The Land Down Under has some interesting national passions to its name (Vegemite, anyone?), but a few recent ones are far more attention-grabbing than mysterious yeast-based vegetable spread. Here is a look at some of the most curious trends to hit Australia in recent months.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the growth of Australia's urban environment led to a housing shortage, which in turn prompted builders to seek out low-cost materials. However, the past few years have seen a rapid turnaround. As Australian homeowners have become more environmentally conscious, the sustainable home trend has been sweeping across the continent. New houses are being built using eco-friendly materials, and numerous existing structures have received upgrades that enlist solar technology, recycled lumber, and low-toxicity paints and varnishes.
Many of these eco-friendly houses may include another agricultural flourish: a chicken run. With feed widely available, many Australians are enjoying the benefits of having chickens at home. The birds are low-maintenance, great for insect control (a major plus in the outback), and provide a steady supply of eggs, which saves money on food bills. Chickens are also a natural fertilizer source (as anyone who has ever tended a chicken coop will know all too well), making it easier to plant and keep a healthy garden. They can be fed leftovers in moderation, too, thereby cutting down on a family's overall food waste.
If a household keeps backyard chickens, it is already a step ahead of the game when it comes to another rising star in Australia's universe: the farm-to-table trend. Sustainability is a growing concern these days, particularly in areas where the urban sprawl has crept beyond its original boundaries. "Nose-to-tail" dining (or "root-to-shoot" for the vegetarian audience) is an innovative and cost-saving way to promote healthy living and to cut back on waste. A number of Queensland restaurants have gotten in on the act; some may choose to only offer seafood procured from local fishmongers, for example, while others will grow their own herbs and vegetables on-site. In addition to being delicious, this food trend is also great for the environment.
With these trends becoming popular in Australia, it’s likely that other surprising trends will make themselves known in the future. Not every recent surprising trend has caught on, but the ones we have listed here have the potential to make a lasting impact for years to come.
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