Food Culture

Sir, Respect Your Dinner, Idolize it, enjoy it properly.

You will be many hours in a week, many weeks in the year, and many years in your life, happier if you do.

(William Makepeace Thackeray)

Every country has a food culture in as much as it will have an identifiable national attitude towards food, but some are more positive than others.  The need for Britain to develop a strong, positive food culture – in which food is a high priority for the majority of people, is vital to the success of the Campaign for Real Farming. We need people who can recognise quality in food and are prepared to pay the true cost of producing it.

Two main goals guide this section of the website:

  • A Greater Sense of the British Food Culture – so willing have the British people been to experience other food cultures that we have lost a clear sense of our own.  Food Culture Articles will look at how our food culture has developed historically and the relevance that this has on our attitude to food today.  There is much of which to be proud!
  • An Appreciation of British Ingredients – British agriculture is essential to feeding the growing world population.  It is no longer morally acceptable for our land to lie fallow because food can be produced more cheaply elsewhere.  We are not however advocating that we cease to import any food stuffs – some, such as tea and spices, have become so deeply embedded in our food culture that to ignore them would be failing in the first of our aims.  There are other imported foods without which life would hard to imagine – chocolate, coffee and rice to name just a few.  All of these are however dry goods and so can be imported by sea or rail.  Less sustainable is the importation of fresh foods that require air freighting and which are likely also to have required heavy water use during their production so you will see little or no mention of them here.  To play our part on the world stage of food production we need to achieve a greater balance between imports and exports.  To redirect our attention and rekindle a passion for what Britain does best this column concentrates on food that can be grown or produced easily in this country.  Each month you can find inspiration from the list of Foods in Season and further practical advice from the Seasonal Recipes.

British Garlic

  Those of a certain vintage will remember when garlic was most definitely not British.  To older generations it epitomised all that was wrong with foreign food.  Now its place … Read on

First Earlies

In terms of vegetables, April is a transitional month.  The very last of the winter vegetables begin to shoot, a signal to use them up quickly and get the ground … Read on

Herb of the month – Sorrel

The sour, lemony flavour of sorrel has been appreciated in Britain at least since Roman times and is the first herb of the year around which I can deliver the “dinner of herbs” promised at the outset of this series. Read on

Regional Baking for Easter

In Easter Biscuits we can see some of the clearly defined regional preferences that have largely been blurred by commercial food production and countrywide distribution. Read on

Taking Stock of UK Dairy Farming in 2019

A system that has seen milk reduced to a mere commodity will inevitably see it traded as such. A complete change is required to persuade the younger generation to buy dairy. Read on

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