Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Potential bad news...

Woke up to some potentially bad news this morning... Apparently, the cost of meat produced in Britain is set to rise significantly in the near future, because the cost of wheat has been increasing. I didn't realise, although it seems obvious now, that a lot of cattle feed is made from wheat, therefore if the cost of wheat goes up, then the cost of animal feed and hence the cost of meat, goes up accordingly.

Someone on the news this morning said they thought that prices could rise by as much as 20% - 30%, which is going to make this a somewhat more expensive project then I thought! They were also saying that this will be a crunch time for the British food industry - they need people to support them and to continue to buy British produced food, otherwise the whole industry could be under threat. So, I guess that makes my project to raise awareness of the British food industry rather timely!

While searching out some facts about wheat and grain, I found the answer to my question from a couple of posts ago about whether much bread is made from British wheat. Apparently it's not and the reason for this is that the variety of wheat commonly grown in Britain is not good for making bread because it has a relatively low gluten content, compared to North American wheat. This would fit with what I was taught at school that British wheat is commonly used to make biscuits. Apparently, some farmers have started to grow different varieties which are better for bread production, but I don't think it's a large scale thing. I shall have to do some more investigating to see if I can find a source of bread made from British wheat! Or, if I could get British bread flour, I could start making my own bread of course. If this turns out to be the case, I will consider investing in a bread machine, but we'll see how it goes.

Last night I had grilled trout for my dinner, which was excellent! The trout was 'farmed in the United Kingdom' according to the label. A quick search on the Internet later and I came across some interesting facts, for example, according to www.britishtrout.co.uk, 16,000 tonnes of trout are farmed in Britain each year! Gosh. These farms are apparently widely distributed around the UK. I shall have to keep a look out - it would be interesting to go and visit one at some time.

My recommendation for grilling trout fillets - lightly season both sides with salt, pepper and dill and then cook in a grill pan, skin side down first, for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the colour appears to have changed all the way through. Very quick, very easy and fairly tasty!

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