Crunchy crickets, lab-grown meat, fishless caviar and more. Oh, and beer

Great National Science Week FOOD stories up for grabs now around Australia.

  • Cellular agriculture – growing meat in vats (online with NSW talent)
  • The science of beer – with sampling! (TAS & NT)
  • Yum or yuck? The chemistry of flavour (SA)
  • How will we produce food in a warming climate? (Online)
  • What’s for dinner on Mars? (Online)
  • More seaweed? Don’t mind if I do (QLD)
  • Bush tucker 101 (Online)
  • Searching for the oldest sourdough in Australia (Tasmania)
  • How to become a yeast wrangler for future fermented foods (SA)
  • Making caviar without fish (VIC)

These are just a few of the mouth-watering questions set to answered during this year’s National Science Week (August 14 to 22).

If you’re after more ideas for stories, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists, performers, experts and event organisers are available for interview throughout National Science Week. Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

▪ Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
▪ Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977 or 03 9398 1416.

Individual event details and media contacts

Growing no-kill meats – online, NSW talent

Scientist are turning to no-kill or cruelty free meat to help feed the world.

Researchers are helping farmers pivot – with cells grown in vats creating cultured meat.

UNSW food science researcher Johannes le Coutre and food journalist Joanna Savill are experts in cellular agriculture.

Ask them how meat is grown in vats, who’s going to eat it and what it tastes like.

Monday 16 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/the-future-of-food/

Media enquiries: Laura Boland, laura@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0408 166 426

Johannes le Coutre is available for media interviews.

Four breweries, four brews, two thirsty scientists – online and Hobart, TAS

ExBEERimental Science explores the science behind brewing and beer. It involves tasting. What else do you need to know?

Wednesday 18 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/exbeerimental-science/hobart/

Media enquiries: Matthew Fielding, beerablescience@gmail.com

Kelsey Picard and Matthew Fielding are available for media interviews.

What makes food taste yum or yuck? – Adelaide, SA

Is taste a subjective thing? Join food chemist Professor Susan Bastian to discover influences people’s enjoyment, or otherwise, of certain flavours.

Friday 20 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/the-science-of-flavour/adelaide/

Media enquiries: Hugh Scobie, Ancient World, ancientworld5000@gmail.com, 0497 346 952

Finding food in a warming world – online

How will we produce food in a warming climate? What if we run low on water supplies? Do we need to adjust our diet?

Join Generation Ag podcast presenters Kayla Evans and Lavinia Wehr to explore alternative food sources, sustainable fishing, fun things to do with food waste and more.

Saturday 10 July to Tuesday 31 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/generation-ag-national-science-week-season-special-podcast/

Media enquiries: Jane Goldsmith, jane.goldsmith@scitech.org.au or 0422 224 183.

What’s for dinner on the way to Mars? – online, ACT

Growing foods in space aims to provide nutritious meals to astronauts and future space travellers.

Part of the plan is to use a tested and engineered protein called Aquaporin – that turns bodily waste into drinking water. It also helps grow plants in space.

How will this be accomplished?

Ask the experts:

  • Dr Caitlin Byrt, an ANU Institute for Space Mission Specialist based in the Research School of Biology
  • Dr Jacob Humpal, an agricultural engineer developing automated plant monitoring systems for growing plants in space
  • NASA space crop production project manager Ralph Fritsche
  • Mt Stromlo Astro-guru Brad Tucker.

Excerpt speakers are available for interviews (Ralph Fritsche has limited availability).

Saturday 14 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/growing-food-in-space/

Media enquiries: Brad Tucker, brad.tucker@anu.edu.au; or Brittany Carter, actscienceweek@gmail.com, or 0401 332 137.

What is oldest sourdough in Australia? Is it in your fridge? – online (TAS)

Chef and sourough expert Morgan Clementson leads a team on a quest to find Australia’s oldest sourdough.

Collaborating with The Sourdough Library in Belgium, his team will also bake the greatest sourdough ever while developing a masterclass on baking the Covid-19 lockdown daily staple.

Saturday 14 August to Monday 23 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/ferment-home-station/

Media enquiries: Dipon Sarkar, dipon.sarkar@utas.edu.au

Secure the future of coffee and kombucha: become a yeast wrangler – online

Fancy a new hobby? The Australian Wine Research Institute is after school volunteers to spend four years catching native Australian yeasts to determine their role in influencing the flavour and production of fermented foods and beverages.

Saturday 14 August to Wednesday 31 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/yeast-catchers-needed-join-the-hunt/

Media enquiries: Ella Robinson, enquiries@awri.com.au or 08 8313 6600.

Anthony Borneman is available for media interviews.

Should we be eating more seaweed? – Woombye, QLD

Seaweed is a common and delicious element in many cuisines – and plays a key roles in building food security in several developing countries.

Dr Libby Swanepoel heads the University of Sunshine Coast Seaweed Research Group and is keen to help spread the good word about a food source that is often  undervalued in Western culinary traditions.

She will be sharing her expertise – and some seaweed samples – at an event at the Suncoast Christian College Auditorium.

Wednesday 11 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/sustainable-food-and-seaweed-production/woombye/

Media enquiries: Libby Swanepoel, lswanepo@usc.edu.au or 07 5456 5161

Bush tucker 101: what you need to know about Indigenous food and agriculture – online

What’s the nutritional value of bush tucker? And what’s safe to eat?

Join bush food experts including Gumbaynggirr descendent and RMIT PhD candidate Luke Williams from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand to learn more about the what and how of Australia’s indgenous cuisines.

Friday 13 August. Event details. www.scienceweek.net.au/event/indigenous-food-and-agriculture/

Media enquiries: Brittany Carter, brittanycee@gmail.com or 0401 332 137

Food served with a side of science – Canberra, ACT

‘Served With a Side of Science: A Canberra Food Festival’ is a weekend-long, city-wide event exploring the nexus of science and food.

Features a tour of an urban farm, workshops on Indigenous plant use or seed growing, talks about beekeeping, demonstrations on how to reduce food waste, and more.

Highlights include:

Multiple events and dates. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/served-with-a-side-of-science-a-canberra-food-festival/ 

Media enquiries: Brittany Carter, actscienceweek@gmail.com, or 0401 332 137.

The science of beer – what’s the malternative? – Darwin, NT

Is malt beer better than a regular brew?

Beer specialists are taking on the challenge of making a ‘Darwin malt’.

Local brewers are canvasing the history of malt and how to make a brilliant bevvy.

At a tasting with the brewers, CDU postgraduate students have been tasked with picking a beer to represent their research.

Saturday 21 August. Event details: www.scienceweek.net.au/event/the-science-of-beer-whats-the-malternative/brinkin/

Media enquiries: Rebecca Rogers, rebecca.lehrke@cdu.edu.au.

Make your own caviar, without a fish! – Ballarat, VIC

Join Federation University scientists as they demonstrate how to make counterfeit caviar, and share recipes for other amazing foods that can be made in a lab, using ordinary ingredients.

Sunday 15 August to Tuesday 17 August. Event details:

www.scienceweek.net.au/event/foodology-labs-science-cream-secrets/mt-helen/

Media enquiries: Stephanie Davison, s.davison@federation.edu.au, or 03 5327 9373

About National Science Week

National Science Week is one of Australia’s largest festivals, first held in 1997.

Last year about 1.1 million people participated in more than 1200 events, despite a global pandemic.

It is proudly supported by the Australian Government; and partners CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC. More information: www.scienceweek.net.au.

National Science Week 2021 runs from 14 to 22 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Or visit the National Science Week website for more events and activities: www.scienceweek.net.au.