Food

We’re told that meat is expensive

And yet:

Supermarkets have slashed expensive vegan sandwich ranges from their offerings, a survey has found.

Many major supermarkets have reduced or dropped their plant-based sandwiches, while others are charging more for climate-friendly fillings.

Tesco’s vegan sandwich range has shrunk by 28 per cent since 2019, while Morrisons and Asda have entirely removed their plant-based sandwich options.

Vegan sandwiches tend to be more expensive, a survey of 420 sandwiches from 14 retailers and food service outlets by the Eating Better sustainable food alliance found. On average, plant-based options were the most expensive sandwich type, Eating Better said.

How come? Really, something I don’t understand here….

Simon Billing, the executive director of Eating Better, said: “Three years on from our last sandwich survey, and with yet more evidence from climate scientists on the need to reduce our meat consumption, it’s deeply disappointing that the sandwich aisle is still too meaty and that plant-based is too pricey.

And that I certainly don’t understand. Prices are information matey. You might not like the info, but it is there and you’ve got to pay attention to it…..

Receiving stolen goods

The US has warned drought-stricken African nations that Russia is attempting to sell them stolen grain, presenting them with a choice between feeding their population or endorsing war crimes in Ukraine.

Officials in Washington last month alerted 14 mostly African countries that Russian cargo vessels were leaving ports filled with looted Ukraine food.

Don’t think the buyers are going to worry very much. Do you?

After all, theft washed through government happens all the time – tax anyone?

Who complained about this?

Appearing alongside MasterChef’s John Torode, the former Desert Island Discs presenter then asked Mr Goodman whether he was a good cook.

Mr Goodman replied: “My wife did Coronation Chicken yesterday for our tea. I’ve never had it before. I’ve never had curry powder before, no. My nan used to call it all foreign muck. But I must say it was delicious, so tasty.”

His remarks drew criticism from viewers, and later in the broadcast of the Jubilee Pageant on the BBC, commentator Clare Balding apologised for comments made earlier in the show.

It’s been a joke for at least a century that the Brits call anything even slightly odd “nasty foreign muck”. You know, like garlic. Good, plain, overboiled food, that’s British.

Blimey, seriously, who would complain about that?

No, they’re not

Eat grass to solve Britain’s food crisis, scientists say
Turning grass into protein could be the ‘silver bullet’ for food production

They’re not turning grass into protein.

feeding yeast onto the grass

They’re turning grass into yeast feed. We’ve known how to do this for 10,000 years – it’s called beer.

Here’s a little test.

By
Boudicca Fox-Leonard

So, can we guess little BouBou’s views on any subject?

The eating habits we need

We can, can’t we?

The eating habits we need to bring back from the 1950s
As we approach the Jubilee and look back to the time of the Coronation, we were slimmer and healthier back then – here’s why…

Yes, we can.

Dinner in the 1950s would have been cooked from scratch, rather than delivered or out at a restaurant. Meals took place around a dining table. Contrast with today, where approximately five per cent between the ages of 45 to 54, of a 2021 Statista survey, said they ate with family at the dinner table only once a month.

Mindless eating with your various screens wouldn’t have been an option given that in 1953 there were only 2.7 million television sets in existence.

“One of the things that is quite good about a 1950s meal is paying attention to what you’re eating and stopping when you’re full,” says Gray. It’s one of the many lessons she says we can learn from a 1950s diet. Eating proper food and making healthy decisions

Yes, sadly, we can.

You will starve and you will be happy

Experts agree that it’s the easy availability and low cost of highly calorific, sugary, salty, fatty food that has to be tackled if obesity is to be reduced.

Food’s just so cheap that the proles – THE PROLES! – have to let out their belts. Better do something about that, eh?

Fuck off.

You know, they’re mad

The public health Wallahs are worrying about kiddies eating blended up fruit.

Children are eating three times the amount of sugar they should be by the age of seven, a new study has found.

Research by University College London (UCL) revealed that fruit juices and smoothies were the chief culprits, with experts warning that deceptive labelling is fooling parents into buying items which are packed full of sugar.

The study of 2,400 British families, which will be presented to the European Congress on Obesity in Maastricht, found that less than one in 50 children is sticking to recommended sugar limits.

It comes amid record levels of childhood obesity, with four in 10 children obese or overweight by the time they finish primary school.

One of the things I keep banging on about is the importance of measuring properly, and of understanding what it is that you’re measuring. Here’s they’re fooled by their own insistence on measuring obesity in kids badly/wrongly. See Chris Snowdon for details.

From which they end up with this worry about kids eating fruit.

Yeah, right

Lowering food tariffs will not solve the cost of living crisis and it would be “misleading” to suggest as much to consumers, the president of the farmers’ union said after reports ministers were considering slashing import taxes.

Minette Batters, the president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), which represents the interests of 55,000 food producers in England and Wales, said lowering the tariff wall for imported foods “does not even begin to deal with the problem” of soaring grocery prices.

Can’t have competition for your members now, can we?

An interesting question

With soy sauce and miso staples of the national diet, Japan has one of the highest salt consumption rates in the world, with a daily intake of 10.8g for adult men and 9.4g for women, double the amount recommended by the World Health Organisation.

So, does Japan suffer from higher rates of those things WHO says salt will produce?

Sure, difficult thing to evaluate, for a centuries – millennia in fact – long diet will have culled those likely to suffer from the local diet…..

Missed opportunity here

Sheep shorn of 18kg fleece after three years on the lamb

No, no, no, three years on the lam is a much, much, better pun…..

Anyway, here’s the next business idea. Cut the costs of wool production by only shearing once every three years…..

Proof that nutrition is improving, the country’s getting richer

Remember that one about WWI? The finding that the working class squaddies, on being called up, were 6 inches shorter than the middle and upper class officer types? That is, poor nutrition led to stunting:

Teachers have claimed that going to work is “like walking into the land of the giants” because their pupils are now so tall and heavy.

The weight of 14-year-old-male students has ballooned from an average of 5st 10lb in 1970 to 8.5st, according to one of the leaders of the NASUWT.

The average height is also said to have risen in the past 50 years from 4ft 10in to 5ft 8in, Elaine Paling told delegates at the teaching union’s annual conference in Birmingham on Sunday.

Those figures aren’t correct but imagine they are. What should we make of them?

That Britain has become markedly richer over these 50 years. That the genetic potential of all – OK, more – has been able to shine through in the absence of that stunting. diets have become better for children that is.

Quite the opposite of what we’re normally told, eh?

You realise that these people are complete fucking idiots, don’t you?

Nature has a simple way to adapt to different climates: genetic diversity.

Even if some plants react poorly to higher temperatures or less rainfall, other varieties can not only survive – but thrive, giving humans more options on what to grow and eat.

OK, cool, correct even. Yep, diversity is the key to being able to deal with changing circumstance.

This from the same people who would have us plan everything – planning being the opposite of market diversity…..

No, really, no

Its rolling steppes and thousands of acres of rich fertile soil made it the world’s bread basket. By itself, Ukraine supplied a tenth of the world’s wheat, while at least another 15pc came from Russia.

A tenth of the global market in wheat, yes, 10% of that internationally traded. Which isn’t the same thing as 10% of the global crop. The global crop is up at something like 800 million tonnes, the Ukraine’s production perhaps 30 million. Yes, yes, pedantry and all that. But let’s assume that this is a food crisis – just for the sake of that argument – OK, we want to know how much of a food crisis it is, don’t we? Accuracy thereby becoming important.

Idiocy isn’t a good look

France’s top farming union has accused eco-protesters of “terrorism” after they hijacked a train and emptied six million baguettes worth of wheat onto the tracks to protest against intensive agriculture.

The environmentalists were left red-faced when they realised they had targeted the wrong train, mistaking it for one carrying genetically modified foreign-grown soya. The freight they emptied was 100 per cent French wheat.

Sigh.

Just a thought. How in touch with nature are you if you can’t tell wheat from soy?

The actual food problem

Forget Ukraine’s wheat exports. This is the actual food problem:

Russia’s grip on the fertiliser market is being felt by British farmers who face sharply rising prices that are expected to have a big effect on the supply chain and push up the cost of groceries.

Farmers are paying close to £1,000 a tonne for ammonium nitrate fertiliser, compared with £647 in January and £245 in January last year, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. The cost of urea, phosphate and potash fertiliser has more than doubled.

James Cox, an arable farmer in Gloucestershire, said that fertiliser used to be 55 per cent of the cost of his business, but will now be near to 80 per cent. “If I used to pay around £36,000 for my fertiliser and am now facing a £120,000 bill, where am I going to get that money from? None of us knows what the price will be for next year and we are all having to take decisions about laying it now.”

Potash and potassium are minor influences. The main cost of ammonium nitrate is natural gas.

We need to go fracking so we can eat.

Err, no

Ukraine is the fifth largest wheat exporter, accounting for about 10% of the global market, according to the FAO.

Or at least be careful with that number. Global production is perhaps 760 million tonnes. Ukrainian production is perhaps 26 million. Ukrainian wheat exports are perhaps 10% of the global inter-country trade, that’s true. But Ukraine’s exports are not, in any manner, 10% of the global market.

Well, no

The UK, for example, is a big net importer of fertiliser, while Russia is one of the biggest exporters of nitrogen and potash, two of the three critical nutrients. Now, surprise surprise, fertiliser prices are at an all time high,

It’s because gas prices are high. That’s where the nitrogen comes from, using natural gas. Further, Russia doesn’t export nitrogen although it might ammonia or ammonium nitrate.

The sorts of getting details wrong that cast doubt on other parts of the story….

A tad of history

Dozens of countries across the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa that already suffer from food insecurity rely on Russia’s and Ukraine’s bountiful supplies of wheat, corn, and vegetable oil,

That’s a hell of change in only 30 years, isn’t it?

This is cruel – funny, but cruel

So, they sent the bird to test the lipstick. OK:

On a cold and dry Tuesday evening, I had two back-to-back dinners planned for one night. The first dinner was a business-related event, which included cocktails, a salad, an oven-baked chicken main course, and a dessert sampler. The second was an intimate Lunar New Year celebration with friends. The menu included soup, baked pork, and pan-seared oiled vegetables.

Have they no shame? I mean, OK, eating all the pies and two dinners but really.