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Scarborough Local Food Group - link to home page

Newsletter July 2008:

Free-Range Chicken now available in Scarborough Public Market

With the media storm around battery-produced chickens, focusing most recently on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's challenge to Tesco, it is great news that we can now buy locally reared (Weaverthorpe) free-range chickens from Jennings in the Public Market.

Anthony Davison, founder of BigBarn writes:
"As supermarkets have grown more powerful and separated consumer from producers, the consumers don't have enough information to make the right choice. As the media reports these hidden facts, consumers realise they may be making the wrong choice and are confused. So far this has not bothered supermarkets, as a confused customer may be seen as a marketing opportunity to improve shareholder return and customer goodwill.

"Hugh and the media have messed up this marketing campaign. I hope.
"I will be following this story closely as this is exactly why I set up BigBarn. Hugh and the media may raise awareness of the failings of the UK food industry but to fight the power we must offer consumers an alternative to the supermarket. The alternative to buy chickens direct from a local producer and personally check welfare standards."
see the full article http://www.bigbarn.co.uk/blog/?articleid=278
(And don't forget that free-range locally produced eggs from Winkfield and Brown Eggs are readily available from numerous retailers in and around Scarborough)

Happy 10th Birthday to Pepper's Restaurant

Pepper's has been a pioneer in bringing excellent seasonal and locally sourced food to Scarborough. In 2006, Pepper's won the Discover Yorkshire Coast Tourism Award for Restaurant of the Year. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Pepper's is offering a 10% discount on all food Monday to Friday. Print out a discount voucher from Pepper's website at http://www.peppersrestaurant.co.uk/

Don't Fall for the GM Industry Deception

The biotech companies are ruthlessly exploiting the current food crisis to promote GM, claiming that GM crops are needed to tackle the alleged shortage of food and that this somehow this justifies looking again at GM food and farming for the UK.

What about this quote?
"I think the debate about higher prices and being able to meet the demand of people in the world for food is a perfect opportunity to make the case (for GMO crops)… We may have a window of opportunity here and I would encourage you to exploit that" Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation speaking to the NFU conference 2008.

It is important that the Government realises that the public isn't being duped by the fake claims of the biotech industry. You can send a Friends of the Earth email action to MPs from
http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/real_food/press_for_change/mp_gm_hype_11309.html

The truth is that biofuels, intensive GM farming and export-oriented food production are devastating small farmers and local food markets:
"GM crops do not address hunger or poverty. Instead they risk diverting resources away from food for the hungriest and exacerbating the problems brought about by intensive agriculture.

The recent International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report revealed that there was no conclusive evidence that GM crops have increased yields. Recent studies have shown that GM soya beans suffer from “yield drag”, resulting in a 5-10% reduction in yields.

Contrary to claims by the biotech industry, no GM crops modified to increase yields or resist droughts are on, or even close to the market. Instead crops have been modified to be resistant to insect pests and tolerant to herbicides, resulting in a dramatic increase in the use of chemicals to deal with the weeds that develop resistance to the chemicals over time. GM crops have been used for more intensive production methods by big companies, mainly to produce animal feed, at the expense of local farmers and the natural environment."

Extract from Solving the global food crisis http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/media_briefing/food_crisis.pdf
Also see: World leaders warned off phoney solutions to global food crisis - press release
http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/world_leaders_warned_off_p_02062008.html

GM Potato Trial at Tadcaster

On 5th June the GM potato trial at Headley Hall experimental farm near Tadcaster was entirely destroyed by environmental activists.
Permission for the trial was granted by Defra in May, despite many objections. GM Freeze objected to the release for the following reasons:
* Lack of demand for GM potatoes.
* Lack of need because Potato Cyst Nematode can be dealt with using good agricultural practice.
* Risk of GM genes escaping in pollen.
* Persistence of GM volunteers.
* Risk of tubers being transferred off field.
* Lack of evidence provided by BASF about possible pleiotropic effects
* Lack of data about the synthetic genes used.
* The presence of the neomycin-resistant gene raises concerns about the long-term risk of increasing antibiotic resistance.
* Lack of data about the allergenicity of the new and altered GM proteins.

Commenting on Defra's approval, Pete Riley of GM Freeze said:
“This approval is unwise and unnecessary. Potato cyst nematode can be tackled using good agricultural practice by have many years between potato crops in the rotation. GM potatoes will encourage short rotation which will not lead to sustainable systems. We are very concerned that Defra persists in approving applications which contain antibiotic resistant marker genes involving antibiotic which are still in clinical use. These genes are not needed and should be removed. The GM proteins in these potatoes have not been tested sufficiently for allergenicity first. All in all it’s a bad decision by Defra."

Now there is only one field trial of GM crops in Britain (Cambridgeshire).

Seafest

July 18th - 20th
West Pier, Scarborough Harbour
The Seafest includes a Sea Fish Cookery marquee (where visiting chefs will demonstrate the art of sea-food preparation) and the Cropton Brewery Real Ale Bar, as well as hosting this region's biggest gathering of folk singers, shantymen and traditional musicians.
http://www.seafest.org.uk/

Egton Bridge Gooseberry Contest

5th August
The Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Society celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2001. The contest is won by the largest berry, whether of a white, green, yellow or red variety, although there are also prizes for the largest berries in each class. Growing gooseberries for show started in the 18th century in Lancashire, where workers' cottage gardens were ideally situated. There were once 700 shows across the country and 78 varieties of gooseberry, but the two World Wars diminished the numbers. After the First World War ... there were only 40 shows and today there are only eight, across Cheshire and at Holmes Chapel, Lancashire. The judging is from 9am-12.30 with the fruits on display in the afternoon and music, prize giving and a raffle in the evening.
From: England in Particular http://www.england-in-articular.info/gazetteer/gz-yorks.html

Seasonal Recipe: Broad Bean Hummus

from Sarah Beattie, who lives in Kirkbymoorside, and is resident food writer for the Soil Association: http://www.whyorganic.org/archive/recipe_of_month/20.healthy_recipeMonth%5BJune%202008%5D.asp

Happy eating

Madeleine

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