No apologies for a brazen plug for the best of British
This awful horsemeat scandal has dominated news reports and column inches for the past week or two.
At best the whole thing is devious, at worst it's downright criminal.
Last evening, we were kindly invited to a neighbour's home for a farmhouse, kitchen supper. Around the table were an assortment of farmers, country folk, surgeons, wives and families; and of course between the banter and the cross-table chitchat, the headline conversations were the pros and cons of horsemeat contamination.
I can't honestly remember anything new being said about the subject; after all, it's been examined and scrutinised a hundred times already.
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However, it was the food we were eating, not necessarily the words we were exchanging that I found interesting.
The rib of beef we had for supper was sourced locally from a farm shop. It was delicious and could be traced right back to an Aberdeen Angus beast on a neighbouring farm.
The fresh vegetables were bought from a local greengrocer, English in origin, full of flavour and delightful.
The pudding was blackberry and apple crumble from the farm's hedgerows and orchard.
All the ingredients were local, all traceable, all proudly English and all absolutely delicious.
So I'll finish with a brazen, unapologetic plug for British agriculture.
Quite rightly, farmers have to go through all sorts of procedures to demonstrate to the powers that be that British agriculture is growing crops and keeping livestock to the very, very highest standards.
To buy this produce, go to your local family butcher, your local farm shop or your local greengrocer. Ask questions; there are many in our area.
Delight in sourcing it, delight in preparing it and share it proudly with your family.
Buying produce in this way will ensure there are no nasty surprises to meat eaters or vegetarians alike. You'll have the very best produce and not be out of pocket.