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Premium Member
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77 Posts
Oh I may have the "Constabulary wrong".
No, the only words you got right were Australian & New Zealand.

Someone once quoted that to me, and it stuck in my brain as seeming unusual to use a policing term not a military term.
Not unusual enough to verify before posting to the WWW, particularly on ANZAC day?

It is important that the facts remain and are not blurred or altered over time.

LEST WE FORGET.
 

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Gordon Steadman
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7,124 Posts
There are things about this time of year that I like. The world turning green and the weather turning a bit warmer - some of the time.

But oh...the things I hate. Mainly about food. This is the time that last year stored stuff has run out and this years supplies from the garden are not ready yet. We have to buy things from the supermarket. I know there are people who actually survive on this stuff but what ever happened to their taste buds? We have just had our first salad of the year. The leaves were bitter and soggy. The tomatoes broke the trades descriptions act. Tasteless and tough, obviously force ripened and certainly not suitable for eating raw. Hopefully, they will cook with enough basil or rosemary to make them taste of something even if not tomato.

Bananas that go rotten after a day or two, fruit that like the toms don't taste of anything, I could go on some more....but it's too boring. Whatever we buy when we go back to the UK is going to have a big enough garden to keep growing our own fruit and veg so we can enjoy the process of eating rather than just doing it through necessity.
 

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No proper farmers' markets in your neck of the woods?

If I had time I would gladly sped hours getting my produce directly from the farmers or at least form a local distributor I could go to if I were not happy..
 

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Premium Member
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2,593 Posts
There are things about this time of year that I like. The world turning green and the weather turning a bit warmer - some of the time.

But oh...the things I hate. Mainly about food. This is the time that last year stored stuff has run out and this years supplies from the garden are not ready yet. We have to buy things from the supermarket. I know there are people who actually survive on this stuff but what ever happened to their taste buds? We have just had our first salad of the year. The leaves were bitter and soggy. The tomatoes broke the trades descriptions act. Tasteless and tough, obviously force ripened and certainly not suitable for eating raw. Hopefully, they will cook with enough basil or rosemary to make them taste of something even if not tomato.

Bananas that go rotten after a day or two, fruit that like the toms don't taste of anything, I could go on some more....but it's too boring. Whatever we buy when we go back to the UK is going to have a big enough garden to keep growing our own fruit and veg so we can enjoy the process of eating rather than just doing it through necessity.
Totally agreed.

Though we currently have an abundance of purple sprouting brocolli.
 

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2,975 Posts
I'm sick to death of winter dragging on and on.
grump.gif
OK, so we did have a couple of warm days but today the thermometer hasn't got above 6deg here.
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Our CH broke a couple of days ago and the engineer won't have the required part until Monday. Normally at the end of April we wouldn't need it more than an hour a day. Apart from in bed, I haven't been warm since Wednesday.
 

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Premium Member
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3,446 Posts
Well, if you choose to live in the frozen north...................

Down here in the balmy south I would like to grump about car air-con. Last Thursday, on the hottest day of the year, I was returning from a few days in Great Yarmouth.

Norfolk people will know about the Acle straight - it was shut (yet again) because somebody had collided with a cow so we had a 30 mile detour and the air-con broke and blew out hot air. Deep joy! Why can't the bloody thing break in the winter when it doesn't matter?
 

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Gordon Steadman
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7,124 Posts
Down here in sunny France, we lit the woodburner in the snug today! We are wearing winter jumpers as well. A great combination of duff weather and the thinness of our ageing skins no doubt.

It's also been pissin' down all day which does wonders for the feel good factor.
 

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David H
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4,314 Posts
The tomatoes broke the trades descriptions act. Tasteless and tough, obviously force ripened and certainly not suitable for eating raw.
I bought six tomatoes from Tesco three months ago. They resembled tomatoes in that they were red and round, but the taste showed that that's where the similarity stopped. I cooked five, but as an experiment kept one in the fridge to see what happened to it.

This is what it looks like today: still red, round and firm. It's an immortal ball of chemical science masquerading as food. What the hell do the growers do to it to make it remain entirely unchanged for three months?

Helmet Peach Sugar substitute Staple food Carmine
 

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Al Schwartz
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Good grief. I hope it hasn't infected the rest of the fridge's contents.

The more I see the more I think mankind is happily poisoning itself. It's doomed, doomed I tell you.
This discussion has wandered into my backyard - I am not a "food scientist" but do have some experience in microbiology, biochemistry and genetics.

An enormous amount of attention is paid today to natural foods, organic foods and farming, pesticide and hormone free food and "non-GMO" (genetically modified organisms) food. There is good science in it, some voodoo science and more than a little hysteria.

The "eternal tomato" is probably a good place to start. Over the years, tomatoes have been selected and bred for many characteristics including early ripening, uniform size and appearance and shelf life. In the process, a lot of the flavor has been bred out. Much of this has to do with a desire to grow tomatoes in sub optimal climate and soil conditions. The Eastern shore of Maryland is about as close to a perfect environment for growing tomatoes is one can find. The tomatoes there are big, pretty and filled with flavor. They are also available for only about 6 to 8 weeks. I have also grown my own "heirloom" tomatoes - not as pretty but equally good to eat. They ripen so late that the last of them freeze on the vine before they are ready to pick.

Now about fertilizers: one of the primary soil derived plant nutrients is nitrogen in the form of nitrates. These nitrates can come from nitrogen fixing bacteria in the soil, organisms capable of turning nitrogen into nitrate salts or they can come from nitrate solutions applied by spraying. The plants can't tell the difference.

Pesticides: probably not a good thing to eat but there is some choice involved. One of the most important targets of pesticides are fungi, some of which produce aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are among the most potent poisons known. As I said, it's a matter of choice.

"Hormone free" foods - with a particular concern over hormones given to cattle and poultry to speed up weight gain. Not a wonderful idea but hormones for the most part are very species specific and the impact that the levels found in the finished product is unclear.

Antibiotics in agriculture - here is a place where there is a pretty clear right and wrong. Overuse of antibiotics as a result of over prescription or accidental ingestion is not good. It is a primary source of the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacterial species - a real threat.

"Non-GMO" requirements - here is an area where the EU is particularly active. Let's go back to the first paragraph - the tomato example. Some or all of what is said there can be applied to almost all commercially grown foods. They have all been, over time, "genetically modified" by selection. There is no evidence that achieving an end result such as insect or blight resistance by direct laboratory modification of the genome carries any more risk than achieving the same by selection, artificial pollination etc.

Bottom line - if you are willing to set a "seasonal table" it's not really a problem. If you must have that summer supper in January and you don't live well south of the equator, it probably won't taste as good but it won't be dangerous.

EM
 

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David H
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4,314 Posts
Ice cream, which I'm certain is a crop harvested in winter, remains tasty in summer, so why can't tomatoes hatched in summer still be tasty in winter? After all, chicken nuggets taste the same throughout the year and they're grown from seed. Similarly with vine grown sausages. No wonder some of today's children are confused about the origin and seasonality of food.
 

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Gordon Steadman
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7,124 Posts
I suppose that, if the 'real thing' has never been experienced, then people won't be any the wiser. As a townie, I disliked tomatoes as a kid so even back in the mists of time, shop bought fruit was already on the way. Not until I lived next door to someone that grew their own did I realise how they should taste. Once you have tried them of course........
 
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