News

Eggstra-large backyard discovery

By Country News

When Joe Cirillo collected the eggs from his backyard like any other morning, he could not believe the surprise his chickens had left.

The Shepparton resident stumbled on the biggest egg he had ever seen his ISA Brown chooks lay.

When he brought it inside to show his wife Pina, she was shocked and quickly found the egg a home in a box filled with tissue paper.

The egg weighs 170g, is 80mm long and 65mm wide.

The couple looked on the internet to find some answers about what could lie within, and according to the web the contents could include three yolks and even another egg.

We grow it, Bendigo

eats it

Bendigo is currently preparing an application to be appointed as Australia’s first UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

The recognition is intended to recognise Greater Bendigo’s strengths, history, potential and creativity in all things food and drink.

‘‘It is an opportunity to show the world how we promote and reward excellence within our local food systems, how we champion sustainability and work towards equal access to healthy food, how we drive excellence in food industry training and open our doors to new global opportunities and investment for our region,’’ according to the promotional blurb about the application.

The city is calling for input from its citizens to develop the application.

The region includes businesses, associations and programs falling within the following shires: City of Greater Bendigo, Mt Alexander, Loddon, Campaspe, Central Goldfield, Macedon Ranges and Hepburn.

Are they pinching Campaspe Shire from the northern region?

Wonder if Shepparton is missing out here, or are the good burghers of Shepparton content to simply claim the ‘Foodbowl’ title?

Scientist trying for synthetic-like cotton

The dream of a cotton shirt that does not need ironing could one day materialise into reality, with CSIRO scientists on the case.

Researchers are examining what determines the length, strength and thickness of cotton fibres to see if a plant can be grown with the characteristics of a synthetic.

‘‘Cotton often gets a bad rap environmentally but it is a natural, renewable fibre unlike synthetics which are made with petrochemicals,’’ CSIRO scientist Madeline Mitchell said.

‘‘We’re looking into the structure of cotton cell walls and harnessing the latest tools in synthetic biology to develop the next generation cotton fibre,’’ Dr Mitchell said.

Through more than 30 years of improved cotton breeding using genetically modified techniques, the CSIRO and its partners Cotton Seed Distributors have led the way in reducing insecticide use in cotton growing by 85 per cent and cutting herbicide use by 60 per cent. Australian cotton is also the most water-efficient in the world.

It is hoped that same drive for innovation can lead to clothing with less environmental impacts when being washed.

Whenever a synthetic material such as polyester or nylon is cleaned, thousands of tiny non-biodegradable microfibres enter the waterways, building up in the food chain.

But when cotton is washed, the fibres shed are biodegradable and break down naturally.