Reassessing the Rules Set by the Enforcer! (Me)

I have been quiet for a while now. I am most apologetic, and my absence has been for a variety of reasons, but I have also decided to take this time away to reassess my original rules, with special consideration to GM products after the recent public outcry over Monsanto.

It turns out Monsanto's dirty goods are used in a hell of a lot of products, including some very popular brands of ours right here in the UK; anyone heard of Cadbury, Heinz, Hellmanns or Knorr? And now our supermarkets are no longer guaranteeing produce from animal descent has not been given a GM diet. AND our own Environment Minister- ha!- Owen Patterson, is saying that the UK should be a leader in GM crop production, despite Parliament having a ban on GM food being served in their restaurants. Fan-bloody-tastic.

I understand that initial intentions for genetically modifying crops were rather honourable, but I am strongly against GM for several blindingly obvious reasons:

  1. There is a severe lack of testing of the effects of GM.
  2. If an animal is being fed a diet of GM, it is possible it may develop health issues, but most likely it is not being cared for properly and is being factory farmed. I won't support that.
  3. "Allergies" in humans are increasing and speculation over links to GM have been around for donkeys. I am living proof.
  4. It isn't natural. We aren't supposed to eat it. That simple.
  5. The effects of growing GM crops could be devastating for natural crop production and the future of farming.

The most concerning thing for me is that labelling laws mean that your friendly, local ISuperLoveMoneyMarket doesn't have to tell you if products come from animals that have been on a diet of GM feed. This means that your meat, dairy and eggs could have anything in them and the masses have no information to decide whether they refuse this GM loaded product or not.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about all of this and feeling rather green. I do buy organic, but I've always prioritised seasonal produce from sensible, ethical farms whether they used a little pesticide or necessary medication or not. I am now going to have to change this, as I can no longer be certain that genetic mods aren't being snuck into the food chain somewhere. Transformers should not be made of cheese.

At the moment British fruit and veg is still safe, as no GM crops are currently produced here in the UK. Unfortunately, in light of recent events it appears that this is probably set to change. Also, as someone who hasn't eaten wheat for years, I have eaten a lot of corn products, such as polenta. Corn is one of the biggest GM crops, along with soya (watch out veggies), and I'm finding it hard to find clarification that my maize is not contaminated or from a GM crop. Even Neal's Yard Wholefoods don't have a written guarantee to be GM free that I can find anywhere. Other big ones to watch are sugar, rapeseed and cotton.

Look! I made life!

And finally this is why I'm now going organic or well researched suitable alternatives. Thankfully, it appears some of my seeds are sprouting, so hopefully we can at least have some home grown salad and the odd courgette or two.

Grow, you beauties! Grow!

So, here are the
New Rules


Fruit & Veg
  • All fruit & veg purchased must be at least guaranteed to be GM free by the producer, if not organically certified.
  • All fruit and veg regularly purchased will be seasonal and sourced as locally as possible and a weekly market trip will now be my main source of produce.
  • Any occasional imported products must now be certified organic.
Meat
  • All farmed meat must be certified as organic or confirmed to be not fed GM feed by the farmer. No compromises.
  • Wild game is still allowed whilst our crops are still GM free.
  • All meat must be British, and as local to me as possible. Unless I am abroad, obviously.
  • Only two lots of meat will be used in meals each week.
  • No meat will be consumed when eating out unless it is guaranteed to be both British and organic or from a trusted farm.
Fish & Shellfish
  • Fish & shellfish can be eaten as many times a week as desired.
  • All fish will be wild unless guaranteed to be GM free.
  • Absolutely no farmed salmon will be consumed due to this horrible development.
  • Fish will be sourced as locally as possible without dregging the Thames.
Dairy & Eggs
  • All eggs will be from free range chickens that have not been on a diet of GM feed.
  • Only organic dairy products will be purchased from now on. This goes for all dairy products; milk, butter, yogurt, cream, cheese, ice cream. The whole shebang.
  • Anything that commonly contains dairy, such as chocolate or bread, will also need to be organic or be shown to use organic milk in it's production.
  • I will source all eggs and dairy as locally as possible.
  • I will look to have my own chickens and ducks by 2014.
Store Cupboard & Others
  • Unless certified organic or GM free, no pre-packaged gluten free breads or pastas will be purchased.
  • Bread and pasta alternatives will not be consumed more than twice a week
  • The majority or bread, cracker and pasta alternatives should be made by me, myself and I.
  • Corn, rice, soya and any flours purchased must be organic or guaranteed GM free.
  • Absolutely no products which could contain Monsanto crops or add to Monsanto's profit in any way will be purchased.
  • I will endeavour to source small, local producers for all cupboard essentials, such as jam, mustard, stock etc.
  • No GM inclusive store cupboard produce will be purchased. This is absolute.
  • I will endeavour to make my own mayonnaise, mustard and preserves as often as possible.
Alcohol
  • I will try to avoid tempting, low cost alcohol deals in favour of better cider from small, British producers
  • I will support local public houses and breweries over mass produced alcohol
  • I will look to be making my own cider by 2015
  • Where possible alcohol will be organic or pesticide free.
So, in summary, I will now be as organic and homemade as possible and this will now take precedence over food that comes from closer to home, even though local sourcing will still be a priority, it comes in second to being natural. Obviously animal welfare is still at the forefront, but organic farming tends to mean the animals have a better quality of life as standard, so this should go hand-in-hand. Instead of sticking to the original 5:2, I have pinched the title to fit my new regime of 5 days a week pescetarian, 2 days a week meat. This should mean that we are eating less and still looking after our health, whilst also challenging me to continue to make meals that are filling and delicious, but without the baddies or meaty bits. If we all ate less meat, then farming conditions would improve as demand would be less strenuous. Damn bacon ruining conscience. Don't worry, I will still be posting 5:2 suitable and meat inclusive recipes. These are not lost forever.

After doing some research expect to see recipes and reviews of goodies from the following places:

I have a feeling this place is going to save my life.
Silcocks is an organic farm based in Tenterden Kent and does pretty much everything that would be most difficult to get hold of. They have beef, lamb, pork, game and most importantly dairy. They even make their own cheeses and ice creams on site, and I'm going to visit them soon to check out their produce.

North Downs Valley based organic beef, pork and chicken. Jill Minister, has kindly invited me down to check out her meat. Ooh er. Hopefully this will happen Friday.

Organic eggs, lamb, beef, pork and mutton from Sevenoaks. I will be contacting them soon to see if I can visit.

Organic milk, and educational courses based in Edenbridge

Organic wine, beer, cider and spirits. I already know that they stock Dunkertons, which makes me a happy lady, as it's apparently hard to come by. Their staff seem to be quick, helpful and friendly on the email response too. Hi Steve! Everyone wave to Steve.

Already a firm favourite of mine, Doves farm do a lot of organic and gluten free products which make my life easier. Their food policy states plainly that they do not use any genetically modified material.

La Casetta
They have a website listed on the box of gluten free pasta that I bought, but it doesn't appear to work. They can be found at Blackheath Farmer's Market and also do gluten free cheese rolls. Their rice flour is organic and their eggs are free range. All good stuff.

So, this is a rough idea of what you can expect to see from me from now on. I promise posts will be much shorterthan this one and with many more pictures. I look forward to hearing your ideas, recipes and any tips you have on sourcing your produce. Feel free to share your GM free and Organic winners or losers in the comments below.

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