Resolution, Reform, and Recovery Begin in Earnest -
After End of Year Repasts come New Year Plans for Good Grub 1. VEGA greets all its visitors and contacts with preparations for continuation of its ploys and projection into a well-seasoned entry into a New Year of many challenges.
2. We start with an eating plan from our Portfolio and served up in our usual style and example for the whole day of moderation and resolve. VEGA still leads in providing all such information to consumers who are interested in the food as more than mere gut-fill. It still transcends all the labelling requirements required by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and given by publishers and writers of cookery-books, retailers of food (great and small), restaurateurs, caterers, and journalists. It’s just one of VEGA’s projects and it exemplifies, appropriately, the transition from the end-of-year celebrations into the more demanding conditions expected for the year 2009.
3. The Portfolio is a research tool, alerting us to gaps in data and interpretation that need attention or alteration. It also introduces new but accessible ideas so our Dayplan for 2010 will reflect advances that we’ve made.
4. Like many registered charities in the UK we have suffered severely from reductions in donations and in volunteers with the training and knowledge we need; and we lack the space and equipment necessary for the full exploitation of our facilities. A Portfolio in full color would be fine, but black and white is all we can afford. We still need to send out VEGA News in hard copy as well as by e-mail and access through our website. We can’t price our plans as the supermarkets can assess the current costs of their commodities and ingredients and of their competitors’.
5. However, there is research we can afford and are doing. The New Year’s Day menus reveal gaps and data that need attention, if only because no-one has, not even the biggest manufacturer or government agency. The sugar level needs to be lowered for everyday adaptations, but without reducing the fruit content, but rather reinforcing the FSA’s campaign to cut down manufacturers’ persistent resort to cheap sweetening agents. As always, we lack data on selenium, iodide, and vitamin D contents in the foods, which are of special importance to veggies, for instance: we can at least say that we can provide more of this information than is furnished on the products in the biggest supermarket or health food store.
6. We are closing the books in 2008 with consultations with DEFRA on food policies and, as a result of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (over which we spent a lot of time at all stages), on the care (including feeding) of companion animals (dogs, cats, and horses) and with a consumer enquiry, in connexion with our Campaign for Real Bread, (CAMREB) about Hovis bread and flour – a hot topic in the food-market just now.
7. Once again, very good wishes for 2009 from us here at VEGA.