Category Archives: Food & drink industry

How to eat flowers without poisoning yourself

I spent a week adding a floral touch to my meals – but if you don’t know what you’re doing, swiping flowers from the meadow can be a risky business

There are ups and downs in the world of edible flowers. By her own admission, Jan Billington, who grows and sells them from her organic farm in Devon, “smells amazing”. On the downside, she is regularly stung by Italian honey bees and is badly allergic, “although it’s just a matter of swelling”, she says. “It goes down eventually.”

Billington sells seasonal flowers to chefs and cocktail-makers, but more recently she has begun selling to amateur cooks who are hoping to inject a little personality into their cooking. Edible flowers are in the spotlight, or rather the polytunnels (thanks to the frost), because of Instagram, where they are used to zhoosh up food shots, and because of the rise of veganism, where they provide a bit of textural variation.

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Source: gad

The Quorn revolution: the rise of ultra-processed fake meat

It was reported last week that Quorn is on course to become a billion-dollar business. It is part of a booming industry of meat alternatives – but many of these products are a far cry from the idea of a natural, plant-based diet

What exactly is Quorn? I have been asked that question regularly for more than 30 years. This may be a reflection of the general population’s scientific illiteracy, but most people remain hazy about the composition of Quorn – even those who eat it regularly. However, many of us are prepared to accept this understanding gap because Quorn seems to be on the right side of the prevailing food paradigm, which holds that eating meat, fish, dairy and eggs is a redneck habit that has had its day, one that amounts to propagating cruelty and environmental ruin and will lead to dire consequences for human health. On the other hand, “plant food” – an appealing neologism for vegetarian and vegan that owes its intellectual heft to US food writer Michael Pollan’s maxim “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” – is riding high on a wave of moral purity and an extravagant “feed the world and save the planet” promise.

The short explanation is that Quorn is a “mycoprotein” fermented in vats from a fungus found in soil. A fuller – but still heavily truncated – one is that it is made from a strain of the soil mould Fusarium venenatum by fermenting it, then adding glucose, fixed nitrogen, vitamins and minerals and heat-treating it to remove excess levels of ribonucleic acid. (In other words, it is a long way from what the phrase “plant food” may seem to denote.)

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Source: gad

Bordeaux wine harvest plummets 40% after French region's frost-bitten 2017

Local wine council says some chateaux lost up to 90% of their crop during country’s worst harvest since 1945

Wine production in the French region of Bordeaux shrank 40% last year, the Bordeaux wine council said on Wednesday, with severe frost sapping yields in a year that nonetheless produced a good vintage.

“The total harvest in 2017 was 3.5m hectolitres, down 40% on 2016,” the council said, adding that vineyards in Saint-Émilion had been the worst affected.

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Source: gad

Coca-Cola to sell smaller bottles at higher prices in response to sugar tax

Soft drink manufacturer refuses to alter recipe, as rivals face backlash over reduced sugar Irn-Bru in Scotland

Coca-Cola is to use smaller bottles and sell at higher prices rather than alter its famous sugar-laden secret recipe, while Irn-Bru faces a growing consumer backlash over fears a new lower sugar version will ruin Scotland’s national soft drink.

The changes are part of the preparations underway in the fizzy drinks business for the sugar tax. The cost of some “price marked packs” of Coca-Cola sold in newsagents and convenience stores will increase by more than 10% in March, just before the new tax comes into effect the following month.

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Source: gad

Eight big ideas for 2018 by Ed Miliband, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Jay Rayner, Sophie Walker and more

From politics to culture, space science to food, our experts assess the major developments that will mark the year ahead

2018 is all about reclaiming reality, opposing governmental and corporate paradoxes, and dissecting lies, before they become a new truth, the new normal – a new reality.

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Source: gad