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Tales from an Anglesey Smallholding No7 – Home is the best place to eat !

Tales from an Anglesey Smallholding No7 – Home is the best place to eat !
17th August 2020 Admin

Hi all,

It’s Margaret, blogging again.

Thank you for reading my previous blog. I had hoped for 500 clicks on the page…….. I had 550. Delighted, thank you.

Also, I was contacted by an organisation called Feedspot who told us that we were now in the top 100 blogs for the UK. Yes, I know, only number 80 but nevertheless !!!  There’s a whole host of blogging info there. So if you like to read blogs, find them here !

Many, many thanks for following me. I am hoping for around 650 clicks for this blog. I am working on how the blog looks on screen as well as varying the content. If you are able and willing to share, please do. This would help me along. You can also subscribe.

Overtime, Ron and I are beginning to learn who is following our story. Some of you are getting in touch with us via email, telephone and even calling round to see us – because you used to come to the farm shop.…. Just a big thank you to you all for your support. It’s becoming an online community. I’m really enjoying writing…. This is only going to get bigger and better, so hang on and enjoy the ride !

Now, let’s get blogging !!

Last month the UK government published two hugely important and very much inter-linked publications. Living on a small-holding, growing and raising some of our own food, we are really interested in the impact of these publications.

The first is the national OBESITY STRATEGY intended to help adults and children to live healthier lives. The second is a paper which contains initial recommendations and launches a review of our national food system (the first review in 75 years). This will shape a new FOOD STRATEGY.

Covid-19 has brought into strong relief the need to ensure that we all have access to great British food. We all need to keep healthy and have a food system which is sustainable.

Today, around two-thirds of adults are above a healthy weight, and of these, half are living with obesity. One in three children leaving primary school are already overweight, with one in five living with obesity. These are staggering statistics, aren’t they ??? Our country’s rates of obesity are storing up future problems for individuals and our NHS. But worryingly, there is now consistent evidence that people who are overweight who contract coronavirus are more likely to be admitted to hospital, to an intensive care unit and, sadly to die from COVID-19 compared to those of a healthy body weight status. This is a key time to look at our food system.

The obesity strategy

The government’s practical approach comprises several strands. It plans a campaign to reach millions of people who need to lose weight, encouraging them to make behaviour changes to eat better in order to prevent or delay the onset of serious diseases; it will encourage primary health care networks to support people in their efforts to lose weight; calorie content will be required on food and alcohol labelling; legislation will be put in place to support the promotion of healthy foods and reduce the promotion of food products which are high in fat, sugar and salt; the advertising of such products in the media will be banned at certain times so that the opportunity to influence children’s eating habits will be limited.

The food strategy

There are two parts to this strategy. Part One has recently been published. It contains initial urgent  recommendations intended to help the UK’s most vulnerable citizens access good food. Secondly, it contains recommendations about how we should re-negotiate our trading arrangements with the EU and implement targeted regulation, so that we import only food of a high enough standard for us.

What I’ve learned from reading these publications……….

I hadn’t realised so much that an individual’s fundamental right to good food is a very, very complex subject, inextricably linked to huge issues such as social equality. I’m not going to try to address these major issues here. I’m simply looking at these subjects from a personal perspective.

My point of view …….

In our farm shop café, Ron had wanted to do nothing more than serve good quality, sometimes traditional, sometimes fashionable, food in the form of nourishing, tasty, balanced meals. Food without additives; without preservatives.  Food cooked or baked from scratch, for customers to enjoy.

It would have been very much easier – and much more lucrative – to have bought in and sold mass-produced processed frozen food. All that we’d need to do is to turn a dial on a microwave and ……. Ready in 4 minutes !!! But this wasn’t our philosophy !  Instead, we chose to serve Sunday lunches with lots of vegetables, freshly made apple sauce, home-made Yorkshire puddings and our own free range roast pork; yummy pies and cakes cooked from scratch, Welsh cawl crammed with fresh vegetables and home-cooked ham, home-made beef-burgers made from the best locally-bought Welsh Black Beef served with home-made bread rolls. Tasty, wholesome food. Yes, it takes time to prepare…….. but very nourishing.

We love to eat great food ! Ron and I came to Anglesey hoping that we would be able to access fantastic seafood. Just love salmon cooked a la Delia Smith (this is my favourite recipe) as well as prawns, cod, trout, scallops, lobster, crab  ……… couldn’t wait to enjoy the local fruits of the sea. But, for some reason…….. despite the fact Anglesey is surrounded by water……….. there’s not a lot of local fish sold about on the island………. Now, we do love Cromer crab but why is local crab so limited in supply ? Why is this ? Similarly, trying to source fruit and vegetables which are grown in the UK  is difficult ………. (Apart from those wonderful, wonderful Anglesey potatoes !!) Green beans often come from Poland…… Grapes and strawberries from Spain ! Dave Lewis, the CEO of Tesco succinctly expresses what needs to be done in this article to secure a sustainable source of good food for the UK.

Seared salmon with black bean salsa 

Too many of us have acquired the habit of eating food too high in salt, sugar and fat – and too regularly. Changing this habit would really move this agenda on ! Take a look at this video which explains why mass-produced foods was needed……… and why we need to build a new food system.

We need to commit to the agenda !

Each and every one of us has a responsibility to commit to this agenda in whatever way we can. To get started, you could try one of my suggestions……………

  1. If you have a small garden, try vertical gardening !  Read up on how to grow potatoes hereThen start cooking meals which incorporate your potatoes…
  2. If you have a little space in your garden, back yard or balcony, grow some lettuce and tomatoes. Eat them as a basis for your salads !
  3. Bake your own bread. Read what Richard Bertinet has to say about processed bread on page 148
  4. Buy two or three warren hens……. Build your own coop ……… use your eggs in your cooking !

What we cannot do, however, is continue to eat unhealthily ………. we need to follow the best diet we can…

That’s all until next time !

Margaret x

PS Can’t believe turkey twizzlers are back !!



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