Friday, May 09, 2008
The F Word
I see that Gordon Ramsay has succumbed to the dark side of Nanny, and is advocating fining restaurants for serving non seasonal produce.
He told the BBC that fruit and vegetables should be locally-sourced, and only on menus when in season.
Ramsay claims that he has already spoken to Prime Minister Gordon Brown about outlawing out-of-season produce.
He says it would cut carbon emissions, as less food would be imported and also lead to improved standards of cooking.
"There should be stringent laws, licensing laws, to make sure produce is only used in season and season only."
How very Nannylike of him!
Here's why he is talking bollocks:
1 We live in a free market economy, we can buy and sell what we wish.
2 If there was not a market for out of season produce, then it wouldn't be sold.
3 If the costs of supplying the produce (eg airline fuel) rise, then so does the cost of the produce on the shelves or in the restaurant. The consumer will make a buy decision based on that price, it is not up to the state.
4 We have, as an island nation, been importing exotic food and spices for centuries. Using Ramsay's "logic", we would never have imported the potato, pepper, spices etc.
5 Locally sourced food can be just as badly cooked as imported food.
6 As an island we depend on importing some food, even during the war (when the entire country was on ration) we still needed to import food.
7 Locally sourced food, being transported by a large number of small trucks from a large number of local farms, can be just as damaging to the environment as using one plane and one super sized truck to transport a container to a supermarket.
8 Define "local" and "seasonal", as already noted there are foods that we consider to be "native" yet were only brought here by our intrepid ancestors who travelled the globe.
9 Don't give Brown another means by which to raise taxes.
10 Tax foreign produce and people will buy less, thus impacting the living standards of the impoverished farmers who grow the stuff.
11 Ramsay cooks with olive oil, that's "foreign" isn't it? Will his restaurants be fined too?
12 If I pickle something in the summer, then eat it in the winter, am I breaking Ramsay's "seasonal law"?
It seems to be a very "F U" and stupid method of thinking.
I will continue to buy what I want, when I want it.
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