The Delia online cookery school makes perfect sense

Friday 17th May 2013 

  • Discover what horsemeat in burgers and big bonuses have in common

  • Shocking fact; you are being put at risk for just 18 pence!

  • Help is at hand with Delia & Ray... find out how

At a time when the scandal over horsemeat in food isn’t going away Delia Smith has started a new online campaign to improve cooking skills. 

For the past few months the headlines have been screaming about how contaminated meat has been found in a whole variety of prepared meals.

Almost daily we have seen products being removed from shelves, or being withdrawn from menus.

Along with arguments about our role in Europe and a flat lining economy the government must be getting a little punch drunk.

But, I am beginning to get the feeling that there are more than a few reasons why these issues have all arrived at once.

Companies have flouted laws, stretched convention and evaded their responsibility for the last two decades – treating the consumer with impunity.

It matters not whether you are looking at banks, supermarkets, pharmaceutical giants or meat traders; they have all been found wanting in their ethics.

One thing I am absolutely convinced of is that the vogue for ‘light touch regulation’ for the food trade, industry and banking has failed miserably.

Those responsible for creating and perpetrating these acts against decency tend to get away scot free, and this latest food issue looks like being no different.

In fact the Irish and British Food Inspectorates are wringing their hands in desperation as they can’t prosecute those they think are at fault for allowing horse into the food chain.

Neither body is getting the help they need from their governments, and the guilty are hiding among a raft of EU legal statements and poorly implemented regulations.

We are being failed by those who should be looking after us – but we are just the little people. The exploited citizens of a modern world which profits the few.

No one seems to be awake to the pressures on our household budgets, or the impact it is having on health and food choices.

As consumers have their budgets squeezed there is no ambition for them to pay more for any commodities so they fall into the clutches of low priced goods manufacturers.

However, they fail to realise that they are spending their hard earned cash on rubbish.

When they do push their finances too far the choice is to go to ‘pay day loan’ companies (who are nothing more than modern load sharks) or face the wrath of the banks by going overdrawn.

Looking across the continent you can see that there are the same patterns being repeated within every European state.

A growth in fast food outlets, a paucity of good food advice and a smiling banking system ripping the final shreds from the carcasses of families spread before them.

It is enough to make you want to pull the duvet over your head and hide from the world.

The politics and real price of good food

I began to wonder what the actual price difference would be for a burger made from good quality prime beef compared to ground up nag.

Fortunately the Guardian came to my rescue without me having to dust off the slide rule and parchment...

... Would it surprise you to learn that it is only 18 pence!

The whole sorry saga of double dealing and lies is over less than twenty pence a meal.

Check the facts for yourself.

A kilo of prime (90% meat) lean mince costs £3.80, or about £1.75 a pound, so a quarter pound burger would cost 43p; whereas Tesco were selling 8 quarter pounder burgers for £1, or 25p each.

It doesn’t make sense to a household budget does it?

But, if you multiply up the extra pennies by the number of burger made and sold each year you begin to realise that the money men are laughing all the way to the bank.

Where no doubt their fund manager is more than happy to break out the cream sherry for them to enjoy while they cast their eyes over the stash of ill gotten gains...

...they even manipulate the money so that the taxman can’t get his fair share either.

All of this has a huge impact upon the state of global economies, the flow of money in and out of sate coffers and therefore the well being of all of us whether we a re working or struggling by on a pension.

It is hard to divorce the politics of food from the macro-economics of international finance – however tenuous it may seem.

Delia leads the charge

The household hero that is Delia Smith may be onto something with her latest campaign.

Finding that the media is obsessed with celebrity chefs, talented amateurs and even students all cooking to five star standards, she wants us all to get back to basics.

Her argument is that the extravagant dishes we see created on Masterchef and the like are scaring traditional household cooks off, and preventing them delivering good honest food to the table.

Plus, like me, she deplores the loss of cookery teaching in our schools.

Her plan is to develop her own on-line resource for simple recipes and basic skills that can be taught to everyone.

Three cheers for that one Delia...

...If this is the kind of thing which you want to know more about, or are keen to hear me rant on further then help will soon be at hand.

The new discourse from yours truly is about to hit the streets.

It’s called Everyday Superfoods and acts as a companion to my cookbook – Season to Taste.

This new book lifts the lid on a whole range of food cons, exposes the culprits and really lets you know what you have on the end of your fork.

It’s forthright, opinionated and occasionally irreverent – so no change there then, but it also details the 59 commonly available superfoods that you can buy from your local shop, or grow yourself.

There’s no food miles involved, no weird berry that has to be digested by monkeys, elephants or fish before you can eat it just common, wholesome fodder.

Delia would approve... fact I’m going to send her a complementary copy and see what she says!

Yours, as always






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