Monday, 20 August 2007

This all seems to easy...

I've just been and done my usual weekly shop and I have to say that I am beginning to feel that this whole eating British challenge isn't really very much of a challenge at all. Today, whilst wondering the isles of my local supermarket, I was readily able to locate British producing, in fact, many of the supermarket own brands distinctly boasted that they were produced in Britain. This is not what I expected when I began the project.

I think that this might be because the supermarkets are aware that they have picked up a bit of an image problem recently. They have been criticised for not supporting British farmers, amongst other things and I suspect that they are doing what they can to try to reverse this image, which probably makes good business sense for them. It was interesting to note that many of the other 'well known' brands didn't worry about whether they were produced in Britain or not. Actually, in many cases I noticed that they didn't even state the country of origin.

Well, I say that, but I couldn't help but notice the large sign advertising that all Walkers crisps are now made with '100% British' potatoes. I wonder if this was the case already and they're simply jumping on the bandwagon, or if they have actually made a concious effort to change their product.

Anyway, this week I decided to treat myself to some venison burgers, which I've had before and know to be fantastic, so I'm looking forward to those. Venison, it seems, is always produced in Britain, well, at least the venison I find in the supermarket is. Of course, it isn't difficult to find British beef, pork, lamb or chicken, so I'm confident that I'll manage the whole year without having to resort to foreign produce. Fruit and vegetables however, I think will be a different storey. Actually, I'm beginning to get a little bit worried about this. The conversation over lunch at work today quickly headed in this direction, with my colleagues speculating that I might have to resort to eating more nuts and that I should make jam now, while I still have the chance. The suggestion that I could mug the squirrels outside my flat for their nuts, however, was quickly dismissed in favour of eating the squirrels themselves. I must stress that I'm only joking here!

One of my work colleagues and former flatmate, recently pointed out to me that there is a good supply of wild raspberries growing not far from where I live. Now this represents an interesting possibility, if I could collect a good quantity and make jam from them then I would have a good source of fruity goodness to last the winter. Luckily, I've been saving up glass source jars for a while, so I should be sorted on the jam container front. However, my attempts to buy sealing wax (paraffin wax) like my Mum used to use to seal jam have so far come to nothing except for a couple of shop assistants talking to me very slowly without using any long or difficult words. Clearly only a complete imbecile would ask for something that they don't sell and have clearly never even heard of. We may produce some great food products here in Britain, but customer service seems to be a very rare thing these days!

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