Wednesday 30 September 2009

Organic food fraud

The Barbour index i've mentioned before (see post from 5th Aug) as being one of the best full text resources available through the library web site. Organic food has also appeared before (last post 30th July). The latest weekly Barbour Briefing Food Safety, which i receive by old fashioned email contains a report on a company director who was jailed in the UK for a £1million organic food scam. Over a 5 year period the company was suppling its customers with conventionally grown foods falsely posing as organic. I would suggest that this is not an uncommon industry practice The other Directors received suspended sentences and 150 hours of community work. The scam was uncovered by the Food Standards Agency who must i presume have a Food Fraud Flying Squad.
I once knew a hairdresser working in London who had a salesman offering her aerosols of hair spray or somesuch product. When she enguired whether they were environmentally sound the guy assured her " we can always put these "eco friendly" stickers on them if you want"

Friday 18 September 2009

Floyd and Child

some of our younger readers probably do not remember the TV celeb chef Keith Floyd who died earlier this week. Roguish mischievous red wine swilling ad libbing and definetily not PC bon vivant, he was something entirely fresh on the airways when he first arrived with the Floyd on Food series in 1986. This was followed by all sorts of other culinary adventures, Floyd in America, in Africa, in Spain, in Britain and Ireland and indeed he settled for a few years in Kinsale where i once came across him drinking whiskys in a pub at 10:30 in the morning - well it was New Years Day. You can relive his greatest moments probably on YouTube and his books in the library.
Another of the "older"(they don't boil them like they used to) generation of chefs currenting receiving a lot of attention is the American Julia Child who died in 2004 and is the subject of the film Julia & Julia, starring Beryl Streep. Vibrant, opinionated, eloquent, and very tall, Child was responsibile for introducing a whole generation of America to the mysteries of French cuisine. We have of course a selection of her books and also a whole issue of Gastronomica (summer 2005 Vol5:3) was devoted to her life. The film is receiving many favourable comments including...."watching the film is like sitting down to a plate of beautifully sauteed Dover sole accompanied by a bucket of congealed Pot Noodle." When it comes out on dvd we'll buy it

Friday 11 September 2009

Irish top 100 brands '09

No wonder we're a nation of unhealthy looking fatties. The August issue of Checkout magazine features their annual roundup of the most popular and purchased items by Irish consumers. A MAd Mens dream, the magazine also does some number crunching and gives us a breakdown of the top 50 alcohol brands, top 20 wines, spirits, beers (top is Budweiser not Guinness) and the top 100 categories - that is groupings of similar products or brands. And the top 5 there (in reverse order) are Crisps/Snacks, Packaged Bakery, Carbonated Soft Drinks, Milk and at No.1...Confectionary Some diet that, it kind of stands the food pyramid on it's head.
And the top 7 individual brands, again in reverse order, are Cadbury DairyMilk, Tayto, Danone, Brennans, Lucozade, Avonmore and top of the cholesterol inducing pile, the real thing: Coca-Cola.
Full details in Checkout available in the library but unfortunately not available electronically
PS this is the top 100 brands and this is our blog's 101st post.

Wednesday 9 September 2009

and i thought there was a recession on

budding converts and employees in the tourist, hospitality and catering trades start into their academic studies next week and the library will be one of the major support services for the next 2,3 0r more years. Good luck to them all. There's no point in us having all these books and journals on our shelves and full text available online if they're not being used. Nor will many have as great a chance to access quality information and material as you will when you're a student. And at the end of it the prospect of a rewarding, challenging and hopefully glittering carrer. perhaps as a.... Director of..... Sleep? Hotels no doubt are feeling the pinch of reduced spending on holidays and leisure - as an aside Just today Doyle Hotel Group announced a loss of 99.9mill euros for 2008. However obviously no such worries at The Westin Hotel who have a full time post as - a Director of Sleep who will advise guests on how to get a good nights sleep. Hmmmmm.