While we have both fires and floods damaging crops, celebrity chefs and the Federal Government have teamed up to ask shoppers to buy local fruit and vegetables even though the produce may be more blemished than usual.
Leading Sydney chefs Bill Granger and Donna Hay have chosen a range of easy recipes to help make good use of the fruit and veg.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke says,
“As the heat relents and the water continues to recede, these hard-working producers will count the huge cost to their businesses..
They need to sell the produce already harvested and try to minimise the economic impact of the heat and floods, which will also help to protect local jobs.
“Buying some of these bananas or broccoli is a small thing to do, but it will make a big difference to these farmers.”
Where there’s a wilt there is a way, Hospitality magazine reports Bill Grainger saying,
“Just because some of this stuff doesn’t look perfect doesn’t mean it can’t taste perfect if you cook it the right way.”
Weeks of extreme heat across much of Victoria and South Australia have damaged crops including broccoli, cauliflower, leaf vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, apples and pears.
In Queensland and northern NSW, the floods have affected crops including bananas, paw paws, lychees, mangoes and sugar cane.
Heat damage can cause vegetables to wilt or turn yellow or brown, while flooding and extended time in storage can cause fruit to lose some of its bright colour.
Retailers including Woolworths and Coles have indicated they are continuing to stock affected fruit and vegetables from Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and northern NSW.
We shoppers should expect tomatoes from Victoria to be softer than usual and leaf vegetables such as broccoli may be yellowed around the edges or a touch on the limp side. Pears may be discoloured, and Gala apples could be slightly paler in colour.
Suggested recipes include:
* Lime cheesecake mangoes
* Glazed fresh ham mango chutney
* Simple banana cake
* Energise breakfast drink
* Passionfruit lychee salad.
For the full list of recipes, click here.