Quick bites – Web Roundup

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There has been a lot of food news with a veggie spin this week.

First of all there was the news that some supermarket beef burgers have been found to contain horsemeat! Now I’m sure all vegetarians were shocked and appalled by this and didn’t laugh at all, or at least not when the meat-eaters were around.

One item that didn’t hit the headlines particularly is that there has been a study to show that crabs and crustaceans do feel pain. To be honest, I’d never doubted this. I didn’t think that crabs (for example) think and plan the way a mammals do, but of course they had to feel pain or else how would they survive? It’s common sense. But I say that knowing that common sense doesn’t always hold up to scientific reality.

Less happy from the veggie point of view is this article in The Guardian which says that vegans and vegetarians are responsible for Bolivians not being able to afford quinoa as it’s all being sold to us. We’re also responsible (according to the writer) for rainforest being felled for soya production and scarce water being allocated to grow asparagus in Peru as well. Who knew such a small proportion of the population could have such a big effect? (And here’s me thinking that it was my support for gay marriage that was bringing about the downfall of civilisation!)

Seriously, this is one of the laziest bits of food journalism I’ve seen in a long time. For a start quinoa is not just eaten by veg*ns (vegetarians and vegans), it’s a fashionable ingredient at the moment, one that started in the veg*n world, but has transitioned to the mainstream. A quick Google would have shown her that the majority of soya production goes towards animal feed and biofuel rather than tofu and soymilk. . And as for asparagus from Peru and other imported out of season vegetables, does the author really think that only veg*ns buy and eat them? There is a discussion to be had over the impact our food buying habits have on a global scale, but that doesn’t need to be limited to veg*ns, that’s for everyone. I don’t know what Blythman’s problem with veg*ns is, but I get she is taking the opportunity to kick the moral highground out from under us. I’m sorry going veg*n is still one of the best things you can do for the environment quinoa and peasant Bolivians notwithstanding.

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