I could rant about the recent litter-strewn beaches and countryside, the unmentionable trash and the resulting injured animals, or nurse my wrath at the handful of vandals who have even invaded kitchen gardens this week…but I won’t. It is a new dawn, a new day, a new week and Scotland, fingers crossed, is taking careful steps towards welcoming visitors and diners once again. The heavens opened this weekend with thunder and lightening fit for Thor and his billy goats – for those of you with a Nordic disposition – so Mother Earth is getting a good shower, the farmers will be pleased and the beaches are getting a rest!
Like many of you I expect, I have been listening with interest to the great and the good discussing our emergence post-COVID and we can only hope lessons have been learned and voices will be heeded. Our food producers have been doing a sterling job and let us trust they will continue to be supported. You can certainly count on us to do all we can to support you and I welcome your calls if there is anything I can feasibly help with.
Likewise our chefs and restaurateurs have been feverishly adapting to a new world and I think those that are opening soon for dining will probably continue a hybrid service for some time to come as so many consumers, existing and new, have valued the delivery and click’n’collect services on offer. With much daylight and warmth still to come, there will be many offering garden dining and the city councils should be open to street cafés al fresco – with some lateral thinking and encouragement we can make progress together. With my Food Hygiene hat on, do get in touch if I can offer any tips.
But it is about more than the wonderful members of Scottish Food Guide, present and future…what about other pressing environmental issues going forward? What about that UK litter dumped in Turkey? Whilst Sweden, as someone said to me the other day, ‘is in the naughty corner regards tourism and COVID,’ they are pretty good with their rubbish! City garbage is burnt in each municipality to create power for centrally heating most of the city’s housing and for generating electricity. Why should we be using fossil fuels to transport rubbish across the planet? Personally this seems morally wrong however I realise to some it is merely business and trash is a commodity. As is grain. As is soy. The list is endless and here lies the problem. Food has become one such commodity and it is time to fix our food system and ensure we have food security going forward, paying a fair price for good food ethically sourced. Well we can always try.
There are good people milking cows, producing cheese, tending cattle and sheep, baking bread, harvesting fish and growing vegetables for us, for a sustainable clean Scotland. This is not political; this is Mother Earth. I am dismayed at folk I have talked to who should know better still buying from supermarkets regularly when our local independents and farm shops are needing us and providing for us.
Someone told me this week that a good blog should be around 300 words so I have exceeded my limit for which I apologise however this is a passionate plea and reminder to us all to campaign for your local producers, order meals from your cooks and chefs and help each other all we can. As Carlo Petrini (pictured here at Contini Canonball) wisely says, we are all co-producers.
…and if you enjoyed this please also read Wendy’s latest blog post, Real Farm Shops, Online Action & Flexibility!