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Jamie Oliver & Hugh FW's big chicken debate


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Guest posiedon
fairislefaerie

there are far far far to many people out there who simply cannot cook.

Ra-men to that! I think this is a far more serious problem than most people realise.
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I dont know how parents can live with themselves when they send off the teenage sons & daughters to collage & said son's and daughters being unable to cope with so much as beans on toast if it doesnt come out of a ready meal packet.

 

Welfare for farmed animals is never going to seriously improve until the lack of cooking skills is addressed resulting in less wasted food, resulting in a lot less demand for endless processed meat products or low quality supermarket cuts & joints.

 

Makes you want to wallop said parents over the head with a heavy based saute pan.

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Guest posiedon
fairislefaerie

Makes you want to wallop said parents over the head with a heavy based saute pan.

There was something of a debate on the Jeremy Vine show (radio 2) yesterday, about the government making the teaching of cookery compulsory in all schools, While that would certainly be a good thing, I must agree with you, why the hell can't parents teach their kids to cook?
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However, I do worry for the moral pressure being put on low income families who can't afford to buy the good chickens. I also have concerns about how many of the products I buy may contain battery eggs as ingredients.

 

I can write from personal experience of having to feed 4 kids and 2 adults on family allowance ( the rest of our money going on bills and council taxes!)

 

Whilst it is not easy, it can be done. I baked all our bread, biscuits and cakes. Made meals from cheap meat cuts - by this I mean scrag end neck of mutton, shin of beef, oxtail and offal and also half our meals were vegetarian. Today, I enjoy a good standard of living (due to hard work), but even so 2 days a week I still serve non meat meals, and the thing is no one notices!

 

I do have to say that the question of free range eggs never reared its ugly head in those days - as I kept hens!!

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There was something of a debate on the Jeremy Vine show (radio 2) yesterday, about the government making the teaching of cookery compulsory in all schools, While that would certainly be a good thing, I must agree with you, why the hell can't parents teach their kids to cook?

 

Problem is that most parents don't know how to cook, no one could argue my mother can cook. Most of it passes as edible - just, and her cooking is better than her mother's.

Spent a lot of time with young homeless teaching them how to cook on a budget, so many of them didn't know how to make cheesy pasta with out opening a box (but then none of my flat mates at halls did either).

Had a young mum from Leeds who could only make Yorkshire pudding with a packet mix - Just add egg and milk. Really expensive way of buying flour.

Was shocked when one young lass came home to announce she needed a pack of cake mix for home economics at St Machar Academy in Aberdeen. The school serves some of the most deprived children in Scotland and they couldn't be bothered to teach them how to weigh out some flour?

Then you get the kids who are discouraged from taking any classes that involve cooking as they cost. You've got to pay for the ingredients. Got seven kids, get free school dinners but still got to pay for home Ec. Bet none of the bright sparks thought about who was going to cover those costs.

 

When it comes to quality food it really does depend where you live. Used to buy a lot of organic food on a budget in Aberdeen, but then I had access to Newtondee and those networks.

Nothing beats meat that you've watched growing up (not available to the public to buy), there's also something about actually collecting the milk from the dairy knowing that it came from those cows there today (also not available to general public but can be sampled in the Cafe). Eggs that are red and different sizes, occasionally double yokers (you can buy them). To see a real market garden working, having fresh organic fruit and veg on the day it's picked.

 

If your ever passing Newtondee is worth a visit especially after Tavish saved it from the bulldozers. It's a bit like COPE, but older and larger. All food made in Newtondee is organic, the general store is like Scoop but so much larger and there's a nice cafe and gift shop. They also do courses in organic and bio-dynamic farming. (Some guy fae either Bressay or Yell was there recently on one apparently)

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Guest posiedon
MJ

Problem is that most parents don't know how to cook,

:shock: I know that's probably true down south, I wouldn't have thought that was the case In Shetland.

I come from a family of 7, 5 boys and 2 girls, and we could all cook and bake by about age 8 or 9.

We have to eat to live and I would have thought teaching your offspring to cook is as important as teaching them to look left and right befor crossing the road.

Then you get the kids who are discouraged from taking any classes that involve cooking as they cost. You've got to pay for the ingredients. Got seven kids, get free school dinners but still got to pay for home Ec. Bet none of the bright sparks thought about who was going to cover those costs.
While not disagreeing with you MJ, if the bairns take the basic ingredients for a wholesome meal (cheaper than ready meals) and go home with dinner for the family, surely that's a good thing, it's a strange anomaly but I think it's the people on low or no income that rely more on ready made meals (I could of course be wrong on that)
having fresh organic fruit and veg on the day it's picked.
You're not wrong there! I grow as much organic fruit and veg as the Shetland climate allows. (polytunnells of course :lol: )
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After serving my time in Home Ec in Eid I do think you're in a minority. I must admit as a bake and cook with my daughter's friends up here I do notice they have more cooking skills than their state school counterparts south.

Some of those young homeless I'm talking about came from these very isles.

I actually hated Home Ec, so much of what I was 'taught' was wrong, it didn't help I was a know it all kid who read too much. I had to learn to cook the hard way, organic veggie for 20, here's the larder and the book shelves if you're stuck sort of lesson. The things I can do with parsnips.

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I always involve the children when making something. They love cracking eggs, chopping veg, mixing, weighing, checking the recipe, and so on. Best thing is the bread-maker though, where I can ask my nine-year-old to make a loaf of bread and it comes out just perfect! :lol:

 

I'm not a great cook; there are only a few things I make, but they usually turn out ok. There's no excuse for not getting children involved in the kitchen as soon as possible - they love it. Even if it's just making a snack of beans on toast; they want to open the can, light the stove, stir, remember to check the toast, etc. Simple enough, but still useful skills to be learning.

 

Bannocks are an ideal thing to make; as are biscuits.

 

The convenience of ready-meals isn't even very persuasive either. It's faster and tastier to make an omelette than it is to cook a frozen pizza. Having said that, they only had battery eggs at the shop tonight... :?

 

I did watch Jamie and Hugh's programmes and thought they were both very good. I am glad that people are paying attention too.

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Guest posiedon
MJ

I actually hated Home Ec, so much of what I was 'taught' was wrong, it didn't help I was a know it all kid who read too much. I had to learn to cook the hard way, organic veggie for 20, here's the larder and the book shelves if you're stuck sort of lesson.

:?: :?: :?:

 

MJ

The things I can do with parsnips.

:shock: Do we really need to know?
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I am on the verge of vegetarianism largely influenced by the "growth promoters" used to get chickens from day old chick to supermarket shelf in the shortest possible time as well as the cruel methods used in intensive farming.

 

The use of chemical growth hormones has been banned in the UK for quite a while now. As has the feed based prophylactic administration of antibiotics prescribed for humans. But that's only the EU, it's still common practice in many countries - generally where cheap meat is sourced from, and there is no way to tell from the label, especially if it is a compound ingredient. I stopped eating meat 12 years ago precisely for these reasons, and since working in regulation of the food industry my convictions were cemented. Truth be told, there is no sustainable way to mass produce meat for the modern day society without the aid of technological intervention and advanced processing. The consumer can't have it both ways - either massively reduce meat consumption and accept the fact that if it's to be produced "naturally" it will become a luxury commodity that not everyone can afford to eat every day of the week, or accept current practice. Traditional production is not feasible or economically viable when the consumer/producer ratio sits at 90/10. Other alternatives for the consumer are GM crops and irradiation. Not much public support there.

 

Organic farming is a bit of a trend right now. All well and good but I think the whole title is a bit misleading. Pesticides/antibiotics (some, not all) etc are still used, but there is a specified lay off period before harvest. Providing this is done, it still conforms to standars set for organic accreditation. An organic product doesn't actually have to be 100% organic either. There is a percentage of non-organic ingredients permissable.

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organic farming may well be abused by some claimants to the title, but some of us do prefer to do things the right way.

 

That aside, I always have & always will buy cuts of meat (not that I need to these days as we raise all our own) from small time producers because not only are the welfare of the animals far far improved but the quality of the meats are something worthy of the plate.

 

We once bought a joint of meat from the co-op labeled as the premium range which once opened ending up being dinner for the dog that evening.

 

I guess we are lucky up here in having so much brilliantly raised meats right on our doorstep & one or two really good butchers, there really is no need to buy that low quality rubbish the supermarkets fob the consumers off with.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We haven't bought cheap chickens for a about 3 years now. We're lucky and have a farm shop not too far from us so we get the chickens from their farm and we occasionally have meat. Linlithgow is a pretty good place to live for organic food and the likes and there are farmers markets in Linlithgow, Falkirk and Edinburgh (although I have to say some stalls really like ramping up the price even though another stall sells exactly the same things cheaper). I miss being at home and getting fresh vegetables (and some fruit) out the garden that was great.

 

As for cooking, even though I was the oldest by about 3/4 when I was at uni, I was so shocked by the amount of sharn that the others cooked. I managed to cook on a budget and did most of it from scratch. Doesn't take long at all. I think cooking should become a bigger priority.

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MJ

Problem is that most parents don't know how to cook,

:shock: I know that's probably true down south, I wouldn't have thought that was the case In Shetland.

I come from a family of 7, 5 boys and 2 girls, and we could all cook and bake by about age 8 or 9.

We have to eat to live and I would have thought teaching your offspring to cook is as important as teaching them to look left and right befor crossing the road.

 

Spot on there!

 

I simply can't contemplate the idea of how a bairn can grow up and not know how to cook :?

 

How does that happen? Lock them in a cupboard while the dinners made?

 

And who peels the totties?

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Totties? They come in chip form in bags fae the farm shop (farmfoods that is), pretty much everything seems to come from the freezer or packets.

I went on a council run cooking course in one of the more deprived area's in Aberdeen. It was horrifying honestly, the whole course was how to cook healthily in a microwave. First recipe was how to make low sugar bread and butter pudding, yes that's a useful recipe for feeding young children! Many of the young families only had a microwave to cook with, with ready meals being 99p or less and a lot less hassle than trying to cook several things at once in one small oven. Remember one young lass being very proud that she ate lots of flavoured rice (the stuff in packets, just add water) because somehow or other she believed it was healthy.

It's pancake day today. Had a number of kids over from the play park once, not allowing biscuits or crisps in the house I offered them pancakes and asked who'd like to help. None of them had made pancakes before, they all wanted to help. Six kids in a small kitchen is not always the best idea but they all took turns and loved it. Apparently they were better than the ones mum got in the packet.

How many of you reading this are actually going to make their own pancakes today? Maybe you'll buy the packet mix, or the Jiff one in the jar, maybe even the ones ready made just stick them in the microwave. Do your kids know making pancakes is "as easy as 1 2 3"?

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