Would you eat chlorinated chicken?

What do you think of the U.S calling UK and European farming and food manufacturing process as archaic? Obviously post Brexit we are looking around for other trade partners and the U.S see our new status as offering big wins for its produce. Yes we love American food and have taken the hamburger, Oreos and peanut butter to our hearts. However, their approach to food safety appears to be quite different to ours.

Will U.S agribusiness undercut UK producers?

Reading through the mountain of commentary that has hit the headlines these past few days it seems the U.S is too big a player to ignore. The worrying thing is that U.S agri-business units are so massive that they can undercut any producer in the UK. But does that mean we have to inevitably accept chlorine-washed chicken? How do you feel about this? Certinaly the US Ambassador is very annoyed at our lack of interest in chlorinated chicken.

How much chicken should we be eating, chlorine washed or otherwise?

There appears to be a movement, especially within the realms of social media to quit meat or at least have quite a few meat free meals in a week. The number of recipe books embracing vegan and vegetarian cooking is immense. I know because most of them are on my bookshelves. If you would like to experiment I can heartily recommend the following:

These links are a mixture of websites and Instagram feeds. If you are looking for some vegan or vegetarian inspiration then these books will certainly giving you plenty of that.

Do we need a shop local campaign post Brexit?

If on the other hand veganism really doesn’t float your boat perhaps it’s worth thinking about buying less meat but spending what you can on real quality. Yorkshire is a great place to source some locally reared meat. Doncaster Market for example is a really educational place to discover more about what you can do with meat. Perhaps have a think about less obvious cuts of meat that you may not usually see in a supermarket. There are plenty of highly experience butchers who can advise, prepare and suggest new more economical options. Why not give it a go?

Should we support Yorkshire meat and forget imports?

For example it might be worth making shopping a family expedition. Blacker Hall Farm Shop in Wakefield offer award winning seasonal produce.

About three quarters of what they sell is made by the farm itself. If you want a different shopping experience why not buy your meat form a 400 year old barn; it beats the boring and bland supermarket dash. The farm had a mission to provide seasonal, top quality; Yorkshire produce and they support local growers and producers to give their customers something a bit special. In fact they are so special they have even been awarded The Great Taste Shop of the Year award.

I guess what we might be suggesting is that we do not have to simply accept chlorine washed chicken or any other “tampered” manufacturing processes in the name of hygiene. Some judicious shopping, some thought and preparation about what we eat could mean we eat better but even eat a little less. We might even reduce food waste.

However, not everyone can afford to be ethical when it comes to food choices

Some find the pressure of putting any food on the table very difficult and this week we caught up with Sam Siddall from Edlington Food Bank to find out how they go about helping those in the community who need some assistance.

Edlington Food Bank

Our food bank operates differently to the Trussle Trust, as another example. They have a voucher system. People don’t need a voucher to access our support, its usually a self referral or signposted to us from a support service for example, Wellbeing.

Our food bank at Edlington is open from 11am to 1pm every Thursday

We receive donations of food from supermarkets and anyone can come and help themselves to this food to reduce food waste (taking what they need and within reason). In addition to this if residents feel they need extra support in terms of an emergency food parcel, one of our volunteers will sit down with them and have a chat about what support they need and why they are in crisis. An emergency parcel will be made up containing 3 days worth of food and the resident will also receive a free meal during the drop in.

Anyone can access a food parcel regardless of benefit status

Our policy is to be inclusive and have found that people who are employed often struggle just as much as those on a benefit. We want to help whoever we can and we often do.

As a rule we offer residents access to 3 emergency food parcels

However if the resident requires longer term support, this can be adapted to suit their needs, based on additional follow up conversations and actions that have been agreed between us and the resident for eg: they are struggling to manage their income as they have a number of debts. We would agree to support this person on the action that they attend a money advice surgery.

Edlington Food Bank offers emergency food parcels during the week

Although our food bank drop in only operates on a Thursday, we do issue parcels during the week if required, as not everyone can get to us on a Thursday and we have access to the food every day.

Our “best” referrer is word of mouth from previous beneficiaries. We do advertise our service across a number of networks and also link in with St Leger Homes, DMBC and Creative Support who deliver drop in sessions during the food bank to offer additional support where required.