The Ludlow Food Festival has a sustainability stage featuring a sustainable kitchen, where chefs and others demonstrate and talk about sustainable food, one chef is demonstrating dishes from sustainable fish!
But what is or are sustainable fish! We never had a problem with sustaining fish stocks until the EU Common Fisheries Policy introduced bad law and bad practices.
It is not sustainable to throw millions of tons of dead fish back into the sea, it is not sustainable to lay off Scottish fishing boats and fishermen and reduce the British inshore fishing fleet, it is not sustainable to prevent boats going to sea to the extent that the owners can no longer operate a viable business, whilst at the same time paying massive grants and subsidies to the Spanish fishing industry’s development of an industrial-scale fleet which literally ploughs the sea bed.
In a world gone mad we must endure false gods and listen to talk about sustainable fish stocks, without doing anything about the basic problem which is causing stocks to fall.
Many of us have been campaigning, complaining and activating about the damage being caused by these out of touch and untouchable EUocrats for years. At last with the introduction of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall “ Fish Fight ” part of the argument is gaining some traction.
But which part!
It is all well and good for chefs and celebrities to join the sustainable fish debate, but all they are really doing is to accept the bad practice and bad law by reducing their consumption of threatened species, all they a really doing is sharing out a stock which is not at present under threat from over fishing, but under threat from over stupid regulation. The two areas the EU has had control over during the past thirty five years are fishing and farming and it has managed to make an unmitigated disaster of both. The answer it then offers us now is even more stupid regulation.
I see that the Labour party welcomes the “Fish Fight” campaign to end scandal of discarded fish. But what exactly were they doing about it when they held power for the past eleven years NOTHING!
I see that Richard Benyon, the UK Fisheries Minister says “The throwing back of dead fish into the sea is a shameful waste and one of the biggest failures of the Common Fisheries Policy”
But what exactly is he or the present government going to do about it? I strongly suspect from past experience in this matter NOTHING! It was after all a Conservative Prime Minster who gave away control of British fishing in the first place and they have had ample time in power in the intervening years to actually do something.
By all means reduce your consumption of endangered species, but please do not ask me me to pat you on the back and applaud your total ignorance of the real cause and your refusal to do something that really would have an affect. All you need to do as well as stop consuming EU endangered fish, is to stop voting for those who continually refuse to address the real problem.
The Ludlow Food Festival list of backers includes a grant from The European Union, European Regional Development Fund, and Advantage West Midlands. Perhaps it was these funding streams which contributed to the sustainable stage, if so then it is thinly disguised propaganda, the EU creates a problem of sustainability and then it funds organisations to promote the concept of rationing dressed up as sustainability.
Dear Secretary of State,
My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the “not rearing pigs” business.
In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy.
I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these?
As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven’t reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this?
My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1968. That is – until this year, when he received a cheque for not rearing any.
If I get £3,000 for not rearing 50 pigs, will I get £6,000 for not rearing 100?
I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 pigs not raised, which will mean about £240,000 for the first year. As I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to, say, 40,000 pigs not reared in my second year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department. Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gases?
Another point: These pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops. Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I don’t rear?
I am also considering the “not milking cows” business, so please send any information you have on that too. Please could you also include the current Defra advice on set aside fields? Can this be done on an e-commerce basis with virtual fields (of which I seem to have several thousand hectares)?
In view of the above you will realise that I will be totally unemployed, and will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits.
I shall of course be voting for your party at the next general election.
The Ludlow Food Festival
I have somewhat lost contact with The Ludlow Food Festival event in the foodie calender in recent years, so much so that I have not even bothered to look at the running order.
To me when The Ludlow Food Festival first began to use full time organisers it seemed to go off the rails forgetting its roots. Cooking demonstrations by teams from supermarket chains that measure their takings in billions, although interesting in their own right were not in my view particularly germane to the Ludlow food scene, did not in anyway enhance the prospects of small local producers and could have been witnessed anywhere.
There was for me the sheer difficulty in actually getting on stage to do a demonstration, I had to get up at 5 am to do basic preparation and load the car with the pots and pans I would need for the demonstration, then cook breakfast for our guests and prepare for lunch, leave a full restaurant before lunch service had finished, drive the 18 miles to Ludlow, work my way through the crowds, illegally park the car whilst I fund someone with a trolley to take my gear to the demo tent, then I had to get to the rugby field where I parked the car, finally I had to run all the way to the top up the very steep mound to get back to the castle entrance, I ain’t that fit!
Also the year before Isabel and I had been shopping in Ludlow and stopped off in a restaurant in Quality Square for a cup of coffee. This would have been perhaps in late October early November, two ladies who by their open discussion revealed themselves to be Ludlow Food Festival organisers, were taking a working lunch whilst discussing the recent food festival. The one thing that stands in my memory was that one of them said quite loudly “what are we going to do about John Mackley and his chefs” (John used to be the chef organiser) this was said as if the chefs demonstrations were some sort of impediment to the smooth running of the festival, rather than an integral part of the attractions of the festival.
So I am happy to see that The Ludlow Food Festival has many of our chefs demonstrating this year along with some of the culinary stars from Britain and from Ludlow`s twin towns, and some returning stars Shaun Hill and Claude Bosi.
Will Holland and Laky Zervudachi of Direct Seafoods are going to demonstrate dishes produced from sustainable fish. With Will Holland doing the cooking this will be an adventure in culinary art.
There is a personal welcome return to The Ludlow Food Festival of 2 Michelin starred Claude Bosi. In earlier days I only ever got to see one of his demonstrations, he was a delight.
As he was already (miked up) his demonstration began off stage with frantic murmurings as he was trying to gather his produce to take on stage, after a few moments he appeared in a distracted fluster clutching a carrier bag. He explained he was going to attempt to produce one of his mothers more complicated recipes and wanted to make sure he got it right.
After not a little rummaging in his bag he produced a single Camembert Cheese, one of those small ones that you can buy in their little boxes. With great care he opened the box and removed the cheese which was of course still wrapped in its wax paper, he held his audience spellbound as he slowly and delicately unwrapped the cheese, he then confounded us all by putting the unwrapped cheese back in it its box and replaced the lid. Then with an actors flourish and a cheeky grin he popped the box in the oven. That was it! his complicated recipe was to bake a Camembert in its box, it works I have tried is several times and it is a wonderful way to eat Camembert with toast soldiers.