Friday, 16 April 2010

What should politicians do to improve our food?

Earlier this week, along with fellow food bloggers Helen, Lizzie and Tom, I was asked to take part in a discussion recorded for the Observer.

The Venue – A pub in Kensal Green
The Host – Jay Rayner
The subject - What should politicians do to improve our food?

God help us.

Anyway, for what its worth here I am. Before you view, I’d like to point out that I talked intelligently and at length about sustainable produce, common European agriculture policy, the Maastricht treaty and its effect on food, the plight of our fisheries, global geopolitical issues and a memorable episode where I regaled everyone with an ancient poem on food which I’d painstakingly translated from it’s original Sanskrit.

Unfortunately, the whole conversation was condensed to 5 mins and all I got in to the finished piece was something about Jamie Oliver and a tax on pizzas and coke.

I’d also like to point out, yes I am from Essex – but to my keen ear I fondly imagined that I sound like a bastard cross between James Mason and Prince Charles. Imagine my shock upon hearing myself speak in the imbedded video, and the subsequent accompanying trauma as I realised that…errr…. basically… I don’t, coming off more like Ray Winstone.

A career in radio is not on the cards I'm afraid.


Getting back to the original subject, loyal readers – what do you think?
What should politicians do to improve our food?

Here's a link to the original Word of Mouth page.


Ollie said...

Jolly well done, Dan. A fat tax - you cruel man!

Dan said...

Hah - Thanks Oliver. You kind of get put on a spot, so Fat Tax was best I could do at short notice. It's not a bad idea actually. Hopefully, my more intelligent(who me?) written comments will get published in the Observer on Sunday.

Jen said...

ha ha, I was just about to say how weird it is that I was not prepared for your accent, given the name of your blog.

you maybe don't want to hear that though?

Uma said...

Well Done Ray! I mean, Dan.

A fat tax is a great idea, or taxing all foods that are likely to cause obestity, diabetes etc and put more strain on the NHS.

Sara (your highly amused sister) said...


Dan said...

Jen - hahaha one day maybe we can compare accents and see if we can understand each other, you being from Glasgow I believe.

Uma - Thanks very much! I agree with you entirely, the healthier foods should be cheaper, the unhealthy processed crap should be taxed to make it unappealing and ultimately put less strain on the NHS. Common sense - Next, I solve the problems in the Middle East.

Sara - Hahaha as my Sister, you're supposed to be supportive and say nice things...'Hilarious' doesn't cut it.

Paul said...

Echoing Jen's comments, strangely I was expecting you to be a lot more of an essex wideboy to be honest... Fat tax? No! :D

neil said...

I think you sounded 90% less like a tosser than you or I anticipated. Which in my own little way is a compliment ;)

For an intelligent comment though I'd like to see incentives put in place for businesses selling healthy food rather than taxing fatty foods. Food prices are already at an all time high and I don't believe the restaurant industry needs any more knock backs right now. Reduced business rates or reduced vat on healthy food might steer entrepreneurs in the right direction rather than punishing businesses and the consumer for what might be a very reasonable part of somebody's well balanced diet.

Food Urchin said...

Dan, Dan, Dan. Why didn't you go for the theatrical 'Othello' accent we've been practising. Nice one mate, you look right at the boozer not on camera.

Gourmet Chick said...

Wow - world wide domination and media fortune next step Dan - well done! On a serious side I think local, small producers need to be encouraged by government. It's hard to tell people who are struggling economically that they MUST buy free range chickens. The better thing is to ensure that those free range chickens are affordable. Eating healthy, simple food shouldn't cost more than eating at McDonalds.

Dan said...

Paul - hahaha. I was doing my 'posh' voice - sadly, that's as good as it gets.

Neil - Ha! yes, Thanks...err... I think!. True - nowhere near as bad as I feared. Great point, well made. I think a combination of this and perhaps tax on the worst offenders (processed cheese strings, crisps, fast food) for example is perhaps the way to go....if education fails of course.

FoodUrchin - Whaddya mean? This was my theatrical Othello accent. You're right, the boozer was a strangely relaxing enviroment.

Gourmet Chick - Thanks! Oh for sure, small beginnings - I'll be rejected on X-Factor before you know it. Also a good point, totally agree - the good guys should be encouraged with tax breaks or subsidies, so as to make the better - more healthy food affordable.

Is there nothing us foodies cannot fix? :P

Jen said...

Your surprise at hearing your own voice makes me fear that in reality I sound like Lorraine Kelly. If our paths ever do cross you can let me know.

Oh, and fat tax: Yes. Junk food should be taxed like booze for the basically the same reasons.