Climate change driving food insecurity in First Nations while government stands by, report says


The federal government is not doing enough to support First Nations communities contending with food insecurity problems made worse by climate change — and is aggravating the situation by failing to adequately reduce greenhouse gas emissions — says a new report by the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

The warming climate is depleting traditional food sources in First Nations communities in Canada and making it difficult for Indigenous people to live off the land — forcing many to supplement their diets with expensive or unhealthy food imported from other parts of Canada and worsening pre-existing economic and health issues — says the report.

The report calls on the government to increase financial and technical support to First Nations to help them address the effects of climate change and to strengthen national climate policies with more ambitious targets for reducing emissions.

“The Canadian government has promised to deliver on climate action and also to protect Indigenous peoples’ rights,” said Katharina Rall, senior environment researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“So far, the response has been disappointing.”

The 122-page report — entitled My Fear is Losing Everything — is based on interviews with 120 First Nations community members, chiefs and council members in Yukon, northwestern British Columbia and northern Ontario, as well as medical providers, environment and health experts and other Indigenous leaders.

Food insecurity higher in Indigenous communities

Indigenous people living in Canada experience food insecurity — defined as a lack of regular access to safe, nutritious food — at higher rates than non-Indigenous people. 

A 2018 national survey by the First Nations Information Governance Centre found that over half of Indigenous households experience food insecurity. Research from the University of Toronto estimates that just one in eight Canadian households overall suffers from food insecurity.

Human Rights Watch says wildlife habitat changes caused by melting ice and permafrost, more intense wildfires, warming water temperatures and increased precipitation are all reducing the amount of food available to Indigenous people in remote areas.

The report tells the story of Helen Koostachin, 56, and her husband Joseph, 58, who live in the remote community of Peawanuck in northern Ontario. The Koostachins told Human Rights Watch that the caribou, snow geese and fish they used to hunt and harvest were once plentiful.

The Canadian government has promised to deliver on climate action and also to protect Indigenous peoples’ rights. So far, the response has been disappointing.– Katharina Rall, researcher at Human Rights Watch

But since their grown children took over the responsibility of providing food for the family, fewer caribou and geese are migrating to the area. The Koostachins said that when they do, it is harder and more dangerous for the younger members of the family to hunt them because of unstable winter ice and permafrost, and unpredictably low water levels on waterways.

Unable to harvest enough food from the land to ensure an adequate diet, the Koostachins must purchase expensive imported food from grocery store.

Even with government subsidies to reduce the cost of food, healthy food items such as fresh fruit and vegetables remain inaccessible to many Indigenous people in remote communities, the report says.

“The Koostachins’ way of life, and livelihood, have become increasingly difficult to maintain, and the realization of their rights to food, health, and culture are at risk,” the report says.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the minister of northern affairs acknowledged the negative impact that climate change has on the Indigenous way of life.

“Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) have been making direct investments in a variety of culturally appropriate, community-based programs and services that support food security and climate change resilience and adaptation in Indigenous communities for almost two decades,” said Allison St-Jean.

“We will continue to work with Indigenous communities and all Canadians to fight climate change and ensure a sustainable future for our kids and grandkids.”

St-Jean touted a range of programs meant to help Indigenous and Inuit communities address the health impacts of climate change, including the Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program.

The Nutrition North program provides subsidized food shipments to 116 isolated communities across the three territories and the northern regions of six provinces, St-Jean said.

Rall said that while there are government programs that provide support, it’s a patchwork with many gaps.

“Often the funding for the programs [is] short term [or] the funding isn’t enough to cover all First Nations to give them access,” said Rall.

“So it’s a matter of really stepping up the support for First Nations to then be able to lead solutions on adaptation in their communities.”

Canada must strengthen emissions targets: HRW researcher

In the meantime, Rall said, Canada will continue to fuel global climate change unless it adopts more ambitious emissions targets and a more concrete plan to achieve them.

Canada ranks ninth in the world in terms of CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency, and a government report in 2018 found the country is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada heating up at almost three times the global average.

Under the Paris Agreement, the federal government has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The Liberals pledged during the last federal election to achieve net-zero emissions future by 2050.

The Human Rights Watch report criticized the federal government for falling behind on its 2030 target and for its lack of a clear plan to achieve the net-zero goal.



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U.S. judge strikes down USDA rule on food benefits during pandemic



FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump claps during a campaign rally in Carson City, Nevada, U.S., October 18, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

October 19, 2020

By Bhargav Acharya

(Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge has struck down a Trump administration rule that would have cut food stamp benefits to almost 700,000 unemployed Americans amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, court documents showed.

The judge, in a court filing, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been “icily silent” about how many people would have been denied the benefits with the changes.

The pandemic has left millions of U.S. residents without jobs, sending thousands into lines at food banks.

In 2019, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, provided stamps giving free food to about 36 million Americans.

“The Final Rule at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” chief judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. said in the ruling.

The USDA announced the rule in December and President Donald Trump said at the time many Americans receiving food stamps do not need them given the strong economy and low unemployment.

A coalition of attorneys general from several states, the city of New York and the District of Columbia challenged the USDA rule in January.

In March, the judge had granted a preliminary injunction and a stay on part of the rule, which was scheduled to take effect on April 1, noting food needs during the pandemic.

USDA filed a notice in May appealing the order.

Its rule would have limited each state’s ability to waive work mandates, effectively requiring more food stamp recipients to work.

The judge added that the rosters of the SNAP program have grown by over 17% in the pandemic’s wake, with over 6 million new enrollees as of May.





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The Fox & Hounds Country Inn – Good Food Gold Coast


Where can you find the Queen and her corgis, pork pie made by the Queen’s baker and the Tardis, all in the one place?

In the foothills of Mt Tamborine, just a 20-minute drive from the Gold Coast and 45 minutes from Brisbane, lies a piece of Mother England, Australia’s only authentic English pub, the Fox and Hounds Country Inn. It’s a haven of all things British.

The old Sussex Arms in Tunbridge Wells, which dated from the 18th century, was dismantled, shipped over from England and its interior reconstructed in Wongawallan, opening as the Fox & Hounds in 2007.

The Fox and Hounds is a must for royalty lovers, football fans and Dr Who followers. From the red telephone box and London bus parked outside to an interior filled with an eclectic (and some would say bizarre) mix of antiques and paraphernalia, there’s something to catch the eye at every turn.

Dr Who hasn’t arrived yet, although the Tardis has plonked itself down near the front door. Still, there is plenty of evidence that we’re on a Dr Who set, including an Ood who watches over the bar. ‘Curiouser and curiouser!’

The pub has four themed rooms: British and Irish (with its own resident leprechaun) on either side of the front door, as well as Tudor and Scottish. Three of the rooms have their own bars, making group bookings easy. We are there for lunch, however we note that the pub often hosts special events such as Murder Mystery dinners, dancing, and special British celebrations on other occasions.

We dine in the British room, seated under the watchful eye of Queen Victoria, who gazes imperiously around the room. There is a stuffed stoat on the fireplace mantelpiece, palace guards making sure our behaviour is civil, and football scarves hanging from the ceiling, most of which have been donated to the pub, we are told.

It’s quite an extensive menu of British favourites, including cold standbys such as a Ploughman’s Platter for two, and a Pork Pie served cold with accompaniments of cheese, English mustard, pickled onions, gherkins and piccalilli. The pork pies are the real thing, made by Tony Wensley, former Bakery Manager of one of the oldest and most prestigious bakeries in Melton Mowbray, England, the renowned ‘Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe’, which regularly serves royalty, including the Queen.

Other traditional fare on the menu includes Toad in the Hole, Pig in a Blanket, Bangers and Mash, Lamb’s Fry, weekend roasts and Giant Yorkshire Pudding on Sunday afternoons.

Choosing safe, we order two ‘crowd favourite’ dishes from the menu: Beef and Guinness Pie and Pork Ribs with chips.

The home-cooked food more than meets our expectations. The hugely generous Beef and Guinness Pie is served in a charming ‘Simple Simon’ pie dish, the crestfallen face of the child visible in the crockery dish.

“Oh no, she stole my hat,” you can imagine him saying.

Of course, I did! I whip the pastry off, as crispy as it is, taking only a bite because the pie filling is steaming and scrumptious, made rich by the Guinness, the slow-cooked cubes of beef tender and juicy with a tasty sauce that I mop up with forkfuls of mash.

Likewise, the ribs are smothered in sauce and packed with flavour. They fall off the bone at the touch of the fork. It’s a hearty meal, the rack of ribs accompanied by excellent beer-battered chips and coleslaw.

Any doubt about British food is long gone. This is ‘fine fayre’ indeed!

No room left for the Sticky Date Pudding, though. That will have to wait for a return visit.

With an extensive range of British and Irish beers and ciders available on tap or by the bottle, The Fox and Hounds brings us bucketloads of nostalgia, all only a short drive away from home. Pop in for a Greene King IPA, an Old Speckled Hen or a London Pride at the British bar, a Kilkenny or Guinness from the Irish bar. This cosy pub will soon become your British home away from home.

As the sign on the front door says,

“May your troubles be less, your blessings be more,

and nothing but happiness come through your door.”

It certainly feels this way at the Fox and Hounds.

Fox & Hounds, 7 Elevation Dr, Wongawallan Ph: 07 5665 7582

Kitchen open Mon-Thurs: 11am – 3pm; 5pm – 9pm, Fri-Sun: 11am – 9pm

NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Destination Gold Coast.



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Coronavirus: living samples found on frozen food packaging in east China’s Qingdao, CDC says




Living samples of the coronavirus have been detected on frozen food packaging in the east China port city of Qingdao, according to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The announcement came after a CDC investigation into an outbreak of Covid-19 in Qingdao, which started last month and was linked to two port workers who had been patients at the same hospital.However, the agency has not shown conclusively that the workers were infected by handling infected packages or…



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This Indigenous fishing venture is tackling food security in West Arnhem Land


Nutritious and affordable food is hard to come by in the remote community of Maningrida in West Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.

Now, a group of local fishers are building a seafood enterprise to provide the town with fresh, cheap fish and much-needed jobs.

“We love it and we like standing in the water and walking on the beach,” Maningrida fisherman Randall Darcy said.

Mr Darcy is part of one of the few Indigenous-owned fishing companies in the Territory, Maningrida Wild Foods.

The venture catches and processes fish locally, and its operations provide much-needed jobs.(ABC Landline: Jon Daly)

A win for remote food security

Maningrida, on the Arafura Sea, is home to about 2,300 people.

It is 500 kilometres east of Darwin and most supplies, including fresh food, come by barge.

The high transport costs make food expensive.

Maningrida Wild Foods is part of Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation’s (BAC) enterprise development program, which is fostering social enterprise to tackle the community’s issues.

BAC enterprise development officer Rowan McIntyre said improving food security was the main objective for the business.

Mr McIntyre said the local fish markets were held weekly at the supermarket and offered one of the cheapest sources of protein in town.

“We do have a big focus on healthy eating and providing a local source of protein, and what’s healthier than fish?” he said.

A Maningrida fisher is holding up a barramundi on the boat.
The crew at Maningrida Wild Foods is the only Indigenous group to operate a commercial barramundi licence.(ABC Landline: Jon Daly)

Locals receive much-needed jobs

This year, the crew made its first commercial catch of wild barramundi.

Maningrida Wild Foods leases a portion of a commercial licence and is the only Indigenous group to operate a barramundi business in the Territory.

“We hope to provide employment, a fresh source of food, and it’s something that gets people back out on country,” Mr McIntyre said.

Maningrida has an official unemployment rate of 25 per cent.

The barramundi operation provides 18 locals with much-needed jobs.

Rowan McIntyre is standing in front of the fish markets in Maningrida.
Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation enterprise development manager Rowan McIntyre said food security was a big focus for the fishing enterprise.(ABC Landline: Jon Daly)

It builds on Maningrida Wild Foods’ existing commercial mud crabbing operations and several Aboriginal coastal fishing licences, which allow it to catch and sell certain fish species.

The barramundi licence was leased after local fishers grew frustrated with not being allowed to catch the valuable fish through the Aboriginal coastal fishing licences.

The NT Government and Northern Land Council have been negotiating commercial access since the 2008 High Court decision recognising Aboriginal rights to intertidal waters.

Mr McIntyre said local fishers wanted better access to their traditional waters so they could provide more benefit to the community.

People are buying fish from a market, and there's a sign out the front.
Maningrida fisherman Randall Darcy said seafood was seen as medicine by the saltwater people.(ABC Landline: Jon Daly)

Fresh fish the ‘best medicine’

The community of Maningrida also grapples with poor public health.

Poor nutrition has links to poor health outcomes and a higher burden of disease in Aboriginal communities, according to research from the Darwin-based Menzies School of Health Research.

Seafood is seen as healthy “bush tucker” by the saltwater tribes of Maningrida.

“It’s good medicine, it makes you good and healthy, and you fly around healthy and stay young,” Mr Darcy said, sitting cross-legged in white sand and having his fill of a cooked mullet not long from the net.

Traditional owner Don Wilton started the seafood enterprise in 2016 by catching and selling fish from his coastal outstation.

He said he had to act after he saw the negative effect junk food was having on his community.

Family liaison officer Felicity Hayes is sitting at the Maningrida creche with children in the background.
Family liaison officer Felicity Hayes said junk food was harming her community.(ABC Landline: Jon Daly)

“They [have] already been affected by greasy food, so we’re trying to sell those fish to the community and get the oil away from the body.”

At the Maningrida creche, the Families and First Teachers’ community program is cooking locally sourced fish to teach mothers healthy eating habits.

Families and First Teachers liaison officer Felicity Hayes said it was helping to make the community a better place.

Maningrida Wild Foods also sells fish to the neighbouring community of Ramingining and there are plans to supply other Arnhem Land communities.

“Lots of other communities are asking fisheries boys to go out and feed them, and to give what we catch in this region, in this saltwater,” Mr Darcy said.

“I am hoping the program will go on and on, and we want it that way and it’s going to stay that way.”

Watch this story on ABC TV’s Landline at 12:30pm on Sunday, or on iview.



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The Future Of Food In Singapore


AsianScientist (Oct. 16, 2020) – While it may seem like a distant memory at this point, dig deep and you should be able to recall scenes of panic buying across Singapore shortly after the DORSCON (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) level was raised to Orange back in February. Though lines at the grocery have since returned to normal, there’s no doubt that the coronavirus outbreak has brought Singapore’s food security into sharper focus.

The country, after all, imports more than 90 percent of its food—making it potentially vulnerable to disruptions in the supply chain. As borders intermittently open and close, it’s apparent that Singapore needs to lessen its reliance on imports and boost local food production. Accordingly, the city-state is planning to produce 30 percent of total food needs by 2030, up from 10 percent today. This “30 by 30” goal is incredibly ambitious, but not impossible.

“What Singapore lacks in space, it makes up for it with innovation and building the right expertise and partnerships,” shared Professor Ng Huck Hui, Assistant Chief Executive of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) Biomedical Research Council.

True enough, the “30 by 30” goal is set to be a whole-of-nation effort, with the country’s best minds from the government, academe and industry working hand-in-hand to strengthen Singapore’s food security.
Innovation from lab to table

As Singapore’s lead government agency for scientific research, A*STAR plays a key role in helping the country achieve its “30 by 30” goals.

“In the last two decades, Singapore has invested in health and biomedical sciences,” explained Ng.

With Singapore’s bet on biomedicine paying off amid the COVID-19 pandemic, A*STAR is now looking to focus on food security and resilience. In partnership with the Singapore Food Agency, they’ve launched the Singapore Food Story R&D program with S$144 million to drive innovation in sustainable urban food production, future foods and food safety science.

A*STAR’s Assistant Chief Executive Professor Ng Huck Hui believes that Singapore’s strong biomedical expertise will be put into good use as the country moves towards its “30 by 30” goal. Photo credit: A*STAR.

To this end, A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) was established in April 2020 to drive food innovation and earn Singapore the title of Asia’s food innovation hub. Meant to be a one-stop shop for all things food, research at SIFBI covers everything from food process engineering and nutrition to waste valorization (the conversion of food waste to higher-value products).

According to Ng, food safety science is also particularly important, in light of COVID-19’s unprecedented shock to supply chains.

“Good regulatory practices and food standards can facilitate trade and minimize food supply chain disruptions,” he said.

Another area SIFBI is focusing on? Alternative proteins. After all, recent reports have pointed to an impending global shortage of protein-rich foods due to COVID-19 and other factors.

“There are many innovative ways to repair our food systems while increasing sustainability for our planet,” shared Ng. “These include cultured meat and fermentation using microbes to produce dairy alternatives.”

Also contributing to the cause is A*STAR’s Agritech and Aquaculture Horizontal Technology Center (A2HTC), which seeks to leverage frontier technologies like big data analytics and artificial intelligence to build capabilities in food security.

“For example, intelligent sensors and imaging systems can help farmers detect diseases and contaminants,” explained Ng. “Meanwhile, data analytics and Internet of Things can help farmers predict optimal conditions for planting, feeding or harvesting as well as monitor their inventory in real-time.”

Innovation, however, doesn’t just happen in-house.

“SIFBI actively works with SMEs across the Singapore ecosystem,” said Ng.

In doing so, the institute provides support to smaller business who may lack sufficient resources to perform research on their own. Ng shared that SIFBI is also collaborating with external partners to nurture the pipeline of talent in the food industry.

“Collectively, these efforts will beef up Singapore’s economy and create innovative jobs with food enterprises,” he concluded.

New tools for old agricultural practices

While genetic modification may seem like a modern concept, it’s an age-old practice that dates back around 10,000 years.

“Humans have selected crops throughout history with more desirable traits such as higher yield, better nutritional values and higher stress tolerance,” explained Professor Yu Hao, Head of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Department of Biological Sciences.

With recent tools like CRISPR/Cas-9, the revolutionary “genetic scissors” that won its pioneers the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, scientists have significantly sped up the process—developing everything from browning-resistant white button mushrooms to spicy tomatoes. Accordingly, Yu envisions that genetic modification, or genome editing, can contribute to Singapore’s food story by generating new crop varieties with enhanced or novel characteristics.

“CRISPR/Cas-9 allows researchers to generate heritable gene mutations for crop breeding, explained Yu. “From a scientific viewpoint, plants generated from this technology are indistinguishable from plants that acquired genetic mutations naturally through traditional selective breeding.”

As a start, Yu and his team are using CRISPR/Cas-9 on leafy vegetables commonly found in Singapore’s local markets, like cai xin (Chinese flowering cabbage) and xiao bai cai (bok choy). In 2018, the country consumed more than 92,000 tons of leafy vegetables, of which 87 percent were imported. Not only are leafy vegetables nutritious, but there’s also relatively scarce research surrounding them, noted Yu.

“Currently, we’re targeting genes related to growth rate and flowering time to increase the biomass of plants,” he shared. “By delaying flowering in leafy vegetables, the plant could redirect its energy into producing more leaves for biomass accumulation.”

In the future, Yu is hoping to improve the nutritional values of the aforementioned vegetables by increasing their antioxidant levels, and even working on other food crops like tomatoes and strawberries.

NUS researchers Professor Yu Hao (left) and Dr. Norman Teo Zhi Wei (right) showing their CRISPR-Cas9 modified cai xin vegetables that can grow faster under urban farming conditions. Photo credit: Norman Teo Zhi Wei.

From shrimp allergies to seafood alternatives

This final part of Singapore’s food story begins with an allergy. After discovering his daughter’s sensitivity to shellfish, Sophie’s Bionutrients co-founder and CEO Mr. Eugene Wang felt compelled to search for alternative sources of aquatic protein. Eventually, he came across microalgae—tiny, photosynthetic organisms with a protein profile comparable to chicken eggs. Notably, unlike other plant-based protein sources, microalgae contain all the essential amino acids that humans cannot make and must obtain from food.

Typically, microalgae is cultivated in large artificial ponds found outdoors. Suffice to say, such an approach wouldn’t work in a country like Singapore, where space is hard to come by. To save space, Wang explained that they ferment and grow their microalgae in bioreactors.

“With a limited amount of space, water and energy, we can grow tons of protein in days,” he said. “This is perfect for Singapore as it requires very little resources.”

Working with a particularly nutritious strain of microalgae known as Chlorella, Wang and his team extracted a pure protein flour that can be used in a variety of applications.

“We can make milk, cheese, tofu and even turn it into burgers!” he shared.

The wide applicability of their microalgae product, combined with its relative ease of production, could one day prove crucial to enhancing Singapore’s food security, said Wang.

Non-profit organizations like the Temasek Foundation agree. Last year, Sophie’s Bionutrients won the Temasek Foundation-sponsored Liveability Challenge, walking away with S$1 million. The company has since funneled this money into scaling up production of their microalgae-based protein.

“Currently, we’re doing 10,000-liter fermentation—the smallest commercial-scale operation,” said Wang. “A minimum of 100,000 liters or even 600,000 could allow our unit cost to drop dramatically.”

Sophie’s Bionutrients is collaborating with A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovations (SIFBI) to scale operations, as well as to develop new flavors and potentially recreate familiar ones like chicken or beef. The company is set to open its first urban protein production facility in Singapore next year, though Wang hopes to someday expand to every major city across the world.

“That way, we’re not creating more problems in terms of shipping and logistics,” he shared. “We’re staying true to our mission to create a sustainable food production system.”

According to CEO Mr. Eugene Wang, Sophie’s Bionutrients’ flagship microalgae-based protein flour is fermented to achieve a more palatable color. Photo credit: Eugene Wang.

In hindsight, the country’s lack of arable land and agricultural resources may be a blessing in disguise.

“I believe that Singapore will be the world leader for the next-generation of food production, precisely because of the crisis we’re facing today,” said Wang.

With exciting developments all around, the future of food in Singapore looks bright.

———

Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: fanjianhua/Freepik.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.


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Storing Baby Food (Store Bought and Homemade)- Healthy Little Foodies


Safely Storing Baby Food is so important, regardless if you are making your own or using store-bought. Learn how to safely store, refrigerate, freeze and reheat your baby’s food in this handy guide.

Image of Fruit Purees and Pieces of Fruit in Top Right Corner with Text in Bottom Left Saying "How to Safely Store Baby Food"

Why Care is Needed When Storing Baby Food.

Babies digestive and immune systems are immature and they do not have the same immunity as older children and adults. For this reason, it is imperative that you pay close attention to food safety and hygiene when preparing and storing baby food.

Foodborne illnesses are quite common, estimated to affect 4.1 million Australians each year (1). The symptoms are unpleasant and for some groups with low immunity, such as children under 5, they can be quite serious. (1)

However, good food safety and hygiene practices will help prevent this from happening.

Storing Store-Bought Baby Food

Women Looking at Jars of Baby Food on Supermarket Shelves

The majority of store-bought baby food is shelf-stable until opening. If you buy from the ambient section you can store the baby food, at room temperature, until the expiration date. Do not use after this date.

When opening, it is important to check that the product is properly sealed and the packaging is not damaged. In pouches make sure the plastic cap seal is not broken and if opening jars listen for a popping sound, which means it has been sealed properly and is safe to eat. If this is not the case then do not use.

Once open, the baby food is no longer shelf-stable and will need to be refrigerated for storing. Replace the lid and store in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 days. (products with meats and poultry up to one day and fruit/vegetables two days). Any food leftover after this time should be thrown away.

If you wish to store leftovers then do not feed your baby straight out of the jar or allow them to suck from the pouch. Instead, transfer a small amount of the baby food to a separate bowl/container (or squeeze from the pouch onto spoon).

“Double Dipping” from the spoon-to mouth- to container can introduce bacteria from your baby’s saliva which can grow and may cause food poisoning. Throw away any leftover food from a bowl/container you have been using to feed your baby.

Storing Homemade Baby Food

Women Spooning Baby Food into Ice Cube Tray

As a baby only eats tiny amounts, especially in the early stages of their feeding journey, it saves time to make up larger quantities of baby food and store for future meals.

Cooling Food

After cooking it is important to cool the food as quickly as possible. Simply putting your hot food in the fridge may not be enough to cool it down quickly enough. Instead try one of the following

  1. Place it in an airtight container and hold it under a cold running tap. Stir it from time to time so it cools consistently all the way through
  2. Dividing into smaller portions
  3. Transfer to a larger or pre-chilled container and spreading the food out.

Never allow the food to sit out too long, it should be chilled and refrigerated within 1-2 hours, depending on the room temperature.

Refrigerating

Leftover baby food can be refrigerated and used within 1- 2 days. (products with meats /poultry/ rice up to one day and fruit/vegetables two days)

If there is any food left in your baby’s bowl after a meal, throw it away. Food that has been in contact with saliva contains bacteria that will multiply if left.

Freezing

You should never re-freeze baby food that has already been frozen and for that reason, it is best to divide the cooled food into smaller containers for freezing. A flexible ice-cube tray works great for this

  1. Fill each ice-cube section almost to the top with the baby food.
  2. Cover (with a lid or some wrap) and freeze until frozen.
  3. Clearly label and date a freezer bag/container.
  4. Once the ice cubes are fully frozen, quickly pop them all out and place into the labelled bag/container
  5. Return to the freezer.

Properly frozen, the food can be stored in the freezer for two months.

Frozen Cubes of Green Baby Puree Next to IceCube Tray

Thawing and Re-heating Baby Food

  • The best way to defrost purees it to refrigerate overnight and use within 24 hours. Never defrost on the countertop.
  • You can also reheat from frozen.
  • Reheat baby food until piping hot to kill off bacteria. Allow to cool and always test the temperature of the food before giving your baby.
  • You can reheat on the stovetop or microwave. Make sure to continually stir the food to ensure it is properly heated and to get rid of hot spots.
  • Only re-heat once. Leftover baby food, that has been reheated should be discarded.

Summary of Important Safety Tips

  • Always check expiry dates on packaged baby food and make sure packaging is not damaged/tampered.
  • Never feed a baby straight from a jar/pouch. Instead, transfer a small amount to a separate container.
  • If there is any food left in your baby’s bowl after a meal, throw it away.
  • Cool freshly cooked baby food as quickly as possible.
  • Freeze purees, as soon as there are cool, in small portions.
  • Never re-freeze meals that have already been frozen.
  • Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator and use within 24 hours.
  • When reheating food, make sure it is piping hot throughout and let it cool before giving your baby.
  • Do not re-heat food more than once.

Sources

  1. NSW Government Food Authority, Food Poisoning, Viewed 10th October 2020, <https://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/consumer/food-poisoning>

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SPC takes majority stake in AU food manufacturer The Kuisine Company


Iconic Australian agribusiness SPC has made a strategic investment
into The Kuisine Company by taking a majority equity stake in this leading
Australian manufacturer of frozen ready meals and finger foods. The company is
based in Emu Plains, NSW and employs over 100 staff members.

Over the last twenty years, Kuisine has grown
to be one of Australia’s leading producers of high-quality prepared meals and
finger foods with a range of clients including major supermarket chains, health
services, Meals on Wheels and other food service clients. The acquisition also
includes Kuisine’s wholly owned brands, The Good Meal Co, The Gluten Free Meal
Co, and Simply Special. Jitesh Gohil will continue as General Manager and a Director
of the Kuisine business.

SPC CEO, Robert Giles, said: “By acquiring
Kuisine we are continuing to grow our health and aged care sector offering
which already has a strong base through our existing ProVital
brand.
We were impressed with Kuisine’s success and see a great opportunity to rapidly
expand both businesses.

“The
scale and scope of Kuisine’s capabilities means that we can expand our offering
to include frozen foods, finger foods and ready-made meals. It’s an exciting
time for both businesses.  This announcement is in line with our strategy
to become a global agribusiness which we are continuing following our
acquisition of Pomlife earlier this year and joint venture with Döhler.

It
will be manufacturers and innovators who will help drive Australia’s post-COVID
economic recovery. We must all take the opportunity to support those businesses
so they can become leading brands that service not only the Australian
population but the world,” Mr Giles said. 

Pran
Gohil, Director of Kuisine Co said: “We are proud to have built such a
high-quality  family-owned business that supplies customers throughout
Australia. SPC is an ideal partner to drive the business forward into the next
level of growth stage to deliver high-quality food to people in Australia and
the rest of the world. We are looking forward to supporting SPC through this
transition.” 



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2020 Nobel Peace Prize: World Food Program Wins


The World Food Program, a United Nations agency that battles hunger and food insecurity around the world, has won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

The WFP, which feeds more than 90 million people a year, earned the highly coveted award “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict,” the Nobel Committee’s chair, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said Friday.

“The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a strong upsurge in the number of victims of hunger in the world,” she said.

“In the face of the pandemic, the World Food Program has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts.”

Reiss-Andersen cited the WFP’s work during the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused millions around the world to go hungry. “As the organization itself has stated: Until the day we have a vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos,” Reiss-Andersen said.

The WFP, which is funded entirely by voluntary donations, will receive a cash prize of $1.1 million. “This is a powerful reminder to the world that peace and #ZeroHunger go hand-in-hand,” the WFP said in a statement Friday morning thanking the committee for the award.

One of the world’s most famous — and at times controversial — awards, the Nobel Peace Prize has been handed out more than 100 times, going back to 1901. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won last year for helping to “achieve peace and international cooperation” with neighbor Eritrea. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who won in 2016, has said that the accolade had helped him achieve the “impossible dream” of ending his country’s decadeslong civil war.





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