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Farmer spends a MONTH on a British-only diet to promote UK food

Farmer spends a MONTH on a British-only diet to promote UK food… including guacamole with no avocados

For farmer Rupert Ponsonby, it’s been a case of ‘the proof of the pudding has been in the eating’ as part of his campaign to promote British-produced food.

In a month-long experiment to appreciate better the range and quality of home-grown produce, he restricted himself to an all-British food diet. So, for example, no more Colombian coffee or avocados.

Indeed, he became inventive with alternatives, such as barley coffee and a guacamole, the avocado-based dip, made instead from mushy peas. The challenge has reinforced his belief that the Government must guarantee food and animal welfare standards and not sacrifice them in any trade deals.

Mr Ponsonby, 67, from Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds, says: ‘It’s wrong and unfair that other countries have very low standards compared to our farmers who are trying their best to produce high-quality food.’

For farmer Rupert Ponsonby, it’s been a case of ‘the proof of the pudding has been in the eating’ as part of his campaign to promote British-produced food (stock image)

For farmer Rupert Ponsonby, it’s been a case of ‘the proof of the pudding has been in the eating’ as part of his campaign to promote British-produced food (stock image)

His Buy Only British policy meant scrutiny of every label to check the product’s source. ‘Even if it said it was British, I always asked, is it really British?’ he says, alluding to how some items can be marked ‘British’ even if they are merely repackaged here. ‘Not only has it made me think about the future of farming but also redefining as a farmer what I ought to be doing.’

One of his challenges was to make an avocado-less guacamole. He says: ‘I love avocados but am horrified about the amount of water they use, the criminal gangs involved in the supply chain in Mexico and the food air miles.’

His solution was mushy peas with chopped spring onions, walnut oil from Kent, black-garlic puree, rapeseed oil mayonnaise and seeds from the hedgerow plant Alexanders. He calls the dish ‘Britamole’.

The concerns are shared by Ian Wilkinson who works nearby at a not-for-profit centre, FarmED, which he founded to promote a sustainable food system. He says: ‘The British public are very concerned about animal welfare as well as the nutritional quality of food. They need to be sure what they are eating. Without regulations, standards are eroded over time.’

His solution was mushy peas with chopped spring onions, walnut oil from Kent, black-garlic puree, rapeseed oil mayonnaise and seeds from the hedgerow plant Alexanders. He calls the dish ‘Britamole’ (stock photo)

His solution was mushy peas with chopped spring onions, walnut oil from Kent, black-garlic puree, rapeseed oil mayonnaise and seeds from the hedgerow plant Alexanders. He calls the dish ‘Britamole’ (stock photo)

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