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

Hmm.

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?

Well done to City University here

Last week the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London released a briefing paper written by, among others, Professor Tim Lang, looking at British food security post-Brexit. It pointed out that the US is currently only the tenth largest exporter of food to Britain. “For the US to replace the combined food imports from the other nine of the top 10,” the report said, “would require a vast food flotilla and logistics operation exceeding that of the 1940-45 Atlantic convoys.”

Hmm.

It’s Tim Lang, so what idiot assumption has he made?

Leading food policy specialists have assessed the food security risks of Brexit in a new report.

Feeding Britain: Food Security after Brexit – published by the Food Research Collaboration – takes stock of how food security and food regulation are being addressed by the UK Government in the Brexit discussions.

The authors say a careless Brexit poses significant risks to food flows into and out of the UK and they urge the Government, industry and public to keep focused on food.

Oh Aye?

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Pissups and breweries come to mind.

Typical Guardian

As Brexit looms, stockpiling food seems the only sensible response
Ian Jack
I’m not spreading fear and alarm. A government as inept as this one cannot be trusted to feed us

We’ve not got that National Food Service. Anyone told The Guardian as yet?

Well, I’m willing to believe

Hotdogs and other cured meat such as salami and beef jerky may be causing manic episodes, according to a new study.

Scientists say they suspect the chemical preservative nitrate is causing the disorders.

They found people hospitalised for an episode had more than three times the odds of having ever eaten nitrate-cured meats than people without a history of a serious psychiatric condition.

The study was backed up a further experiment in rats who were fed a diet with added nitrates and had mania-like hyperactivity after just a few weeks.

Well, I would be, if they then fed people leafy veg (spinach, arugula) and then found the same effect.

But the larger idea, that there might be harmful effects? Sure, why not? For as with so many things we’ not be surprised to find more than one thing going on.

Those who, historically, ate such cured meats would not be deaded through starvation. The minor effect of mania would be swamped by that carrying on living thing.

Traces of meat in vegetarian products

Bit of a surprise, as there’s rarely much in the normal stuff.

Would be interesting – the results haven’t been released as far as I know – to know what the levels are. Modern testing is perhaps accurate enough to find traces of one of the workers having had a bacon buttie – I exaggerate, but not much.

And is there anyone who know this answer? What levels are allowable under the varied religious laws?

Judaism is far too practical to start to insist that 1 ppb pork in something makes in non-kosher. Yes, I know, all the different saucepans to ensure non-cross contamination and so on but still.

And there is that story about vegans/vegetarians moving from poorer countries to the UK and then suffering from anaemia and the like. Modern packaging of lentils, beans being remarkably free of the bugs and insects that had previously been nourishing them.

What are the cut offs for kosher, halal and the varied Hindu rules? Any idea?

Fancy that!

Laura Sandys, the chair of the Food Foundation thinktank and a former Conservative MP, said food insecurity had long-term health and social consequences. “We know that food insecurity can trigger a range of unhealthy eating habits and force people to buy cheaper, less nutritious and more calorific food.”

What? Poorer people buy stodge?

Bloody Frogs

It’s tempting to wonder whether Bocuse’s pall bearers were able to detect a rapid, rotatory motion from within the load on their shoulders – tempting, too, to think that perhaps France should bury its much burnished self-image along with the master. For this, the home of haute cuisine and haughty chefs, the country of foie gras, baguettes and Charles de Gaulle’s celebrated “246 varieties of cheese” has a dirty secret: it has fallen in love with cheap, fast food.

Damn this modernity anyway. Who wants to solve that most pressing concern of the human condition, how do I fill my belly?

Now isn’t this a surprise?

Campaigners are calling for a ban on promotions and price cuts for “sharing bags” of chocolates which many children and adults eat by themselves, consuming as much as 20 teaspoons of sugar in one sitting and contributing to the obesity crisis.

The charity Action on Sugar is also calling for a 20% sugar tax on all confectionery, which it says is the second highest source of sugar in children’s diets after soft drinks.

They never do argue or anything else, do they?

And what is our reaction to this?

The ubiquity of new year diets and detoxes could extend beyond January and last all year, thanks to the Government’s latest suggested health guidelines. Public Health England (PHE) is demanding a “calorie-cap” on supermarket ready meals and fast food dishes.

The suggested ruling, which may come into effect in March, would limit breakfasts to 400 calories and lunches and dinners to 600 each.

Ruling? By whom? And under what powers and authority to enforce?

Of course, there’s an answer. BOGOF.