Go Portfolio with Our Nutritionally Assessed Menus!
More than Recipes – They are the Basis of Eating Plans. Nutritional information means much more when assessments are made of complete meals or eating plans rather than for a single ingredient on its own.
A cereal breakfast food for instance, may be most important in making a milk, fruit, or juice attractive and nutritious augmentations of, say oats alone, from which a horse might derive much more benefit than we humans can make with our less versatile guts. Even ways of increasing water intakes are valuable; and good meals and means of preparation and cooking not only affect tastes beneficially but they also improve satiety and moderations in keeping with factors such as lowering glycemic index.
We are now launching improvements to our weekly Portfolio-style recipes that all writers of recipes, publishers of cookery-books, and commentators in magazines and newspapers – not to mention foodies of all sorts – must be bound to copy.
Food miles is a concept attracting a lot of critical attention these days, but when the distance is reduced to the NIMBY opposition’s premises real difficulties appear.
The Meat Trades Journal of 22 June 2007 offered its advice to prospective buyers of abattoirs (or slaughterhouses to give them their truly brutal name). Martin Palmer, head of Meat and Livestock Industry offered cold comfort by the way of profits: slaughterhouses “are not generating profit but are there to support an industry. Profit often comes from the businesses served by abattoirs”, he says.
“An operator might think he has 200 farmer-suppliers and can offer contract killing at £65 to £70 per animal without competition”, but “one or more of the many under-utilized plants across the country might then decide they want a piece of the action and undercut the price”.
“As a child Skye Gyngell was captivated by the smell of roasting chicken. Nowadays, these poultry recipes evoke for her the same sense of wide-eyed excitement.”
Thus reads the Independent on Sunday’s Living Food section, lavishly illustrated and entitled Bird of Paradise and published yesterday (24 June 2007)...
We have prepared a leaflet illustrated on our website and suitable for copying and distribution for anyone on the VEGA message and fit for purpose. Better is a dinner of sweet herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. While we might ponder on the need for a comma after herbs we might rephrase this proverb in the present context and in harmony with statements in the Qur’an as Better a bird on the wing than a roast in the oven.
Ben Bradshaw MP, a DEFRA Minister, “wants us to save the planet by slashing food production”, which means “cutting down on meat and milk and out-of-season veg – rationing that may also improve our health.”
New Labour came in running 10 years ago with plans for a Food Standards Agency and replacement for the producer-dominated MAFF with the new consumer-friendly DEFRA, abetted by the FSA. (Unlike FSAs in most other countries the S in Britain’s FSA stands for Standards, not just for Safety, so the conjunction is a nice representation of farm-to-fork and plow-to-plate responsibilities).
Muslims are being urged to boycott meat during July in a campaign demanding an independent organization to monitor halal standards.
Abdul Raja, instigator of the campaign, argues that “if Muslims bought no meat each Saturday and Sunday this month halal standards would have to be tightened” (Meat Trades Journal, 06 July 2007).
He promises that “this government will take notice: money talks”. Dr Yunes Teinaz, advisor to the Islamic Cultural Centre and the London Central Mosque Trust seeks “a government-supervised body for the sale and production of halal meat”. However, Masood Khawaja, spokesman for the Halal Food Authority, which licenses slaughterhouses and retailers, dismisses the boycott as “preposterous” and that “halal standards were high in the UK”. Perhaps no one could be more independent than “the government’s new agriculture supremo, Hilary Benn”, a vegetarian of long standing and he has “admitted” to the MTJ that he had been a veggie for 35 years.
A total of 112 food safety incidents were reported to the Food Standards Agency in May 2007 by local authorities, the food industry and others.
The significant incidents in the Agency’s view (FSA News, June 2007) include:
Salmonella in basil from Israel, sold at ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Somerfield
Recall of clover spread owing to spoilage
Listeria monocytogenes in smoked salmon
Ecoli 0157 outbreak associated with a butcher’s shop in Bradford
Enterobacter sakazaki in powdered baby food from Uganda
Salmonella in Mixed Leafy Salad with Red Chard from Morrisons
Tomorrow’s Veterinary Record (23 June 2007) will report the “First case of H-type BSE identified in Great Britain”. Rapid testing methods introduced in the European Union in 2001 during surveillance for the abnormal prion protein associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy turned up 30 cases of “atypical BSE”.
These cases fall into 2 types based on molecular masses, the higher of which in the comparison with classical BSE being designated H-type. A transmission study of an H-type of French origin to mice has disclosed distinct “biological characteristics”.
Workers at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency now report “the first case of BSE was detected in an incomplete and retrospective search for such cases within the population of cattle of GP”. They promise a later report with full details. The work was funded by DEFRA. The animal in question was a “fallen” 13-year-old Galloway cow (05/295), first tested and confirmed as a case of BSE in November 2005. “The cow’s age and reported absence of clinical signs are consistent with other cases of H-type BSE”.
Consultations this month
VEGA has been busy this month, commenting on the following consultations:
Several farms in eastern France have been sealed off and the French government has applied tighter rules to poultry breeders since Thursday 05 July 2007 after 3 dead swans tested positive for the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu.
This is the first instance of avian flu in France since early 2006. It follows the discovery of a case in eastern Germany on Tuesday 03 July. Wild birds in Bavaria and Saxony have also died from the disease within the last month. The dead swans had been found by a pond a week ago. They appeared to be young, born this spring and had not arrived with migration. A high-level alert in mainland France, Europe’s biggest poultry producer, now means that birds and poultry in France must be locked up or protected by nets to avoid contact with wild birds. An 8-mile observation zone has been set up around the village of Assenoncourt. Pigeon races and other events where birds are gathered will be forbidden.