To kick off, two wonderful clips. Now, put these guys on at a food event in Sydney and I will spend days in line in a sleeping bag drinking really bad coffee and eating cronuts to be first to grin stoopidly and take a gazillion pics and love/hate myself for eating the end product...are you SURE that you can’t keep fairy floss under your pillow 4evah?
Gourmet F & D Quiz: This week’s question
Where were French fries invented.
Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts and Cookbooks
‘Handwritten cookbooks, ca. 1600s-1960s, documenting culinary history in America and Europe and how tastes have changed over the years. Help improve access to these historic documents by transcribing handwritten pages, reviewing transcriptions (look for items marked "Needs Review"), and correcting typewritten text.’
I wish I had the time to put into what looks like a terrific project – anyone know if any library in Aus is doing something like this – there must be similar handwritten cookbooks out there.
And if you haven’t checked it out before you might like to see the ebook I have done of my grandmother’s cookbook. http://issuu.com/foodwriter/docs/the_recipe_book_of_ad_de_la_harpe_first_edition_20
Putting Food on the Table. Food Security is Everyone’s Business. The Inaugural Food Security Conference of the Right to Food Coalition. 13-14th October 2014
I couldn’t get to the Conference so it’s great that the presentations have been put up so soon. Here’s some that I have had a look at and recommend watching.
A terrific challenging presentation by Brigit Bussichia on the institutionalising of food banks as a way that governments can avoid scrutiny of government policies that lead to poverty which leads to food insecurity, presented at the. Thanks Kay Richardson for alerting me to it. The song at the end is a hoot!
Karen Beetson’s narrative about her experience of food insecurity as an Aboriginal woman is a salutary reminder that food insecurity is not a new phenomenon in Australia. It is one of those talks whose honesty is humbling and compelling and again raises really important questions about the kinds of judgements that are made about the choices or lack thereof that people in poverty have to put good food on the table, particularly where extended family obligations are a further complication.
The full info on the conference is at http://righttofood.org.au/
John West and Princes accused of backtracking on tuna commitments
‘The two biggest tuna fish brands in the UK are privately looking at delaying or reviewing public commitments to eliminate the use of controversial fishing methods, leaked documents show. In 2011, Princes and John West pledged to phase out the use of purse seine nets and fish aggregation devices (FADs) which are used to attract tuna but can inadvertently lead to the deaths of other marine life such as sharks, rays and turtles. Each company has around a third of the UK market share for tinned tuna.’Looking forward to Matthew Evans up-coming program on Aus fishing practices. Meantime, I reckon I can reject the fish John West catches.
Are solar farms really hitting British food production?
‘The environment secretary, Liz Truss, has stripped farmers of subsidies for solar farms, saying they are a “blight” that was pushing food production overseas. But the new minister has fundamentally misunderstood the way solar farms operate, according to the solar industry and farmers.... “This misguided attack by the environment secretary deliberately ignores the fact that the planning system is already there to prevent unsightly and overly dominant solar farms or their deployment on high-quality productive agricultural land. Where they do go ahead on poorer grade soils, planning conditions should ensure that they boost biodiversity and revert back to their original use when appropriate.”
The environment secretary, it is revealed at the end of the article, is a former ‘oil executive’...nope, no conspiracy theory to see, here, move along please.
Analysis: Maps of Australian language – swimmers versus cozzies, scallops versus potato cakes
‘The terms for the fried potato snack show a divide between the southern states, with potato cake favoured in Victoria and southern New South Wales, changing to scallop or potato scallop in NSW through to Queensland. South Australians maintain some individuality with the term potato fritter.’
The Greek caff at Liverpool railway station knew they were scallops, thank heaven...and yes, they were cooked in god-knows-how-old-oil and the more flavoursome for it, doused in malt vinegar (none of your foofy balsamic), and crusted with salt, all wrapped in butcher’s paper (I knew butcher’s were on the way out when it began being called ‘flip-chart’ paper) that of course was guaranteed not to last the distance from the shop to home via the back of the bus – and I hesitate to think where we wiped our fingers but let’s just say brylcreem came a poor second.
Faith and fears in Wendell Berry’s Kentucky
‘Berry told the conference that when the industrial food system finally reckons with its limitations and breathes its last breath, there needs to be a knowledgeable community pushing the way forward. “That’s why this little nucleus of people is so important,” he said.’
I don’t see the industrial food system breathing its last in my lifetime if ever and I’m not convinced that its demise would be particularly helpful to meeting food scarcity. Making the industrial food systems more ecologically sustainable on the other hand I think can help.
F & D Quiz Answer