Australia is air-dropping vegetables from helicopters to feed animals stranded by wildfires

Australia is air-dropping vegetables from helicopters to feed animals stranded by wildfires

“The wallabies typically survive the fire itself, but are then left stranded with limited natural food as the fire takes out the vegetation around their rocky habitat,” Kean said. “The wallabies were already under stress from the ongoing drought, making survival challenging for the wallabies without assistance.”

The aid for the brush-tailed rock-wallaby is the latest effort by Australian officials and conservationists to save what they can in one of the most diverse — and now devastated — biodiverse habitats in the world. An estimated 1 billion animals have been lost in the fires as scientists warn that species of mammals, birds, insects, fungi and plants may have been wiped out before they were even discovered.

Even animals that survive the fires are still at risk. If their habitat is gone, “it doesn’t matter,” Manu Saunders, a research fellow and insect ecologist at the University of New England in Armidale told The Washington Post. “They’ll die anyway.”

Amid scenes that aid workers have described as “apocalyptic,” burned landscapes are littered with animal carcasses. The toll the fires have taken on Australia’s wildlife remains unknown. The crisis, however, has pushed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to shift ever-so-slightly on his government’s approach to climate policy as the fires have killed 27 people and torched millions of acres of land equivalent to the size of South Carolina.

“Climate change, it is the government’s policy — [it] has obviously impacted on the longer, hotter, drier, summer seasons. That’s the advice we’ve received. That is not contested. That is the position of the government, okay. Let there be no dispute about that; this is the point,” Morrison said.

The prime minister sought to defend the government’s handling of wildfire season preparedness, pushing back against concerns that he didn’t take enough initiative considering the dire warnings from local fire chiefs and Home Affairs, the federal agency that deals in disaster and emergency preparedness, that this would be an unprecedented fire season.

In a news conference later that day, Morrison said of Australian’s carbon emissions that “the government has set its targets, and we’re going to look to meet and beat those targets,” although he stressed in his ABC interview that he did not want to compromise jobs in the coal sector or seek to hike energy rates for consumers.

The prime minister said that he would call for a royal commission — a high-level government inquiry — into the wildfires.

Morrison did acknowledge his early, dismissive reactions to the fires. He was widely criticized for taking a vacation to Hawaii in December as wildfires raged at home and admitted to the ABC that was a mistake.

“In hindsight, I would not have taken that trip knowing what I know now,” he said.


As Australia fires rage, crews airdrop vegetables to feed starving animals

In an attempt to save the billions of starving animals trapped in Australia’s bushfires, the New South Wales government reportedly dropped over 4,800 pounds of vegetables Sunday, using helicopters and airplanes to access the area.

“Operation Rock Wallaby” was commissioned to send thousands of vegetables from the sky to feed brush-tailed rock wallabies — an endangered species at risk of extinction, The Sun reported.

According to a recent estimate from the University of Sydney, over 1 billion animals already may have died as officials warned that Australia’s wildfire season — which generally would last through March — was nowhere near its end.

A wallaby eating a carrot after NSW’s National Parks and Wildlife Service staff air-dropped them in bushfire-stricken areas around Wollemi and Yengo National Parks, New South Wales, Australia. (NSW DPIE Environment, Energy and Science/Handout via REUTERS)


On Sunday, helicopters loaded with boxes of sweet potatoes and carrots flew over bushland and canyons.

NSW’s National Parks and Wildlife Service staff flying with carrots and sweet potatoes before air-dropping them for animals in bushfire-stricken areas around Wollemi National Park. (NSW DPIE Environment, Energy and Science/Handout via REUTERS)


The fires, which have ravaged Australia for months, have spread quickly and overwhelmed efforts to contain them. Two massive bushfires in southeastern Australia recently merged into one gigantic megafire measuring nearly 1.5 million acres, NPR reported. In total, over 130 bushfires have claimed the lives of 26 people and destroyed at least 3,000 homes, according to published reports.

NSW’s National Parks and Wildlife Service staff dropping the vegetables from a helicopter. (NSW DPIE Environment, Energy and Science/Handout via REUTERS)

Efforts to save endangered wildlife have been underway across the country.


On Kangaroo Island, a refuge for some of the country’s most endangered creatures off the coast of South Australia state, teams had arrived to help euthanize livestock and wild animals injured in the fires.

The wife and son of the late Australian zookeeper and popular television personality Steve Irwin — also known as “The Crocodile Hunter” — told Fox News last week that they have initiated their own efforts to save endangered wildlife.


“We are taking what we can, we are doing emergency fundraising and building more facilities right now,” the owner of the Australia Zoo, Terri Irwin, said on “Fox & Friends.” “We’re at capacity right now for koalas, we’re over capacity for fruit bats and we are seeing a number of other animals.”

Fox News’ Christopher Carbone contributed to this report.

Officials airdrop vegetables from helicopters for animals amid Australia’s fires

No result found, try new keyword!Thousands of pounds of carrots and sweet potatoes are being airdropped from helicopters to help starving wallabies escaping the wildfires in Australia.


The 20 Healthiest Vegetables You Can Eat, According to Top Nutritionists

Asking a top nutritionist to choose their favorite (or what they view as “the healthiest”) vegetables kind of feels like making them choose a favorite child. Us? Not so much. Alas, anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock since their initiation on planet Earth knows a diet rich in vegetables—preferably of all colors, sizes, and types—is essential for everything from hair and bone health to immunity and weight loss. And quite honestly, vegetables and all other superfoods have been having a long-awaited moment in the limelight the past few years.

Vegetable-infused juices, vitamins, protein powders, kombucha, and smoothies are more par for the course over fruit-laden options, and there’s been a staggering rise in salad- and veggie bowl–focused grab-and-go pitstops and restaurants. Vegetables are cool again, and hey, as big proponents of all things health and wellness here at THE/THIRTY, we’re very much here for it. That said, no matter the fact that in our minds a vegetable is a vegetable (and if we’re eating one it’s far better than if we weren’t eating any), we’d be remiss to conclude all veggies are equal in stature in terms of their nutritional profile. Some are healthier than others, and to help us find out which are the all-time best and healthiest for us to consume, we reached out to four top nutritionists to give us an earful. Ahead, 20 of the healthiest vegetables to fill your plate with tonight. Keep scrolling!

Loaded with important, nourishing ingredients like iron (for healthy blood flow!) and vitamins B6, B12, E, and A, celebrity nutritionist and author of Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life Kimberly Snyder, CN, names the vegetable as one of the absolute healthiest to fortify your diet with.

Main Coast Sea Vegetables Dulse ($17)

“Dulse is one of my favorite daily staples, and it is absolutely delicious to eat in its whole-leaf form,” she tells us. “It’s low in sodium but possesses a naturally salty taste, so it’s an excellent replacement for salt in salads and other recipes. I like to enjoy dulse when I am traveling as it’s dry and packs well.”

“Romaine lettuce has always been a favorite green of mine,” says Snyder. “It’s terrifically rich in nutrients and shouldn’t be confused with iceberg lettuce, which is virtually devoid of any nutrients.”

According to Snyder, romaine is loaded with fiber, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, which all work cohesively to help prevent cholesterol from oxidizing and in turn preventing plaque from forming along our artery walls. For easy serving, she suggests throwing a handful in your favorite healthy smoothie recipe.

If you’re looking for a delicious (and still healthy!) starchy vegetable to add to your diet, Snyder highly recommends sweet potatoes, which contain free-radical curbing vitamins like A and C, in addition to carotenoids and beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Additionally, she adds, sweet potatoes may also help protect against cancer, heart disease, and other inflammation-related health issues.

“Sweet potatoes are so simple to enjoy! Just pop them in the oven at 425º for 40 minutes, and you are all set! You can sprinkle on some salt if you’re craving something savory, or even a little cinnamon if you want to satisfy a sweet tooth.”

According Samantha Franceschini, MCSN, a nutritionist and health coach at Parsley Health, bell peppers, specifically the red variety, are one of the healthiest and most underrated sources of vitamin C you can nosh on.

“We typically think of citrus fruit when we think of vitamin C, but bell peppers take the leap in this area with 153 milligrams of vitamin C per serving. That’s over 200% of the daily value!” she exclaims. “Additionally, this vegetable is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, fiber, vitamin K, niacin, and thiamine.”

Franceschini recommends opting for organic and enjoying them dipped in hummus, stuffing them with quinoa, chopping them into salads, or roasting and blending them into a deliciously warming soup.

“Two cups of spinach total to just 14 calories of packed nutrition, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and other powerful nutrients you need to activate your metabolism,” shares Annessa Chumbley, registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for Premier Protein.

“Spinach also boasts specific antioxidants that aid in eye health. I recommend my clients include two cups a day for extra energy and to help aid weight loss. I love mixing spinach with Premier Protein 100% Whey Powder so I can keep my protein and veggie count high and my sugar intake low,” she says.

If you’re looking for an easy way to help your body detoxify and discourage inflammation, Chumbley recommends reaching for beets the next time you’re at the grocery store.

“Rich in antioxidants, beets are composed of a unique group of plant compounds called betalains, which have incredible health benefits,” she explains. “Remember: The darker or brighter the vegetable, the richer it will be in antioxidants. I like to say that if a food has the power to stain your hands, then it has the power to stain your insides for the good! I love incorporating beets into smoothies with pineapple, banana, ginger, and lemon zest.”

Here’s a telling tidbit: Nearly every single nutritionist I spoke with listed cabbage as one of the healthiest vegetables you can consume within a healthy diet. (Unanimity speaks volumes, folks.)

“Cabbage is generally inexpensive and provides more bang for your buck than other vegetable varieties,” holistic nutritionist and cleanse expert Elissa Goodman tells us. “I especially love cabbage for its gut-health benefits, and it’s also anti-inflammatory and high in phytochemicals, which is great for cancer-fighting and disease prevention.”

Since it’s high in vitamins (think B-complex, C, and K) alongside important minerals like magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, and calcium, Goodman suggests using it as a substitute for lettuce in salads, roasting or grilling it with olive oil, or adding it to a morning green juice if you juice at home.

“Garlic is an immune-system booster and has so many benefits like fighting toxins and diseases in the body,” Chumbley shares. “I love making homemade salad dressings and sauces with my garlic.”

As Snyder explains, mushrooms are unique in that they are actually a type of fungus—a special type of living organism—without the roots, leaves, flowers, or seeds characteristic of the healthy vegetables they’re surrounded by in the aisles of the grocery store.

Cooked or raw, mushrooms are low in calories and contain unique types of antioxidants which protect our cells, fight oxidative damage, and gift us with lots of healthy plant protein.

“Mushrooms have such a delicious flavor and they really can be enjoyed in such a variety of ways,” says Snyder. “Try including them in your soups and stir-fry recipes or even stuff them into collard greens for a delicious version of my Gorilla Wrap recipe.”

According to Snyder, parsley is touted in the holistic health realm as one of the most potent detoxifiers and natural diuretics, as it helps prevent bloating and water retention by flushing out the kidneys.

“Parsley is widely known as a great digestive aid that helps remove toxins from the body in addition to cleansing and purifying the blood,” she says. “It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and E; minerals; and antioxidants. I’ll add it to my Glowing Green Smoothie recipe or salads and veggie wraps.”

“Cauliflower boasts tons of nutritional benefits. It helps fight early cancerous changes in a cell, it decreases inflammation, it reduces the risk of brain disorders, it helps balance hormones by regulating estrogen levels, and it provides high levels of vitamins and minerals,” lists Franceschini. “Some of my favorite ways to use cauliflower is to make ‘rice’ or boiling and blending it with soaked cashews, lemon, and a pinch of dijon to create a dairy-free cheese sauce.”

“Asparagus acts as a natural diuretic and cleanses the digestive tract,” Franceschini shares. “It’s also a great source of plant-based amino acids and important co-factors for many biochemical pathways in the body. I love roasting it in the oven or sautéing it with garlic, salt, and pepper.”

Similar to celery in appearance, fennel is typically associated with winter due to the meals it’s often added to, but it’s actually one of the healthiest vegetables to add to your diet year-round (especially if you struggle with bloat).

According to Franceschini, Fennel has high levels of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that can help keep your skin looking young while also promoting healthy collagen formation. To enjoy, she recommends roasting it and adding it to salads, or even cutting it raw into slivers if you want some extra crunch.

“In the same family as celery, celery root promotes digestive health, supports strong bones, fights free radicals, regulates blood sugar, and enhances weight loss,” Franceschini tells us. “My favorite way to use celery root is celery root mash! Watch out potatoes.”

“In moderation, avocado is what I consider a perfect food,” says Goodman. “It’s easy to digest and also increases the nutrient absorption of the foods you eat with it. Avocado contains healthy fats to help stabilize blood sugar levels, and they also contain immune-supportive glutathione and folate, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.

“Try slicing it on top of salads, blending it into a dressing, making guacamole, dipping your veggies in it, or even folding it into desserts like a vegan chocolate pudding.”

Aside from being tasty, Goodman praises artichokes for their density of minerals (silica and magnesium), antioxidants, fiber content, and cynarin—a substance that boosts the production of digestive bile, making the vegetable a great ally for those struggling with digestion and gut health.

“Steam them, bake them, grill them, boil them… They’re great tossed with lemon herbs and eaten in butter lettuce cups. I like them steamed then lightly grilled and drizzled with olive oil,” shares Goodman. “You could also add them to a veggie paella or make an artichoke sauce for tempeh or chicken. I also add artichoke hearts to my veggie platters.”

“The dandelion green comes from the leafy green portion of the dandelion and has a bitter taste,” Goodman explains. “They are rich in antioxidants, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and have been researched for cancer-fighting benefits. I like them for their digestive benefit and antimicrobial properties, and they’re especially great for the liver and support the body in flushing toxins.”

To serve, Goodman suggests sautéing the greens with garlic and olive oil, tossing them into pastas and soups, chopping them raw into your salads, or sipping them via green juices or tea.

“Broccoli is high in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc, helping to alkalize the body and keep bones strong,” Snyder explains. “It’s also high in folate and iron, which helps keep your blood healthy and contains vitamin A, which has collagen-smoothing and repairing properties.”