MAX CRUS: Orange is the new fat


COMMENTATORS talk about a burgeoning health sector but actually it’s a burgeoning ‘Unhealth’ Sector, or ‘Sick’ sector, however that sounds yucky and you could understand politicians not chucking wads of money at a Sick Sector come election time.

It’s the truth however and mountains of pork crackling fly straight out of both Pollies’ barrels every election, not to fix the Sick Sector but to get re-elected.

Which brings us to the latest unhealth issue to raise its fat, orange head (no offence rangas, Donald), the renewed push to lower the nutritional rating of orange juice to that of diet soft drinks, 2.5 stars out of five.

The reasoning is sound, by the time oranges get juiced, all the goodness has been removed and they are merely fructose and water, completely indistinguishable from soft drink except in colour, unless you drink Fanta, in which case they are genetically closer than you are to your parents.

Given that kids (or more correctly, their parents) think fruit juice is healthy, this rating change is a good thing, right?

Not according to farmers.

Koala-killing, landclearing, water-hungry citrus farmers are already screaming it’s unAustralian, and they have a right to kill koalas, clear land, steal water and sell sugar to kiddies because their great-grandfathers did and anyway it’s all too confusing for consumers, they say.

The National Party agrees, naturally. The Nats (and their farming followers) are happy with science when it suits (genetically modified crops, better machinery etc) but quickly turn science-deniers when it looks like the gravy might set before it gets on the train.

Never put an obese child between the National Party and a vote. Sorry kids.

But juice isn’t even the main culprit giving our collective community custard guts, it’s custard tarts.

Have you seen how big they’ve become?

In Portugal, the spiritual home of custard tarts, Pastéis de Nata, they’re the diameter of a tennis ball. Perfect.

Over here, they’re a lawn bowl, weigh about the same and you feel compelled to eat the lot.

Move over oranges.

As for smug wine drinkers, thinking they are immune because wine doesn’t have a nutrition panel, well, drink up because it’s coming, and it won’t be pretty. Naturally the Nats will complain, arguing you can compare oranges with … wine … when it suits.


Angove Family Winemakers Naturalis Organic Rosé 2020, $18. At the bold end of the rosé spectrum, this suits summer barbecues when a real red is too much … is that possible? 9/10.

Carillion Wrattonbully SA Block 22 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, $50. Photo: Simon Hughes.

Carillion Wrattonbully SA Block 22 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, $50. Photo: Simon Hughes.

Angove Family Winemakers Naturalis Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, $18. Certified Organic in case you couldn’t guess from the name and the bee on the label, good, clean red for good, clean-living types. 9.2/10.

Vasse Felix Blanc X (Sauvignon Blanc) 2020, $39. Very modern sauv blanc in that weird and wild contemporary fashion. But guess what? It’s not only really interesting, it’s really alluring. 9.5/10. Extra marks for novelty.

Vasse Felix Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc 2019, $28. Serious and slightly oaky sauvignon blanc at a sensible price. Suits me. Have it instead of chardonnay. 9.4/10.

Carillion Hunter Valley ‘Fenestella’ Shiraz 2018, $60. With latitude and longitude on the label you can’t go wrong. Well, you shouldn’t get lost. Could be named after a part of a church or a genus of moss animal, you might taste both if you try. Serious, sophisticated shiraz. 9.5/10.

Carillion Wrattonbully SA Block 22 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, $50. Faced with the choice of Wrattonbully cabernet or some other region’s, it’d be a safe a bet to go with the former, and this describes why. 9.4/10.


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