Latest Posts

Scientists reveal secrets of insect evolution

November 10, 2014

Using genetic analysis, scientists have been able to conclusively establish that insects originated about 480 million years ago, and that they developed the ability to fly some 80 million years later. Read More »

The Promise of Aquaponics

November 3, 2014
Steven Carruthers

This issue has a strong focus on aquaponics, and points to the future of food production systems at a practical level to feed a growing population. However, commercial aquaponics has a long way to go before devotees can earnestly claim it is a sustainable food production system. Read More »

Blooming in the City

November 2, 2014
Cityblooms pilot project in 2001 involved many engineering/logistical challenges.

In the US, one company has teamed with a leading tech firm to develop innovative micro-farm modules to grow fresh produce in the heart of the city.


Is there a culture of denial with hydroponic produce?

October 31, 2014
Rick Donnan

On hydroponics generally, is there a culture of denial by retailers? If so, what is the reason?

My wife and I were in the vegetable section of our local supermarket recently and asked someone who bore the title of Assistant Manager whether the lettuce and tomatoes we were buying were hydroponic. He said he didn’t know but shouted across to one of the shelf stackers whether he knew. “Hydro what?” was the reply.

Surely, retailers must know what they are selling? We even phoned the customer service department of the lettuce grower and no one knew there either!

Is there a deliberate culture of silence on the subject and if so for what reason? Are vegetables grown in soil presumed to be ‘good’ and those grown hydroponically ‘bad’?

The lettuce we bought was we presume hydroponic.The roots were quite long and still attached. What we are curious about is what appear to be a scattering of ‘metallic’ pieces embedded in the roots. This is presumably fertiliser. Do you know what it is? Read More »

Clarity for consumers far from writ large in Country of Origin Labelling report

October 27, 2014

Proposed changes to the Australian Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) system would not necessarily provide consumers with greater clarity about the origin of their food, says Peak Industry Body AUSVEG, which fears many of the recommendations contained in a report released by the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry could leave consumers no more enlightened than before. Read More »

World Food Day celebrates family farming

October 16, 2014

Today, on World Food Day during the International Year of Family Farming, we recognise the valuable contribution our farming families make to feeding and clothing both Australia and the world.  Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said this year’s theme—Family Farming: feeding the world, caring for the earth—was the perfect opportunity to thank farmers across Australia. Read More »

Agriculture minister welcomes new horticulture body

October 8, 2014

The Australian Government has welcomed the registration of Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIAL) as a new research, development and marketing body to support Australia’s $9.5 billion horticulture industry. The establishment of the new entity follows a recent independent report into the performance of Horticulture Australia Limited which recommended a change to a new, grower-owned research and development company. Read More »