THIS YEAR’S BIG STORIES
Food inflation was an all too regular topic on this blog, with the doom-mongers telling us almost weekly how a carrot was soon going to cost the same as a small dog. It was revealed that food prices had risen at twice the rate in the UK as in the rest of Europe. Then in October inflation hit a 15-month high after rises in the cost of wheat and oil.
It was a bad year for Gordon Ramsay. Pub after pub after restaurant closed down. He re-opened Petrus only to have it almost universally panned. Then he was done for employing illegal immigrants. He acrimoniously split with his business partner and father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, before sending what can only be described as a batshit mental open letter to his mother-in-law. Then he was sued for pulling out of a speaking tour in New Zealand. And this week it was revealed that he’d had a hair transplant. Let’s hope he regains some semblance of dignity in 2011.
Cloned meat given the go-ahead
It was the year in which scientists OK’d the production and sale of cloned meat and milk. Campaigners were, predictably, horrified by this, claiming insufficient research had been done in the field. The palaver began in the summer, when it was revealed that cloned meat had been sold to consumers. In November scientists suggested the meat was ‘unlikely‘ to pose any problems. Sounds like sufficient research to me.
We need to look after our fish
With news in May that the decline of UK fish stocks is worse than previously thought, it is clearer than ever that we ought to be more concerned about our fish. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall launched his Fish Fight campaign to curb the cuckoo practice of ‘discards’, and we found out that even species as ‘plentiful’ as mackerel are being overfished.
* Cider tax is scrapped.
* English sparkling wine beats champagne.
* And Cornish Blue wins at World Cheese Awards.
* Tourists come to Britain for its food.
* Jamie Oliver breaks publishing records.
* Kraft takeover of Cadbury mired in controversy.
* Health benefits of organic food questioned.
* Junk food kills 40,000 people a year.
* Take caution over promises of ‘local’ and ‘fresh’.
* Processed food is destroying our taste buds.
* Village life dying out as country pubs close.
* Biodegradable crisp packets abandoned for being too noisy.
* Water from glacier goes on sale. At £6 a bottle.
* Pizzas in Naples fired with wood made from coffins.
* A sandwich in a can. A candwich.
* Pea plant grows inside man’s lung.
* Deep-fried beer invented in Texas.
* The Berlin ‘cannibal’ restaurant that was exposed as a fake.
* Woman fends off bear attack with a courgette.
* A mouse is found baked into a loaf of bread.
* Fat people can sniff out food better.
* A man ate nothing but potatoes for 2 months.
* A wild boar attacked a butcher in Germany. Bad move.
BEST BITS OF THE YEAR
Cassoulet at Les Deux Salons
Basil Grande at Casita