Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Are Supermarkets Making Us Stupid?

A couple of weeks ago, the Metro published a worrying article. This is not news in itself; they do this everyday, but the article in question was particularly worrying to the food-minded amongst us.

One in three of 16 - 23 year olds, the article suggested, don't have the foggiest that bacon comes from a pig. Based on a survey of 2000 adults, other concerning results included that one third also don't know  that an egg comes from a chicken or that milk comes from a cow.

What the Metro didn't answer, however, was who is to blame for this farce-of-a-gap in general knowledge. How is it possible to reach adulthood without knowing the origins of milk?

I suppose the easiest direction in which to point the finger is education. As ever, if in doubt, blame the curriculum. I, however, say blame it on the parents. And the supermarkets.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Creamy Pea and Anchovy Pasta

A Store Cupboard Superstar

I don't often find myself out on a limb when it comes to dinner time, as I am quite sad in militarily planning my week's meals in advance. The other week, however, it happened, and I found myself floundering around in the store cupboards, fridge and freezer bemoaning the thought of a very dull dinner. In actuality, I surprised myself with what was available. The dish below is the result. It was a true Oliver-esque case of 'whack in a splash of this, a dollop that and a big knob of bu''er' (actually no butter was involved; I just couldn't resist a sprinkling of Essex-ish) and turned out rather well. 

What I like about it is that it's so flexible – almost everything is substitutable. Any type of pasta will do. No peas? Don't panic. No anchovies? Add a few prawns instead. No cream? No worries. It might not taste quite as silky and rich, but will still be ace. In a way, store cupboard cooking, for the student with very limited space at least, is a bit like a watered down MasterChef Invention Test. Look at what's in front of you and, with a bit of creativity, you can have a show-stopping dish.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Demand for Local Produce in the Current Economic Climate

For one of my recent journalism assignments I had to make a short video news feature. The crtieria was simple; it had to be a newsworthy story, it had to be less than five minutes long, and it had to be written, filmed, directed, presented, edited and produced by me. Simple, but a rather tall order nonetheless.

Of course, my mind leapt straight to food, and the first thing that came to mind was the recent (at the time of thinking) slump in sales at Tesco over the Christmas period. My next thought was the general trend towards increased consumption of local, organic and artisan produce over the past few years. My third thought was that it would be great to film at a vibrant market, such as Borough.