These two words above are key words of any market manipulator and are also well understood by any honest to God grower who is trying to survive. They have become dirty words due to manipulators and instead we have largely got used to mundane monotony with our food in the UK. But it can be so much more!
Last week’s UK veg shortages making news across the world is the result of UK governments letting supermarkets dominate our food system. Slowly but surely they have killed off the sustainable system that we once had. It’s taken them a while but most farmers have seen this coming for years.
The main problem at the moment is that all the supermarkets have been playing a dangerous game of not paying enough for produce. Many farmers just said ‘fine’ and stopped growing crops in the winter as it’s too expensive, so supermarkets just thought they could buy it abroad. But now they can’t, as due to bad weather in Europe, there is not enough left over to sell to the UK.
Now, perhaps we should not be eating tomatoes and peppers in the winter as it uses so much fuel to keep them warm in heated glasshouses, as does importing them. However, they are are always in demand.
I think in the UK we are going to have to learn to understand scarcity and abundance a lot more when it comes to food. It makes cooking so much more interesting as you eat and create with what’s ready locally. Why have tomatoes in the winter anyway- they don’t taste that great. Whereas plenty of winter greens and roots are probably what is best for you at this time of year.
It’s amazing seeing what our chef in the Field Kitchen restaurant comes up with each week. The most fun part of the week is the creativity, coming up with interesting ways to use winter veg.
So I encourage you to splurge on your creative instincts with your veg box or hop over to our recipe page. We can gorge on tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in the summer when they are at their best!
You would think this stuff is common sense. So when you’re at the dinner table can you insist on keeping it real… all this hysteria is getting too much! :)