Hello Environmentality listeners,
We spoke to Ruchira Talukdar, Healthy Ecosystems Campaigner from the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and our resident gardening expert, Jodie.
The ACF is a well respected environmental NGO, acknowledged for their work on national environmental matters. The ACF and other similar organisations have been critical in helping establishing national environmental actions and policies such as the sustainable plan for the Murray Darling Basin and the marine parks networks.
|Courtesy of cpd.org.au|
Australia has the world’s largest network of marine parks. Marine parks are vital as they offer protection of ocean treasures such as beaches, reefs, diving sites and ocean floors. Marine parks gives the marine ecosystem rest and respite, they allow for the ecosystems to recover from stressors and pollutions such as oil and gas exploration, over fishing, climate change and pollution from land. It is important that we protect the marine ecosystem as it not only provides a place of recreation (clean healthy beaches), but also a food source for us and other marine life. Supported by the major parties, the marine parks was finally passed in the federal parliament in June 2013, now becoming law.
Sustainable seafood is another way we can protect our oceans. Our current love of seafood has meant that many of the world’s fish stocks are increasingly diminishing. Using sustainable seafood program such as that of the ACF has created in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, we can now be more aware of the seafood we consume and where it comes from. The sustainable seafood program works with local small scale commercial fishery to identify what part of their practices are sustainable, thus letting people know what fishes are sustainable and what to buy. General rule of thumb to buying seafood: ask where the seafood comes from, buy local and smaller is generally better.
Is there a need to reduce green tape (environmental regulation)? Ruchira explains that the move to reduce green tape has been directed by business in hopes to weaken national environmental law that protect places that we love. Weakening environmental laws, more specifically allowing states for final approval of developmental projects, may possibility lead to further environmental degradation; governments have proven incapable making decisions based on the protection environment and in the national interest. Rather Ruchira highlights that there is a need to strengthen environmental laws and that final approval of projects needs to remain with the federal government.
Jodie delighted us with preserves, as promised, Jodie treated with some things she has made at home. Although you can make preserves with any fruit or vegetable you like, Jodie recommends rhubarb as it contains its tartness when preserved.
For Jodie’s rhubarb recipe, cut 1 kg of rhubarb into 2 cm pieces, place in a food grade bucket with 1 kg of sugar and leave overnight. This will allow the sugar to draw out the juice. Slice 1 lemon, add 1 cut of apple cider vinegar and 2 litres of water, cover and leave it for 2-4 days. Using an old soft drink bottle, store for 2 weeks after which you can start drinking. The screw top will allow you to release any excess carbon dioxide.
Jodie’s recipes for mother of vinegar: add cider vintager to wine, bacteria will then form a chain that will look like an opaque white jelly. Bacteria will consume the sugar in the wine. Jaime’s recipe: add the vinegar to red wine, keep in the dark but allow air for a few weeks. Put the red wine vinegar into second container so you can start all over again.
But on an important note when preserving, we need to be mindful of food contamination thus always clean bottles and jars before storing your preserves. A good way to sterile jars and bottles is to heat them in the oven.
What about Jams? Use equal parts of fruit to sugar. Jodie usually makes 3 kg batches, adding 1 lemon or 2 limes. Jam Vs. marmalade, there is no real difference except that marmalade is made with citrus and the rind, making it a little bitter.
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