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Makes a nice change to find Cameron backing something I believe in! Slow Food is a cracking issue for us. Not only is it in keeping with the rebranding agenda, in so far as its a bit green and trendy, but it also appeals to our core rural vote. Please Sir, can I have some more, Sir?

Please don't continue with the New Labour nanny state obsession...they'll be food police random trolley searches in supermarkets next.

For a terrible moment I thought Cameron was about to hit out at the 35p price-marked Crunchie bars...just too more-ish!

My food shopping is dictated by my food budget. So while Cameron can talk all he wants about eating healthily, for those in poverty they dont have as many choices as everyone else.

It is in the national interest for people to have healthy lifestyles and consume locally produced goods. It’s also in the national interest for people to limit their reproduction to the number of children they can sensibly afford. In media-driven politics, who is going to stand up for the less-crunchy issues?

Mark F, I love that middle sentence! I agree vaguely with the first, but fact is, I had an Iceland Pizza for tea yesterday that cost £1 or £2 and it was lovely! The kids shared two kids' pizzas costing £1.50 combined and actually ate 90%. Mrs W gets tired towards end of week and her usual high standards are allowed to slip.

"So while Cameron can talk all he wants about eating healthily, for those in poverty they dont have as many choices as everyone else."

Nice to see the 'poor people can't afford to eat healthily' myth raising its head again.

You are right that poverty restricts choice, but it is still possible to eat healthily within that restricted choice range - fresh ingredients are often far cheaper than processed, 'convenience' meals made up from the same ingredients.

More nanny state & food fascism - this time from Dave Blair (oops... Cameron).

Why am I not surprised?

For crying out loud, when will Mr Cameron move on to matters of political substance? I am sick and tired of these directions on how to live life from someone who, by dint of his background, has little idea about how the average person lives. He must move on to the bigger political problems we face and stop trying to get us all to feel smug as we pass through the TESCO checkout.

Daniel VA - I agree completely, this is a complete myth that somehow decent healthy food costs more and is not available to people of very limited means.

Quick example - Mrs S & myself's fallback staple: a simple pasta in tomato sauce.

Nip down to supermarket, and I think from memory it would be about £1.99 to £2.49 for a 1-person tray, total cost £4 to £5.

But what's in it? 1/2 packet top quality dried pasta - about 50p. Tin of tomatoes - 40p. Garlic (mine's free but I've got to pay for the allotment!) - 20p's worth max. Basic grade olive oil - 20p's worth to be generous. Fresh parmesan - perhaps 50p's worth. Total ingredients - I reckon perhaps £1.80, ie half the price of the ready meal.

Gas/electric cost the same - the ready meal needs oven heating for 20 -30 minutes anyway.

The only difference is a tiny amount of culinary ability, and the outcome is vastly superior.

OK, this is a simple example using store cupboard ingredients, but fresh ingredients can be just as cheap - when we ditched (to us unsatisfactory, needlessly perfect, foodmile-laden) supermarket veg in place of the local greengrocers, we were surprised at what we could come away with for £10 or £15, especially late on a Saturday afternoon.

Feel very passionately about food, and I think this was a good speech by DC.

Cameron is railing against the British temperament. We are no good at cooking and not particularly interested it it. We know that food is unimportant in the scale of values and that is why we laugh when the French criticise us for our cooking. Cameron should be more concerned about the moral, spiritual and cultural impoverishment of our society than about what we have for lunch.


Cameron should be more concerned about the moral, spiritual and cultural

He will be, namely when he gives a speech for some cultural organisation. He will tell them what they like to hear.

I wouldn't want to burst anyone's bubble or anything but can't you see that Cameron doesn't even have a grasp of the basic facts?

'Yet, despite growing prosperity, many of us seem to lack time in our own lives,
time for ourselves, time for family, time for community.__And so much of the
destruction that we wreak on the environment is because of man's desire to find
more time. __More speed. __More labour-saving. __More money-making, to
afford more ways of beating the clock and conserving our energy for the things
that matter.__Sadly it doesn't always work. __We’re so busy saving time that we
often don't get round to using it for the good things in life.'

Leisure time has been going up for the past century. What is the man talking about?

We are no good at cooking and not particularly interested it it.

Speak for yourself. My wife married me for my chocolate fondant (there can be no other possible explanation).

the French criticise us for our cooking

They have rested on their undeserved culinary laurels for far too long. The French national disk has become steak-frites, and rather badly done at that. Any of us are more familiar with “legume” than the average Frenchie.

Whilst I agree with localism within food, eating as organically as possible and being amused yet appalled when I look at supermarket ready meal ingredients, I have a slight fear about this campaign.

If we bang on too much, it risks being a mild form of back to basics and whiter and white. If Cameron starts to put on weight (possibly from his declared fondness of kebabs), the press may portray it as do as I say and not as I do. Still a good campiagn as long as we don't take legislation to state police it.

Andrew I think you should print this post out and frame it - 'cos I am agreeing with you 100%!!!

Mark, I agree with your comments about French cooking! If you go to a top restaurant in Paris or, say, the South of France, of course you get great food but there is nothing worse than mediocre French restaurant food. If you want fairly consistently good European cooking, go to Italy!!!

I have to say I thinj he's got it wrong on this. Lecturing people about making more food at home is great if you are on £100k, live in Notting Hill and (no doubt) have a nannie/au pair. Out in the real world it sounds like a posh bloke talking nonsense.

"Cameron is railing against the British temperament. We are no good at cooking and not particularly interested it it."

May have been true at one time - but no longer in my opinion! We have some great chefs - Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Worrall-Thompson, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson..... to name but a few!

'Actually, what DC needs to do is more of the same with just a bit more flesh '

...this comment on another thread suggests he doesn't have much to worry about with those kebabs.

Had to happen once Sally!!

Cameron needs to grow up and say something useful

Whilst I am the last to argue for food police, the sight of people who are supposed to be "poor", gorging on delivered full fat, cheese crust meat monster pizzas and the sort of ready made muck which comes out of all supermarkets and frozen food emporiums is almost enough to have me reaching for Dr Reid's number to plead for yet another law to ban this kind of food. Almost, but not quite.

I know it is possible to eat well for far less than is spent on convenience foods, but that is why people don't, because it is just that, convenient.

But that is what our welfare dependent society has become. It is more convenient to stay out of work than get a job, the state picks up the tab and you sit at home smoking yours in front of Trash-ah [no spelling error] on daytime TV before slapping a couple of meat monsters in the microwave for the kids to wolf down in front of the playstation while they slaughter each other playing the latest death and glory game, before you nip out to the pub for several large vodka and red bulls before fornicating with whoever without a thought to the consequences as of course, the state will cure you of the clap and if you get pregnant or father a child, the state will up your welfare cheque in nine months time.

That welfare should allow luxuries like cigarettes, alcohol and playstations is bad enough. That we should buy into this through an acceptance of "relative" poverty is awful. But to seek simply to address the symptoms of these problems through faddish posturing is worse. It is an abrogation of the duty a politician has to deal with problems properly. But then Camera-on - as DC is so cruelly, but accurately lampooned by Jeff Randall today - doesn't seem to be interested in solutions, just the image he can project of himself as a supposedly caring conservative.

I'm sorry, if we really cared, we would reduce welfare to encourage work and make it beneficial to take work by massively raising tax allowances, paying for this with a slightly higher flat rate above this. We would scrap the NHS for a proper insurance based system - not the US one, a european one - and we would trust parents with education vouchers and schools and teachers and universities with the right to set their own fees.

I suspect we won't and we will go through a 60s/70s style flip-flop between a softly socialst Conservative Party and a slightly less softly socialist Labour Party until the handcart truly does arrive in hell when we might just find another genuine Conservative to dig the country out of the mess.

My food budget is 10 quid a week.

I had an uncle who had about 40 ways of using a potato. (Stop sniggering at the back).

Armed with some smoked streaky (much cheaper than boring old Back), a few tins of italian tomatoes, onion and garlic and pasta or spud, one can eat wonderfully well for days, for the price of a Happy Meal (oxymoronic) from McDonalds.

It's the red wine I find hard to economise on.

yesh, I'm with Og

It's the red wine I find hard to economise on.

Easy, buy fresh wine in France or Spain (Spain: less than 1 Euro per liter).

Not really interested in this at all.Must have been a slow news day.I would have been much more interested if Cameron had launched a campaign urging people to buy food grown in Britain. This, it seems to me would have three big advantages 1) Good for the enviroment(less food miles),2)Good for our struggling farmers and 3) good for our balance of payments.

Why not just encourage people to eat loads of fruit and veg: it's cheap, ultra-convenience food (most of it just requires a rinse), it can be delicious and is very good for you. Win win. Couple the suggestion with a plug for English apples which can be stunning.

One problem, Tesco's has been banging the English fruit thing in recent times and us Tories dont like Tesco's anymore... Im certain the apples things has been done by Tesco's.

Very good suggestion, Michael.

I forgot that, James! HWat is it that DC doesn't like abot Tesco? That they give good value for money?

They do, but they are also big business which destroy small businesses in the area. Tesco's as I understand it has a big sway with planning authorities and hads a lot of power in the market, obviously.

FYI New York is considering a ban on unhealthy trans fats.

Interesting idea if you think about it, legislating against cheap and nasty additives is bound to make the market for food work in favour of healthier, usually locally produced options.

My food budget is 10 quid a week

Which explains your fine figure James. But, IIRC, you do have a larger "smokes" budget ;-)

Happy Meal (oxymoronic) from McDonalds

My daughter threw-up her last Happy Meal while still in the restaurant (I kid you not). To their credit the McD staff were far cheerful, helpful and down-to-earth about it. Far more so than when she threw-up on an aeroplane.

10 quid a week James? Dare one ask whether you have access to a freezer? Or even a fridge?
If so, keep a close eye on the reduced chill cabinet or Tescos. A large chicken can often be had for £2.50. Hack it up.
2 legs
2 breasts
2 wings
The bits in between.
That makes 7 days. Curry, stirfry, make soup,casserole, watch the reduced cabinet for things like vegetable curry for not a lot,and sling it in with the 2 legs, chopped up. May do for 2 ot 3 days, with boiled rice - cheap!
Dare one ask whether you can cook? Ive been a student too!
I really appreciated DC's speech. It will make people start thinking.
I remember a rather uninformed client of mine, who declared that she could not possibly move into her allocated council house, as the cooker had not been connected, and she would therefore be "forced" to remain in her appalling living conditions. I asked why she could not have a nutricious sandwhich and hot drinks for a couple of days. Oh No! Sandwhich is too expensive. After I had put my lower jaw back into place, I told her how to get a bag of buns, some cheese, and tomato. Make a pile of butties for the price of one done up in its nice cover.
I have to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that this solution had never crossed her mind. If DC can start a debate, then good on him. It mught help to bring back cooking in schools, not "Food technology"

Too many interlinking factors here to deal with comprehensively - but basically Cameron needs to understand of how society has changed over the last fifty years, and why, before he starts thinking how to change it back in this way or that. But in any case I feel sure that about a year ago he said that he's pretty happy with the country as it is now, unlike some old-fashioned Tories who still yearn for the past, so why should he want to change any of it back?

"Which explains your fine figure James"

Damn straight. I dont smoke, though for many Cameroons on this site it would explain my posts...

Hearing the sinister, menacing tones of Patricia Hewitt on the radio this morning warning in her best patronising nannyish way those who have the tenerity to smoke in public places of the fell visitation awaiting them after the law comes into force made me want to go and buy a packet of 20 of the strongest brand available and find the most enclosed public space possible to smoke them in despite having given up for over ten years. Now I feel like following our Editor to the nearest greasy spoon for a sausage sandwich. Sanctimonious politicians telling me how to lead my life generally give me a strong impulse to do the exact opposite.

Annabel, my lower jaw has just clicked back into place after expressing total astonishment at the dense-ness of your former client!! Sadly however I suspect there are many like her! Hope she now knows how to make a healthy (and cheap) sandwich thanks to your commonsense approach!

johnc I agree totally with your view of Patricia Hewitt (or should we call her "The Chief Nanny"?!) I think what people should be inclined to go for encouraging is the 80/20 rule - that is, it is what you do 80% of the time that really counts! If people want to have the occasional sausage sandwich or fry-up (and that includes our Esteemed Editor!) then fine but it is if people live on a constant diet of Big Mac and soggy fries washed down with vodka and Red Bull then that is when the problems really start.

RichardS - I often have have the same meal :-)

I'd reccommend adding butter to tomatoes.

This latest statement by Dave is another example of having those advisors saying that something must be put out on a daily basis and of course they trot out this sort of garbage. My thinking is that if you have nothing worthwhile to say then keep your mouth shut.We may come to regret those releases to the press when the come back to haunt us in years to come..

"They do, but they are also big business which destroy small businesses in the area. Tesco's as I understand it has a big sway with planning authorities and hads a lot of power in the market, obviously."

I would argue that it is consumers who destroy small businesses by choosing to shop in larger ones instead. Tesco might offer a superior service but it can't force people to shop there.

In regards, to Cameron's latest hobby horse, I have to say this is one of the things that puts me off of him. I just want to scream "LEAVE ME ALONE, I WILL EAT WHATEVER I DAMN WELL WANT". And if I happen to be addicted to Marks & Spencer's microwave meals, that's my problem.

Now, I can sympathise with the argument that people who make themselves ill through their dietry habbits are a cost to the NHS. The answer to this is not to nanny everyone into eating properly but to make sure those that cause their own food-related illnesses have to contribute towards their treatment.

".they'll be food police random trolley searches in supermarkets next." Too late Alison.
A couple of years back the food at my kids school was so bad many parents were "forced" to start going back to packed lunches. My kids who had complained bitterly about endless days of turkey drumsticks then moaned at me because of the high content of "healthy" food in their lunch box. This only stopped when one day their teacher inspected the contents of each kids packed lunch and awarded kids (mine included) healthy eating awards!
"It's the red wine I find hard to economise on." Og, you are looking at this from the wrong angle. Red wine is a "cheap" way of enjoying a tipple with your meal and its healthy too.

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