My third grade hamstring injury – a right pain in the butt

Its now four months since my right leg hamstrings and the bone they were attached to decided they would like to divorce and get some distance between each other. Now in a way I don’t blame the hamstrings, fancy been attached to something called a ischial tuberosity.

Third grade hamstring tear

Third grade hamstring tears are classified as both ‘rare and serious’. Dr Google was an invaluable source of information and advice  when I found myself both  ‘rare and serious’

Grade 3 Hamstring Tear

A grade 3 hamstring tear is a severe injury involving a tear to half or all of the hamstring muscle. You may need crutches to walk and will feel severe pain and weakness in the muscle. Swelling will be noticeable immediately and bruising will usually appear within 24 hours.

Diagnostic MRI may also be used to specifically identify the grade of hamstring tear and its exact location. Source 

You can imagine I wasn’t too thrilled when Dr Google kept assuring me major surgery was on the horizon. This type of injury normally happens to people who enjoy extreme sports like Mick Fanning or Alberto Tomba  or Alisa Camplin and these people do need surgery if they have any hope of getting back to the sport they love.



Hamstring happily married to Ischial Tuberosity  

Hamstring tear

Hamstring and Ischial Tuberosity Divorced aka Ham off the Bone aka Proximal Hamstring Avulsion 

Having a proximal hamstring avulsion with more that 2 mm of displacement the literature wasn’t very positive for me

If a proximal hamstring avulsion has more than 2 mm of displacement, a surgical consultation for reattachment is recommended. Early surgical repair can yield superior results over both conservative treatment and delayed surgical repair of proximal hamstring avulsions.

The recovery process following surgical repair can take from 6 to 12 months or longer, depending on the severity of the initial injury and required surgical intervention.

As I said it’s a rare injury and not too many orthopaedic surgeons touch it. So I was very grateful to the bloggers who directed me to OrthoSport Victoria where I saw the adorable Brian Devitt and very lucky to have sports physician Dr Paul Bloomfield (who works with David Wood) visiting a town near me fairly regularly.

Because of my “age” (I so hate it when I get classified as elderly. Don’t they know 60 is the new 40) both the surgeon and the physician recommended conservative treatment (that’s the medical term for wait and see)

The reason being

‘The surgery involves an incision that is either vertical or horizontal under the gluteal fold.  After identification and neurolysis of the sciatic nerve, transosseous tendon reinsertion to the pelvis is performed with three or four metal or resorbable suture anchors.’

All this means they cut you open under your bum cheek and apparently healing is dodgy in this area for “elderly” people and they are not crazy about surgery so close to the sciatic nerve Hamstring surgey.jpg.

However there is almost no information available for people like me on what the road to recovery looks like with conservative treatment and as its rare not too many medical professionals have been involved in the rehab process. I have been very lucky to have have wonderful medical support and conservative treatment may just work for me.

So this is Part One of my story to share my road to recovery journey with other “elderly” people and the not so elderly who choose the road less travelled.

and the road to recovery is one plank at a time





Flaming Udders what will men think of next

Hairy men taking advantage of the laser tag/laser hair removal combo package.

I get asked lots of questions about dairy farming and farming practices and I must admit this one made me stop and think and take a step back.

Do dairy farmers in Australia “flame udders”  and the question was accompanied by a 2005 ABC article I have reprinted below’ Vet urges farmers to flame cows udders

Now as I said this article is very old and I have never heard of this practice before .

What concerned me most was comparing a cows udder to a finger. I think it would have been a lot more convincing if the vet had said “This practice is so benign I would use it to remove hair from my genitals”

Waxing and laser hair removal isn’t a walk in the park but I would run a mile if some-one suggested removing hair on any part of my body with propane torch no matter how cool the flame was.

Vet Urges Farmers to Flame Cows Udders

Posted 22 Mar 2005, 5:15pm

Australian dairy farmers are being encouraged to take a lead from the United States, and use a propane flame to remove the hair from a cow’s udder.

American vet Dr David Reid has outlined the process to a dairy conference in Melbourne, as a way of preventing infections on teats.

He says using a gas jet is easier than the traditional method of clipping the cow’s hair.

“We just essentially just flame the hair right off the udder,” he said.

“It doesn’t hurt the cow, it’s like if you’re a little kid you and you’ve ever sat at the Christmas table and moved your finger above the flame of an orange candle, it’s the same deal – it doesn’t burn your finger if you keep it moving.”

The process is explained in more depth here

What is flameclipping (flaming)?

Using flame to singe hair from udders is a fairly new practice that has been developed to replace electric clipping. Flame-clipping is similar to singeing the hair off your arm. You don’t burn your arm because of the quick, short exposure to the flame. With flame-clipping, hair on the cow’s udder is removed with a propane torch using a cool flame. The flame is passed quickly under the udder to singe the hair off. It must be done correctly to remove hair thoroughly without burning the skin on the udder or teats.  Flame clipping can be done in the milking parlor or in the larger feeding area. It takes only a few seconds per cow and should be done every 4 to 5 weeks.

Looking forward to some-one telling me I have over-reacted

Spring Harvest.jpg

My post has created some interest and a reader has sent me this again courtesy of the ABC

Spence Denny is brave, very brave

We’ve sent him to be frozen, we’ve made him take dancing lessons and today, we sent our roving reporter Spence Denny to the beauticians to get waxed.

It’s not just for our amusement.

A little bit of pain can go a long way towards helping make wishes come true.

It’s all part of a ripping campaign called Wax for a Wish, which encourages women to tear strips off the hairiest guy they know.

On 24 and 25 June, the Make A Wish Foundation is challenging blokes around Australia to be brave and wince through a few moments of wax-induced pain to help raise money for children and teenagers battling life-threatening medical conditions.

But it also makes for hilarious radio. Download the MP3 here 


Australia getting larger and larger – study shows a healthy diet should be a key priority for the country’s policymakers.


Source The Age

Food sustainability is about culture, education, health, equity and respect for the planet we live in.

Eat better, eat less, food for all. Source 

Always on the search for new and thought provoking content on responsible production and consumption  and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that feature in The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas  I was pretty stoked to come across the Food Sustainability Index website See here 

The Food Sustainability Index (FSI) has been created by the Economist Intelligence Unit in partnership with Barilla Centre  for Food and Nutrition (BCFN). The FSI is a tool designed to highlight international policies and best practices relating to global paradoxes and to the main SDGs for food, climate change, sustainable cities, responsible production and consumption, health, gender equality, education and infrastructure.

This study is composed of a white paper, a city monitor, infographics and a digital hub – all tools intended to further expand data relating to the 25 countries and the 16 cities which were at the centre of our research.

It’s a tool for all stakeholders which can be used to promote better awareness for all involved in the food supply chain.

The aim is to  promote sustainable practices and to rebalance the fundamental links between food, people and the Planet.

so how does Australia fair

Overall we are 8th on the list


Where do we star -Australia scores strongly on food waste and loss (ranked 2nd in the index)

Overall percentages

BUT  nutritional challenges have been identified as a particular issue for us. We rank 16th in the nutritional challenges pillar, well below other developed countries such as France, Japan and South Korea.

Australia profile

You can access all the graphs here  and you wont need a magnifying glass to see them

There is also a fascinating blog about us titled Australia’s Food Bowls which I have reprinted below

Australia has a reputation for good weather, healthy lifestyles, fresh food and a high quality of living—not least in its biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. However, growing urban sprawl around both cities, and associated high rents for agricultural land, are putting increased pressure on local farmers.1,2 If left unchecked, this process could have negative implications for the quality of life of the cities’ inhabitants.

Agricultural land around Sydney currently produces around one-fifth of its food,3while that around Melbourne can produce up to 41% of its needs. However, two recent studies—Sydney’s Food Futuresand Melbourne’s Food Futures5—found that this could change dramatically if current trends are not reversed.

The studies produce stark estimates of what current policies would lead to. For Sydney, these include that the area would lose 90% of its fresh vegetable production and 60% of its total food production, and that the Sydney Basin would only be able to meet 6% of the food needs of the area’s residents, from 20% currently. In the case of Melbourne, the study predicts that the area would only be able to accommodate 18% of the city’s food needs by 2050.

Sydney Opera HouseThe scale of the decline projected by the studies is quite dramatic. Although the food could be sourced elsewhere, this would mean transporting it over greater distances and sacrificing freshness. At the heart of this lies the issue of food sustainability, which is addressed in the 2016 Food Sustainability Index (FSI), developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition.

Local issues, national priorities

The three pillars of the FSI—sustainable agriculture, nutritional challenges and food loss and waste—all link to the debate about the future of agricultural production in Australia. Overall, the country came 8th out of the 25 countries measured in the FSI. This is one of the lowest rankings for a developed state, suggesting room for improvement.

Even though Australia scores strongly on food waste and loss (ranked 2nd in the index), nutritional challenges are identified as a particular issue for the country. Australia ranks 16th in the nutritional challenges pillar, well below other developed countries such as France, Japan and South Korea. This suggests that a focus on a healthy diet is a key priority for the country’s policymakers. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has warned about growing rates of obesity in the country,6with current figures indicating that 63% of adults are either overweight or obese.7

Ensuring a large amount of operational agricultural land close to major urban centres such as Sydney and Melbourne would help to tackle this issue. If urban sprawl continues to claim agricultural land and the share of the city’s overall food needs supplied by local producers continues to decline, the amount that residents need to pay to eat a balanced, nutritious diet is likely to increase. Producing food close to market reduces transport costs and negates the risk that higher energy prices will push up food prices. So-called “food deserts”—areas where there are very limited options for purchasing fresh food—are already reported to be quite common in Sydney, notably in the west of the city.8 In these areas, health problems related to a lack of fresh vegetables and fruit, such as type 2 diabetes, are more common.

Nutritional centres

Guaranteeing a stable supply of fresh goods close to major population centres is also central to curbing food loss levels (defined as the mass of food production intended for human consumption that is lost during the production, post-harvest and processing stages). Although Australia is a strong performer on this measure in the FSI, pushing agricultural production further away from population centres could change this. SeaFood that has to be transported over greater distances is liable to suffer a higher rate of loss. This is particularly the case for perishable goods. If grown close to market, the loss from these products can be reduced.9 In addition, transporting goods over greater distances means higher carbon emissions.

Getting ahead

All is certainly not lost. The Sydney’s Food Futures project argues that there is still time for policymakers to protect agricultural land close to the city and asserts that there are plenty of viable measures that policymakers could put in place to support this.10 Moreover, the study finds that sustainable strategies to integrate food production with other essential services could actually lead to an increase in food production in the area and create jobs for local people.

However, this will require a concerted effort from government. A key point of reference for policymakers could be the Milan Urban Policy Food Pact, signed by 138 cities in 2015 (including Melbourne, but not Sydney). The outcome is a plan aimed at reducing food waste, encouraging healthy eating and ensuring the sustainable purchase of food in an urban context.

More broadly, these issues are relevant to Australia’s commitment under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015.11 Six of the 17 SDGs deal specifically with issues related to food. In particular, SDG 3 (“to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life”), SDG 12 (“to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”) and SDG 15 (“to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems”) all have directly relevant implications for the urban sprawl and loss of agricultural land around major population centres. Source


Western Sydney University pairs with Mr and Mrs Cheese to deep dive into the delights of dairy

Our guest blog today comes from Chris Vella and his partner in crime April Browne who are the Science Education and Engagement Coordinators at the Western Sydney University School of Science and Health


Chris Vella (left) and April Browne (right)  with the award they won in partnership with Therese McGillion (project officer, School of Science and Health) for nurturing individualised, student-led scholarship, bringing agricultural education to the daily dinner table, and collaborating with genuine joie de vivre towards a better food future.

Chris and April recently paired with MKR contestants Jason and Annie Chesworth ( Mr and Mrs Cheese) to run a dairy engagement activation at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in March


Chris shares with you the team’s motivators and drivers

Food is something that we, at Western Sydney University, believe everyone has opinions on. People think, talk, write, and post about food every day. But, how often does the average consumer have the chance to  receive information about where their food comes from, directly from the source? This insight is incredibly valuable for urban-based audiences, and we, as an agricultural education institute, feel that part of our job is to help facilitate these discussions in the community about issues surrounding our food system- plus we just love talking about all things food!

SRES Dairy 1.png


The chance to help people get a bit deep with their food is one reason why we enjoy being a part of the Sydney Royal Easter Show. This year, the Western Sydney University stall was in the Downes Pavilion during the long weekend. With the dairy cattle surrounding and a space across from Dairy Australia, we could think of no better people to partner up with to create our stall than Jason and Annie Chesworth from Hunter Belle Cheese.

Focused on continuing the dairy conversation with eager visitors to the cattle sheds, Jason and Annie designed an incredible, Price is Right-style game called ‘an Udder Day an Udder Dollar’ (the Hunter Belle team get full credit for that pun) that we ran throughout the long weekend. Each session drew a huge, diverse crowd of people, giving them the chance to ask those burning questions they might have about the dairy industry.

In the following video Annie has captured Jason hosting the game. This was an opportunity to bust myths and pass along information about what goes into the dairy products that we all know and love.


“It was great to be able to interact with our consumers in a way they could connect, by taking it back to basics of what they spend weekly at the supermarket on dairy products and then aligning that with the production process. It was heart warming the amount of people that commented about how they didn’t realise this or that, so to think that we made a small difference to how these consumers view the value of the Australian Dairy industry was a very good outcome.”-Jason Chesworth

At Western Sydney University we are passionate about creating a more food literate society through our teaching and research. Our Bachelor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security equips graduates with the professional skills to lead a new era of agricultural conversation between producers and consumers. It is our hope that these kinds of activations (as well as the many others we offer in our school programs) can inspire the next generation to pursue a career in agriculture and lead a more sustainable food system.   

SRES Dairy 3.png


Thanks Chris

Good grief now coffee cups are destroying the planet – how did I not know this?

Don’t we all wake up to be a better person that we were yesterday.

One great way to do that is to reduce our footprint on the planet. Yet it appears we are all so misinformed and as the ABC brilliant new show “War on Waste” showed last night far too many of us (including me) are under the misconception coffee cups can be recycled. If they can it sure as hell isn’t happening in our country.  OMG the dairy industry would go broke ( or even broker) if our love affair with coffee was impacted

coffee cup left on footpath.jpg

A recent Choice article informed us

The well-intentioned caffeine lover who tries to do the right thing and recycle their cup may be doing more harm than good. The plastic waterproof lining of many paper coffee cups means they can’t be recycled with collections of paper and cardboard and may actually contaminate a load, causing the whole lot to be sent to landfill.

Factor in the hefty use of resources that goes into producing them, and coffee cups are landing a triple blow to our environment.

Now I do have a Keep Cup – in fact I have had half a dozen of them. I am paranoid about washing them up ( because I know refrigerated milk even little bits of it go off very quickly) and I leave them places – well at least they can be recycled or the glass bits can


Now we all know about disposable nappies. At least I dont have to feel guilty about this one. I soooooo remember all that soaking and washing and drying and folding of nappies that just having one child demanded. So totally understand the appeal of disposable nappies BUT here’s a staggering number – every day 5.6 million nappies are used in Australia.

After they’re used, 5.6 million nappies go to landfill where they sit and release greenhouse gases for approximately 500 years until they break down. The plastics, the fibre, the super absorbent polymers (SAPs) they contain that could be recycled are buried as well.

But as I approach that age where incontinence may become a problem it appears my footprint could go up considerably

With incontinence products, that number jumps to 7 million a day – Note to self Lynne remember to keep working on those pelvic floor exercises

Aged care centres estimate that a massive 40 per cent of their waste is absorbent hygiene waste (AHW), and with our aging population, tonnages are growing fast. Often this waste also contains medications that have passed through the body.

Then there is the evil wet wipes – I must admit I thought these were the bees knees until I heard people were flushing them down toilets. Green star for me I have never done that

Just how bad are they – a report by the Marine Conservation Society revealed that wet wipes have become the fastest growing cause of pollution on our beaches. Its volunteers are picking them up from our coastline at a rate of 35 filthy wipes per kilometre.

If there’s a part of our body or house that might harbour dirt, we’ll happily buy a wipe marketed specifically to sweep it away at the flick of a wrist

Wet wipes have grown in popularity – from kitchen and toilet wipes to moistened towelettes for keyboards.  Meanwhile they are clogging up our sewers, creating floods of noxious waste, and also triggering outbreaks of serious allergies. Read more here 

Now the Relivit people are on a mission  to find a better solution.

As they acknowledge disposable nappies are here to stay and it’s easy to see why – they’re convenient, effective and require no washing. Let’s also make them sustainable by reclaiming the materials and reducing waste by more than 95 per cent.

If you would like to see nappies, incontinence pads and feminine hygiene products reclaimed from landfill and recycled please pledge your support on the Relivit  Facebook page.

Goodness gracious me its time  somebody made being good a lot easier than it is now


An opportunity to create my autobiography – mmmh

Peta Bradley

Peta Bradley – young women in wool going places

Today I was invited to share my story in a forum that would see me follow in the footsteps of people who certainly don’t mix in my regular circles

As a I read down the list of people they had interviewed in the past Tara Moss’ name hit me in the face. Déjà vu I just happened to be staying in the same hotel I was five years ago when I found myself standing next to Tara Moss. Can you believe it she is even more beautiful in real life?

So, somebody gives you an opportunity to share your life story in 45 minutes in an international forum. 45 minutes is quite a long time – what do you say or my case what do you not say. Here I am, self-identified non-role model driven to provide young people in agriculture with the life skills necessary to thrive and NOT make the same mistakes I have.  I will have to give this opportunity a lot of thought – not sure I am brave enough to talk about the person, the pivot points and the drivers behind the facade.

Speaking of role models it has certainly been rewarding to be part of this three part series in The Land newspaper. It has been said you are a product of the people you learn from. What a pleasure it has been to to invite Max Edwards and Peta Bradley to talk about the role models that have helped shape them.  Next week The Land will feature Dwayne Schubert whose story first inspired the series. I look forward to this being  one of many features in The Land on young people leading transformational change in agriculture


Are vegans taking over the world?

I was recently in charge of ordering the catering at an event for a highly environmentally aware group of young people from non livestock agriculture backgrounds, only to discover that, that all important question for caterers (dietary requirements) was left off the survey. We will blame SurveyMonkey it should be a given in every survey

So there was a last minute guessing session for the caterer. Highly environmentally aware/non livestock farmers = 60% vegetarian, 20% vegan, 10% gluten free, 10% meat eaters.

We got it all wrong (no vegans, no gluten free) but we all got stuck into the Vegan Chocolate Balls.

Vegan Chocolate ball

 The vegan chocolate ball 

No-one likes to be put in a box and no-one should ever assume. After all I get cheesed off when people are surprised when I don’t wear gumboots all the time.

This got me thinking, if we had time to do call Dr Google what would she have said?  What percentage of the population is vegan/vegetarian and why have they chosen this dietary lifestyle?

Did you know Australia is the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world?   Data from market researcher Euromonitor International has shown Australia’s packaged vegan food market is currently worth almost $136 million, set to reach $215 million by 2020. Read the article in the SMH here

And there is a slow but steady rise of vegetarianism in Australia.

Between 2012 and 2016, the number of Australian adults whose diet is all or almost all vegetarian has risen from 1.7 million people (or 9.7% of the population) to almost 2.1 million (11.2%), the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal. While it is a nationwide trend, the shift towards vegetarianism has been most striking in New South Wales, where there has been a 30% growth in this kind of diet.

As of March 2016, 12.4% of people living in NSW agreed that ‘The food I eat is all, or almost all, vegetarian’, up from 9.5% back in 2012.  There was also a solid increase in Western Australia, with 10.9% of adult Sandgropers adopting a meat-free (or meat-minimal) diet (up from 8.7% in 2012), and in South Australia (10.4%, up from 8.5%).

As it did in 2012, Tasmania leads the nation with the highest proportion of residents who eat little or no meat (12.7%, up from 12.2%), while Queensland (9.2%, up from 8.3%) retains the distinction of being the state least inclined towards vegetarianism.

Where Australia’s vegetarians live: 2012 vs 2016


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2011-March 2012 (n=19,167); April 2015-March 2016 (n=14,380)

Australia’s vegetarians (and those who eat an almost vegetarian diet) are more likely to live in capital cities than in regional or rural areas. Given NSW’s vege-friendly status, it’s hardly surprising that Sydney is the capital with the greatest proportion of residents who eat little or no meat (14.4%); ahead of Hobart (13.3%) and Melbourne (12.7%). Source 

And its not all about the ethics of eating meat

As Roy Morgan Research has explored in the past, many Australians adopt a vegetarian diet for health and/or weight-loss reasons – and this hasn’t changed. Nearly half (48.7%) of Aussies 18+ who eat little or no meat agree that ‘A low-fat diet is a way of life for me’ (well above the population average of 31.9%) and 36.7% agree that ‘I always think of the number of calories in the food I’m eating’ (compared with the 25.2% national average).

Interestingly while 60.7% of Australian adults have a Body Mass Index that qualifies as overweight or obese, this figure drops to 45.4% of those whose diet is mostly or totally vegetarian.

And these insights and future predictions from Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research

“Whether people are embracing a less meat-heavy diet for health, environmental or animal-welfare reasons, the fact remains that this trend looks set to continue. Not only has there been an increase in near or total vegetarianism across Australia, but almost 9.9 million Aussie adults (53.4%) agree that they’re ‘eating less red meat these days’.

“If they have not already, supermarkets and eateries would be wise to revisit their vegetarian-friendly options to ensure they are catering adequately for this growing – and potentially lucrative — consumer segment.

“Of course, to do this successfully, an in-depth understanding of the segment is crucial: which is where the power of Roy Morgan Single Source data comes in. For example, Australians whose diet is largely or completely vegetarian are 20% more likely than average to spend more than $40 per week on fruit and vegetables, 93% more likely to buy organic food whenever they can, and 14% more likely to try new types of food.

“Roy Morgan’s ground-breaking consumer profiling tool Helix Personas allows businesses in the food industry to identify the country’s vegetarians with unprecedented accuracy, enabling them to create marketing campaigns and branding that are relevant and appealing to their target audience.

“For example, nearly 30% of people who fall within the Fit & Fab persona eat little or no meat. Based primarily in inner-city neighbourhoods, Fit & Fab tend to be young, sociable, sporty and always on the go. While they’re not averse to some serious partying, they are also careful to balance their action-packed lifestyle with a healthy diet – which is where vegetarian food would come in.

“In contrast, vegetarianism is frequently a cultural choice for the segment known as New Australians, nearly one third of whom follow a diet free of or low in meat. Comprised largely of Indian, Chinese and other Asian immigrants living in outer suburban areas, New Australians are well educated, socially connected and in the early stages of their careers. They enjoy domestic life – even grocery shopping, where they would certainly take an interest in vegetarian products on offer.” Source