Posts Tagged ‘food’
It’s hard to imagine that it’s just over a year since we first found out that beefburgers weren’t, and trust levels in consumers are still down on those polled before the scandal- an One Poll survey a year ago found that trust in foodstuffs fell from 69% to 35% . A new YouGov survey for the National Farmers’ Union shows the level of trust is now back up to 52% , but apparently trusting British is the way to go.
NFU President Peter Kendall said that the results of the YouGov survey showed that “79 per cent of British people think British supermarkets should sell more food produced on British farms.”
“This survey shows very clearly that consumers want more British food, so I hope they will take this on board and act on it,” he concluded.
The NFU comments come as farmers, particularly in the South, have faced terrible weather conditions and waterlogged land, that will likely impact on their produce and livelihood.Not to mention denting the supply, and presumably, increasing costs. Mr Kendall wants retailers, like the giant supermarket brands, to “commit to stocking more British food” and to “develop committed, fair and beneficial relationships” with farmers.
Of course, it is no surprise that a British farmers’ union would advocate buying British rather than buying cheap foreign muck -“We’re not saying that supermarkets should not stock any foreign produce. But we would urge the retailers to listen to what consumers are saying.” However, do consumers really want British food, or is cost still king? With renewed reports that incomes are not keeping pace with the rising cost of living, and record numbers of families taking in lodgers, would you steadfastly buy British, or would you rather have enough to eat, regardless of where it came from?
They’ll also be making a move into giving everyone the opportunity to make mobile phone payments when they go in to pay £1.09 for a pastie.
The company want to increase sales of products below 400 calories, when maybe, they might see a growth if they make the most unhealthy food imaginable, thereby making it a guilty pleasure and joining in the Britain’s current fetishisation of greasy burgers and the like.
Less health. More junk!
“We’ve got a significant number of products, particularly in the sandwich range, that qualify under that banner and we want to make more of that as part of the sandwich work that we’re doing,” Chief Executive Roger Whiteside told Reuters on Wednesday.
Either way, they’ll have more butties, won’t be stopping the sale of sausage rolls and you’ll be able to pay for stuff with your phone, so there you go. Welcome to the Greggs of the future.
Everyone loves a bit of sausage on Valentine’s Day, so how about a salami bouquet? From $50, you can despatch some meat to your loved one via Olympic Provisions.
Offered in 3, 6, and 13 stem bouquets:
- The 3 stem includes 1 Italian salami, 1 French salami, and 1 Spanish salami
- The 6 stem includes 2 Italian salami, 2 French salami, 1 Spanish salami, and 1 Greek salami
- The 13 stem includes one of each of the 12 salami and 1 chocolate salami.
What an amazing world we live in.
If your kid thinks that oven chips come from ovens and tuna is a kind of chicken, then Tesco’s ‘Eat Happy’ project is designed to help them find out where food comes from. (er…Tesco?)
The first part of this new project is the Farm to Fork initiative, where bored school children will tour factories and farms (possibly missing out abattoirs) and be forced to talk to coffee growers from Costa Rica. BOR-iNG. I mean, GREAT!
Tesco, in their continuing attempts to shed their reputation for being heartless megalomaniacs, will be investing 15 million in the scheme, which includes a digital launch and cookery classes in store. The aim is to help ‘the next generation have a healthier and happier relationship with food.’
So kids will go from garbage eating, clueless idiots to food bores who will say pretentious things about ‘provenance’ in restaurants.
Chris Bush, Tesco’s MD added:
‘We know parents are concerned that kids don’t always understand how food is made and where it comes from, which is important to developing a strong positive life-long relationship with food.’
I don’t know what he’s on about. Personally I’ve had a life-long relationship with Jammie Dodgers, Findus Crispy Pancakes and whatever the hell is in Rustler’s microwaveable burgers.
McDonalds gets a bad rep, but things have turned around in the company’s reputation in the last couple of years – their coffee isn’t terrible, Big Macs have less fat in them than most pre-packed sandwiches, and you can make a Filet o’Fish last a couple of hours while you use their wifi.
But McDonalds’ grip on the world’s munchies appetite is slipping. Admittedly with 34,000 branches of the chain, an overall sales fall of 0.1% isn’t that big a deal, and sales have actually increased by 1% across Europe in Q4.
The company, in a ‘no shit’ kinda way, have claimed that 2013 was a “challenging year”, but still plan to open up to 1600 new outlets across the planet. Globally they still face big competition from Burger King and Wendy’s, but over here in the UK it looks like they are fast being outnumbered two-to-one by Tesco Express.
Maybe they should go back to being outrageously unhealthy and not giving a shit because that’s precisely the reason you go? Sod being healthy.
Ok, so we all know that Marmite polarizes opinion and Irn Bru tastes like rusty orange bubblegum, but surely they’re not a health risk?
Well, Canada has a different opinion. Apparently some of the lovely additives in our favourite British treats are illegal in Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is busy shutting down stores who stock British products for homesick ex-pats.
One of the issues they have with our products are synthetic colourings, some of which are banned in Canada. Irn Bru contains the excellent sounding Ponceau 4R, which give it its otherworldly ginger glow.
But they’re also not allowing any foodstuff that’s ‘enriched with vitamins and minerals.’ Marmite has extra vitamin B12 and Riboflavin (B2) so contravenes their regulations. Other ‘enriched’ foods include Penguin biscuits, Bovril, Ovaltine and Lucozade.
Irn-Bru have managed to get round the ban by creating a Canada-specific recipe that doesn’t include Ponceau 4R. But it’s sad news for the rest, and it means that British born Canadian citizens can’t get their Marmite fix – even though there’s nothing wrong with it at all.
Meanwhile, Canada gave the world Celine Dion, and if she isn’t a health risk, then nothing is.
The UK could soon be overrun with branches of Subway, as the American chain announced a major expansion across Britain and Ireland, creating 13,000 jobs. They plan to increase the amount of franchises from 1,731 by 3000 by 2020 – that’s a hell of a lot of not-very-nice sandwiches.
Some might say that the last thing the UK needs is another dire US fast food chain that pumps sugar and additives into everything and creates entire generations of kids who think that food should be 5 foot long and covered in Ranch dressing that looks like Satan’s semen.
But the response to the Subway chain in the UK has been so strong that we represent their biggest market outside America. Their new £2 breakfast range – which includes something terrifyingly visceral called a ‘Mega Melt’- is going down a storm.
Subway Europe’s assistant regional director Mike Charest said (in retail robot speak): ‘The UK and Irish markets have been fantastic success stories for the Subway brand and we see opportunities for further growth as more and more consumers demand great tasting food at a value price-point.’
But what we really need to worry about is this. What will happen to Greggs if Subway take over the country? Will the Meatball Marinara triumph over the sausage roll? Or will Subway be squished by the sheer lardy power of the cheese savoury Big Softee?
It seems that the British public has long memories when it comes to horsemeat, and they never want to risk accidentally eating perfectly edible and safe horsemeat ever again. Instead, people have started using their local butcher – who probably scratches his dandruff into the sausages – but at least he’s not a horse, or worse still, a FOREIGN HORSE FROM ROMANIA.
According to the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, the good old independent British butcher is experiencing an upturn in fortunes, with reports of a 15%-50% increase in demand. Customers are keen to know the provenance of their meat since the horsemeat scandal, and butchers have managed to hold onto their trade – as stripy-aproned random guys with massive knives are seen to be more of a trusted source of local produce than the supermarket.
Still, although it might be borne out of unfounded squeamishness and xenophobia, people buying their food from a local small business is a nice return to the butcher/baker/candlestick maker high street shopping of old. Roger Kelsey, CEO of the NFMFT said:
‘Independent butchers have the benefit of local supply and in most cases they know the farmer up the road and have a one-to-one relationship with them.’
Eeee, I remember when it were all Asda superstores round here, as far as the eye could see…
There’s a new scheme that has been launched which want to give Scotch whisky some protection from crappy, sub-standard products. And it really is about time. The French have made huge amounts of money by having their famous produce protected, like champagne and most of their cheeses.
The Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme, set up by the government, is hoping to do the same with our booze, so you know that, if you’re spending your money on whisky, you’re not getting an inferior product. If we could do the same for our cheese and sausages, that would be great (Lancashire cheese should be made in Lancashire and Lincolnshire sausages should be made in Lincolnshire, rather than anyone from anywhere simply following the recipe for a regional cheese).
This protection will be extended to other geographically specific drinks, such as Somerset Cider Brandy and whiskey made in Northern Ireland, with blenders, producers, bottlers and importers needing to apply to HMRC if they want to be verified. It might seem like a trivial thing, but the country stands to make much more money on drink and food, so it can’t be a bad thing.
Producers will have to sign up for the scheme if they want to sell within the EU.
Scotch Whisky Association chief executive David Frost said: “This is a step change in the protection of Scotch whisky and should be warmly welcomed. We fully support the introduction of the verification scheme by the UK government. It will give even more protection to consumers of Scotch whisky.”
“It will greatly improve the industry’s ability to stop the sale of adulterated Scotch whiskies bottled abroad.”
A café is supposed to be little oasis of calm and contemplation, where you can refuel and relax. But not Café Ziferblat, a new business in London’s idiot capital Shoreditch. Instead of charging you for tea, coffee and biscuits, they charge for that most precious of commodities – time. 3p a minute, to be exact.
At Ziferblat (which means clock face in Russian, yeah?) an antique clock is given to you when you arrive, then you hand it back when you leave. In between that, you actually have to make your own coffee and do your own dishes. So basically, it’s a room full of chairs and tables and a kettle, which you rent out by the minute.
Apparently Café Ziferblat has been a big hit in Russia, where people aren’t used to having nice things. Owner Ivan Mitin boasts nine branches there, which bring in 30,000 customers a month. He calls it a ‘free space’ (which is er, not free) where customers can be ‘micro tenants’.
But will it take off here? Because apparently I’ve heard that there’s this great place called ‘Your House’ where there’s a kettle and you don’t have to shell out 3p a minute to sit at a table with a bunch of East London trendy eejits being mercilessly tormented by f***** ticking f***** antique clocks.
It’s always been hard to imagine how the dry discs that are Belvita breakfast biscuits could constitute a healthy, filling breakfast. And guess what? They’re full of sugar and fat – so much so that you may as well scoff a packet of Hob Nobs in a bowl with some milk.
That’s according to Which! who tested a range of breakfast biscuits, and found that seven out of ten of them had more sugar per 100g than a Digestive biscuit. Most breakfast biscuits, like Oat So Simple bars, Belvita and McVities are full of ‘healthy’ honey (sugar) and yoghurt (fat). But they usually contain around 25% sugar – compared to Corn Flakes (8% sugar) and Digestives with 16.6% sugar.
It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to eat them anyway, but Which! have decreed that breakfast biscuits are, essentially, just biscuits in disguise.
Richard Headland from Which! said: ‘It’s tempting to grab a breakfast biscuit when you’re on the go, but we’ve found they’re not always the healthiest choice. You’re probably better off with a bowl of porridge or a healthier cereal, like Weetabix.’
ARRRRRGH! The fate of the banana could be in jeopardy, thanks to plagues of bugs and banana related infections that are currently sweeping Costa Rican banana crops.
The bugs, called mealybugs, might sound like cosy little critters made up by Roald Dahl, but they’re a menace to our yellow, fruity friends. Along with their partners in crime, scale bugs, they’ve destroyed almost 20% of banana crops – and the problem is so bad that Costa Rica has declared a national banana emergency.
Magda Gonzalez, from the agricultural ministry, said the reason the bugs – which weaken the plants and cause discolouration on the fruit – were spreading was clear. ‘I can tell you with near certainty that climate change is behind these pests.’
But the problem isn’t just confined to Costa Rica, or bugs. Scientists have also found a strain of fungus, catchily named Fusarium oxysporum f. sp.cubense (Foc), in banana crops as widespread as Mozambique and Jordan. Experts are now worried that the plague will spread to the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean, where 80% of bananas are grown.
We need help, otherwise our favourite fruit will die!
If this isn’t a case for Bananaman, I don’t know what is.
Forget guns, there’s soon going to be a 3D printer that can print out…PIZZA! The device, invented by Natural Machines of Barcelona, builds up layers of ingredients which you can ‘design’ using the control panel. It does pizza, pasta, and even cakes.
The ‘Foodini’ (see what they did, there?) goes on sale in the middle of next year and costs £835. The fresh ingredients come in capsules, like edible printer ink, and are sold separately.
But although it sounds really exciting and modern, printing out your food could be as time consuming as measuring out ingredients and preparing it yourself. And there’s one – fairly major – drawback. It doesn’t actually COOK it.
‘Foodini does not automate all your cooking, nor does it cook food. If necessary, it can keep food warm as it works as it contains a heating element.’ Said a spokesman for the company.
So instead of faffing around with capsules and a machine that costs the best part of a month’s wages, you could just go to the shops, get a frozen Dr Oetker for £2.99 and put it in the oven.
Yeah, let’s do that, instead.
Like apples? We’re talking about the fruit, not the gadget-makers. Well, you’ve been eating them all wrong.
Grub-botherers Foodbeast, who have previously told us that we’ve been doing Tic-Tacs all wrong and removing the green bit off a strawberry like idiots and more, are now showing us the error of our ways with apples. Seems trivial, but you’ve been wasting “15 to 30% of every apple”, and in American money, that’s a “waste of $42″ a year.
So what do you need to do? The answer is surprisingly easy and all you have to do is watch this video.
As you can see, you’ve been eating it around the awful, inedible core and binning it. If you just ate it top-to-bottom, the core ostensibly disappears, making more flesh to eat for everyone in these terrible economic times.
Foodbeast said: “Eating it from the sides is wasteful. But if you eat it from the top, the core doesn’t even exist.”
So there you have it. More apple for your buck. Get a bag on the way home and wow your friends and family with your revolutionary new way of eating slightly more fruit.