Long serving restaurant people

A piccie project in London:

‘It’s like a family’: the restaurant staff who stay in the same job for decades

Couple of years back was in London, late night, went into “The Grill” just opposite Convent Garden Opera House. Used to work there when I was a student, back in ooooh, 1986? Chatted to the staff a bit and found out that, although he was off that particular night a bloke I’d been working with there was still going. At least 30 years as a waiter in a West End burger and ribs joint. That’s pretty good going….

Can’t see that the place is still there tho’….

Complete Caca, Obvious Faeces

For most people across the world, life is getting better but diets are getting worse.

How can anyone actually be so damn stupid? The current generation is the best fed one there’s been since the invention of agriculture. At least.

Yet there are people who believe this drivel.

Tee Hee

In response, a backlash against palm oil has developed: last April, the supermarket Iceland pledged that it would cut palm oil from all its own-brand foods by the end of 2018. In December, Norway banned imports for biofuel production.

But by the time awareness of palm oil’s impact had spread, it was so deeply embedded in the consumer economy that it now may be too late to remove it. (Tellingly, Iceland found it impossible to fulfill its 2018 pledge. Instead, the company ended up removing its branding from foods containing palm oil rather than removing palm oil from all of its branded foods.)

What lovely virtue signalling.

Well, so they should

NatWest worker told mother all vegans should ‘be punched in the face’

And if you cant reveal your intimate concerns to your own mother than who can you?

NatWest has apologised after a mother was denied a loan during a phone call and after revealing she was a vegan told that they should all “be punched in the face”.

The bank said it had suspended a male call handler, who has worked at one of its southern call centres for between five and six years.

It has admitted the outburst took place and was “wholly inappropriate”.

The mother, who was applying for a loan of £400 for a nutrition course, said she was left shocked and upset when the man went on a rant about vegans during her loan application on January 23.

Ah, That is different. Assume it’s because his bird has stopped giving him steak…..

Is it legal to sell rats for human consumption?

A question. I’m looking for a food that it is entirely legal to sell but which isn’t sold because no one wants to eat the stuff.


Could use different example, sheep’s lungs for example. They are eaten, in haggis, but it’s extremely rare to see them alone – I have done, but 45 years ago. Used to be a specialist offal butcher in Green St in Bath.

But would like an example that would truly make the point. Rats would be good – is it legal to sell them, as long as properly labelled?

The argument, of course – chlorine washed chicken. If people want it then it will be on the shelves, it will sell. If they don’t then it won’t sell and it won’t be offered. So, the only reason to try to ban it – as part of the reason to not have a US trade treaty – is because you know people will want it.

Substitute rats and it makes the point nicely.

The implications of this are rather fun, aren’t they?

Skinny people should not act as if they are “morally superior” to those struggling with their weight because the likelihood is they simply have lucky genes, new research has found.

A groundbreaking study by Cambridge University, which focused on healthy adults with a low body mass index (BMI), reveals the impact of genetics on body size is greater than previously thought.

The results help explain the considerable variation in weight within a population that shares the same high-calorie environment and sedentary lifestyle, the scientists said.

Namely, that PHE can go boil its head. If it’s all in the genes then control of what the population eats isn’t they way to deal with anything.

Sadly, I don’t quite believe the finding here – the thermodynamics of energy in and out still do rather seem to matter. PHE is still wrong of course, free people and all that, but its for a different reason.

OK, so we know this is bollocks then

The reputation of the meat industry will sink to that of big tobacco unless it removes cancer-causing chemicals from processed products such as bacon and ham, a coalition of experts and politicians warn today.

Led by Professor Chris Elliott, the food scientist who ran the UK government’s investigation into the horse-meat scandal, and Dr Aseem Malhotra,

If Malhotra’s involved it’s bollocks, that’s all we need to know here.

Not entirely great but

“Lots of older people used to cook tinned tuna and mushroom soup in a pasta bake.”

Not much wrong with it either. Great way to stuff hungry kids.

She argued: “There’s a lot of myths in tinned food – it’s quite surprising, tinned potatoes are a really good source of vitamin C, and tinned sardines give you your full daily allowance of vitamin B12, tinned fruit and veg is just as nutritious for you as fresh. Tinned tomatoes contain more lycopene. Because of the canning mechanism it retains nutrients.

This is Jack Monroe of course. Lycopene, well, it’s processed tomatoes. Ketchup is the same, more of it.

But an interesting point behind this. Some things are going to be better – in that mixture of cost and flavour/quality – when tinned than “fresh.” Much more used to be, that’s why canning arose in the first place. Because tinned sweetcorn was better than no sweetcorn out of season. But now we’ve frozen, world transport systems etc. So, there are things we used to can but which aren’t as good on that cost/quality axis as the alternatives.

Note that the same can be said about any food preservation method. Are strawberries better than strawberry jam?

But this does lead to a question. What things are still available canned which really aren’t as good as the newer methods? Either fresh or frozen etc. Alternatively, perhaps because the list is possible shorter, which things are in fact better using the older preservation technique of canning?

Baked beans – sure, make your own, but it’s a hell of a bore. Sardines? Fresh are lovely but even today getting today’s fresh across the country is not possible. Tuna? Again. fresh is possible but…..peas, no canned peas aren’t as good as frozen. Except for mushy peas but then that’s a style almost caused by canning itself.

You see what I mean? Where does the older technology of canning still hold sway? Soups?

They’ve not grasped it about planning, have they?

Pizzas must shrink or lose their toppings under Government plans to cap the calories in thousands of meals sold in restaurants and supermarkets.

Pies, ready meals and sandwiches will also be subject to the new proposed calorie limits, in a desperate bid to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis.

Under the draft proposals, a standard pizza for one should contain no more than 928 calories – far less than many sold by takeaways, restaurants and shops. And the recommendations suggest that a savoury pie should contain no more than 695 calories.

Why not 925 calories? And who is going to check and how?

A French comment about McDonald’s

“I can’t believe you’re asking this,” said Stephane Loiseau, a 29-year-old account manager tapping his order – “un CBO” (chicken, bacon, onion) with fries – into the touchscreen. “It’s such a cliché. They’re cheap, they’re fast, they use pretty OK ingredients. Why should the French be any different from the rest of the world?”

The title of the piece:

From escargots to le Big Mac: how the land of haute cuisine fell for fast food

Well, yes, how dare they like steak hache au pain more than garlic snot?

Err, what?

Never let it be said that I do not suffer for my art(icles). I have just poisoned myself in the name of research. I have downed a dram of Soylent that I found in my cupboard and realised a little too late that 1) I bought it several years ago and it is now horribly out of date; 2) it was horrible to begin with; 3) it is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with modern life; 4) it is possibly made out of people.

What’s wrong with modern life is that we’ve so many choices about food?

Which are being idiots here

One in five vanilla ice-creams has no vanilla, cream or fresh milk


Britain’s longest heatwave since 1976 has seen ice-cream sales soar, but a survey has revealed that some brands are sold without vanilla, cream or fresh milk.

Something must be done!

There are currently no requirements for manufacturers to meet before a product can be called ice-cream. Only products labelled as “dairy ice-cream” should contain at least 5% dairy fat, some protein from a dairy source and no vegetable fats.

Oh, something has been one. Back to sleep everyone.

Don’t These People Have Editors?

Also known as could you at least try to be consistent honey?

Our problems with food in Britain go so much deeper than the pronouncements of celebrity chefs that I wonder if our diet needs its own #MeToo movement. On the one hand, we’re a nation of plenty; on the other, we have such a reliance on school meals that food banks are having to fill the gap during the summer holidays.

But this is not just about poverty. Food has also come to be about identity, class, race and gender in a way that it is not in other countries.

OK, divided by food along those varied lines.

Access to good food is regarded as a class issue in Britain, but our cultural attachment to junk food transcends the class divide too.

But we’re not divided along those lines either. Sigh.

Look there’s a reason why the traditional British urban diet was so shite. We were the first to industrialise, to urbanise, before all those methods of having not shite urban food for millions were developed. It’s really just that simple.

Lazy stupidity

When Jamie Oliver launched his new “punchy” jerk rice in supermarkets, he hoped consumers would fall head over heels for a dish “made with love” and bursting with “attitude”.

But last night his “knockout” creation became the subject of an extraordinary backlash, as Dawn Butler, the shadow equalities minister, accused the celebrity chef of cultural “appropriation”.

Confronting Oliver on Twitter, Ms Butler questioned whether he understood what ‘Jerk’ was and suggested that he receive a “masterclass” from Levi Roots, the British-Jamaican reggae musician and cook.

Sure, jerk rice is a bit odd, jerk is usually a meat marinade or style of cooking. But seriously folks, get over it.

Someone using an asian grain, a pre-Colombian exchange pepper and a European introduced (to the East Coast and Caribbean at least) bird to make jerk chicken is accusing someone else of cultural appropriation?

A very minor whinge

One of the house guests is gluten intolerant. No, really and properly.

OK. I thought about corn tortillas. Why not?

Only to find that all the ones in the shops are wheat tortillas. Where does one get corn ones from?

Wonder how this one will play out?

Consuming twice the maximum daily salt recommended by the NHS may be safe, a controversial new study has claimed.

A major review published in the Lancet suggests that salt is not as damaging to health as previously thought and that official campaigns should focus only on those consuming the most.

The NHS and World Health Organization say adults should not have more than a teaspoon of salt a day, because of the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

But the new study indicates that up to two and a half teaspoons of salt may be safe, and that more than this may still be acceptable as part of a broader healthy diet comprising lots of fruit and vegetables.

Given that the body normally self-regulates salt levels, that all sounds reasonable enough. But how are the prodnoses going to take it? And when will they reverse the insistence that everything must below salt?