On a day when I read that 1 in 5 adults think parsnips grow on trees and hear that 76% of our local butchers, some 19,000, have closed over the last 30 years my level of despair rises exponentially. I am neither a butcher nor grower of parsnips, but I almost wondered whether it’s not time to give up and simply hand over the shop keys to Tesco accepting, as the Financial Times put it earlier this year, that it was time to let the British high street die. That took a mere second because I don’t give up on the things I cherish, especially where food is concerned, not ever!
Yes, you heard it right! The EU Commission is proposing an amendment to the honey Directive 2001/110/EC to define pollen as a natural constituent of honey – it will no longer be an ingredient.
What we eat should surely be a matter of choice? Not in the UK since the 1950s so far as bread is concerned, but change may be afoot. Whilst we defend the right to raw drinking milk, we need now to put the case for real bread.
A little while ago I wrote about the debasement of ordinary words and their exploitation for pure commercial advantage. Dominos Pizza leads the pack as it cynically pushes the ‘Dominos Artisan Pizza’ and presumably relies on no lesser authority than Lewis Carrol’s Humpty Dumpty.
Watching the Board of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) discuss the Microbiological Safety of Raw Drinking Milk (as agenda item 4.2 was titled) and the proposed review of controls at its meeting last month was really rather depressing and the outcome entirely predictable.
The Yorkshire rhubarb season is now in full swing but it was in the late 19th century when forced rhubarb first took off with zeal in what became known as The Rhubarb Triangle – draw a line from Bradford to Wakefield to Leeds and back and you have the location of an important part of my local food history.
Recently and within a few days of each other two reports emerged on the topic of sustainable fish. One from the PEW Environment Group and one from Marine Conservation Society which on the face of it appear to contradict each other on the extent to which Marks & Spencer offer sustainable fish. It is a case study which illustrates the difficulties inherent in present systems of accreditation and labelling of sustainable fish.