The Taster Magazine Daily Update: Crunch Time For Foodies II
So. What would we get on our dinner plates under each of the five national parties? Here’s the best-case scenario we’ve extrapolated after a sketchy and incomplete run through the manifestos (we deny everything). No bias any way on our side; all we care about is food. In alphabetical order:
Everything clearly marked with a ‘Great British Food Unit’ label. Possibly pricier than in the past, since supermarkets would come under pressure to give a fairer deal to small suppliers and might pass those costs on to customers.
Sunday Lunch under the Tories depends on how the EU referendum goes, so we have two versions. In the event of withdrawal from the EU, there would be (unlike UKIP) no particular emphasis on trading with the Commonwealth.
EU SUNDAY LUNCH: Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. Baked Camembert tart with Fleurie; Gressingham Duck à l’orange, carrots & petits pois with Rioja; zabaglione. Caffe latte
NON-EU SUNDAY LUNCH: Real caviar & Scottish smoked salmon on blinis with a vodka shot. Then, English asparagus & Cheddar tart with Glyndwr Welsh white wine; wagyu beef & Yorkshire pudding with a Chilean red; Sweet Eve strawberries & cream; Stilton with Fenland celery. Port (from Goa, not Portugal).
(Policies: creation of ‘Great British Food Unit’ to help trademark and promote British foods at home and abroad; country-of-origin labelling in Europe; new Groceries Code Adjudicator to regulate supermarkets’ relations with suppliers)
Not as many lentils/freekeh/quinoa as you might expect; rather, a lot more, and a lot cheaper, local organic veg. Wine or beer would be pricier (unless organic). What little meat you consume would, on the up side, be free-range and free of antibiotics. Honey for tea. A lot of pressure not to waste anything.
SUNDAY LUNCH (all veg are organic): Seasonal vegetable samosas; coconut fish curry with a local craft lager; grilled British-made halloumi; homemade walnut & honey baklava; green tea.
(Policies: reduced meat & dairy products; subsidies for organic farms; new farm animal welfare rules; increased taxes on alcohol & unhealthy food; protection for pollinators; emphasis on non-waste and recycling. Also against excessive food air miles; hence not so many lentils or other exotic grains)
Hopefully, you won’t be eating at a food bank. Quite possibly GM and pesticide-reliant veg, but only if clearly shown to do no harm. A goodbye to cheap-as-chips Value Cider, Lager etc
SUNDAY LUNCH: Apéritif of English perry. Curried sweetcorn soup; a small roast pork but with lashings of Armagh Bramley apple sauce, roast potatoes, kale & carrots with a good-quality Cornish cider; apple pie served with Cheshire cheese; more cider. (Basically a scene from the Darling Buds of May)
(Policies: Sunday Lunch under Labour is the trickiest one in this list. Their main policy is to increase food security; the Farmers’ Union recently claimed the UK is in a downward spiral of non-self-sufficiency, unable to meet 40% of its own food needs. So presumably the emphasis would be on British rather than EU foods, and staple grains and vegetables rather than meat or dairy products, which take more energy to produce. Potentially a lot of flour and, as the most efficient converter of food to meat, pigs. They also aim to end reliance on food banks and consider issues such as GM crops and pesticides dispassionately, ie according to scientific evidence)
If you’re a primary school child, it’s free school lunches all the way. Alcoholic drinks would probably be pricier, especially those that were previously very cheap. As with Labour, although the LibDems are pro-EU, their emphasis is to promote local food economies more than EU-imported foods
SUNDAY LUNCH: Apéritif of local craft beer or cider (wine likely to be pricey). Olives and sundried-tomato tartlets from the Farmers’ Market, plus local vegbox salad; roast chicken with potatoes and greens from a nearby allotment collective; apricot pavlova drizzled with British wildflower honey; Wensleydale cheese with slices of local apples.
(Policies: introduce a National Food Strategy for “healthy, sustainable and affordable food”; encourage local food economies and “field to fork” schemes; protect pollinators; introduce minimum prices for alcoholic drinks per unit)
Possibly a lot more wild-caught, sustainable British fish. Clearer food labelling and nothing halal; many more exotic foods imported from the non-EU world and particularly the Commonwealth. MPs would be given a free vote on whether to give GM crops the go-ahead.
SUNDAY LUNCH: Cornish sardines on toast with a sparkling Kentish wine; North Sea prawn tikka massala with Australian Shiraz OR New Zealand lamb & Jersey Royal potatoes with a South African rosé; Yorkshire rhubarb & banana custard; Ghanaian coffee and a few squares of chocolate from Grenada.
(Policies: Protect UK fish stocks and sustainability (including a ban on pair-trawling); clearer food labelling including slaughter methods – and a ban on the non-stun slaughter of farm animals; remove trade barriers with non-EU countries; a free vote in Parliament on GM foods)
Hope This Helps. May you feel good about your choice, whatever it is, as you leave the polling station.