You need to understand the power of green thumbs - how good home grown food can be

Friday 29th May, 2015  


After a few days in Devon with friends and family I was pleasantly surprised when I returned to Chez Collins.
Over the weekend much had happened in the garden.

My potatoes were breaking through the ridges, the summer cabbages had flourished and the broad beans were racing away after just a few warm n’ wet days.

A sight to behold.

I don’t care whether you have a full sized allotment, a few places amongst the flower borders or a window box, there is no joy greater than seeing healthy vegetables growing.

Well, actually the greater delight is the one where you pick your crop and eat it fresh from the soil...

...there truly is no better feeling.

Knowing that the minerals and vitamins are at optimum levels, taste and texture maximised and vibrant colours adding to a visual feast on the plate make a few hours of caring all worthwhile.

Of course we shouldn’t overlook one other major benefit.

I am a man who works hard for my pennies (believe me these letters don’t just write themselves you know!) and I like to keep them in my pocket for as long as possible.

Handing over my hard earned cash at a supermarket till fills me with dread – and it looks like thousands of us have been seriously ripped off when we do so.

Let me explain how our big shops are offering discounts but still earn more than they would normally, plus are destroying our countryside in the process.

Misleading Multibuys & Shameless Shopping Subterfuge

The consumer magazine Which? has revealed that shoppers who think they are being savvy by seeking out special offers are more likely being ripped off than saving money.

Supermarkets advertising huge savings are actually breaking the law by creating the illusion of thrift, and I hope the full weight of the law is brought to bear.

A few examples featured in the Times on May 19th such as Hovis bread being sold by Asda at a special price of £1... the problem is that before the price offer was announced the loaf cost £1 anyway!

Others such as Tesco selling a box of 100 Twinings Tea Bags for £4.40 then putting the price up to £4.49 when they reduced the pack size to 80 bags.

Two for one offers featured a lot in the rip off list, especially when the sellers claimed that the goods were priced at a much higher level than they were before the offer period, for example our friends from Asda again with a Robinsons fruit squash previously available at £1 each being sold as two for £2.50 (as they claimed it was previously available at £1.59 each!).

It shows that the general public is being dupped at every turn by the big businesses that now control food supply in the UK.

There is legislation to prevent this type of retailing fraud but it rarely gets applied due to the complexity of enforcement – and that is why they get away with it.

But the lengths they go to in their drive for profits don’t just stop at straight fraud, they think nothing of forgery either.

Why you should NEVER trust a label

It seems there's been an upsurge in fake “organic” meat, fish, fruit and veg across the country.

Labels changed… big black marker pens used to blatantly lie on market stall packaging… sneaky loopholes exploited to bend the truth... that kind of thing.

And this criminal deceit is everywhere.

Shoppers have been duped into buying fake free range eggs that were actually factory farmed. This means we pay double what the Continent pays for similar eggs.

Organic Scotch Beef was found to be poor quality beef from South America... “wild” salmon was found to be as wild as a pet gerbil... “corn fed” chicken was found to be nothing of the sort.

But you can see why the rogue traders have moved in.
A chicken worth £2 can fetch £10 when you stick on an organic label. Steak that sells for £10 per kilo can fetch as much as £29.59 if it's “organic”.

A lot of people are making a lot of money by taking advantage of our desire to eat good food.

It's not easy to find a solution, either.

I usually come up with a specific tip for you to follow though when I moan about a big health issue.

But in this case it's tricky.

I mean, what can you do when food manufacturers lie to you on the packet? How can we tell?

All I can say is that, if you can, try and buy fresh British produce from farmers' markets, bona fide organic retailers, and good, traditional markets.

I realise this is sometimes hard for people to do. But check out this email I got from a friend of mine who reads the Good Life Letter and whose father is in the farming business.

“Supermarkets are bleeding farmers and producers dry. In a few years our dairy farms will be broke and we'll be net importers of milk.

“We should stop buying fruit, veg and meat from the supermarkets, use farmers and normal markets instead.

“In many cases, I think it's cheaper and a whole load tastier than supermarket stuff and when you get home there's none of that packaging to get rid of so it's much better for the environment too.

“It's really satisfying to sit down to a meal knowing that more of the money is going back to the farmers and producers as opposed to lining the pockets of monopolistic supermarkets.”

Do your own thing

What all this adds up to is quite a shocking level of blatant profiteering by the food retailers.

Right now they are driving farmers and growers out of business, promoting poor quality and fake foods and then charging us a premium price by sleight of hand.

Looking out over my growing crops I feel strongly that we should all do more for ourselves.

Take any chance to grow a few salad leaves, a fresh tomato or two, even just a bit of cress on damp blotting paper will make a difference.

I wrote the two books that make up Natural Food Wisdom because I passionately believe that we have to regain the control over our food – I urge you to take a positive step today.

Yours, as always







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