oil) and add in plenty of extra veg. All make for better nutrition and better health.</p> <p>Meal kits might also build your cooking confidence to cook more “from scratch” and to learn about new ingredients, flavour combinations and time-saving techniques. Cooking with meal kits may even <a href="https://theconversation.com/cooking-from-meal-boxes-can-cut-household-food-waste-by-38-new-research-192760">cut household food waste</a> by providing the exact amount of ingredients needed to prepare a meal.</p> <h2>5 tips for getting the most out of meal kits</h2> <p><strong>1) Select some vegetarian options</strong></p> <p>This way you can have <a href="https://meatfreemondays.com/about/">meat-free</a> dinners during the week. Vegetarian recipes are more likely to help you meet daily vegetable intakes and to eat a wider variety of vegetables</p> <p><strong>2) Choose recipes with at least 3 different types of vegetables</strong></p> <p>Eating a range of vegetable types and colours will help maximise nutritional benefits. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7195662/">Research</a> shows eating a variety of vegetables at dinner can increase our vegetable intakes. Exposing children to “<a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-get-children-to-eat-a-rainbow-of-fruit-and-vegetables-97546">eating the rainbow</a>” can also increase their willingness to eat vegetables</p> <p><strong>3) Choose recipes with unfamiliar or new vegetables</strong></p> <p>Research tells us that learning to prepare and cook vegetables can increase cooking <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20399299/#:%7E:text=Households%20bought%20a%20greater%20variety,at%20least%20one%20minor%20(difference%3A">confidence</a> and skills. This can influence our willingness to buy a wider range of vegetables. Worried about fussy eaters? Add your child’s favourite cooked or raw veg to their plate (one familiar, one new)</p> <p><strong>4) Look for ways to add more vegetables</strong></p> <p>It’s OK to tweak the recipe! Adding vegetables from your fridge – maybe some lettuce on the side or chopped up carrots to a cooked sauce – to meal kit meals will help reduce household <a href="https://www.dcceew.gov.au/environment/protection/waste/food-waste">food waste</a>. You can also extend meals by adding a can of lentils or beans to mince-based meals, or frozen peas or chickpeas to a curry. This adds valuable fibre to the meal and also bulks up these recipes, giving you leftovers for the next day</p> <p><strong>5) Use less</strong></p> <p>While vegetables are important for health, it’s also important to consider the <a href="https://academic-oup-com.ezproxy-b.deakin.edu.au/heapro/article/36/3/660/5908259">salt</a>, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31694291/">fat and energy</a> content of meal kit recipes. When using meal kits, you can <a href="https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/bundles/healthy-living-and-eating/salt-and-heart-health">use less</a> seasoning, spice mix or stock cubes and add more herbs instead.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/218339/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kylie-fraser-1483094">Kylie Fraser</a>, PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-spence-720195">Alison Spence</a>, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Population Health, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/karen-campbell-224857">Karen Campbell</a>, Professor Population Nutrition, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/penny-love-1060241">Penny Love</a>, Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/meal-kits-are-booming-but-how-do-they-stack-up-nutritionally-218339">original article</a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

What is the OMAD diet? Is one meal a day actually good for weight loss? And is it safe?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-fuller-219993">Nick Fuller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>What do British Prime Minister <a href="https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/one-meal-a-day-diet-omad">Rishi Sunak</a> and singer <a href="https://theconversation.com/one-meal-a-day-diet-popular-with-celebrities-could-do-more-harm-than-good-heres-why-203086">Bruce Springsteen</a> have in common?</p> <p>They’re among an ever-growing group of public figures touting the benefits of eating just one meal a day.</p> <p>As a result, the one meal a day (OMAD) diet is the latest attention-grabbing weight loss trend. Advocates claim it leads to fast, long-term weight loss success and better health, including delaying the ageing process.</p> <p>Like most weight-loss programs, the OMAD diet makes big and bold promises. Here’s what you need to know about eating one meal a day and what it means for weight loss.</p> <h2>The OMAD diet explained</h2> <p>Essentially, the OMAD diet is a type of intermittent fasting, where you fast for 23 hours and consume all your daily calories in one meal eaten within one hour.</p> <p>The OMAD diet rules are presented as simple and easy to follow:</p> <ol> <li> <p>You can eat whatever you want, provided it fits on a standard dinner plate, with no calorie restrictions or nutritional guidelines to follow.</p> </li> <li> <p>You can drink calorie-free drinks throughout the day (water, black tea and coffee).</p> </li> <li> <p>You must follow a consistent meal schedule, eating your one meal around the same time each day.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Along with creating a calorie deficit, resulting in weight loss, advocates believe the OMAD diet’s extended fasting period <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2021.771944/full">leads to physiological changes</a> in the body that promote better health, including boosting your metabolism by triggering a process called ketosis, where your body burns stored fat for energy instead of glucose.</p> <h2>What does the evidence say?</h2> <p>Unfortunately, research into the OMAD diet is limited. Most studies have examined its impact on <a href="https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/pdf/S1550-4131(18)30512-6.pdf">animals</a>, and the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35087416/">primary study</a> with humans involved 11 lean, young people following the OMAD diet for a mere 11 days.</p> <p>Claims about the OMAD diet typically rely on research into intermittent fasting, rather than on the OMAD diet itself. There is <a href="https://www.cfp.ca/content/66/2/117.short">evidence</a> backing the efficacy of intermittent fasting to achieve weight loss. However, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-022-00638-x">most studies</a> have focused on short-term results only, typically considering the results achieved across 12 weeks or less.</p> <p>One <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2114833">longer-term study from 2022</a> randomly assigned 139 patients with obesity to either a calorie-restricted diet with time-restricted eating between 8am and 4pm daily, or to a diet with daily calorie restriction alone for 12 months.</p> <p>After 12 months, both groups had lost around the same weight and experienced similar changes in body fat, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. This indicates long-term weight loss achieved with intermittent fasting is not superior and on a par with that achieved by traditional dieting approaches (daily calorie restriction).</p> <h2>So what are the problems with the OMAD diet?</h2> <p><strong>1. It can cause nutritional deficiencies and health issues.</strong></p> <p>The OMAD diet’s lack of nutritional guidance on what to eat for that one meal a day raises many red flags.</p> <p>The meals we eat every day should include a source of protein balanced with wholegrain carbs, vegetables, fruits, protein and good fats to support <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071223/">optimum health, disease prevention and weight management</a>.</p> <p>Not eating a balanced diet will result in nutritional deficiencies that can result in poor immune function, fatigue and a decrease in bone density, leading to osteoporosis.</p> <p>Fasting for 23 hours a day is also likely to lead to extreme feelings of hunger and uncontrollable cravings, which may mean you consistently eat foods that are not good for you when it’s time to eat.</p> <p><strong>2. It’s unlikely to be sustainable.</strong></p> <p>You might be able to stick with the OMAD diet initially, but it will wear thin over time.</p> <p>Extreme diets – especially ones prescribing extended periods of fasting – aren’t enjoyable, leading to feelings of deprivation and social isolation during meal times. It’s hard enough to refuse a piece of office birthday cake at the best of times, imagine how this would feel when you haven’t eaten for 23 hours!</p> <p>Restrictive eating can also lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, making it even harder to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.</p> <p><strong>3. Quick fixes don’t work.</strong></p> <p>Like other popular intermittent fasting methods, the OMAD diet appeals because it’s easy to digest, and the results appear fast.</p> <p>But the OMAD diet is just another fancy way of cutting calories to achieve a quick drop on the scales.</p> <p>As your weight falls, things will quickly go downhill when your <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4766925/">body activates its defence mechanisms</a> to defend your weight loss. In fact, it will regain weight – a response that stems from our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ need to survive periods of deprivation when food was scarce.</p> <h2>The bottom line</h2> <p>Despite the hype, the OMAD diet is unsustainable, and it doesn’t result in better weight-loss outcomes than its predecessors. Our old habits creep back in and we find ourselves fighting a cascade of physiological changes to ensure we regain the weight we lost.</p> <p>Successfully losing weight long-term comes down to:</p> <ul> <li> <p>losing weight in small manageable chunks you can sustain, specifically periods of weight loss, followed by periods of weight maintenance, and so on, until you achieve your goal weight</p> </li> <li> <p>making gradual changes to your lifestyle to ensure you form habits that last a lifetime.</p> </li> </ul> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-fuller-219993">Nick Fuller</a>, Charles Perkins Centre Research Program Leader, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-the-omad-diet-is-one-meal-a-day-actually-good-for-weight-loss-and-is-it-safe-207723">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Erin Patterson arrested over fatal mushroom meal

<p>Erin Patterson has been arrested at her home in Victoria over her potential involvement in the suspicious deaths of three people. </p> <p>In July, Gail and Don Patterson, the parents of Erin Patterson's ex-husband, and Gail Patterson's sister, Heather Wilkinson, died from mushroom poisoning after attending a lunch hosted by the 49-year-old woman. </p> <p>Heather's husband Ian Wilkinson also attended the lunch and was critically ill, but recovered.</p> <p>All four had shared a meal, understood to be a beef Wellington, allegedly cooked by Patterson.</p> <p>Patterson was arrested early on Thursday morning, with AFP conducting a search of her home shortly after her arrest with technology detector dogs in tow. </p> <p>Veteran crime journalist John Silvester, of <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/mushroom-cook-erin-patterson-arrested-over-fatal-lunch-20231102-p5egxu.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Age</em></a> newspaper, told <em>Today Extra</em> on Thursday that the dogs were a sophisticated police tool that can detect electronic devices.</p> <p>"These dogs are absolutely amazing and they can sniff out and have sniffed out a SIM card that was hidden in a bowl of garlic," he said.</p> <p>"They are there for a purpose. This is not speculation. They will be there looking for something like a mobile phone, a SIM card, or a memory disk."</p> <p>Police said Patterson will now be interviewed and the investigation remains ongoing, as no charges have officially been laid. </p> <p>Erin Patterson has always maintained she did not intentionally poison her guests, <span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">telling reporters at the time of their deaths that she was "devastated" by the loss of her relatives.</span></p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">"I didn't do anything, I loved them," she said.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;"><em>Image credits: A Current Affair</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

How an innocent meal led to a months-long health battle for a 9-year-old

<p dir="ltr">A mother has issued a dire warning about a common household item after her daughter’s innocent bacon and egg roll turned into a months-long health battle. </p> <p dir="ltr">Kristen Saunders has warned parents about wire barbecue grill brushes, after her nine-year-old daughter choked on a piece of the metal. </p> <p dir="ltr">At a venue in Newcastle in July, Kristen’s daughter ate a bacon and egg roll and started to feel like she was choking. </p> <p dir="ltr">Unbeknown to her parents, the nine-year-old had swallowed a piece of wire that had come off a barbecue grill brush and ended up in her roll.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I think like most parents, we’re like, ‘You’ll be fine, have some water, it’ll settle down’,” Saunders told <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/listen/programs/newcastle-breakfast" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ABC Newcastle Breakfast</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Saunders took her daughter to the GP, who noticed she had a high temperature but nothing serious. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, over the next few days a sore throat worsened to the point she was unable to eat solid food, before she also started showing neurological symptoms.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There was this one particular day I was at home with her and all of a sudden she was a bit confused answering questions,” Saunders said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I was like, ‘Hang on, there’s something really problematic here’ and called the GP.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Saunders’ daughter was stumbling, disoriented and unable to recognise her own family, and was admitted to hospital. </p> <p dir="ltr">“They identified that there were some abscesses in the brain,” Saunders said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They ended up at the last-minute doing a CT and identified there was this tiny bit of wire, sort of near her neck.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Saunders’ daughter was then airlifted to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where it was discovered that the young girl had a major infection in one of her arteries after the wire pierced her oesophagus then pushed into the carotid artery.</p> <p dir="ltr">The girl had to undergo surgery, as Saunders said the experience was “awful” but her daughter was given “amazing care”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She is well on her way to recovery but it could have been so much worse,” Saunders said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Please protect your family and friends and throw out your wire barbecue grill brushes.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Update from survivor of deadly mushroom meal

<p>The lone survivor of a group of four individuals who consumed a meal containing suspected poisonous mushrooms has received an update from the family. The Victorian community continues to extend their support during this time.</p> <p>Tragedy struck as Don and Gail Patterson, along with Gail’s sister, Heather Wilkinson, lost their lives after partaking in a lunch gathering at the residence of Erin Patterson, Don and Gail's former daughter-in-law. The incident occurred in Leongatha, located in the southeastern region of Victoria, on July 29.</p> <p>Erin Patterson had prepared a meal for the group, which also included Heather's husband, Ian Wilkinson, a pastor at a Baptist church. The attendees fell seriously ill after the meal, exhibiting symptoms that aligned with the ingestion of toxic death cap mushrooms, according to the police.</p> <p>On a recent Sunday evening, Ian Wilkinson's family expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the medical staff at Austin Hospital for their consistent care and support. They also acknowledged the numerous cards and letters received from concerned individuals in the public.</p> <p>The family shared: “We are deeply moved by the outpouring of kindness, prayers, and support from friends, family, and the broader community.” </p> <p>“Your thoughts and well-wishes have been a source of strength and comfort to us all.</p> <p>“As we navigate this difficult journey, we kindly request that our privacy be respected. We need space to grieve, support one another, and care for Ian without public intrusion.”</p> <p>While Ian Wilkinson, aged 70, remains in critical but stable condition at a hospital in the northeastern part of Melbourne, reports indicate that members of the South Gippsland community are willing to step forward as organ donors. Local councillor Jenni Keerie stated that people have been reaching out to her to inquire about becoming donors.</p> <p>Nathan Hersey, the Mayor of South Gippsland Shire, noted that the community has been discussing the significance of organ donation. In the absence of a community donor, Wilkinson might face a wait of up to a year for a new liver. It is worth noting that the majority of organ recipients in Australia experience waiting periods of at least nine months while searching for a suitable match.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / A Current Affair</em></p> <p><strong><em>EDITOR'S NOTE: We received a number of comments in response to this article concerning organ donation. This one from a Reader really deserved being appended to the article:</em></strong></p> <p><em>"I am a forever grateful liver recipient whose life was miraculously saved when all had gone catastrophically wrong. <a href="https://www.transplantadvocacy.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://www.transplantadvocacy.com/</a> The only way we can increase organ donation is to increase next of kin consent rates. In Australia every person who passes under the right circumstances is a potential donor. Whether they are registered or not their family will be asked to consider organ donation and must give their consent for donation to proceed. Sadly 46% of families say no. In Victoria it is closer to 50%. Families are critical for organ donation and for a deceased donor to be found to support the victim of the Victorian poisoning, another healthy Victorian will need to pass tragically and on life support. Waiting for a donor is not like waiting for a spare part for your car from the factory. It is more like finding the perfect part at a car wreckers after someone has written of their car but the part you need is still ok. You can help raise awareness by helping to get families having the conversation about organ donation before </em><em>tragedy strikes. Not waiting until they learn their loved one is never coming home." </em><em style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> – </em><em>Robert Manning, </em><em>Forever grateful recipient and passionate Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplant Awareness Advocate. Founder and Senior Advocate <a href="https://www.transplantadvocacy.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.TransplantAdvocacy.com</a></em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Details of Erin Patterson's police statement around fatal mushroom meal revealed

<p>The woman who prepared a mushroom meal that is believed to have caused the deaths of three individuals has finally disclosed her full account of the events that transpired.</p> <p>According to a written statement submitted to Victoria Police on Friday August 11 – and exclusively <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-14/mushroom-poisoning-leongatha-erin-patterson-police-statement/102725876" target="_blank" rel="noopener">obtained by the ABC</a> – Erin Patterson has provided a comprehensive narrative of the incidents leading up to and following the fatal meal.</p> <p>"I am now wanting to clear up the record because I have become extremely stressed and overwhelmed by the deaths of my loved ones," Ms Patterson said in her statement. "I am hoping this statement might help in some way. I believe if people understood the background more, they would not be so quick to rush to judgement. I am now devastated to think that these mushrooms may have contributed to the illness suffered by my loved ones. I really want to repeat that I had absolutely no reason to hurt these people whom I loved."</p> <p>The tragic incident occurred in Leongatha, a town southeast of Melbourne, where Ms. Patterson's mother and father-in-law, Don and Gail Patterson, as well as Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson, lost their lives after consuming lunch at Ms. Patterson's residence on July 29. Heather's husband, Ian Wilkinson, was left in critical condition.</p> <p>The circumstances surrounding the incident have led to speculation within the South Gippsland community, with heightened curiosity as police have been tight-lipped about their ongoing investigation.</p> <p>Authorities have mentioned that the victims displayed symptoms consistent with the consumption of death cap mushrooms. Although Ms. Patterson was initially treated as a suspect, investigators have maintained an open-minded approach to the case.</p> <p>In her statement, Ms. Patterson expressed regret for following the advice to give a "no comment" interview to the police in the immediate aftermath of the deaths. She admitted that she now wishes she had answered some questions, given the nightmare that has unfolded since.</p> <p>The police interview left Ms. Patterson feeling terrified and anxious. She recounted that on the day of the incident, she prepared a beef wellington meal for herself and her elderly guests. Contrary to earlier reports, Ms. Patterson clarified that her children had actually gone to the movies before lunch and were not present during the meal.</p> <p>According to her statement, she served the meal and allowed her guests to select their own plates. She then had a serving of beef wellington herself. The mushrooms used in the dish were a mixture of button mushrooms from a major supermarket chain and dried mushrooms purchased months earlier from an Asian grocery store in Melbourne.</p> <p>Ms. Patterson disclosed that her children consumed the leftovers the next evening. Notably, they do not like mushrooms, so she had removed the mushrooms from their portions.</p> <p>She revealed that she had also suffered from severe stomach pains and diarrhoea after the lunch, leading her to be hospitalised as well. She was administered a liver protective drug via a saline drip and was transferred to Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne.</p> <p>As her guests fell ill, the Department of Health contacted Ms. Patterson to inquire about the possible cause of the adverse reactions. She provided samples of the leftover meal for examination by hospital toxicologists. She also mentioned sharing information about where she purchased the mushrooms but was unable to pinpoint the specific shop in Melbourne.</p> <p>Addressing media reports about the seizure of a food dehydrator at a local tip, Ms. Patterson admitted that she had initially lied to investigators about disposing of the dehydrator. She stated that she panicked due to concerns about her children's custody and discarded it.</p> <p>In her statement, she acknowledged caring for her estranged husband, Simon Patterson, after he suffered a severe stomach illness unrelated to the current incident. She reluctantly nursed him after his hospital discharge and informed him that she did not wish to reconcile. She clarified that Simon had initially intended to attend the fatal lunch but had informed her of his absence prior to the event.</p> <p>Ms. Patterson expressed deep affection and respect for her parents-in-law and highlighted their positive influence on her children. She offered her willingness to assist the police further, including the possibility of a re-interview.</p> <p>The police investigation into the deaths remains ongoing, and Ms. Patterson has indicated her readiness to cooperate.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / A Current Affair</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

"I didn't do anything. I love them": Woman who cooked meal with deadly mushrooms speaks out

<p>A Victorian woman who cooked the meal that resulted in the suspected mushroom poisoning,  which left three elderly family members dead and one fighting for his life has tearfully broken her silence. </p> <p>Erin Patterson, 48, served the lunch to four people at Leongatha on July 29, including her former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson, who after falling sick later that evening, passed away from symptoms consistent with death cap mushroom poisoning.  </p> <p>Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson also passed away, with Heather’s husband, Ian in a critical condition at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital after suffering from the suspected poisoning. </p> <p>"I didn't do anything. I love them," Erin told  <em>A Current Affair. </em></p> <p>A clearly distraught Erin confused Don for Ian, who is currently being treated for his symptoms. </p> <p>"I'm devastated that they're gone and I hope with every fibre of my being that Don pulls through."</p> <p>“I’m so devastated by what’s happened, by the loss of Don, Don is still in hospital, by the loss of Ian and Heather and Gail," she repeated. </p> <p>“They were some of the best people I’ve ever met.</p> <p>“Gail was like the mum I didn’t have because my mum passed away four years ago, Gail had never been anything but good and kind to me,” she added.</p> <p>“Ian and Heather were some of the best people I’d ever met. They never did anything wrong to me.</p> <p>“I’m so devastated about what’s happened and the loss to the community and to the families and to my own children. They've lost their grandmother," she said, and added that she felt "so sorry" that they lost their lives.</p> <p>Erin was interviewed by police and later on released. Officials had also removed her two children from her care as a “precaution”. </p> <p>Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Dean Thomas also added that police are still determining whether this was an accident or a crime. </p> <p>“We’re working to determine what has gone on, to see if there is any nefarious activity that has occurred or if it was accidental.”</p> <p>“We have to keep an open mind,” he said.</p> <p>Police were also still unsure where the mushrooms were sourced from, and that it was a "complex case". </p> <p><em>Image: A Current Affair</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Cooking from meal boxes can cut household food waste

<p>The amount of food wasted by households each year was estimated at <a href="https://www.unep.org/resources/report/unep-food-waste-index-report-2021">570 million tonnes</a> in 2019. This is food that has been produced, packaged and taken to shops and homes, only to end up in the bin. Not only is the food wasted, but the greenhouse gases emitted during the entire process – from raising livestock, making packaging, transporting fruit and vegetables in refrigerated vehicles – are a pointless ecological burden.</p> <p>Once in landfills, the food rots and releases gases that are highly toxic for the environment, such as methane. Studies have shown that food waste accounts for between <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/fight-climate-change-by-preventing-food-waste">6-8%</a> of all the greenhouse gas emissions fuelling climate change. Food waste not only squanders natural resources, money and effort, it degrades the environment. It’s also ethically wrong to waste so much food while so many people are hungry.</p> <p>The fact that households waste such vast quantities of food in the first place may come as a surprise. Most people tend to believe they waste very little and often <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590289X19300234">trivialise the consequences</a> of wasted food. But the amount of food being sent to landfill suggests we are not so good at predicting how much food we actually need when cooking. One way to limit the chance of cooking too much or buying too many ingredients may be to cook from subscription meal boxes.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652622035739?via%3Dihub">a recent study</a>, we looked at whether cooking from meal boxes helps reduce food waste. Are people better off outsourcing part of the cooking process with a subscription that sends pre-portioned ingredients in the exact quantities needed for each recipe?</p> <p>Our research suggests that the answer is yes. We found that households wasted on average 38% less food when they prepared dinner using a meal box compared to when they bought the ingredients from a shop. This was largely due to there being less food left in pots and pans after cooking with a meal box.</p> <h2>Six countries, 914 kitchens, 8,747 meals</h2> <p>We surveyed 914 households from six countries (the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) that subscribed to a meal box scheme during November and December 2019. A subscription meal box provider helped by allowing us to run our survey on their customers.</p> <p>Households reported the amount of food waste from multiple dinners over the course of four weeks. Participants weighed the food they wasted while preparing their dinner and the uneaten leftovers in pots and pans and on plates after the meal. We measured food waste from 8,747 meals, of which around a third were cooked using meal boxes. We compared the food waste from these dinners to the food waste that accumulated when people cooked a meal from scratch with store-bought ingredients.</p> <p>Our results showed that most of the food waste from dinner is food left in pots and pans that isn’t served and eaten, and is instead thrown away. Meal box dinners reduced this type of waste by 34% compared with store-bought equivalents. Meal box dinners also cut food waste during preparation by 45%, but increased the amount of food wasted as leftovers on plates compared to meals made with store-bought ingredients by 15%. This may be because these recipes offer instructions for how to arrange the food on a plate which can induce people to dole out larger portions before serving.</p> <p>Combining these three different types of food waste, cooking from meal boxes reduced how much food was wasted at dinner by more than a third compared to traditional meals. By providing people with ingredients in amounts tailored to the number of people eating in a household, meal box providers can offer a convenient way to cut waste.</p> <p>Even without subscribing to a meal box provider, our results suggest that taking care to measure and weigh the exact amount of ingredients you need before cooking is a good way to lower the amount of food sent to landfill.</p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/cooking-from-meal-boxes-can-cut-household-food-waste-by-38-new-research-192760">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

"An Australian through and through": Shane Warne’s last meal revealed

<p dir="ltr">Shane Warne’s final meal before his tragic death is exactly what you would expect from the legendary cricketer.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 52-year-old was with a few mates on the Thailand holiday island of Koh Samui when he died of a suspected heart attack on March 4.</p> <p dir="ltr">One of those included life-long friend and colleague Tom Hall, CEO and one of the owners of Sporting News, who wrote about Warney’s last day with them.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tom had just woken up and helped his youngest with their online schooling before wandering off to meet up with "Warney, Neo, Gaz and Fred in the late-morning sunshine".</p> <p dir="ltr">“Anybody that knew Shane knew his warmth, his caring, his incredible sense of humour, his laugh, the twinkle in his eye and that glare from those glowing, unnaturally white teeth. After a big hug and a ‘G'day’, we settle in around the outdoor dining table and the banter begins," he wrote on <a href="https://www.sportingnews.com/au/cricket/news/letter-sporting-news-shane-warne-you-dont-know/av67eucjcvy9ktn4y1wacs7q" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sporting News</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The group messed around before trying to figure out how to watch the Australia v Pakistan Test in Thailand.</p> <p dir="ltr">They managed to hook it up and it was only a few balls into the Test when the ever-so-cheeky Warney jumped up and said he had a present for Tom.</p> <p dir="ltr">Bringing back with him an “armful of clothes”, Warney gifted Tom a series of shirts to give to the Sporting News team, including a 2005 Ashes Test shirt, his 2008 IPL shirt and a one-day international shirt.</p> <p dir="ltr">The group stumbled down memory lane and exchanged stories about their respective careers before deciding to grab some dinner.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I have dined with Shane in many fine establishments, but rather than sample some of the local Thai fare, we tuck into a plate of Vegemite on toast,” Tom wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Shane chomping away: ‘Geez, you can’t beat Vegemite with some butter, always great wherever you are in the world’.</p> <p dir="ltr">“An Australian through and through - this was to turn out to be his last meal.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Ever the caring father, as I was leaving, he headed up to his bedroom to call his kids.</p> <p dir="ltr">“What a player. What a man. The word legend is used too lightly these days, but he is and always will be a legend. He was simply the best.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

The one meal Victoria Beckham has eaten every day for 25 years

<p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">David Beckham has exposed his wife Victoria Beckham’s eating habits, revealing she eats the same meal every day for the last 25 years.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">The famous footballer recalled one of his “favourite evenings” when Victoria deviated from her strict diet, eating something off his plate when she was pregnant with their fourth child.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">David spoke on the <em style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;vertical-align: baseline">River Cafe Table 4</em> podcast about the food his family eats, telling the host: “I get quite emotional about food and wine. When I’m eating something great I want everyone to try it.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">“Unfortunately I’m married to someone that has eaten the same thing for the last 25 years,” he went on to say.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">“Since I met her she only eats grilled fish, steamed vegetables, she will very rarely deviate from that,” he said.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">David looked back fondly on one particular evening when his wife ate something off his plate, back when she was pregnant with their youngest child Harper, now 10 years old.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">“The only time she’s probably ever shared something that’s been on my plate was actually when she was pregnant with Harper and it was the most amazing thing.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">“It was one of my favourite evenings. I can’t remember what it was but I know she’s not eaten it since,” David said.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">Victoria has previously admitted that she won’t eat any food cooked in oil, butter, or sauces, and she doesn’t eat red meat or dairy.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">The former <em style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;vertical-align: baseline">Spice Girls</em> singer also shared that her comfort food is a piece of wholegrain toast with salt on it and on her birthday she celebrates with a cake made from fruit.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">David told the podcast that when he has the house to himself he loves cooking whatever he fancies.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">Pretty recently I was in isolation for five days because I’d just been to Italy so I came back and on one of the last days Victoria’s parents had a party and I couldn’t actually go to it, so everyone was out of the house and I secretly loved it."</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">“I literally had two most amazing cuts of meat. One was a T-bone and I had some English wagyu."</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">“I poured one glass of the most amazing red wine that I treated myself to because I was on my own looking forward to watching the football in the afternoon on my own. So I set the barbecue up,” David told the podcast host.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">David shows off his love of cooking on his Instagram, sharing a video of himself preparing a meal in Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">He captioned the clip: “Learnt a new dish to celebrate Lunar New Year… Sweet and sour Mandarin Fish.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff">“Must say I’m quite proud of how it turned out. Thanks for letting me use your kitchen @gordongram #LunarNewYear,” David wrote.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 5px;padding: 0px;border: 0px;font-size: 16px;vertical-align: baseline;color: #323338;font-family: Roboto, Arial;background-color: #ffffff"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

Vegan meal option at wedding sparks outrage

<p dir="ltr">A photo of the lacklustre vegan meal option at a wedding reception has gone viral online, sparking outrage.</p> <p dir="ltr">The image, initially posted to the wedding guest’s social media account, shows a plate on which rests a handful of wilted rocket leaves, three pieces of rockmelon and honeydew melon, and a few drops of balsamic dressing. Her caption reads, “Vegan option at a wedding”, along with an eye-roll emoji.</p> <p dir="ltr">The post has since been shared to Reddit, prompting hundreds of responses, both from vegans and non-vegans alike. One commenter wrote, “What the fudge is this supposed to be? This is so insulting,” while another said, “This is literally so rude to your guest. I’d be so pissed.”</p> <p dir="ltr">A third person wrote, “It’s a couple mouthfuls of pure arugula and like half a bite of fruit. I’d send this back &amp; get my own food if necessary. This is straight up disrespectful.” Another commenter said, “In these scenarios, you’re more than justified in drinking 3x your normal alcohol consumption and going on an angry vegan rant.”</p> <p dir="ltr">One commenter summarised popular opinion well, writing, “I’m not a vegan, but this lack of planning would infuriate me. Your life choices should be heard and accepted, regardless of anyone else’s feelings. To provide that as a meat-free alternative is frankly poor.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Many assumed that the couple were responsible for the bland meal, with one commenter writing, “Please be considerate about people’s choices at your wedding.”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, others argued that the caterers were responsible, with one commenter sharing their own experiences, writing, “I’m trying to plan a wedding right now and most caterers won’t even provide a vegan option unless at least two people will be eating it and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be the only vegan there. It’s very difficult for me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">A chef shared their perspective, writing, “As a chef - that’s not the couple, that’s a poorly-run kitchen. No self-respecting chef would serve this.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Fellow vegans agreed that meals like this were a depressingly regular occurrence, with one writing, “I’ve got relatives that would pull something like this. My whole life they ****ed with me because I’m a veggie.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Other commenters failed to see the problem, with one person commenting, “It’s vegan, isn’t it?”</p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

Top tips for delicious winter meals using a slow cooker

<p>It’s now mid-winter so there’s no better way of warming yourself up than with a delicious, slow-cooked meal. Here are our five top tips for creating delicious meals with a slow cooker. </p> <p>With a high number of people in lockdown across the country, there’s probably never been a better time to start learning new slow cooker recipes to make warming, winter meals.</p> <p>Bettina Jenkins, Culinary Expert at <a href="https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/">Appliances Online</a>, has shared her top five tips for making slow cookers a part of your everyday cooking experience.</p> <p><strong>Top slow cooker tips from Bettina Jenkins, Appliances Online Culinary Expert</strong></p> <p>“Imagine getting home from work and your dinner is ready? Gently simmering, all day, tenderising those inexpensive cuts of meat and turning them into melt in the mouth morsels - that's slow cooking for you! If you’re time poor in the morning, try the night-before technique - throw everything in the slow cooker the night before, pop it in the fridge, then start cooking it all the next morning and dinner will be ready later on in the day!</p> <p><strong>Tip No. 1) You don't have to use expensive meats for slow cooking to produce quality culinary results. </strong>You can use inexpensive cuts of meat and because they’re slowly simmering all day, this turns them into melt-in-your-mouth morsels - that's slow cooking for you<strong>!</strong></p> <p><strong>Tip No. 2) You can cook just about anything in a slow cooker. </strong>Slow cookers are so versatile, that you can cook soups, casseroles, lasagna, desserts and even cakes and yoghurt! You’ll love the results from these time and energy saving appliances!</p> <p><strong>Tip No. 3) Try the night-before technique. I</strong>f you have other things to do in the morning, throw everything in the slow cooker the night before, pop it in the fridge, then start cooking when you get up and dinner will be ready later on.</p> <p><strong>Tip No. 4) Try overnight oats. </strong>You can cook oats, milk, sultanas and grated apple and carrots - cook on low for 8 hours and wake up to a warm and nourishing breakfast! </p> <p><strong>Tip No. 5) Cleaning is a breeze too!</strong>  Just one removable pot at the end of the night – simply give it a quick clean or pop it in the dishwasher!</p> <p><strong>As well, Bettina gave us a list of five slow cookers suitable for all different budgets: </strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/product/tefal-rk732-18l-easy-rice-slow-cooker?sli_sku_jump=1"><strong>Tefal RK732 1.8L Easy Rice &amp; Slow Cooker</strong></a><strong>- RRP $130</strong></li> <li><a href="https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/product/breville-lsc650bss-searing-slow-cooker?sli_sku_jump=1"><strong>Breville LSC650BSS the Searing 6L Slow Cooker</strong></a><strong>- RRP $219</strong></li> <li><a href="https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/product/westinghouse-3-x-25l-slow-cooker-whsc07ks?sli_sku_jump=1"><strong>Westinghouse 3 x 2.5L Slow Cooker WHSC07KS</strong></a><strong>- RRP $149.95</strong></li> <li><a href="https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/product/kitchenaid-artisan-slow-cooker-92395?sli_sku_jump=1"><strong>KitchenAid 5KSC6222ASS Artisan 5.7L Slow Cooker</strong></a><strong>RRP $259</strong></li> <li><a href="https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/product/crock-pot-chp600-choose-a-crock-one-pot-slow-cooker?sli_sku_jump=1"><strong>Crock-Pot CHP600 Choose-a-Crock One Pot Slow Cooker</strong></a><strong>- RRP $129</strong></li> </ul> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Home & Garden

Placeholder Content Image

"Unbelievable": Man's messy response to in-flight meal

<p>Clearly not happy with the inflight meal he'd been served, this "entitled" passenger provoked widespread disbelief as to how he dealt with it.</p> <p>While most of us can’t even think of when we’ll be able to take a plane trip next, a man has behaved so badly on a plane trip there are calls on social media for him to be banned from flying.</p> <p>The man had just been served his inflight meal and he wasn’t happy with it so he dumped most of the food, the tray, utensils and rubbish in the aisle.</p> <p>A <a rel="noopener" href="mailto:https://www.reddit.com/" target="_blank">Reddit</a> user was sitting right behind the messy man on the flight so they took photos of the mess and then posted them on the social media site under the heading: “Man dumps his food into the aisle after he ate what he wants.”</p> <p><img style="width: 24px; height: 24px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/620bbca921de44c1b2610625d1b077fe" /><img style="width: 500px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843060/plane-passenger-rubbish-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/620bbca921de44c1b2610625d1b077fe" /></p> <p>Many readers were appalled by the man’s actions, with one saying it would have been a hazard if there’s been an emergency.</p> <p>“That’s literally an emergency hazard!” they wrote.</p> <p>“As someone who flies a lot, this makes me feel so angry. How can he be so entitled!?”</p> <p>Others thought he should be banned from flying, with one posting: “That should be an automatic add to the no-fly list.”</p> <p>Another added: “Unbelievable. That’s when you tap him on the shoulder and say, ‘Sir, I believe you dropped something’, or go with the nose-rub method.”</p> <p>In another post, the writer described the man as “trashy” and thought he must be a “nightmare” to deal with daily.</p> <p>They wrote: “Let’s forget for one moment how trashy this piece of s*** is and focus on his personality. Imagine working with him, imagine being the wife, imagine being a neighbour, or anybody who has to deal with him on a daily basis. What a f***ing nightmare of a f***ing attitude.”</p> <p><em>Image: Reddit<span></span></em></p>

Travel Trouble

Our Partners