To think that Jamie Oliver is a Goady goady mc judgy pants personified!

(512 Posts)
LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 09:53:07

judgey much?

It reads like a clip from the daily mail - actually, it probably is!

Now there are people, i have a friend who can make an amazing meal out of apparently nothing (she is italian though!) in ten minutes flat - although she has lots of those ingredients that are expensive to buy in the first place but go a long way,i would never know what to do with them!

I am such a boring cook, i have a small repertoire (sp) of meals that i cook - over and over again, the ingredients in my cupboard are basic because i can't afford capers and porcinni mushrooms etc. I rarely fall back on ready meals and feed my family healthily. But its boring really and i can understand why some people use ready meals - time, money - So yeah, making your own pizza will be cheaper than dominos or tesco fineset but it is not going to be cheaper than icelands £1 pizza is it? Not from scratch, not from the start - yes if you divide the amount of pizzas your flour, cheese, tomato sauce and anything else you want to put on it by 20 it might be cheaper but those ingredients have to be bought in the first place.

See, I would welcome cheap and easy ways to make my meals more exciting and thankfully we are not on the breadline this month, but im not going to watch that smug little bastard telling me how i can just knock out some pucker tucker out of a packet of anchovies and dust from the cupboard!

I have always thought him a smug twat - this confirms it!

I can't stand watching him on the telly, I like some of his recipes but I've never found them to be particularly cheap to make either.

He is a bit of a smug tosser, I agree.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 27-Aug-13 10:02:11

You need a lot of money to cook like Jamie. I use ready meals sometimes, but the majority of my food is made form scratch and/or in my beloved slow cooker.

How can he know what it's like to be a busy Mum on a budget who's just got in from work?

scarletforya Tue 27-Aug-13 10:02:28

I didn't read it but it sounds like the usual shite he peddles. He's not a very bright man, who can cook. Ho hum.

He's managed to spin a career out of that but instead of just shutting up and appreciating his good luck, it's gone to his head and he's under the illusion that his opinions are important/interesting.

He's dreary.

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:03:04

I agree with you he is so smug I wonder how it doesn't choke him grin I can't watch him dh likes his smug save the nation programmes they get right on my wick, yanbu

waltzingmathilda Tue 27-Aug-13 10:04:03

You dont need to have a cupboard full of expensive ingredients, that is an excuse, you swap porcini mushrooms for button, and capers for peppers, all perfectly cheap and affordable in the supermarket.

He's right in that a large proportion of British women - this is aimed at the British market - are bloody awful cooks who can only flip the lid and wait for the ding of the microwave.

Hands up, I have used ding meals too when short on time. But they are expensive, small portions and not really worth the effort nor expense.

You also just know that those who have a reliance on ding dinners, will also have a cupboard full of crap snacks because a ding dinner doesnt fill you up. And if you are going to buy a ding dinner you aren't going to be in the fruit aisle either

catgirl1976 Tue 27-Aug-13 10:05:14

I actually think he is right, although he has come across as very smug in the way he has said it.

The marketing done by fast food and convenience foods producers has really entrenched the idea that it's a cheap way to eat.

We should be judging these companies and the way they are allowed to advertise IMO

I haven't been able to stand him since the turkey twizzlers saga grin

SeaSickSal Tue 27-Aug-13 10:08:07

Jamie Oliver is a slack jawed cunt. Apparently people are all judgey and horrible to him when they point out that he's a fat git but it's fine for him to point out other people are fat gits.

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:08:22

I agree with catgirl she is not smug grin I dont use ping or ready meals not out of any smugness or that im a great cook but it was working out really expensive when i did buy them , but jamie is expecting us to use the dust out of the cupboard and sprinkle it over our pan fried monkfish in a lemon sauce ,

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:12:15

Waltzingmatilda shock "He's right in that a large proportion of British women - this is aimed at the British market - are bloody awful cooks who can only flip the lid and wait for the ding of the microwave."

I can't actually find the words to pull you up on your sexist comment right there, hopefully someone else will!

LookingThroughTheFog Tue 27-Aug-13 10:12:42

LEM, we have a similar cooking routine to yours. We do big vats of chilli, bolognaise and stew once a month, then it gets divided and frozen for the rest of the month. Healthy and nourishing, and not stupidly expensive if we buy the cheap meat, but boring as hell month in month out. We supplement with beans on toast or pasta-and-sauce or sausages and spuds (shopbought) just to shake things up a bit through the week.

It's not just money; it's time. I have discovered I can make 3 loaves of bread for the price of 1 sliced. However this has not been a good economy so far as the bread is so tasty we eat loads of it in big chunks. Also, the only way to make it work timing wise is to leave it proving overnight, then cooking it in the morning while we're also trying to get the children ready for school and ourselves up and out the door to work. Trying to ram something else into that time just isn't practical.

So yeah, Jamie can Judgy McJudgypants me as much as he wants. Most of us are just trying to do the best we can with the resources available.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 27-Aug-13 10:14:02

He has a point even if he does come across smug. I bought his 15 minute meals book. Given that you initially have to buy a few of the ingredients but you use them throughout! And if you group together the meals with the same ingredients you are really cooking smart and tasty as well. I have tried and tested this and have to admit his recipes are really that simple and healthy.

With cooking you learn over time how to substitute ingredients. Just need practice.

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 27-Aug-13 10:14:30

He may have a very valid point, however, he acts so Professor Judgy von Holier-than-thou that it doesn't come across in the right way.

waltzingmathilda Tue 27-Aug-13 10:15:54

I can be as sexist as I like - I'm female. So you run along with all your feminist angst and work out an insult or two for me. Face boithered?

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:17:36

I hear you re the bread lookingthroughthefog we went through a phase of making our own bread, both by hand and with the bread maker and yes, you can make the loaves cheaper but they just get scoffed and everyone knows that too much bread makes you fat! Also they don't keep like shop bought rubber bread.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 10:17:57

He's right, but...
I would be ashamed to be part of the whole 'demonising the poor' vibe that is going around right now.
What have tvs got to do with anything? He is saying people spend money they can't afford on expensive food, and they can save money by learning how to cook better. The tv line was just yet another cheap shot, a la DM.
And presumably people will need a telly to actually watch his show on.

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 10:18:26

If poor people spent more money on artisan bread and less on widescreen TVs they wouldn't have to watch this complete cunt patronising them.

Elsiequadrille Tue 27-Aug-13 10:18:41

He seems rather cross about big TVs. Presumably if they sell the TVs they (the poor) can divert the funds into better food than, what was it he said they ate? Oh yes, cheesy chips, I think.

HellonHeels Tue 27-Aug-13 10:18:53

I like Jamie Oliver.

And I reckon he was right about the turkey twizzler business too.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Tue 27-Aug-13 10:19:55

I can be as sexist as I like - I'm female - hmm confused

Does this get the Bullshit Comment of the Year award?

wordfactory Tue 27-Aug-13 10:21:01

I don't like his tone. And I don't think he would understand the poor in the UK if they bit him on the arse....

But he is completely correct about old fashioned peasant cooking in other cultures. Ways to make cheap staples tasty and nutritious have been passed down the generations and continue to be cooked today.

This simply isn't the case in the UK.

LookAtTheTwain Tue 27-Aug-13 10:22:16

I like Jamie Oliver <shrugs>

dexter73 Tue 27-Aug-13 10:22:27

If poor people spent more money on artisan bread and less on widescreen TVs they wouldn't have to watch this complete cunt patronising them.

The best thing I have read on MN for ages!!grin

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:22:32

He does have a point princess it is a shame he is such a twat about it and his point gets lost. DP did buy a recipe book of his years ago - the food was shite! We need delia smith to come back with her motherly advice and good home cooking, i do not need michelin starred food on my table, just something yummy and comforting can you tell im hungry

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 27-Aug-13 10:22:57

If poor people spent more money on artisan bread and less on widescreen TVs they wouldn't have to watch this complete cunt patronising them.


LookingThroughTheFog Tue 27-Aug-13 10:23:01

You also just know that those who have a reliance on ding dinners, will also have a cupboard full of crap snacks because a ding dinner doesn't fill you up. And if you are going to buy a ding dinner you aren't going to be in the fruit aisle either

No, I don't know that. I'm sure it pleases people to think that from their marble plinths, but I don't know that.

I do know that apples are about 25p each unless you buy the golf-ball sized ones, and then the children need two each, so it's a false economy. Bananas have suddenly become cheaper than apples.

And since when are peppers a substitute for capers? Capers are salty. Button mushrooms are really not very nice (small and bland), though I would agree with finely chopped closed cup, or if you're feeling extravagant, flat mushrooms.

And while we're on food costs, the madness that is lemon curd. 3 different sorts of Tesco's brand lemon curd available (blue-stripe, regular, taste-the-difference), priced at 40p, £1.10, or £1.60. Either the 40p stuff has never actually seen a lemon, or the £1.60 stuff has booked an individual seat in business class for each lemon. Or it's possible that Tesco have one factory with three different labels and they hope people don't notice.

Honey is now a luxury item.

GobbySadcase Tue 27-Aug-13 10:23:47

He's a twat.
I get my meat and veg from the market and my tins/dried pasta etc are ASDA smart price (delivered because taking 3 autistic kids to the supermarket isn't a good idea).

Yes I have a flat screen tv. My brother gave it to me when he upgraded to a 50 inch monstrosity.

Yes I have an iPhone. I've been with O2 since 19 hundred and frozen to death so it was a freebie.

Don't be fooled by 'appearances'.

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:23:56

I don't like his tone. And I don't think he would understand the poor in the UK if they bit him on the arse....

^ ^ that but it is like most people who want to help the poor they have no clue

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:24:11

They are all hypocrites anyway, these sleb chefs - i followed stalked Greg Wallace around tescos once, while he "sourced" his ready meals for one!! i kid you not grin

GirlWithTheDirtyShirt Tue 27-Aug-13 10:24:32

I like him.

And I think he's right.

I've just eaten Ferro Roche cake for breakfast. Bet that would piss him off


XBenedict Tue 27-Aug-13 10:25:23

I think he's right.

HotCrossPun Tue 27-Aug-13 10:25:30

I think the next generation of parents are going to be much more competent home cooks.

Jamies' new programme sounds like it might actually be good - shame he had to demonise the people he is aiming it at and who will get the most benefit.

Elsiequadrille Tue 27-Aug-13 10:26:51

He possibly does have a point somewhere, but it is rather lost. I've never seen his 'crusade' programmes, and have no idea if they have been successful, but I'm wondering if he really manages to educate and convert his target market with such an attitude.

I'm not a fan of his anyway. I prefer Hugh F-W and Nigel Slater.

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:27:19

and it isnt even the poor it is ordinary people living their lives and dont give a shiney shite about whipping up something from cupboard dust some people just cook to feed their families at meal times, they dont have time ponce about with wooden chooping boards and mixing in herbs it isn't a crime to just cook the bloody dinner cos you are hungry

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:28:06

was it maybe weight watchers meal for one lem grin

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 27-Aug-13 10:28:14

LEM I know, I completely agree.

It's so patronising to those who are struggling. How does he know where the TV even came from?! Could have been a gift, won in a competition. I'm sure that's not the case all the time, but really who is he to judge?

HotCrossPun Tue 27-Aug-13 10:28:22

When a family is on a very low income they don't have the money to buy a lot of different ingredients that will see them through the month.

Yes it would be much more economical in the long run to buy a 1kg bag of pasta and start a herb garden, but the initial outlaw is just far too much for some people.

HotCrossPun Tue 27-Aug-13 10:28:47


FastWindow Tue 27-Aug-13 10:30:20

It may well work out cheaper to make your own pizza. But you're not factoring in the cost of your own time. If you can afford the time to do this, you're probably a SAHM with a husband who is meeting the household cost on his own. I'm aware I am generalising!!

gordyslovesheep Tue 27-Aug-13 10:30:51

he just wants to flog more 'simple meals in 15 mins' (provided you have a cupboard choc full of fancy herbs, spices, veg and meat) books

he is utterly removed from the reality of normal life and I can cook and I do

Being female I don't think it's just my responsibility mind

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 10:30:57

Anyone who suggests that you swap button mushrooms for porcini ones clearly does not know what they are talking about.

I loathe Jamie Oliver, very out of touch but too thick and arrogant to realise.

McNewPants2013 Tue 27-Aug-13 10:31:56

I think he does have a point, but when money is tight and your DC need feeding then it is a bit scary to try new recipes that could end up in the bin and wasting money . So you tend to stick to the same foods

DolomitesDonkey Tue 27-Aug-13 10:33:30

It's not being a smug, judgey twat to think you can eat a better quality of food for the same outlay as "ready made crap".

Your choice though.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:35:25

Does anyone here follow recipes though? I never do - i am firmly in the suck it out of my thumb camp. Its a bit of of a 50:50 thing in this house - if i could live on risotto i would. I have however never tried a porcini mushroom blush

littlemisswise Tue 27-Aug-13 10:36:08

He's right in what he is saying, but in my opinion it's the Government's and the schools' fault. Have any of you seen what they teach in 'Food Tech' these days? It isn't cooking meals. That's where it should be being addressed.

I can cook because my mother cooked and I learnt to do it at school. I, also, enjoy cooking, I enjoy getting recipe books, going through them and trying new things. I have a basic idea of what things cost so know a meal made of chicken thighs, tomatoes, onions, pasta and a few herbs will be tasty and cheaper than feeding four people processed ready meals. If you have only been fed processed ready meals the chances are you are going to follow suit.

It is education that is needed not Jamie Oliver, who I can not stand btw, preaching to people about eating shite yet having big teles. That is a sure fire way of putting people's backs up and losing the message before it has even got across.

youmeatsix Tue 27-Aug-13 10:36:21

why does everything on here revert back to "its sexist"??? he is correct and only because in most households the cooking falls to the females, and a lot of people dont know how to cook. I HAD to learn, not because i am rich, not because i am smug because my daughter is a kidney patient and cannot eat any processed foods, so i enrolled in a FREE class, and it snowballed from there. That was 15 years ago now, and have never had a ping meal in my life (pre children we were well enough off to eat out a lot and i was a crap cook) why do people get SO defensive and think he is patronising? people should be wanting to improve their lifestyles and those of their children

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:36:29

TBH i think jools has read a big telly thread and pointed it out to jamie and he has just run with it grin

Nanny0gg Tue 27-Aug-13 10:37:06

So, should no-one come up with ideas to improve the nation's diet? Or is it just his manner?

I am eternally grateful to him for his school meals campaign. My primary now has a proper cook and absolutely delicious lunches.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 10:37:13

The outlay if you want to go from microwave burgers to full on Nigel Slater would be enormous.

However most people can afford to choose very wisely and collect a few items for their store cupboard which will last for months. And it is just a fact that decent quick home cooked and tasty food can cost the same as junk food. Slow cooked home made food is even cheaper if cooked in bulk.

Let's not get all reactionary and assume he means every meal to be something from a Sunday supplement.

idiuntno57 Tue 27-Aug-13 10:38:33

JO has done way more good than bad in this world and he really does care. A few misplaced comments do not wipe all this out.

cory Tue 27-Aug-13 10:39:57

youmeatsix, the sexism comment was in direct response to the poster who said that the problem is that "British women" do not know how to cook, as if British men are somehow redundant to the discussion. So not about the main topic.

TheSecondComing Tue 27-Aug-13 10:43:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 27-Aug-13 10:44:09

It's his manner Nanny0gg improving the nations diet is brilliant, he just comes across as a complete judgy twat when he does it.

Silverfoxballs Tue 27-Aug-13 10:44:47

I do not get this whole tv thing. My sister is very hard up, as an aside she is a decent cook but the tv is literally her only entertainment.

Also very true about outlay, I can bulk buy and I have transport. A friend of mine has to walk about 1.5 miles to her nearest supermarket and can only buy what she can carry.

He has irritated me for years so whilst some of his ideas are good he is so smug I didn't read the article for fear of my blood pressure.

chicaguapa Tue 27-Aug-13 10:45:00

YANBU. He should leave people to eat their KFC in front of their big telly and let them wallow in their ignorance of a good diet. I don't know why he bothers tbh. Who cares what other people eat, even if you know what's good for you? He should just concentrate on his own family and fuck the rest of the population.


mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:46:45

we dont have a market near us well we have a farmers market once a month where it cost you a fiver for a sliver of artisan cheese, it is not practical to wander to the shops to buy a handfull of whatever is it, we are not all jamie with his staff money resources and herb garden

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 10:47:02

The porcini mushroom thing is bollocks.

I have a pack of dried porcini mushrooms in my larder that I paid no more than £3 for, when I make a risotto with them I use two tablespoons. This is probably cheaper than buying mushrooms, even tasteless button mushrooms.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:47:42

Ah bollox does he care! He cares about his bank balance and publicity thats wot he cares about!

If you were Mrscan'tcookbuthasabigtv would you want to watch his programs knowing that he thinks you are a scummy chav with no brains?

I have to say i actually find all celebrety chefs smug as fuck - for some reason they think they are akin to rocket scientists and nobel prize winners. Er no, they are cooking - people have been cooking for years and years, its just now fashionable to have some sort of poncey fusion of flavours exploding on your palate!

Just present the food - menu plans would be good, so that you don't have to go and buy expensive spices and herbs that will only get used once and then languish at the back of the cupboard. There is nowt wrong with a nice shepherds pie ya know.

IKnewHouseworkWasDangerous Tue 27-Aug-13 10:48:03

I find his food is very very heavy on the chilli so not exactly for the masses. (Disclaimer. I like chilli but dh doesnt and that much is not ok for dd)

On another note I often think it woukd be a worthwhile initiative to help the really poor by setting them up with a basic food cupboard which includes herbs and spices, stock, rice, pasta, barley etc. All the ingredients that make things taste nice, last for ages and cost a lot to start up. If you can barely afford a tin of tomatoes at the shop you are not going to be able to afford herbs and spices and it is those that make the difference from healthy but unapetising food and decent meals.

TheSecondComing Tue 27-Aug-13 10:48:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 10:48:36

Yes I guess you are right second coming, it is the initial outlay. That is what I notice about Jamie Oliver cookbooks, the initial outlay for ingredients is huge and he also uses every bloody pan in the kitchen.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:48:44

Arisbottle hmmm, i think i may have to buy a packet then - i have honestly never used them and i luffs a good risotto i do

i agree with him.

i think he is saying what needs to be said and no matter how he said it you'd think he was a tosser.

at least he's saying that we have to eat better. because we do. and someone has to be a cunt and say it.

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:50:13

when he was the naked chef it was all about the lemons lemon on bloody everything, is it chilli now ?

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:50:31

That is exactly it though, isn't it - the initial outlay, he wont be able to see that though because he wont be able to see past his ego

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 10:50:54

I have just checked and in Waitrose a 30g pack costs £2.68 or £2.70 for 40g.

BBC website says 1 tablespoon in a risotto for 4 people.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 10:51:18

£2.70 for 40g from tesco

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 10:51:23

It's not going to work for everyone, but apparently 90% of the UK population is urban. That means access to shops. I know it's not as simple as that but I live in a big city and I cannot imagine which part of it I'd have to live in to not either be passing a veg shop, or be within a mile's walk of a veg shop.

IME independent Asian grocers are the cheapest source of a handful of this and a handful of that, and I'd assume if he says 'a market' he doesn't mean we all have to flock to one with stalls or god forbid a farmers' market.

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:51:26

he also uses every bloody pan in the kitchen.

and probably doesn't wash up grin

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:52:09

So how much is a tablespoon in g then aris? how many "goes" will i get? <genuine question>

pianodoodle Tue 27-Aug-13 10:52:24

I don't know what it is about the phrase but if anyone came round to mine for tea and started asking where I'd sourced ingredients they'd be sent to A&E with a note reading "can you source this fork?"

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:53:22

LAMO at the thought of a farmers market being a source of economy foodstuff! :D

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 10:54:26

Piano - oh yes! why the fuck can't people just buy stuff nowadays?

TheSecondComing Tue 27-Aug-13 10:54:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSecondComing Tue 27-Aug-13 10:56:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 10:58:01

And I bloody hate this reactionary attitude to a herb garden, of all things.
You know what's nice? Herbs. They are cheap to grow, they just need watering, and manage with pretty poor soil. You can grow them in tin cans on a sunny windowsill. Seeds cost about 50p a packet from Lidl or Wilkos. Thyme is the most useful, probably. Oregano grows like a weed. If you grow winter savory, you'll use it all the time.
Of all the things to find poncy or patronising or annoying, I don't get this one. It's cheap and easy and really makes a difference.

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 10:59:23

you put that well TSC people buy and cook to eat it is their income and circumstances that dictate how people cook and eat and it is much more complex than nipping down to the local shops and picking up a handful of mushroom

wordfactory Tue 27-Aug-13 10:59:34

That's an issue of confidence though isn't it TSC?

In Italy, a poor family, hell, any family, would invest in those ingredients knowing that they will rpovide several tasty meals which will be wolfed by all.

They know this because that's how their parents cooked and that's how their grandparents cooked.

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 11:01:20

if anyone came round to mine for tea and started asking where I'd sourced ingredients they'd be sent to A&E with a note reading "can you source this fork?"


Owllady Tue 27-Aug-13 11:01:34

there is never any acknowledgement that the reason poor people buy frozen and tinned foods is because of storage and the food not going off, so it's easier to plan ahead and know you are not going to run out

everytime I have been on the breadline the fear of 'running out' before pay day is petrifying and I will fully admit that I buy emergency foods like frozen pizza/fishfingers etc for those petrifying days and I cook lovely meals confused I just have no access to the bank of mum and dad and no access to credit. It's hardly rocket science is it

he looks like he needs to eat a bit healthily himself anyway from that photo <bitch>

wordfactory Tue 27-Aug-13 11:02:10

Thauma if you go to Naples (one of the poorest cities in Italy), everyone grows herbs on their window. No one would buy them!!!

But again, this is cultural.

TheSecondComing Tue 27-Aug-13 11:02:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 11:04:30

Yup, it's cultural: that's why it bugs me that JO — however much of a twat he comes across as — gets a slating every time for trying to change food culture for the better for as many people as he can reach.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 11:05:59

You are being done for that veg box. Mine is half that.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Tue 27-Aug-13 11:08:46

Until I read the article I liked Jamie.

But the flat screen telly comment annoyed me. What does the telly have to do with food? He's just being bitchy.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 11:08:47

Anyway porcini risotto and mange touts are straw men.
Other nice food is available grin
(Incidentally it's too late for this year, but mange touts grow like stink and are really productive: in a big bucket on the step with some canes for support and a bit of tying in: you can have them every night for a few weeks in summer.)

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 27-Aug-13 11:08:53

Owllady I thought exactly the same maybe he needs to eat less turkey twizzlers but I thought it was too bitchy to say!!

Owllady Tue 27-Aug-13 11:10:19

the reason he comes under scrutiny is because he isn't sensitive with his language, that may be because he is dyslexic, but as I am dyslexic myself I very much doubt it

also people do not like to be told what to do and they don't like being judged by someone who really doesn't have any idea. There are better ways to go about.

By using more empathetic and sympathetic language, a good drive towards teaching children from all backgrounds domestic science and budgeting at school would be a far more empathetic way of dealing with problems of people living off ready meals. Iceland do tray back ready meals, massive lasagne etc for £3.50. I don't buy them myself, but I wonder if you can cook one for that price? A pack of mince is £4, then you need stock, pasta, milk, flour, cheese, onions

I am not saying the ready meal is the best option, but I can see why people would choose that option knowing it's in the freezer for friday and isn't going to go off and everyone will get fed

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 11:10:43

I don't particularly like Jamie Oliver. But he is right that people in the UK eat a vast quantity of truly terrible ready made and fast food. And that that sort of food is expensive and unhealthy. But convenient ...

littlemisswise Tue 27-Aug-13 11:14:54

I can not remember the last time I saw a veg shop.

I would have to drive at least 25 miles to get to an Asian shop, so it would be an expensive "handful of this and handful of that"!

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 27-Aug-13 11:15:22

He's doing a webchat...


PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 27-Aug-13 11:16:29


Yes, I live in London couldn't tell you the last to,e I saw a veg shop... Maybe 1997?

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 11:16:58

Owllady you are right about his attitude. He's letting himself down, really. (I just think it's a shame he also gets a kicking for things like using herbs or suggesting people have a couple of good things in the cupboard.)

Nobody could cook a good lasagne for £4 under normal conditions.
There is something very wrong with food production and distribution that it's even possible to find it in the shops.
However surely the point is that there are other meals which will fill up a family just as cheaply and more healthily? (Lasagne is pretty unhealthy.)

wordfactory Tue 27-Aug-13 11:17:00

owl his manner lets him down, to be sure.

However, I'm convinced that however it was said, and whoever said it, people would still be utterly defensive and come up with a thousand and one reasons why anyone shouldn't change their eating habits.

We need to reverse/change our eating and cooking culture. But anyone suggesting this will be met with resistance.

Tailtwister Tue 27-Aug-13 11:17:01

I think he's right to a certain extent, but he really has no idea of the reality a lot of people face.

In poorer areas there often isn't access to markets or even a decent supermarket in some cases. The local corner shop is where people buy food and they only have convenience foods. Many can't afford the bus fare to the supermarket and it's often impractical with young children in tow.

The fact is that yes, cooking from scratch is cheaper in the longer term. However, in the short term it isn't if you haven't got the equipment, knowledge, access to ingredients, even the money for extra electricity for cooking.

Jamie's not my favourite chef by any means, but he does try to change things. He just needs to delve a bit deeper into the real issues.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 27-Aug-13 11:18:16

Jack Monroe knocks him into a cocked hat. Can't wait to get her book. I hope they give her a TV show.

JO is trolling to promote his new "budget cooking" TV show. Think it has backfired though, I won't be watching. I don't think celeb chefs have a scooby about budgeting.

What's the Telly got to do with it? Does anywhere sell fat tellys anymore? I haven't seen one for sale for a long time. having a flat screen TV is not a mark of misspent wealth. It's an indicator that it was bought in the last ten years.
I'm poor. I cook. It's not rocket science. I can see a place for ready meals though, and wouldn't judge anyone using them. yanbu, the message is a good one, and I think he has done some good with his celebrity, but more and more he'sjust an out of touch smug git.

StanleyLambchop Tue 27-Aug-13 11:21:14

My mum was a brilliant cook, she taught me loads, I even passed an O level in cookery (back in the dark ages) but I hate & loathe cooking, so I will do anything to get out of it. My family seems healthy enough. Each to their own, Jamie does not make me feel guilty about my food choices. (Shrugs shoulders and wanders out of thread to assess the very poor selection of my 'store cupboard' essentials)

MrsDeVere Tue 27-Aug-13 11:21:53

His livelihood depends on convincing us that he is The Answer.
That it's why he pops up every year with that concerned look on his face bemoaning the eating habits of the chavs.

He has a book to flog, a product to sell, money to make.

Fucking massive flat screen tvs don't buy themselves you know

alemci Tue 27-Aug-13 11:24:41

i bought one of his books (30 min meals) and sold it on ebay. so much faffing about and mess. I like things you can bung in the oven and forget about.

i tend to cook from scratch but do use things like a jar of white sauce to go over lasagne etc.

you can make casseroles which are cheap and shepherds pie etc. mind you potatoes have become very expensive of late

LoopThePoop Tue 27-Aug-13 11:26:54

I couldn't even bring myself to read the link!
I actually hate his recipes.

I read cookery books like novels. I love food, love looking at cookery books. I do have a well stocked larder and use stuff up.
Cheap meat can be transformed.

I was given one of his books. I tried two recipes. They were both vile. The book is in the charity shop.
There is a such thing as too many ingredients. Being a good chef isn't about adding loads of random shit. Someone should tell him that.

Smug faced tosser with the most annoying mouth in the world.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 11:27:31

All this talk of there being no suitable shops near you: what do you do when you go to other places, not near you; or do you just not ever visit anywhere? Don't you pass through other areas?

I just find it impossible to believe that veg shops are inaccessible in London confused

Tailtwister Tue 27-Aug-13 11:31:18

I'm not in London Thaumatrope, but do live in a largish city. The outskirts are where the poorer areas are and yes, they do really have access to just corner shops. A lot of people don't travel around, even locally as they can't afford it.

SacreBlue Tue 27-Aug-13 11:32:00

I don't even have a tv grin but I don't buy artisan bread or make it myself. I do cook though, a lot, and really enjoy it, and don't spend even half as much as I would on ready meals (even M&S dine in thingies need a bit of additional veg I find).

Does that stop me having a supply of pot noodles in case the boy can't wait til dinner or stop me from ordering the odd takeaway? Nope. I do feel a bit ragey sorry for someone who only has ready meals or very poor quality food because frankly there is no need when you can easily knock up something from very little and very cheap (national potato day on the 23rd there and FACT you can live on 14lbs of potatoes and 1 pint of milk a day - whether you would want to.......)

Fillyjonk75 Tue 27-Aug-13 11:32:11

I liked his work on school meals but they are still out of reach for a lot of people. £2.25 is a lot on a meal for one person, especially when it's not that great.

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 11:33:24

I almost choked to death when a mange tout slathered in melted butter went down the wrong way.

<wonder how Jamie cooks his mange tout>

littlemisswise Tue 27-Aug-13 11:33:38

I shop online and have it delivered, Thauma. I can because DH earns quite a good wage and I can afford to feed my family without too much worry. If we a family on a low income without a car we would be a bit buggered tbh. We could spend a fiver and catch the bus to the next town, stock up at Iceland and have it delivered, or we could shop at Tesco or the Co-Op.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 27-Aug-13 11:33:50

London is quite well served for a variety of food options, in most areas anyway. In other cities and the burbs, not so.

wordfactory Tue 27-Aug-13 11:34:21

*MrsDV that's simply not true.

Every week JO is offered armfuls of differnet projects. Many would make far more money than things like this. Many would ensure he sin't lambasted like this.

Yet he gravitates towards these sorts of projects because he feels he should use his status to try to make a difference.

Maybe he's misguided....I dunno....but to say he does this to make money is nit the full story.

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 11:39:46

Here's an interesting table that demonstrates just how cheap crap food is compared to healthy food. Granted it's American but can be applied to the UK also to a large degree.

Mindmaps Tue 27-Aug-13 11:42:45

Thaumatrope - travel costs money - many of the poorest live on vast bleak estates with expensive 'convenience' stores as the only shop for miles. Or there are the rural poor - one bus a week at a stupid time of the day £10 return to the nearest town and how much can YOU carry with a couple of toddlers and or baby etc?

TV's ??? when you have NO money for museums,cinema, days out etc they are a lifesaver. And yes I know there are lots of 'free' activities but they are usually quite parent intensive and TV can actually be educational and at the end of the day its CHEAP entertainment and even the 'poor' deserve some bloody time off don't they ?

But do agree that kids should be taught to budget and cook healthy and cheap meals at school - One of mine had to make a chocolate bar from their own recipe - cost me £8 ? How many families have that to spare on a pointless exercise when learning to cook spag bol or something similar would be so much better.

There needs to be a ground roots cooking and budgeting project - run by real people living real lives with jobs, kids and BIG TV's

This is a subject that MN should be involved in

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 11:43:33

WEll. i got the first question in on his webchat! I challenged him to feed a family of four with £30 for a week, but with NO "storecupboard" ingredients to fall back on!

MrsDeVere Tue 27-Aug-13 11:44:49

I think we will have agree to disagree on that one.
He has been overtaken by dozens of sleb cooks. His star has waned

Re the veg thing. I live in a densely populated part of east London. I can get to all of the major supermarkets within 10 minutes.
But I have a car. Friends who live on the estate round the corner have a chemist and a sweet shop with one freezer.

There are lots of buses but they are those tossing single decker things and they are always rammed.
Our supermarkets are on the A406. Not a nice walk.

We have a Sunday market a mere mile away and broccoli is only about £5 a lb plus you can buy posh sausages and artisan bread hmm

Of course it's not impossible to feed your family but how you manage it depends on so much more than how lazy and stupid you are. That is the message I object to.
Particularly when it comes out of the gob of a milionare

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 11:44:57

littlemisswise, I suppose I am just bothered by the notion that because something isn't right there in the area you live in, it is therefore not accessible ever without a massive outlay.

Let's say you don't live somewhere with an Asian shop, and you want some of those cheap ingredients that cost three times more for smaller bottles of worse quality in Tesco. Why would you not just wait until you were going into town for another reason, and save on travel costs? confused

Oh dear, someone should have pointed JO to the frequent flat-screen tv debates that crop up again and again on MN before he mouthed off to press.

It's a shame, because the point beneath it is a valid one, that British families could learn a lot from those in other countries who are able to/choose to prioritise nutrition over entertainment. In some senses, as a society we have our priorities upside down. This obviously needs addressing, for the good of our health, but JO's comments come across as inflammatory, and will do nothing but put people on the defensive.

Absy Tue 27-Aug-13 11:48:08

He's seriously out of touch, particularly the comment about Sicilian being able to buy mussells etc. and make an amazing meal.

Not that I buy mussells, but frmo what I've seen they tend to be expensive and not something you can easily pick up in a supermarket. Likewise saying that people should shop in markets (not always convenient) rather than supermarkets so they can buy smaller portions. Why not ask his sponsor, Sainsburies, to start selling fruit and vegetables in a way that you can buy portions (e.g. having loose tomatoes, rather than having to buy a minimum of six), rather than blaming the most vulnerable in society?

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 11:50:18

Mindmaps, I do take the point about convenience stores on estates.
But I grew up very rural poor, single parent family, and it is do-able to eat well: you organise. We had one veg shop with the wrinkliest seconds, and one delivery a week. You find ways to use them. And for other ingredients: we made a point of picking them up when in the big town (70 miles away, so a rare trip) or we got people to get things for us. (Mahoosive £1 bottles of soy sauce spring to mind.)
We didn't grow veg, but others did (and I do now).
You don't plan on expensive bus trips to pick up a couple of nice veg and a bottle of balsamic.

Bakingnovice Tue 27-Aug-13 11:50:19

He really hates poor people doesn't he?

For what it's worth I volunteer with lots of poor people, many holding down full time jobs and considered by society to be MC. A lot of these people are struggling to put food on the table, many adults missing meals so the kids don't go without. I know one family who wait outside the '99p bakery' at closing to grab the half price bread. Dear fat rich Jamie, this is not the time to start criticising poorer families about the content of their daily diets. Is he so ignorant tat he hasn't witnessed the massive growth of food banks in many places? Is he so misinformed that he thinks his artisan breads, fresh crab and homemade sweet chilli dip (served on £200 wooden chopping boards) are affordable to all?

I am so so sick of his judging. Go back to your country farm, into your bespoke garden kitchen and think up some new cheap fast recipes which will actually take three times as long as you suggest, and cost five times as much.

Look around you and you will see many working class and middle class families really struggling to serve any food at all. So lets not start judging what little they do have.

Mindmaps Tue 27-Aug-13 11:52:40

Thaumatrope - many of the poorest people do not 'go to town' for a different reason - if you don't work you tend not to do this casual travelling you are talking off just due to cost. Do not base your assumptions on your own life the same way Jamie has, its the basic mistake so many daily Mail types and to be honest 'do gooders' make !

Also a lot of Asian shops tend to be out of townish( in Asian areas mostly) anyway as do a lot of markets these days - fine if you have car - slightly more awkward if its 2 buses away.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 27-Aug-13 11:55:01

But someone in your house could cook, Thauma. Loads of people can't these days. It doesn't mean they are morally inferior, they just can't cook. Part of being in dire poverty for a lot of people is being information-poor as well as financially badly off, with little prospect of easily changing it.

mrsjay Tue 27-Aug-13 11:55:18

just find it impossible to believe that veg shops are inaccessible in London

urm we dont all live in bloody London jeez

apologies to any Londoners who do realise we are not all in the city of london

Mindmaps Tue 27-Aug-13 11:56:20

Thaumatrope I know lots of people who lead extraordinary lives on budgets - they tend to be very intelligent, organised and mostly educated, probably like your mum? These are not the people we are talking about and/or the people who need some real help that is accessible and doable.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 11:56:48

there is no way JO's PR people will have advised this course of action. a friend does this type of work.

whether he is right or wrong, he has good intentions.

AppleYumYum Tue 27-Aug-13 11:59:07

Yes claudedebussy exactly, he puts himself out there so of course people have to tear him down. No one wants to hear the hard stuff.

I think you are being a bit harsh, yes he has done well for himself, but he does actually care and his heart is in the right place. He could just be a smug rich chef who releases books, appears on Saturday kitchen cooking some crap and does nothing more. Like him or not, he has done more to tackle the poor standard of meals at schools etc than anyone else and has shown people cooking from scratch doesn't have to be scary and an exact science, handfulls and pinches instead of carefully measured, slap dash rather than a work of art etc.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 11:59:47

Mindmaps I am not doing that (I don't live that sort of easy life, anyway, and two buses and a walk is normal, no?) I am challenging this idea that it's impossible. It isn't. It's difficult and not everyone wants to eat that sort of food, but that isn't the same as impossible or unrealistic, for lots of people (not absolutely every UK citizen).

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 12:00:04

It's all very well talking about changing the food culture in Britain but we'd also have to change the way our economy set up.

Most households need two wages, even if one's only part time, to be able to afford a decent standard of living. Many people, that's the ones who are lucky enough to have a job, not the benefit scroungers we hear about who sit in front of a widescreen telly, have a long commute.

Maybe when they get home they don't want to rustle up something using several ingredients bought from a supermarket which probably involves spending a good chunk of Friday night or Saturday morning in a traffic jam with all the other people who don't have shops they can walk to.

I live two minutes away from a wide variety of good food shops. When I do commute, it's half an hour door to door.

I like cooking but perhaps if I lived somewhere else I might not be so keen.

<waits for a timesaving genius to mention Ocado>

Bakingnovice Tue 27-Aug-13 12:01:44

Good intentions? I wouldn't be surprised if this new idea if his is followed up by a 'ban ready meals' campaign, followed by a channel 4 series on how to cook a ready meal for cheap, followed up by a book.

He is so out of touch. My kids have had to stop having school dinners as the cost has increased massively, the portions have gone down and there is no seasoning. My kids are fit and active and I don't need his advice thanks. I don't know any parent in RL who agres with anything he says anymore.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 12:01:56

That sad truth is that many poor people (but by no means not all) are unedcutated and would really struggle with all but the most basic recipes. Hmmm, i always used to think that home economics at school was a bit of a naff no-subject hmm How wrong was i!! It is down the government to educate people in how to cook properly - this starts at school - maybe HE should be a core subject! and not be about sending folk off to open an artisan bakery or become a michelin star chef - there needs to be more value placed on providing for ones family - maybe tht has been left behind a little bit.

I would love to learn to cook better, although i cook from scratch my meals are a bit uninspiring - what about community based cooking clubs? Something where people can share family recipes? plain and simple ingredients? of course, that in itself will cost money but at least if its run by the community it wont have that patronising air about it?

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 12:02:00

Er isn't that what the thread is about though Fillyjonk? JO getting a trouncing for trying to educate people? confused Of course it makes a difference being able to cook, but half of you are saying it isn't worth learning because you can't get the stuff, and I'm saying you have to work at it, but you can.

wordfactory Tue 27-Aug-13 12:02:36

Yes there are some people with little access to shops etc however, they will not be the majority.

My Mum lives in a very disadvanatged town (ex mining community).
Every Wednesday and Saturday there is a market selling everyhting from plastic tat toys to veg.

Every wed and sat my mum walks into town to buy veg. As she has done all her life. The town is also well served by cheap regular buses.

On both Wed and Sat the town will be packed. Yet many will go home with no cheap produce, having eaten sausage rolls and donuts from the bakers.

This is cultural. And it has to be addressed. It's not fair to just pretend it can't be!

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 12:03:19

There are many reasons why poor people have poor diets and funnily enough people don't generally respond well to well fed moralising multi millionaires.

Some people don’t have the equipment to cook, they don’t have a saucepan never mind a garlic press.
Some people, many people have never been taught to cook, literally nothing apart from how to switch the oven on or how to switch the microwave on.
Some people live in areas where all they have is a Farmfoods or a Costcutter selling nothing but processed or frozen foods, they can’t afford to travel to the supermarkets.
Many people have shitty lives, living in shitty circumstances on the breadline with extremely limited resources. A kebab gives cheap and immediate gratification.

All these issues will take a lot more than Jamie Olive shaking his head wistfully that the poor of Grimsby Hull aren’t enthused to make themselves spaghetti alle vongole of an evening.

TheSecondComing Tue 27-Aug-13 12:04:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jammiedonut Tue 27-Aug-13 12:04:48

He's got a point, and to be honest I'm not that bothered how he makes it. I was extremely poor as a youngster, but rarely had ready meals as mum would buy cheap core ingredients at the start of the month and was militarily precise in terms of portions. She worked round the clock and had four children to take care of. She didn't use lack of time as an excuse, she made time I.e cooked late at night or got up early. I was taught to help from age7/8 as were my siblings, so we managed between us.
I'm not saying its easy, by any means, but it can be done. I'm not sure why it's such a problem to point that out?

Thauma I live in North Wales. You do realise that not every mumsnetter lives in London.

I live in a semi rural part of North Wales. It costs nearly a tenner to get the 4dc and I to town and back and there are no indian shops there.

Mindmaps Tue 27-Aug-13 12:07:11

Thaumatrope its not the buses but the bus fare and how much you can carry - I'm not saying its not doable if you are organised and informed because it is ! I'm saying the people who need the advice most are not organised or informed and that Jamie Oliver poncing on about TV's is not going to help smile

I just think that child benefit should stop at 4/5 and the money put into excellent free school meals for every child and into cooking classes

Money should be spent on community veg and cooking classes.

Practical real life solutions to change the way we cook and the way our children see food.

Mindmaps Tue 27-Aug-13 12:08:22

Ohh hello Ghost - rural midwales here about 130 miles from nearest 'asian' shop ;)

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 12:08:53

I think the biggest problem by far is that all these people who are trying to shift food culture to something better, because they know it can be better for more people if not everyone, are annoying middle class men who appear to live charmed lives.

Presumably they have worked bloody hard to get the nice farmhouse and the garden and the restaurant and the book deals and the optional blonde children and optional wife just out of focus and the nice pottery and the proximity to Alphonso mangoes but it doesn't matter because to a man, they all seem to hit the wrong note.

So perhaps that WomanCalledJack is the right person for the job and Jamie should step down forthwith.

wordfactory Tue 27-Aug-13 12:09:55

But ghost that must have been true two generations ago?

And yet that generation cooked. They had to! 99p lasagnes were unheard of.

It was part of the culture to find cheap ingredients and turn them into somehting half decent.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 12:09:55

Oh fgs my comment about London was in response to someone who said she'd not seen a veg shop in London for years.

I don't live in London either

XBenedict Tue 27-Aug-13 12:10:40

Practical real life solutions to change the way we cook and the way our children see food

I couldn't agree more! The risks and health implications of a poor diet are huge, massive!

Fillyjonk75 Tue 27-Aug-13 12:11:13

He doesn't teach people to cook though, Thauma he has spent years putting poorer people off because of expensive unobtainable ingredients.

And now he's just jumping on a bandwagon, and doing it badly, like his "15 minute" meals that take an hour unless you have a chef's knife skills. It won't teach poor people who can't cook to cook, remotely.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 12:11:20

And if you're rural, you're in the 10% of the country that presumably doesn't have as much access to most things as the remaining 90% does smile

ouryve Tue 27-Aug-13 12:12:03

Porcini mushrooms smell like sweaty underpants.

He's right that there are too many people who complain about lack of money but spend a fortune on takeaways and eating out. I know a few people with those tendencies. He does come across as very smug, though.

And, since he promoted it on channel 4 as a cheap cut, shoulder of lamb has been bloody expensive.

Mindmaps Tue 27-Aug-13 12:12:07

So perhaps that WomanCalledJack is the right person for the job and Jamie should step down forthwith.

Absolutely agree with this

jammiedonut Tue 27-Aug-13 12:12:12

limitedperiodonly I think you've highlighted part of the problem by saying that hardworking parents don't want to cook at the end do the day. With my mother and I there was absolutely no way around it, the cooking needed to be done, the kids needed feeding and as we didn't buy ready meals we had to put in the time when we got home. There is a choice in many cases

On the advert he thinks £9 for one meal is cheap shock That is often less than half a weekly food budget. Education is a problem too. You aren't going to buy a book with recipes in for a fiver or whatever, if you can't afford much. Junk food can be more filling, although not healthy, at the start, and if you don't have much equipment, you can't make much.

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 12:15:27

It's great that he's going to make further millions from this issue though. Seems there is money in poverty after all.

Oh and surely a knighthood can't be far behind for this portly patroniser?

Viviennemary Tue 27-Aug-13 12:15:49

He is just so smug and annoying people are put off listening to anything he says. In his little millionaire world of beautiful things.

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 12:15:57

It can be addressed wordfactory. But laziness and a lack of interest in food and how to cook it aren't the only reasons people of all social backgrounds in Britain eat poorly. We need to address those reasons if we're going to make a change.

It's foolish or spiteful not to recognise that. I realise you're not saying that, but some people are.

Mindmaps Tue 27-Aug-13 12:18:06

Thaumatrope - I am rural but fortunately reasonably well of - however as I have said before its the many (predominantly) young mums stuck on estates with no childcare who I think are in need of the real help.

ouryve Tue 27-Aug-13 12:18:16

Bloody hell, Roasted! We budget £4-7 for a typical every day meal for 4 of us and about a tenner once or twice a week. We're not poor!

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 12:18:30

When JamieO started the school meals thing a SN school I knew of struggled as some of their autistic kids would not eat the list of OK foods, indeed work to encourage some to eat anything much at all was set back hugely. I made contact with JO, and got a snotty letter back saying that autistic kids deserve a good diet. Missing pint much? Teachers were taking years to introduce new foods in such tiny amounts and making progress then wham! they could no longer do it because the plate of chips necessary to get a child to eat one pea was barred.

Have refused to watch him since.

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 12:19:10

'I meet people who say, 'You don't understand what it's like.' I just want to hug them and teleport them to the Sicilian street cleaner who has 25 mussels, 10 cherry tomatoes, and a packet of spaghetti for 60 pence, and knocks out the most amazing pasta.'

I'm quite a chilled out person, but I have an overwhelming desire to punch him after reading that snippet!

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 12:19:46

jamiedonut yes, it's true. Some people don't want to cook. It's a free country.

Faithless12 Tue 27-Aug-13 12:21:58

The problem with AWomanCalledJack is her prices don't add up, you can't buy a single egg etc... I think the problem isn't to do with money some of the time its we are time poor. If you've just done a ten hour day do you really want to cook for an hour.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 12:22:02

And yes- I am blessed enough to be able to cook and enjoy it, but certainly were I like many in a bedsit and only able to get into the door after 6 and before 8, and the kids need food; or living with my children in a single room in homeless accommodation where the single shared kitchen is permanently filled with drunks then certainly I'd struggle to feed my boys with healthy food. I have seen both situations recently, even though the first is technically not allowed councils are struggling.

Growlithe Tue 27-Aug-13 12:25:19

I think he has a bit of a point in that if we are relying on convenience food (cheap or not) we are not instilling into our children the idea that you can cook tasty, nutritious food reasonably cheaply (and even quickly) with a bit of planning, even without expensive equipment or massive amounts of skill.

He's talking about a cultural thing isn't he? He shouldn't really be directing his anger at the people eating the crap though, more those manufacturing it.

He would be better doing a show in the style of 'The men who made us fat' and the one on now 'The men who made us thin' to show how these companies can make the food so cheaply and still turn a profit, and how that business model is making the poorest the least healthy.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 12:25:46

Fillyjonk you might be right about JO, there's no doubt he is doing something wrong besides making ignorant comments about big tellies.

I really hate Britain sometimes.

Better food is for other countries because some people are poor and/or isolated here therefore let's not hear another word about it.
Don't mention ingredients that are actually pretty cheap and reasonably widely available because some people can't get them.
Many people work hard and don't want to cook when they get home so god forbid you even mention a recipe that is cheap and easy but takes longer than fifteen minutes (and if it only takes ten, you can have a go at it anyway for having poncy herbs in it).

tobiasfunke Tue 27-Aug-13 12:26:48

In one way he's right. It is cheaper and better to feed your family homecooked food- but he's a twat for mentioning porcini mushrooms and Sicilian roadsweepers or whoever it was. If he'd mentioned good British staples like lentil soup or stew or cottage pie or mince and tatties then he would've looked less like a stuck up cock.

Of course poor people shouldn't be allowed big tellys. People should be means tested at every electrical retailer. Big Tv's are only for those who need to be able to read the subtitles of their Danish crime dramas from the other end of their massive living rooms.

MrRected Tue 27-Aug-13 12:32:24

I like him and agree with him that the time has come to stop feeding our kids processed shite.

It is possible to eat unprocessed, fresh and healthy food without breaking the bank. Whatever you think of JO surely this is a worthwhile thing to be broadcasting.... In comparison to Big Brother or other equivalent crap on the tv.

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 12:34:20

It's a much more complex issue than JO can fix. Him bringing out a book and having a TV show will do jackshit for this issue.

LynetteScavo Tue 27-Aug-13 12:35:04

He does have a point. Maybe he's no longer the best placed person to be putting his point forward. We all liked him when he was a young lad, looking like a student. Now he's a millionaire with a beautiful family, driving around in a Range Rover people are not feeling the Jamie love.

We were by no means poor when I was growing up, but getting chips from the chip shop would have been a massive luxury for us. My mother knows how to cook healthily and cheaply. (But then she lived through WW2)

I know someone who calls the last week of the month "egg and chips week" because she's run out of money and says she can only afford egg and chips. I really want to shout at her; "Make some vegetable soup!"

And for those of you saying you can't afford capers, you really anent' missing out. They are pointless, IMO.

fromparistoberlin Tue 27-Aug-13 12:36:15

I agree with him, what he said is unpopular but its the TRUTH

in the UK there is a culture wherby people of a lower income (especially white people) are not well nourished. we often see that they

eat fast food (look at all the fried chicken joints)
eat ready made meals (looks at Tesco, iceland, Lidl with pIzzas for £1, checken Korma for £1 etc)
buy large cheap quanitities for crisps, soft drinks and biscuits- Poundland anyone!

you might not like his tone, but go to any high street in a non "MC" area and look at what people are eating

and as for everyone on here saying they make vats of economic vege chilli. cant you see you are NOT the audience he is talking about, you are on MN for a starters

It fucks me off that anyone on a slightly low income immediately takkes offence, HE IS NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU!

we have a major obesity problem in this country, and responses like this are massively unhelpful. you might not like him, but how thew fuck can you deny what he is saying? look out of the window!

LynetteScavo Tue 27-Aug-13 12:36:56

Big Tv's are only for those who need to be able to read the subtitles of their Danish crime dramas from the other end of their massive living rooms.

grin - I've been trying to justify getting a big TV for a while. Now I have a valid reason. Thank you! grin

fromparistoberlin Tue 27-Aug-13 12:37:59

my partner is from an island that grow capers Lynette, and I have a bag on my desk to post to my mate. they is from peasant stock, just saying grin

they are 2 euros a bag there!

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 12:38:03

'Better food is for other countries because some people are poor and/or isolated here therefore let's not hear another word about it.'

I don't think it is about ingredients.

It's about access to cooking facilities at the poorest end, knowing how to cook, being absolutely exhausted because of the working hour culture (UK is third in the stats for longest days, below Austria and Greece). It's about the centralisation of supermarkets and the fact that many rural poor have no access to decent ranges of food above the level of the local Spar- heck not just the rurally poor, in my village you will struggle unless you have a car or internet access; old people here do often live off the Spar, thankfully we will have a sainsbo mini soon.

It's increasingly about the end of the social fund and people's inability to replace a broken freezer or cooker without getting into debt with a payday lender.

Microwave meals don't even feature here, indeed I am thinking of binning ours as it just clutters up the work surface and only gets used to heat baked beans. But i've seen enough of life to know I am grateful to have a kitchen at all; especially an equipped one I don't have to share with another six housing units. I am not so ill or exhausted that I an barely stay away to make lentils, or unable to adequately meal plan or work out a budget.

I am hugely supportive of expanding the amount of food education we pass on to our kids and getting information out there to the generations that missed out, but blame is pointless and alienating.

TheSecondComing Tue 27-Aug-13 12:40:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SarahAndFuck Tue 27-Aug-13 12:42:48

I live in what is considered to be a poor area, lots of the local schools are in special measures, we have a larger than average amount of children taking up free school meals etc. Unemployment is a big problem, as is teen pregnancy, lack of suitable housing and lifestyle health issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes are a big issue. Families tend to be large, with single parents or unemployed parents or both.

I know this because they gave us a lovely talk about how unfortunate we are at the community centre one day hmm

I buy fresh fruit and veg but with DH working away in the week and just DS and I at home, things go off before we use them. I do my best with things I can cook and freeze, but what do you do with, for example, a cucumber that's passing it's best?

I have a car but many people don't. They are just too expensive a luxury

Anyway, the nearest farm shop is several miles away. It would take me about an hour and a half to walk to it, and I walk quickly. So that would be a three hour round trip to buy good fresh veg that was cheap.

Public transport would mean two buses there and two buses back and still take about an hour. I think you can buy an all day saver for £4.25.

In the other direction, the nearest market is about an hour's walk. It runs Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

It's only one bus each way but the fair is £2.20 each way from here, so still quite expensive.

DS was only in school in the morning, for three hours, last year so trips like those for people without a car are difficult if not impossible if they have young children not in full time school.

There's no way I could walk to the farm shop and back in time to fetch DS, and no way I could walk with him to it after school. That would add at least another hour to the journey because he's smaller, slower and he would need to rest more than I would.

And as we couldn't buy fresh stuff in for the whole week without taking the risk that some of it would go off before we'd used it, we'd need to make at least two trips a week to ensure we were buying the freshest we could get.

So that's the two places Jamie would prefer us to shop written off for many families here. Even if they don't work, the cost of transport or the time needed to get there and back makes it difficult to impossible in many cases because of children/school/childcare etc.

Within walking distance we have a Lidl, which is about a 20-30 minute walk for me. And an Asda about a 30-40 minute walk. Sainsbury's about 40-50 minutes away.

Within fifteen minutes I can walk to the local equivalent of Iceland for frozen meals. Or to Iceland itself within half an hour.

I'm not surprised that many local families do. I'm sure they already know it's not the healthiest food, but it is cheap and convenient in more ways than being microwavable. It's local, they can walk there and back in much less than an hour, it's cheap and freezable. If the market or the farm shop were closer they might be used by people local to me but time, travel costs and distance have put them out of reach on a daily basis for most if not all people here who don't own a car.

It's not just about people being too lazy to cook or finding the microwave more convenient.

Not everyone has a market or farm shop on their doorstep, and a three hour round trip every day to buy ten mange tout is a big thing to ask of someone who has young children to get home to before school is out.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 12:43:16

(And I would so love someone to ask the local spar lady if she has 26 mussels, some cherry tomatoes and 60p spaghetti amongst the crisps and sweets she fills the shop with- very MC area btw, and assumption everyone can drive elsewhere for a big shop, forgetting not everyone so young / mobile / the large council estate conveniently hidden behind the hill).

Pinkpinot Tue 27-Aug-13 12:43:26

He's right
He's trying to educate people about food
Many people, poor or otherwise do rely on microwave or takeaway meals

Basically there are 2 issues -

1) how bloody difficult it is to buy the ingredients for healthy home cooked food/the equipment and power to cook it in various circumstances. Even if you are a working family and in theory should be okay. Massive issue which doesn't get enough attention and the government is doing absolutely zero to fix.

2) lack of education about how to cook cheap basic nutritious meals.

JO pointing around with £9 fish pies (serves 8 apparently, but still - £4.50 for one meal) isn't helping with EITHER of those things.

I do think that showing people how to cook genuinely cheap and nutritionally adequate meals is helpful, but in reality that means things like 1001 things with mince and leftover chicken. how to actually cook lentils, what they taste like and are useful for plus accurate guides for portion sizes, etc etc

Not bloody £9 fish pies.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 12:46:03

It's about all those things Peachy, I agree. I just hate the defeatist tinge that these threads always take on.

Nobody is blaming anybody for not having been taught how to cook or for not having enough money (or indeed, interest) to be able to. And it's not our fault that supermarkets are the way they are.

It's all the excuses for why people like Jamie Oliver shouldn't even try to have something to offer. As a nation we seem to have such a can't-do attitude.

LumpySpace Tue 27-Aug-13 12:46:57

I think his heart's in the right place and he does have a very valid point.

I really like him and I have all his books.

fromparistoberlin Tue 27-Aug-13 12:50:55

what I like about JO (so shoot me) is that he is a MASSIVE fan of south italy, and cucina povera. ie spagetti/and tomato sauce. costs fuck all

its not about pulled pork and £10 fish pies

But I get it, especially for people like sarahandfuck

and I dont think she is who he is talking about

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 12:50:59

Sarah fresh veg is over rated; frozen is often higher in vitamins than older fresh stock, as it is frozen directly from the fields.
Nobody should feel bad about using frozen veg: indeed it's an ideal way to maximise vitamin intake and economise. Iceland is incredibly useful for that ((and in fact cheaper for frozen fish than my supermarket I notice) but massively affected by snobbery.

If you shop at Iceland and shop well then your nutrition can be high level and affordable, especially if supplemented by pulses etc which can be bulk bought and keep well. Better that than some veg that has been sitting on a market stall for five days and losing nutrients.

Also having a go at people who ate struggling is just never helpful is it?

What's wrong with being nice, and appreciating that their problems don't always have one size fits all solutions? That actually a bit more thought will have to go into coming up with answers than just saying look, here's a recipe, and bitching about the fact they dare to own a tv.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 12:54:59

Quite TeWi.

SarahAndFuck Tue 27-Aug-13 13:06:02

And as for Italy.

Yes it's a different culture and it would be lovely to live that way. I'm sure there are many things that we in Britain can learn from them and they are apparently on average much healthier than we are.

But we won't change everything with pots of herbs on the windowsill (which all seem to die the moment they enter our house. Basil especially seems to wilt within minutes sad )

It's an old telegraph link but it discusses how Italy spend £2.00 per head on their children's school meals while we spent 40p on ours.

At the time of the article being published Britain had the longest working hours in Europe with an average of 43.6 hours, while Italy had a limit of 38.5.

So that's just over five hours difference, giving them a lot more time to cook properly and then sit together to enjoy eating together.

So that's two things right there that we would need to change about our culture in order to better emulate theirs and benefit from it. Increasing the amount of money the schools spend on better dinners and reducing the long hours people work so they can spend more time cooking proper meals etc.

The article is a little contradictory as it does say that most Italians drive home in their lunch break and nap (lunch hour seems to last 2-3 hours) but then says that the Italians walk for most journeys. Which of course helps with the healthy lifestyle.

But again, that's only possible if you have the time, so my walk to the farm shop 90 minutes away while still needing to get back before the end of school is still out of reach for many local parents here. Three hours of your day, every day, walking to buy a courgette would drive most people to the local Iceland for frozen chips instead.

But my point is that to change one aspect of British culture we have to do more than tell people how many tomatoes they could have bought for the cost of their flat screen TV, we would have to look at many other aspects too, including working hours, accessibility to farm shops or markets, better and cheaper local transport, local schools and much more.

And if we are not prepared to make changes to all of those, not much else is going to change either.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 13:09:00

The problem is that if nobody dares to give solutions, precisely because one size can never fit all, then sod all gets done.

There's a long list of things which will help ameliorate food poverty, all do-able for some but never for all. We should see it as a positive that there are ideas out there!

Problem is that if the people 'helping' claim to have it all solved, and shift the blame onto the people who are struggling then there is less motivation for other people to look into it and try and come up with answers of their own.

A proper inquiry into food poverty and average nutrition might come up with ideas like as a random example I like: the government forcibly reducing petrol/public transport, fuel and healthy food costs for example.

But if everyone thinks 'ah well, but jamie said you can manage if you are careful' then no one will bother to look into other options.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 13:14:12

One aspect of British culture that has a terrible impact on family life is the huge distances people travel from home to work and school. I live in Paris and people expect DC to walk to school, to go home for lunch ( unless both parents work) and many adults also work nearby. The UK has a dreadful commuter culture.

Owllady Tue 27-Aug-13 13:15:22

when I left home my mum gave me this this which she got off the milkman and I still use it now, it's very good. I recommend it if you are clueless, it tells you everything from cuts of meat, how to make white sauce etc

I find it a bit weird someone who makes a living from being on tv would start crticising people for owning and watching them!

While some of JOs comments were misguided and the correlation between flat screen tellies and a diet of chips was nothing but inflammatory, the negativity and melodrama on this thread is totally over the top.

Look, you can cook dahl and rice on a camping stove. In 15 minutes. It's cheap and nutritious. Porridge for breakfast. Soup or stew and mash for dinner. Cheap, quick, easy, accessible, nutritious.

SarahAndFuck Tue 27-Aug-13 13:15:46

And none of that is to say that he's wrong to want to try.

At least he is pointing things out, and I think his school dinners campaign did have some effect, made some people listen.

But if he's talking to people about buying six cherry tomatoes and half an aubergine from the local market but they are miles away from the nearest one with no car, expensive transport and a family life that requires them not to hike for three hours every day because they are needed back at home in one hour, they're not going to listen to him.

Peachy you are right about the frozen veg too. DS would live on frozen garden peas and they are a godsend to my freezer from the man at the frozen food shop grin

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 13:15:55

no government is going to solve this problem:

labour wont criticise their voters or spend money
conservatives wont spend money

personally if I were affected, I would be glad someone was raising the topic. the alternative is nothing as we all see the rest of the time.

Owllady Tue 27-Aug-13 13:16:36

bonsoir, i think that issue has a direct correlation to the extortionate housing costs too, either to buy or rent in certain areas

Owllady Tue 27-Aug-13 13:17:21

I think labour were doing something tbh in the home start/ sure start section, it's all being disbanded though

Viviennemary Tue 27-Aug-13 13:19:41

If everyone sold their TV's and bought healthy food then nobody would have to listen to his witterings.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 13:20:28

Yes I totally agree with you there TeWi

However in the interim I think we, the consumers, are going to have to take responsibility for re-organising how we access food and what we do with it, since nobody in power seems motivated to think creatively about it.

SarahAndFuck Tue 27-Aug-13 13:22:07

Owllady - "I think labour were doing something tbh in the home start/ sure start section, it's all being disbanded though."

I agree. From a healthy lifestyle point of view our Sure Start centre used to offer cookery classes for cheap but healthy food, had a vegetable garden which you could help in and take home from, offered a food bank and so much more. In the holidays they would hold 'cook and eat' for the children so they could make a meal together and then eat together afterwards. They even provided a kitchen so that families on contact visits could cook a meal together even though they didn't live together.

Place is almost empty now, they have no staff and no money to offer any of this. It's very sad to see how things have changed, and how quickly.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 13:23:05

owllady - I agree, and being preached at by St James of Oliver doesn't make the constraints people live under disappear.

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 13:23:32

I ate capers yesterday in a panzanella made with stale bread, squishy tomatoes and a bag of Sainsbury's value peppers.

Yay me!

However, I have a 31" flatscreen. Is that an acceptable size or is it too big? I worry constantly about what St Jamie of Oliver might think. On the plus side it's sometimes tuned to subtitled things on Sky Arts.

It won't be tuned to his show or I might be forced to throw a tin of corned beef through it.

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 13:24:45

Food co-ops and clubbing together to cook in bulk are also options.
It's the things which involve some sort of larger social group that are missing, isn't it?
We used to cook with two other families, eat together then divvy it up to freeze. Hugely cheap and sociable. I can't imagine doing that now for some reason.

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 13:29:12
Bakingnovice Tue 27-Aug-13 13:29:52

I think one of his biggest mistakes is assuming that it is poor fat people who are eating and buying ready meals. This is a myth perpetuated by people like him.

I volunteer with families who live off value range pasta (25p), cheap tinned toms, value bread etc. they cannot afford £1 ready meals which feed 1. Where I shop the biggest purchasers of ready meals are those who are better off but don't have time to cook. And we all know that the weight watchers/other diet company meals are purchased by well off possibly overweight people. We grew up poor and every single meal was cooked from scratch. Including breakfast. I cook from scratch myself.

Poor bashing has tagged itself on to benefits bashing. Very sad.

CorrinaKedavra Tue 27-Aug-13 13:30:53

Well Thursday should be interesting. I hope he answers usualsuspect's question grin

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 13:31:48

I think he's right.

I'm not British and I'm often shocked with the diet in this country.

The countries in Southern Europe have much worse economies than the UK, the salaries are lower and the vast majority of households have two working parents as very few families have the luxury of living on one salary alone.

All the working parents come home and cook from scratch every single bloody day. It's really not rocket science and we don't even have "Home Economics" lessons at school. You just learn to cook because it's a life skill.

To be fair, there's very little offer when it comes to ready meals in the supermarkets anyway, but that's also because there's very little demand.

I also think there's a lot of patronising comments regarding "the poor" - as if people under a certain income can't be criticised and are too stupid to know/do any better and therefore must be protected. I think it's insulting.

NutcrackerFairy Tue 27-Aug-13 13:35:00

I think that JO is idealistic but not realistic.

He needs to go and spend time at home with some of those people he is demonising.

So many posters have pointed out that those on the breadline often live in places where access to good food can be difficult, i.e. when you only have a convenience store nearby, no car and have to drag small children on a trip to the closest supermarket in town it becomes quite difficult to lug a lot of meat, fruit and veg home on the bus.

When you are quite poor I think food can become a treat. It is so demoralising to constantly think and say we can't afford this and that, therefore a trip to the kebab shop down the road becomes the one treat you can afford for yourself and/or the kids.

I think that lack of space and equipment also becomes an issue. If you live in a flat or cramped house there is often not the room for a larder full of ingredients or a full complement of kitchen utensils. Also if the oven or microwave breaks down it is not easy to replace these without access to credit [or bank of Mum and Dad], so convenience food from local chippy becomes necessary.

I also wonder about the emerging predominance of zero hours contracts for those on minimum wage. Essentially those on these contracts have to be available to work whenever their employee requires their services and have their days off when not... not much, if any, advance notice given. Often couples on minimum wage both need to work to support family. So who takes responsibility for cooking a nutritious fresh meal a la JO?

Finally, his comment about the Sicilian street cleaner and mussels and spaghetti seemed pretty ignorant to me. That's great for someone who lives in Italy, near the coast, with an abundance of cheap fresh seafood.... but really a working class family on low income in the middle of England somewhere? Fresh mussels? From where?
And what does having a large screen TV have to do with anything? They are not exactly expensive items these days and for some people may be the only form of entertainment they can afford, I imagine looking at the pay per view cost they would work out quite economical in the long run compared to say going to the theatre or out to see a film.

I sort of get that JO means well but heavens above he is so darn clumsy and patronising in expressing it!

He would do better if he educated himself a bit about the issues the less well off face... admitted that he's a bit out of touch but that he would like to find a way to help using the contacts and expertise he has.

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 13:35:03

Yup, bakingnovice it's not only the poor who are eating shit food. Fattening food from Waitrose is still fattening food. Are the weight differences between working class/middle class people really that marked?

ExcuseTypos Tue 27-Aug-13 13:35:24

I think it's a shame he's mentioned Tvs but everything else he's said is true.

Although food is expensive, a generation ago people spent a much larger amount of their income on food. Today everyone (me included) has Tvs, computers, phones, clothes as well as higher energy bills and council tax etc etc etc. so there is LESS to spend on food.

I'm 47, we were quite poor, although I didn't know it. We didn't have holidays, phones, heating, my clothes came form jumble sales, but we did eat very well- lots of cheap cuts of meat, brisket, spare ribs, a chicken which my mum always made at least 2 meals from.

I dont know what im trying to say really, just that life in the UK is sodding hard if you're poor. But i also think a book full of ideas for cheap, healthy meals is a great idea. The problem is he's probably alienated his audience now sad. He needs to apologise big style. I also think it would be a nice gesture to give away his book, to people in benefits, rather than charge them for it.

I do think there is something to be said for rethinking traditional british cheap food. It just needs to be done with more thought.

For example, tuna pasta bake used to be pretty cheap, but now tuna is nearly £1 a tin where I live. Suddenly not that cheap.

Same with mince, a couple of years ago when we were really poor (and for the love of god, don't go on about lentils, there is a medical explanation why that wouldn't have worked at the time) I could buy 800g of mince for £1.25 which would easily do at least 2 meals. But now that pack in tesco is 750g and costs more like £2.50, so my cheap mince meals are now not so cheap.

SacreBlue Tue 27-Aug-13 13:44:07

That sad truth is that many poor people (but by no means not all) are unedcutated

Glad you added the in brackets comment, I've worked with many people on benefits and approx 70% were educated to degree level - not that intellectual education = common sense or relates to having lots of input re cooking from family.

My family (immediate & wider) plus my friends, have many different diets, none of which, to my knowledge, have any problems cooking with basic ingredients even with some medical or ethical things to take into account.

I do have a 'store cupboard' of ingredients but could easily knock something up with very limited resources - isn't that a basic skill that most parents/grandparents teach their kids? I was hmm at school for using up a whole lesson on how to add Crusha to milk so perhaps HE lessons could be a bit more informative if the government think parents are lacking in basic food skills

Bakingnovice Tue 27-Aug-13 13:44:29

Squoosh - thank you for agreeing that its not only the poor who eat crap food. In fact from my experience its more my rich mc friends who rely on ready meals rather than anyone poor

The m&s dine in for a rennet offers here are always sold out. Is he saying that an Iceland ready meal is worse than a marks or waitrose one?

My point is that eating crap runs across all the classes. His mistake is he is only talking to the poor.

Those who keep banging the 'mussels' drum are missing the point, perhaps deliberately, I don't know. JO is simply saying that with three ingredients, that are cheap and accessible to you, wherever you might be, you can create a quick, healthy meal. He is simply using the Sicilian example as an illustration of how it can work because as a society they are often far better at using the fresh resources available to them than we are.

Perhaps in central suburban UK this would translate to mince, onions and potatoes. Or a bag of root veg and an onion to make a soup... The point being you can make a healthy meal out of real food, cheaply and quickly, but this is something a lot of us have forgotten how to do.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 13:47:33

oh but starfish, many posters would rather criticize someone who has achieved more to help disadvantaged people than they ever will, rather than see any good in what he says.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 13:50:27

Thauma I agree about giving solutions BUT doing them in a way that alienates or offends people will never work will it?

I used to work for HomeStart and whilst a leftie and happy with that, can't pretend that Labour were helpful- we were a charity and my branch went under financially. However, our SureStart made a huge difference- teaching gardening, cooking, hosting healthy lunches and father's days where they cooked with their kids. Now OK I've heard about some appalling SureStarts that achieved sod all, but that shouldn't mean close them all- simple learning from the good ones is far more sensible surely?

And one of the things some of us were campaigning for (oddly and unusually I worked for both) was lunch clubs for kids whose families received free school meals in term time to help them through the long summer hols, that or a benefit increase for that period. Heck food boxes even, anything to help with that necessity!

Am LMAO that I may be patronising the poor, as a council estate raised, low income mother whose only income for herself* is Carer's Allowance. DH earns but MW. I am also I hope not stupid- I have post grad quals if that is evidence?

Most families I worked with had a mix of foods- cheapo pasta, and crappy crisps. Like most people. Many poor families are there temporarily- job loss, illness- and you don't suddenly lose the ability to cook or wish to feed your kids with the P45. So some bloke telling you that you should feed your kids better and not have the TV you bought yourself when in work is pretty damned insulting- and enough to make your switch off, especially when your morale is likely to be at a low ebb. In truth, the people JO speaks of- those who don't care enough to have picked up a cook book at the library or seek out advice- are those that wouldn't watch anyway because there's a rerun of That Pupper Gameshow on at the same time.
^Happy to stereotype people who watch that you notice ;)

*by which I obviously mean school coats. This week anyway. Was art supplies for DS1's BTEC last week. Same as most of the rest of the UK really.

jammiedonut Tue 27-Aug-13 13:54:05

Of course it's a free country hmm, what's that got to do with the price of fish?
I just don't understand criticising someone for pointing out something completely obvious, when in many cases the only reason many families are eating rubbish ready meals etc is because they don't want to cook, or go the extra mile timewise to get whats needed. Iceland, Lidl, they all sell frozen vegetables and cheap frozen fish and meat, but its a shame that many will walk past this to get to the ready meals. When I get home after a long day for a low wage I still know that dinner needs to be made.
There are some sections of society where what he is saying does not apply, but I really don't think those people are who he is talking about. He's saying that there is ome thing fundamentally wrong with the fact that when faced with the choice many people will go for the easy option.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 13:54:18

And LMAO at uneducated.

We have two good degrees and most of an MA here, and we are far from unusual amongst those we know.

Indeed I would contend that those who are most likely to be uneducated seem able to knock up decent meals from scratch or budget; it's those like me who had a good income for a while and now find themselves struggling financially, or who have never been low income before, that have to learn it all from scratch. I love it when friends post meal plans on FB and I pick up new ideas, as they always have new things to share and a saved tenner goes a long way. However I don't want some bloke who clearly does think i must be a bit dim and unable making me feel guilty over the mid range TV Dh paid for after working every day of Christmas.

EldritchCleavage Tue 27-Aug-13 13:54:23

Jamie Oliver is someone who has completely lost sight of how extraordinarily rich he is, and what the grinding long-term reality of poverty is. I wonder if he doesn't accept how far removed his own life is from the norm because the disconnect between that and his salt-of-the-earth self-image/persona would be too uncomfortable.

He's tried to change things, put his rep on the line on telly, they haven't magically changed, he's getting frustrated. That's part of the problem with sleb single issue advocates with no in-depth training and education in the issues or background in activism.

Real life does not fit into a nice story arc for TV. And people who need help can be resistant to change, unwise and annoying. If you can't accept that without getting arsey, the long-term social activism is not for you.

Octopus37 Tue 27-Aug-13 13:57:52

Yes, sorry to state the obvious but the reason why some less affluent people and also those who are trying to save money for other things is because ready meals are cheaper. I'm not being funny but there are loads of ready meals in Iceland that you can buy for £1, so really its a no brainer if money is your main concern. I personally find (although there are exceptions) that recipes are very expensive. However, it is true that simple pasta dishes etc can be made cheaply. Personally think the key to eating cheaply is shopping around, although I appreciate that not everyone has the time or lives in an area with a wide range of shops.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:00:12

Am loving as well that he cited one family as evidence; if I did that at uni I'd be shown the door!

If he really cared he'd be putting free recipe leaflets in benefits offices and emergency food boxes- not selling books at the cost of a few weekly meals and putting telly programs on at times that tend to compete with the soaps (or maybe the soaps is just my background, but certainly everyone back home seems to watch them every day).

Realism versus cynical marketing.

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 14:04:53

Of course it's a free country hmm, what's that got to do with the price of fish?

Because, as you say, some people don't want to cook. Some people don't want to do lots of things that might be good for them.

If they have enough money we let them get on with it. Otherwise they'd be well within their rights to tell us to fuck off in well-modulated tones.

Only if they're the cheesy chip-eating, Brighthouse telly-watching classes do we make TV programmes about them and their appalling lifestyles.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 14:06:34

peachy - advertisers wont be beating a path to his door after this. this is not marketing. this is all very bad PR.

would you have advised him to take this course of action?

fromparistoberlin Tue 27-Aug-13 14:07:25

"The way Jamie Oliver talks you'd think Southern Italy was heaven on Earth"

LOL, they do actually have a massive child obesity problem in Italy. Fat little bimbi munching on ice cream and cakes

But there is a huge amount of defeatism on this thread, depressing. stop buying fucking ready meals people!

I am going to sound like a cxxx but last night I made pesto with tomatoes, olive, and basil . blended. it took me literally 2 seconds

i wont mention the expensive Lidl pine nuts I added in

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 14:11:09

If you want to read somebody who really knows what they are talking about then read this And she has her own opinion on the very smug Jamie who appears to only 'care' about the poor when he has a TV show and a book off the back of it to promote.

Another smug millionaire telling people (women) what to do. Because it is always the Women's fault.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:11:18

I think it is complicated, ready meals are not just the reserve of the poor, although they seem to be judged for it more.

I think working hours has a lot to do with , in many ways better placed than most to eat healthily. We have our own veg garden, pigs for meat, chickens for eggs, we shop online as well as using local farm produce. However once a week we will have a ready meal or takeout night because DH and I work long hours. I am out of the house from 7am until 6pm and have more work to do when I get back, there are times when I cannot be bothered to cook and I do not want to be made to feel guilty for that.

I also think like everything else , the richer you are the cheaper and healthier life is. We buy bulk meat from a local farmer, because we can afford to buy half a cow in one go, many people can't. I can get up in the morning and put stew on to eat when we get home in the slow cooker because we could afford the £40 to buy one. We have fresh bread every morning because we had the £100 to buy a bread maker. We have a packed store cupboard because we have a house big enough for a larder and I have the disposable income to buy a few store cupboard ingredients every week and build it up. We rarely buy biscuits or cakes because I can make them speedily with my Kenwood Chef and have all the baking trays etc.

Owllady Tue 27-Aug-13 14:11:20

I wish he would bugger off to Southern Italy
and I think it's really sad what has happened to sure start

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:11:32

Faster- possibly actually, poor bashing seems to be very in at the moment; seems to be a huge element of 'If I distance myself fast enough it can't happen to me'.

Last night I ate at my Mum's, bet that was cheaper ;) Although the day before I did a lentil quesadilla thingy with a little minced lamb and it was lovely.

And I consider myself blessed to have the knowledge, ability and facillities to do that, and thnk those that can't have far deeper issues than the temptation of (usually revolting) ready meals

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 14:13:47

Oh and wittering on about feeding people cheaply on a bag of mussels, pasta and tomatoes as they do in Sicily. 1) We're no in the land where Tomatoes grow big and cheap and 2) Is he aware of the poverty in Italy both historically in the South and now all over the country and 3) Try feeding very hungry children on mussels. Hardly filling and very expensive.

Stupid boy.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 14:15:49

He was happy to take the Sainsbury's £££££ and sell his own range of pre packaged tat.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:16:29

Compared to meat, mussels are actually quite cheap. But we don't eat meat that often because it is expensive,

NutcrackerFairy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:17:32

Yes, but fromparis how often can you eat tomatoes, olives and pasta?

And how healthy is it anyway - not much in it really, some carbs and tomato mainly...

I am not trying to knock you down but I think it can sometimes be tricky to produce a nutritious well balanced meal night after night with limited ingredients.

Plus3 Tue 27-Aug-13 14:17:43

It's tricky. Poverty has so many dimensions/factors that it is almost impossible to talk about from just one angle.

JO is a chef - his focus is food. Supermarkets don't make it easy for people to buy good quality food cheaply. Markets are harder to come by.

Some people (regardless of wealth or class), do not know how to put meals together cheaply. Some are just not that interested in food, others are obsessed.

Celebs....dammed if they do, dammed if they don't.

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 14:18:36

He won't be damned, he'll be even richer.

DottyboutDots Tue 27-Aug-13 14:19:10

I like JO and think he is right about loads of people not being able to cook. Also, having just spent a month in Italy, there are no ready meals on the shelf, you have to make everything from scratch except meat stuffed olives. The difference in supermarkets in the two countries is marked.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:21:04


He'd be better off campaigning for things like allotments or gardens. We used to have a friend with a zero hour contract and a son, who struggled when she had no hours as DWP could take months to sort her money. My dad works in a sausage factory so we get those for free and would give her bags for freezer; she would buy cheap cheap veg in bulk from markets at the close of business and give any over to us for jam making / chutney etc.

Choice wasn't an issue: she ate what she could get.

I'm speaking in the past tense as she had to give up and send her beloved child abroad to live with his dad as she could not keep managing on such an insecure income which was a terribly sad, if understandable, thing, and she now sees him twice a year if she can save enough for air fares.

Perhaps if JO cared so much benefit insecurity would be a better placed campaign? Food banks? not so much in it for him though.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:23:02

Mussels are indeed cheap Aris and thank goodness as we love them, but how many toddlers would take a second look at them? When your money is really low the last thing you can afford is food waste, and it takes a cold person to be happy with their child getting so hungry they'd eat anything to save a few pennies.

ExcuseTypos Tue 27-Aug-13 14:23:24

Bit nut if you had 14 recipes that were as cheap as pasta, tomatoes and olives that is a good idea, isn't it? And pasta tomatoes and olives is a lot healthier than most ready meals. Especially very cheap ones, which seem to have very little veg in them.

Well I've ordered his book.[Blush] I thought it would be good to give to dd as she's off to uni next month. She loves cooking, but as I buy the ingredients she seems to ignore the cost of things. She won't be able to do that soon so I hope Jamie's book lives up to the hype.

EldritchCleavage Tue 27-Aug-13 14:24:55

I also think like everything else , the richer you are the cheaper and healthier life is

I applaud that post, Arisbottle.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 14:27:01

Starfish has explained this very nicely for people who seem to have missed the point of the examples given (mussels, pasta etc.)

Here's her post:

"Those who keep banging the 'mussels' drum are missing the point, perhaps deliberately, I don't know. JO is simply saying that with three ingredients, that are cheap and accessible to you, wherever you might be, you can create a quick, healthy meal. He is simply using the Sicilian example as an illustration of how it can work because as a society they are often far better at using the fresh resources available to them than we are.

Perhaps in central suburban UK this would translate to mince, onions and potatoes. Or a bag of root veg and an onion to make a soup... The point being you can make a healthy meal out of real food, cheaply and quickly, but this is something a lot of us have forgotten how to do."

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:27:21

On a different note- what's up with the Huffington Press now? This, then last week the crap from that Hopkins woman about SN that spouted absolute nonsense about the SN systems.

They used to be half decent.

Owllady Tue 27-Aug-13 14:27:53

I know this is a bit random, but I can't be the only one who doesn't like pasta

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 14:28:05

But no doubt we'll still have another 50 posts talking about the price mussels and how you can't eat pasta every day hmm

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:28:55

So Starfish what you are saying is that in effect he is trying to jump on a poverty version of Hugh''s (excellent) Three Good Things book?

Awaiting his donations of Three Cheap Things to foodbanks on a mass basis then.

fromparistoberlin Tue 27-Aug-13 14:29:49


too too true, but I have yet shared my vege minestrone recipe ! I bloody love pasta!

seriously who the fuck am I to preach, I smoke. But then I see that I am actually helping the pensions crisis in my own little way grin

Look, I am pretty sure that NOONE on this thread is who he speaks of, really. Rick or poor, MN dwellers are fairly educated and conscious bunch

but when I see the fried chicken joints, and what people buy at my local poundland/icelands I find it rather sad. England could do, and deserve better

and I do genuinely beleive he DOES give a shit, seriously I do. Just because he is rich does not mean he does not care

EldritchCleavage Tue 27-Aug-13 14:29:56

Well, that is true, Poppy. If you know some basic cooking techniques and have confidence about cooking, you can put together cheap nutritious meals eve if you don't do it every day.

But no one is going to inculcate the 'right' kind of food culture in people by making them feel like shitty failures first.

The ingredients of a £1 Cottage Pie for One from Iceland:

Potato Topping (55%), Beef Mince Filling (45%) Potato Topping contains: Rehydrated Dried Potato (Potato, Curcumin), Water, Whey Powder (Milk), Salt, White Pepper. Beef Mince Filling contains: Cooked Beef (49%), Water, Onion (7%), Wheat Flour, Beef Fat, Seasoning (Salt, Yeast Extract, Whey Powder (Milk), Maltodextrin, Sugar, Onion Powder, Mushroom Powder, Spice), Dried Beef, Barley Malt Extract (Gluten), Tomato Purée, Beef Connective Tissue, Yeast Extract, Black Pepper.

The ingredients of a £3 Feed the Family Peperoni Lasagne from Iceland:

Bechamel Sauce (31%), Tomato Sauce, Pasta (15%), Water, Onion, Pepperoni (3.5%), Cheese Topping (2.5%), Beef Mince (2%), Modified Maize Starch, Green Pepper, Tomatoes, Sugar, Seasoning Blend, Garlic, Basil. Bechamel Sauce contains: Water, Rapeseed Oil, Wheat Flour, Modified Maize Starch, Milk Proteins, Milk Sugar, Mild Cheddar Cheese, Dried Skimmed Milk, Salt, Medium Fat Hard Cheese, Nutmeg. Tomato Sauce contains: Water, Tomato Purée. Pasta contains: Durum Wheat Semolina, Water, Dried Egg White. Pepperoni contains: Pork, Pork Fat, Salt, Dextrose, Spice, Spice Extracts, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Antioxidant: Sodium Ascorbate, Erythorbic Acid, Rosemary Extract; Preservative: Sodium Nitrite. Cheese Topping contains: Red Cheddar Cheese (91%) (contains Colour: Annatto), Potato Starch. Seasoning Blend contains: Rice Flour, Sugar, Paprika, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Wheat Flour, Colour: Paprika Extract; Salt, Spice Extracts, Flavouring, Anti-caking Agent: Silicon Dioxide.

I'd far rather spend £3 on a bag of baking potatoes, some tinned tomatoes, garlic and veg to feed my family. These are all ingredients that are available everywhere. The argument about inaccessibility of shops necessitating buying ready meals just doesn't stack up.

prissyenglisharriviste Tue 27-Aug-13 14:31:07

Where does JO stand on a girl called jack? Any ideas?

fromparistoberlin Tue 27-Aug-13 14:33:56

"I also think like everything else , the richer you are the cheaper and healthier life is

Not for sicilian fishermen, living the fucking dream they are

I think he probably does care.

Which is a shame really. If he'd teamed up with someone who at least gave him a budget and a list of common ingredients accessible to most people to work with I'm sure he could have come up with something less irritating.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:36:31

I was going to say afterwards that many children won't eat mussels.

I think we need to educate ourselves about what is expensive and cheap, because it has changed. As a student I ate lots of tuna pasta becaause it is cheap, now tuna is expensive - we rarely eat it. I thought mussels were posh people's food so we didn't eat them, DD2 loves them so put them in the trolley and I was surprised at their price. I can also remember buying chicken as a student , again we rarely eat chicken because it is expensive, in fact we rarely eat meat at all.

I do think that a lot of cheap food does rely on having an overflowing store cupboard. When I visit family who are on minimum wage they do not have cupboards filled with spices, vinegars and oils - they are expensive and it is a risky investment.

I will check out the girlnamedjack blog, will come in handy thanks.

This is totally off topic but why is fish so insanely expensive? We're an island! I admit I live right in the middle of said island, but i can only buy cod, salmon, maybe some trout etc in our town. All of which is too expensive per person for us.

There must be cheaper fish we could popularise and eat.

I found some interesting looking recipes for whitebait recently - which was recommended to me due to the very high calcium content - but I can't buy it anywhere locally.

Also cannot buy chicken hearts even though there is a chicken processing plant in our town. hmm

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:38:21

I am sure he does care, most people do not set out to do harm or offend. But you do lose touch when you are not having to strictly budget.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 14:38:54

Mussels aren't cheap when you see what the bulk meat from them is in comparison to shells leftover. It is a tiny amount.

Fact is the most basic of raw ingredients are becoming terribly expensive. If you want to make a standard sponge cake, it'll take 200-250 g of butter or spread which is nearly a whole block of butter costing at least 98p (cheapest I can find ATM). Bags of flour, 3-4 eggs at nearly £2 for 6, sugar, jars of jam, all add up.

The wheat harvest failed last year so Pasta, bread will all be shooting up in price. I have been encouraging clients to stockpile whenever they see pasta on offer. Bread can be well over £1,30 a loaf for decent bread and it isn't that much cheaper to bake it when you factor in ingredients and fuel.

The price of apples is horrendous. Bananas yes are better value. Potatoes have shot up as have all other vegetables. Growing your own is an option for some but is rarely cost efficient. We have an allotment and apart from fruit, the vegetables are often grown not for money saving but for pleasure and freshness.

Dishes like risotto whilst feeding many and able to be kept cost conscious ingredient wise are costly fuel wise-twenty to thirty mins of gas/electric stove top costs these days.

The cost of ingredients to flavour home made food has gone ^. Herbs, spices, all costly. Herbs tend to be dormant in our Winters so a herb garden doesn't work so well then.

A bowl of cereal used to be the default hunger gap meal for many a poor student/child but now these cereals, even the cheaper ones are not so cheap. Eggs have shot up although if you are lucky enough to have a car you can drive to the country and buy them much cheaper. But for many that is not an option. market eggs are cheaper but as A Girl Called Jack says, we do not all have markets. My local market sells 12 eggs for £2,30. I can buy 30 eggs for £2,50 from a country stall although I leave £3,00 as I think they are worth more. An omelette will use at least 2-3 eggs, scrambled a couple. That is a lot of £££ for a family of four all wanting one of those for supper.

And treats. The poor need treats. We all need treats. But even the cost of a pack of chocolate bars is out of reach for many. Cheap home made popcorn was an answer but the cost of corn is going to ^ too.

Jamie, I could weep at your lack of understanding. Activism means being impatient w/ the system, not with those at the mercy of it.

Attack the Hedgefunders whose speculation (Let's call it gambling) on food commodities has forced up the price of wheat, cocoa, rice etc. They are disgusting and the decision to deregulate speculation on essential food crops is disgusting.

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 14:39:48

'There must be cheaper fish we could popularise and eat.'

There's loads, it's all exported to France at the moment because we're totally squeamish and suspicious of anything that isn't cod or haddock.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:39:58

Yes cod is another thing that has changed price, it was cheap when I was growing up and is now prohibitively expensive - we only eat it when it is on offer. Salmon seems much cheaper, something I used to think was posh food.

Owllady Tue 27-Aug-13 14:40:53

Iceland's point of difference to other supermarkets is that they deliver your shopping to your home for free if you spend £25 or more - so it is bound to attract people who cannot drive (and most probably are not computer literate so don't order from anywhere else) It is true though that you can buy normal stuff from there, milk, eggs, cheese, fruit, veg (fresh and frozen) etc

Choices are limited to people in rural areas too. I was in Wales last week, you had the choice of a co-op which was very expensive or a very small iceland, that was it for MILES and MILES

EldritchCleavage Tue 27-Aug-13 14:42:04

Activism means being impatient w/ the system, not with those at the mercy of it


I detect an impatience that is more about the fact JO stands to lose face after some high-profile campaigning than real concern about the people he is supposedly trying to help.

ZenGardener Tue 27-Aug-13 14:42:11

I live in Japan, so if a Japanese person walks into a shop and sees chicken fillets are half price, they can buy a pack, take them home and make something like chicken teriyaki very cheaply because almost every Japanese household with have things like soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin. All of which can be bought very cheaply and easily there. They are just paying for the half-price chicken.

For a British person, they might see a recipe for chicken teriyaki in a cook book and they have to travel miles to a speciality shop, buy all the ingredients from scratch, buy the chicken fillets full price and then they make it. It tastes good but they probably won't use a lot of the ingredients again because the only recipe they know that uses them is chicken teriyaki.

The next day the British person might look in the cookbook and decide to make madras curry. So, again to the shop, buy all the ingredients from scratch, it's a faff to cook as they are not famiiar with the techniques, but it's tastes good but they probably won't use most of the ingredients again because that is the only thing they know how to make with them.

Meanwhile the Japanese person is probably making stuff using pretty much the same ingredients every night. The person from Madras is probably using the same ingredients for every meal. They don't need a larder stocked with expensive ingredients from every corner of the world, just the same locally sourced ingredients.

A British person can buy (or grow) things like a sack of spuds, big bag of carrots, bag of onions very cheaply and make a lot of different recipes using them, casserole, soup, cottage pie, roast dinner.

If you like Italian food and cook it a lot, then it is worth investing in the ingredients to make good Italian food and as you cook it a lot it becomes easier and you can adapt recipes and feel confident making it but if you rarely eat Japanese food and are on a tight budget then it is totally wasteful to buy all the Japanese ingredients for a one off meal.

I don't think the average British person needs to buy porcini mushrooms and capers but there is an art to looking around and picking up what is in season, what is selling cheap and coming up with easy and tasty recipes that use them.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 14:42:23

But four baking potatoes can cost nearly £2,50 in some places. Maybe cheaper in markets or if you buy tiny ones but that is a lot of money for a family of four or five. And then there's the cost of the salt, butter/spread, garlic and tomatoes Starfish suggested. Not always possible for £3 and if you live in a small village without transport you are totally at the mercy of expensive local stores or public transport (which costs £££) to get to a cheaper store.

tiggerishtom Tue 27-Aug-13 14:43:17

I agree with what he is trying to say.

if you batch cook in large quanties so you get economy of scale, and then freeze..... You'll get good quality, healthy food, but at Iceland prices.

I am amazed at how much ready made meals cost!!!!!

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 14:44:58

"This is totally off topic but why is fish so insanely expensive? We're an island!"

I currently live in Scotland and I'm amazed with the outstanding fish and seafood (and I'm originally from Portugal where fishing is pretty outstanding).

It's actually really cheap when compared to most meat and yet, I very rarely see people eating fish unless it's covered in batter.

And this is why fish is so expensive, because it's all exported due to lack of demand.

Speaking of lack of demand, I bought TWO whole fresh octopus at Morrisons the other day; they were 1.17 GPB each! I'm still gobsmacked!

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 14:45:37

Good old Morrison's is much better than the other supermarkets for fresh fish I find.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:46:36

That's because we now farm salmon; mackerel is cheap but because there is such a demand elsewhere prices would rise if we all went for it. However I have noticed that every time I pop it in my internet basket it gets axed, I wonder if supermarkets don't like to sell the cheaper stuff so limit it?

Iceland is not a bad option, as long as you top up with fruit and veg. They sell chicken, fish, freshly frozen stuff that can really be a help. Avoid the oddly flavoured pizzas and you are fine.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 14:46:39

squoosh they really are - I go there just to buy fish every week.

He's being smug as fuck but he's essentially right , you can cook healthily and eat well from some very cheap ingredients.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:49:42

Zengardener that is why again it is cheaper to be rich.

I adore cooking, I have a larder filled with store cupboard ingredients. I a, one of those sad people that makes pouches of stock to freeze and even freezes wine to use in food . So I can go to the reduced section of a supermarket and pick up meat, fish, veg and be confident that I have things at home to turn it into a meal. If you don't have those stocked store cupboards you can't take advantage of the food offers in the same way.

I also wonder if the British are more eclectic in their cooking style , mixing lots if different cuisines, making building a store cupboard more expensive.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 14:50:31

But batch freezing assumes a freezer, space for one and electricity to run it.

Snap to sacks of spuds: in fact we have a freezer but we can't bulk buy spuds as we have little storage space and we have a nice enough house (this is not excuses btw, we have enough to eat that we can afford thankfully).

Just looking at how other people with less might think.

I love squid; but here in my part of Wales there is no fishmonger and the supermarkets rarely have it. I could go right into the city but it costs £££££ in petrol etc. And then something else works out cheaper. It''s a vicious circle I guess.

I'll try morrisons next time for fish then.

None of this lovely fish makes it inland to us! It's very annoying.

mignonette sorry but that is bollocks. One look at will show you that all the major supermarkets stock bags of baking potatoes for around £1.50. For another £1.50 you can easily pick up a tin of tomatoes, a bulb of garlic and a courgette, or whatever.

I live in a VERY remote rural village with one shop and even here we can get food delivered from farms dirt cheap.

It's always possible. If you want it. Or you can be obstructive and obtuse and just create excuses not to eat healthily, if you'd rather eat crap.

On the subject of fish, we are very lucky indeed where we are in that we get fish free/cheap because we live in a fishing village. Inland it's bloody ridiculous how expensive fish can be, but I agree Morrisons is an ok option for that if you have one nearby.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 14:51:13

coley is a cheap substitute for cod.

Tesco has 2.5kgs for potatoes for around £2.50.

Owllady Tue 27-Aug-13 14:51:26

I find Morrisons good for fish and meat too. End of day at sainsburys they reduce on the fishmonger counter. I got a whole trout for £1.50 but they are as boney as buggery

But batch freezing assumes a freezer, space for one and electricity to run it

So does buying frozen chips and frozen ready meals...

Our freezer is 40cm square.

It's a pita. I tend to concentrate on buying reduced meat and bread and freezing it until we need it over batch cooking because it works out cheaper.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 14:52:15

Or you can be obstructive and obtuse and just create excuses not to eat healthily, if you'd rather eat crap.


ExcuseTypos Tue 27-Aug-13 14:52:34

I bought 6 fresh mackeral last week, from Waitrose fish counter. They were on offer and cost £1.45 for the lot. I bought another 6 and put them in the freezer.

Cheapest meal of the week.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:53:15

I agree totally Peachy, again further evidence that it is cheaper to be rich. I have a chest freezer as well as my normal upright freezer because I have the space.

Living in a fairly affluent rural area also means that I have access to free pheasant from the shoot, I have a section in my freezer dedicated to animals that rich people have shot that they can't be bothered to eat.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 14:53:35

What I don't understand is how can two or three generations have forgotten/not have been taught to cook?

As I said up thread, most southern countries don't even have Home Education classes - people just learn how to cook because it's a life skill.

You teach your children to cross the road; to get dressed; to tie their shoe laces; to swim (even of you're landlocked)... so why the hell wouldn't you teach them to feed themselves?

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:54:51

I love mackerel, great for the BBQ. kippers is another favourite

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 14:54:55

Trying to get decent fish is a real problem. The worst place is supermarkets. Waitrose has the most limited selection of all considering its clientele w/ money. They stock more brands of Soy sauce and Olive oil than they do fish. The local market has two fish stalls but still limited to the well known species. Squid is cheap yes and My DD regularly buys Octopus from her local Tesco's where the fishmonger has got to know her and texts her when they have anything interesting in.

I went to the coast on bank holiday. I spent a lot of money on not that much fish. I teach clients to buy a small amount of fish and then add it flaked to mashed potato, spring onions all bound w/ egg and old bread turned into crumbs. These will freeze. I can also do a cheap 'fish pie' w/ milk, mashed potato, whatever fish is cheap/reduced and spring onions.

I get clients growing spring onions, onions, garlic and new potatoes in tubs if they have no planting space. We have housing complexes for the MI where they collaborate on growing crops and planting currant bushes with their high freezable yield. But not everybody can do this. And again the outlay on plants/seeds/soil can seem prohibitive for a person w/ £20 weekly for food and all other living expenses.

It is the system. Poverty is exhausting. It drains you of hope. Then somebody like Oliver comes along and sneers at your TV (which is your entertainment and probably purchased when you worked) and makes you feel even more marginalised. As I said, I could weep. And frequently do.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:55:30

I don't agree that people have forgotten to cook, I think we are being overly harsh on ourselves.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 14:55:32

"But batch freezing assumes a freezer, space for one and electricity to run it."

Peachy but you just used Iceland as an example - surely ready made meals and frozen chips don't take less space than meat/frozen veg?

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:56:28

What do people do with squid and octopus?

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 14:56:44

Starfish In Tesco's on Sunday, four baking potatoes cost me £2,20. I'll scan and link the receipt if you like. No need to use such aggressive language.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:57:20

I think there is a difference between having a bag of chips and a few burgers in the freezer and having enough space to systematically bulk cook and freeze in advance.

ExcuseTypos Tue 27-Aug-13 14:57:38

I agree with you Poppy but we have to acknowledge that people haven't learned to cook. So we need to start from that point. Unfortunately supermarkets don't care and will continue to promote manufactured factory food.

So someone needs to do something. It looks like JO is the only one so far who's doing anything on a national basis.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:58:10

I never buy baking potatoes which are labelled up as such, far too expensive - just buy a bag of potatoes and bake the bigger ones.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 14:58:13

Aris we usually eat octopus boiled in its own water, covered in olive oil and garlic with new potatoes and steam veggies. Or roasted in the oven.

We usually make a stew of squid with chorizo and peas, or seafood rice (paella style)

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 14:58:19

And I eat very well. And having taught cooking skills to hundreds of my patients over the years, they try to also. But you are applying your experience to the masses. Subjectivity is what leads to cruel statements like Jamie's.

Arisbottle Tue 27-Aug-13 14:59:29

I do think time is a huge factor, I am lucky enough to have a job which means that one evening a week I am home for 4:30 and I have the weekends and school holidays free to teach my children to cook. Most people do not have that luxury.

Defeatism and excuse making gets my blood boiling, sorry mignon, there's been a lot of it on this thread and I find it very frustrating flowers

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 15:02:02

No they don't; I was simply responding to the idea that a sack of pots is longer lasting and cheaper, whereas Iceland ready meals can be picked up on the way home from work and not stored.

...but not anything helpful.

I don't really get the 'well he's trying' argument. Would you say that if the plumber you'd asked to fix your leak faffed around and just made it worse?

If you are poor and struggling and your issue isn't that you are spunking money on tvs or over priced ready meals, you'd be pretty fucked off to be given advice that doesn't help, wouldn't you?

We have certainly had very tiny budget times and struggled and I would consider myself to be a good cook. Am certainly well educated enough to have calculated the entire calories and nutrition of the month to make sure we were getting enough of everything. I had to top up the calories with cheap biscuits etc because I couldn't bump up the size of meals or portions of veg without going over budget.

If his programme had been on telly then I would have been absolutely raging.

As it is I'm still quite pissed off.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:04:24

The supermarkets fill their shelves w/ crap, enter into deals w/ local councils that favour them and help put small suppliers out of business. They price particular foods cheaply so as to appeal to people who haven't been taught to cook at home or at school and have limited time, money or resources to do so. The price of basic raw ingredients goes up and up whilst public transport, road costs and petrol goes up making travel to local farm shops and delivery to your home more costly. People become disempowered, deskilled and devoid of opportunities to make changes.

Then we blame those who choose to buy the competitively priced less 'wholesome' food stuffs.


PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 15:08:26

Aris almost everyone works full-time in Southern Europe; I'm also pretty sure we have the lowest number of SAHParents in the continent.

Parents arrive home late and cook from scratch and children grow up seeing it and learning it. You don't necessarily give them formal lessons on how to cook a meal. It's just expected you'll learn or starve because there are no ready meals for sale in supermarkets

I agree with the defeatism comment, Starfish.

Surely you can not be convinced that the UK is worse off/works harder/has less resources than most countries?

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:11:24

Star I work w/ people with serious serious Mental health problems who are not defeatist. They cannot work and even if they could, who the hell wants to employ them?They have somebody to help them learn to cook if they are able. But many simply are not but need to eat on the little money they have.

Not everybody is defeatist. Not everybody has the same chances. Yes, I take on board your point that there are some lazy selfish parents who don't bother to feed and clothe their children adequately and they come from all the social classes, believe me. But it is becoming an ugly and acceptable form of benefit bashing when the real criminals (in my eyes) are speculators, multinationals and supermarkets chains who do not give a damn about their customers other than the continued passing over the counter of their £££

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 15:12:04

I don't find defeatism on this thread. People are pointing out that it is simplistic and presumptuous to draw a comparison between the food people eat and the size of their TVs, especially when it's related entirely to poor people.

Not to mention hypocritical if you make most of your money appearing on the telly.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 15:14:58

but not everyone who eats crap food has MH issues, lives too far from a cheap healthy food etc etc.

most people need to help themselves - whatever the rights and wrongs of that situation - because that is their best and only option.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:15:05

Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece have some of the worst unemployment and children there are increasingly leaving home without learning to cook although the two are not necessarily related.

A Spanish exchange teacher told me (with tears in her eyes) that these nations are called PIGS by some people in Germany Portugal, ITaly, Greece and Spain because of their deficits and unemployment. I rather think those Sicilian fishermen have to toil all the hours god sends for a diminishing return....

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 15:19:48

mignonette you actually just reinforced my point - we have some of the worst unemployment figures and on the whole we're still eating healthier meals than your children. What does that say?

As as for your argument, I call straw man.

Nobody has even remotely implied that people with disabilities/mental or physical health problems fit that category.

In fact, I think what most people are reiterating here is that there should be more education around food and nutrition, so you're just arguing alone, really.

It's like saying "I'm sorry but I believe all children should be fed" erm... so do we, so what's your point?

I know it's completely out of fashion to take responsibility for your own life, but that's what we're discussing here; you have 8GPB to spend - do you buy chips from the corner shop or cook a nutritious dinner for your children?

I hear you mignon but that doesn't negate the fact that a lot of people in the UK make poor or ill informed food choices when they could be eating healthily and within a very limited budget. Those who are able, are responsible for their own health and, I believe, have an obligation to themselves, their families and to society to make healthy choices.

There has been a lot of excuse making on this thread as to why JOs suggestions are impractical, and a fair amount of unpleasant finger pointing saying he shouldn't be taking a stand on this because he is personally wealthy. The negativity is depressing.

There are real issues here that JOs comments and book could be a useful platform to raise awareness about but instead there's just a whole lot of bitching.

Yes we need to address the corporate takeover of Britain that has led to the demise of local shops in many areas. Yes we need to help people learn how to cook and create healthy meals from scratch again. Yes food prices are rising and it's not always simple to feed a family. So perhaps we could take more about how to achieve these goals and less about people's personal dislike for one individual.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 15:20:45

"And children there are increasingly leaving home without learning to cook."

No, they are not.

In fact, if anything they're leaving home much later (if at all) these days because they can't afford to.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 15:22:35

mignonette they are termed PIGS but not by Germans. that's your teacher being racist.

its the general economic term for those nations.

as BRIC is for Brazil, Russia, India, China. don't be so anti German.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 15:24:12

True. Weren't they even the PIGSI for a while, when it included Ireland?

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 15:25:00

I think Ireland is still considered a PIG

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 15:25:26

I think Ireland was the I in PIGS before Italy. V dubious claim to fame.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 15:25:49

There's a weird sentence grin

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:31:05

I take plenty of responsibility for my own life and I also work at the sharp end with many people people that some posters would sneer at. Easy to say from the comfort of your home really.

As for eating better, they aren't. Increasing concerns over the amount of young Italians who are rejecting home cooking and eating processed food, the rise of chain restaurants, coffee shops etc, the rise of processed foods in stores and increasing spread of supermarkets in rural areas-just look at France where the traditional breakfast has been replaced in many middle class homes by sweet cereals not sold there fifteen years ago because they are seen as 'cool' and unusual. So Poppy, you are talking idealistica 'let's go to Tuscany and eat lovely simple food' nonsense spouted by so many people who see one side of life even if they live there as expats or immigrants. Your experience is always going to be clouded.

Faster my friend stated that what was once used as a valueless economic term has now crossed over into a term of abuse. She meant no racism, merely reporting what she has read in more scurrilous German media and heard from people there whilst living in Munich teaching.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:33:29

PIGS was used as a term of abuse to her when she told some pupils where she was from. She was very upset by it and as a language teacher weho speaks five languages fluently and also has an business degree (with translation skills) she is well aware of its original meaning. Do not throw racist accusations about.

But mignon you say you work with people with serious mental health problems. Of course this is a group that has challenges that most people don't face and of course they will need support to manage.

I'm not sure if I'm just missing the point of what you're saying but picking out minority groups of any kind that have very specific needs doesn't negate the fact that a great proportion of the British public could make better choices nutritionally than they currently do.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 15:35:54

its nothing to do with Germany. its a general term.

associating it with Germany is the racist bit.

oh the Germans cannot do anything right either. even though half of Europe owes them for not letting their banking system fail.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:40:24

I have also worked w/ people who have serious social problems too not necessarily to do with MI. I also work with plenty of people who are not deemed to have MI per se but other problems of functioning.

As I have already said (and some posters seem to have skated over) I do not deny that there are plenty of people who feed their children rubbish and who are selfish as opposed to impaired by the system.

However these nuances do not come into play when statements like JO's are discussed in the media. Everybody gets tarnished w/ the same brush and these celebs just do not learn to measure what they say. The same old stereotypes get trotted out and nothing actually changes then because of course 'these people' get what they 'deserve' regardless of the broken, ugly and conditioning of our social system.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:44:31

Faster Oh my Dear God will you listen to what I am saying. It was German media that this was written in and German teenagers who said it and laughed at her, not Icelandic or Irish or Polynesian. My Brother lives in Germany. My nieces are German. She did not say all Germans do it. said it has been written in the German media. My Brother confirms he has seen it too when I asked him.

Good on the Germans for doing well. I visit Germany all the time (My niece was born w/ severe brain damage there two months ago) to visit family there. I empathise with the understandable resentment they feel at baling other nations out.

Don't be so knee jerk w/ the accusations of racism because you diminish the very real racism that exists here, there and everywhere.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 15:48:55

mignonette - the term is used widely in the UK media. surely you know this?

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:49:36


A Spanish exchange teacher told me (with tears in her eyes) that these nations are called PIGS by some people in Germany

My original post ^^.

Racism would be saying that some people=all people in Germany. There is nothing racist in my post and I take Great offence at you suggesting there is. Great offence.

twistyfeet Tue 27-Aug-13 15:49:46

If JO is so interested in getting us all to cook on healthy diets etc, how come his range of food is uber expensive? Completely out of the budget of the average family? huh? huh?

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 15:52:11

mignon - take offense if you like.

but PIGS is used by many people worldwide.
so why are you talking about Germans?

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 15:53:12

and its nothing to do with pigs.

as in BRIC is nothing to do with brick or anything else.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:53:35


You really are not listening are you? I said 'Some People'. I also said that the original term had been distorted by her students and some elements of the media as a term of abuse. These people were in her classroom in the country of Germany. Hence the use of 'Some People In Germany'

She is not exposed to the British media at the moment but I will advise her that whenever she is abused in the future, she must google the term to check where else in the World said abuse is actively being used so as to be certain of not being accused of racism by an overreacting person who does not properly read what a MNer has written.


Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 15:55:54

There is so much 'stop sneering at people' on this thread.
I actually have seen very little!
I think pretty much everyone knows it is harder for some than others, not everything will be possible for all people, the causes and results of poverty and lack of education are complex, etc.

But how else is anything going to change if advice and ideas aren't targeted at the people they involve?

Nobody in power gives a shiny shit that people are going hungry, in fact they love it right now because it makes their core voters feel virtuous about themselves. Every institution we have is corrupt or incapable.

All we have is ourselves. I think JO is going about this the wrong way, and I'm saddened that he will make money from what should be being handed down with pride. But honestly: this is where we are at. People on telly meaning well and getting it wrong. I think we as a population need to wake up and take what we can get right now.

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask people to question their own choices. As far as store cupboard 'layout' goes - well things last a long time so in theory you should only need to buy one thing a week for a few weeks to have a good stock. The poor maligned capers are less than £2 for a jar. Olives are less than £1 per jar. You can't really argue that you can't afford that level of outlay if you are also spending blocks of cash on things that are nice to have - which is Jamie's point I think. Bottom line is sometime people make bad choices out of laziness, ignorance and stubborness grin Doesn't really help those people if we all adopt a 'whatever goes' attitude.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 15:56:21

Yes we need to address the corporate takeover of Britain that has led to the demise of local shops in many areas.

this is a very good point. when Tesco claim to be creating jobs, they are just switching the jobs from the smaller shops that will inevitable close or reduce costs.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:56:58

Christ you really are not comprehending a perfectly simple explanation are you Faster? PIGS= acronym used worldwide. PIGS= acronym used in an abusive manner to insult a Spanish teacher who happens to be from one of the PIGS nations. PIGS as an acronym also translates to PIG the animal perceived erroneously as being inferior/unclean whatever. If another country uses this acronym perjoratively then she wouldn't be aware of that because she was not living in that country. Nor did he/she ever say all Germans

Can't argue with stupid. Why am I bothering to flog this dead horse?

A slight aside but HoneyDragon has started this excellent thread for cheap, fast and good recipes. Really worth a look in the context of this discussion.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 15:59:14

And I suppose now that somebody will come on here w/ hysterical accusations of animal abuse after my dead horse comment.


ouryve Tue 27-Aug-13 16:00:59

Twistyfeet - you'd have a point if his range of foods was all healthy. Have you seen the amount of salt in his jarred pasta sauces? I normally have no problem with a good quality jarred sauce, but the M&S one I buy is half the price for half as much again and has near enough half as much salt per 100g. His bacon is nice, but it's hardly aimed at the value market. I consider it to be expensive and I usually buy the sainsburys taste the difference or the M&S outdoor reared equivalent. I can get 2 packs of those, on offer, for not much more than one of his. If I'm going to pay those prices for bacon, it'll be for the really delicious stuff from a nearby organic farm. (And if we weren't so comfortably off, I'd not be paying those prices in a million years - I'd be buying bacon bits. Reluctantly and infrequently, just to add flavour and protein to otherwise meatless meals. But I'm not his target audience)

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 27-Aug-13 16:02:52

mignonette your comment regarding the dead horse was offensive and racist... Are you insinuating the horse deserved to die? grin

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 16:04:27

Princess grin grin grin

JohFlow Tue 27-Aug-13 16:05:34

I didn't have any issue with providing my child with a healthy menu before Mr Oliver and I don't have now.

Yes he is live -changing lol

sheridand Tue 27-Aug-13 16:06:34

Not read all the thread.

He's got the sort of liver lips that stick to windows and make me go Bleyrgh.

That aside, he's very smug. When I was at home looking after my kids, I had a valuable commodity: time. I was able to push them in the buggy to the cheap market stalls, and buy cheap cuts of meat, and spend all day stewing them slowly. I prepared everything cheaply, and yes, healthily. This summer holiday i've done the same, as I am lucky enough to work term-time only. I'm able to pop to the butchers. Today we got a load of pork, lovely carb free sausgaes and veg enough for 3 meals for £6.75.

HOWEVER: during term time, the nearest supermarket is miles away, the local shops shut before I can get to them, and I shop at the weekends for the rest of the week. This means that the veg isn't the freshest by the end of the week, and I have to plan everything like mad to get a decent meal out. Plus, I have to do it all within milliseconds of getting the very hungry kids home after school and work. So, yes, we do fall back on canned food, what my kids call "square fish" in those packets of sauce, and fishfingers. I don't make my own bloody flapjacks anymore either. So what? Joolz, Jools or whatever you spell it as has planty of dosh and time, lots of women don't. Working mums, shift working mums, working dads, carers, people with a ton of kids who all eat at different times, whatever, sometimes a couple of days of fishfingers and waffles IS OK. END OF.

I can spend ages making a macaroni cheese to my traditional familial recipe with loads of veg and pepperoni in, but the kids will always, always, prefer it out of a can. And sometimes, it's better for me to plonk that on a plate with some square fish and frozen peas and sweetcorn, and actually spend the times I would have spent cooking, with the kids instead. So there, Liver Lips.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 16:09:24

Yes Oury. Sell bottled packaged crap to the masses and then slag them off for it. What an honourable business plan. Kind of trashes any credibility really.

yellowballoons Tue 27-Aug-13 16:12:40

I think that his problem is like a lot of celebrities.
Once they have gone a long way from their roots, their perspectives get out of kilter, and they rarely find their way back again.

A shame really.
I think his heart was originally in the right place.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 16:13:49

Maybe he could collaborate w/ Gwyneth Paltrow? After all he did go to her house to teach her how to cook his Duck Ragu.

She's got her feet on the ground too, that one.

fromparistoberlin Tue 27-Aug-13 16:16:02

"Yes we need to address the corporate takeover of Britain that has led to the demise of local shops in many areas."

what has that got to do with anything? Tesco sell carrots!

fromparis it was in response to comments upthread that there are many areas where people cannot walk to a decent shop to buy healthy food cheaply, leading to them buying £1 ready meals from a crapshop/Iceland.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 16:23:19

mignonette reread what you said and what I said.

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 16:29:14

'I know it's completely out of fashion to take responsibility for your own life,'

Wow. It wouldn't matter what else you said in any post, I could never get past that awful comment!

I am a Carer, which does mean that in term time I can shop around more and make from scratch. It is a blessing. My Mum was a SAHM and used to go to one shop for one thing, another for another: time is such a valuable commodity. And a wider social network- I recall the bank losing all our money (in the seventies) and whilst it was sorted we lived on spuds from the garden and eggs from my Uncle. Jam made from rosehips from the garden.

So I am blessed to have grown up able to do that but many people didn't have parents who can cook (actually Mum can't, Dad however is fantastic), but criticising people who never learned themselves for not passing it down to THEIR kids seems a bit silly.

NL- I get that but it implies a static picture: someone with very little cash this week might simply have a late pay packet, or with a big TV bought it second hand or before they lost their job. It just perpetuates silly stereotypes.

Whilst the ones who really DO need his help can't afford his books anyhow.
And possibly can't even read (not uncommon on the estate I was raised on).

Peachy Tue 27-Aug-13 16:31:22

FromParis yes they do- but lots of places don't have a Tesco, or any supermarket within walking distance.

Which I assume is the point.

If I had to walk to Tesco here (our nearest supermarket) I'd be looking at a 6 mile return journey along a road so dangerous there are actually gravestones alongside it to honour people who died in accidents, dragging 4 kids 3 of whom have special needs.

Now I have a car and internet but if I didn't I bet i'd end up relying on the Spar. Which is not even a decent Spar.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 16:31:34

"So Poppy, you are talking idealistica 'let's go to Tuscany and eat lovely simple food' nonsense spouted by so many people who see one side of life even if they live there as expats or immigrants. Your experience is always going to be clouded."

Erm... I'm a native, not an expat or immigrant so if anyone is lacking local knowledge is you not me. <shrugs>

I also think there's no need to insult people; calling Faster "stupid" doesn't warm me to your arguments quite frankly.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 16:31:35

You made a ridiculous accusation of racism Faster . As I said, I can't argue anymore w/ stupid. Let it stand.

Darkesteyes Tue 27-Aug-13 16:34:17

Only just spotted this thread. Was tweeting about this last night. Oliver is a classist ignorant fuckwit.
Heres his take on young people.

Ive also seen a FAB blog post about his latest bigotry.

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 16:35:33

Peachy in the interest of fairness, here's my comment in context:

I know it's completely out of fashion to take responsibility for your own life, but that's what we're discussing here; you have 8GPB to spend - do you buy chips from the corner shop or cook a nutritious dinner for your children?

As someone said upthread, why is it wrong to ask people to question their choices? Or more importantly the choices they're making on behalf of their children, who don't have a choice themselves?

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 16:35:49

Poppy Then you clearly have no idea about the changing demographics of your own country if you are unaware of the very clear change in how the young eat (and the fact that again, working Mothers have been implicated in it).

And having to continually explain something to somebody who has made ridiculous accusations of racism? Well I do wonder...

As to whether you warm to my argument or not.....Read up on your country's impending social/culinary crisis....What happened here, happened in France and is starting to impact in Italy, Greece.....Can't argue with the uninformed either.

Darkesteyes Tue 27-Aug-13 16:36:42

Heres the brilliant blog post i mentioned above.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 16:44:54

mignonette read what I said, not what you are thinking I said. it was not you I called racist.

limitedperiodonly Tue 27-Aug-13 16:44:55

My only problem with that blog darkesteyes is that the picture is far too flattering.

Although it does look like he has no upper teeth and his lower ones could do with a brush, so it's not all bad grin

PoppyAmex Tue 27-Aug-13 16:45:11

"As to whether you warm to my argument or not.....Read up on your country's impending social/culinary crisis....What happened here, happened in France and is starting to impact in Italy, Greece.....Can't argue with the uninformed either."

There's a culinary crisis in my country because under 30's started eating cereal for breakfast? Fuck me!

As for "uninformed", it's rich coming from someone who clearly has never read a page of the FT and doesn't even have a clue about terms widely used in economics.

But anyway, I don't want to engage in this type of debate, so we'll just agree to disagree mignon

On a separate note, I think the UK has amazing raw ingredients and it's a shame they too are becoming so expensive. I had never tried rhubarb before moving here and it blew my mind.

How can bananas be cheaper?

twistyfeet Tue 27-Aug-13 16:45:57

very good blog and very good point about the DLA. The criteria is that you struggle to cook a meal. You cannot chop food when you have arthritis or quadriplegia or Parkinsons or are very elderly or have any other of a myriad conditions. So you turn to cheap ready meals. And Jamie Oliver sneers at you. Perhaps he'd like to come over and either cook or care for the disabled relative?

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 16:48:48

"The balance sheets of many Italians are negative. In 2012, the purchasing power of families dropped by 4.8 per cent and the savings ratio is now of only 8.2 per cent. This happened because of the economic crisis, which is considerably affecting consumption. Canned and frozen foods are more popular, whereas people buy less fruit and vegetables. This is what the Cia (Italian Farmer Confederation) reported after seeing the data published on 9th April by Istat.

While the available income is lower, Italians have to pay higher taxes, meaning that more than half of the families (53%) struggle to pay compulsory expenditures ranging from petrol to services on top of mortgage and rent.

But the most dramatic effect of the situation regards food, with drastic changes in grocery shopping. 28% of Italians (6.5 million) shops exclusively in discount stores and 34% (7.4 million) buys lower quality food because it is cheaper.

In addition to this, canned and frozen food are getting more popular as well as junk food (+7% in a year), at the expense of the fresh produce typical of the Mediterranean diet: in fact, in 2012, 41.4% of families admitted to reducing the consumption of fruit and vegetables and 38.5% reduced that of meat and fish"

Sorry for C+Ping but am currently sweating down onions (!) and time pressed.

Access to food variety in Italy and effects of fast food/bakery upon BMI plus negative effects upon BMI of household income. Interestingly it appears that it is middle income families who have rising BMI's because of fast food being promoted as a 'luxury'. This tallies w/ the local owner of our language school who says that ten years ago her mainland Euro students were often desperate to visit fastfood chains whereas these days they are common in their countries and so do not see them as a priority experience.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 16:49:56

really? does Jamie Oliver sneer at people physically unable to cook?

link? or are you just making it up?

A lot of supermarket apples come from New Zealand. Pretty much as far away as Britain as you can possibly get!

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 16:51:55

Poppy <<<<^sigh^>>>>

I made it quite clear that what is an economic term is now being used perjoratively as well. That is the beauty and horror of language- it gets distorted and played with to good and bad effect.

Clearly it is the silly season because you willfully appear to be ignoring those posts of mine.

But we'll have to disagree because my onions are burning grin

That doesn't explain why if you choose to buy British produce you are often charged a premium. Completely counter productive.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 16:58:09


The central control of price and distribution of goods which amounts essentially to an informal 'cartel' has an effect. I was appalled to read of the effects of the large Multinationals in the USA and their lobbying power upon smaller privately owned banana plantations.

Any law that benefits their trading in a fair, equitable market is lobbied out of existence by powerful corporations such as Del Monte. That is why I try to be careful about where and whose bananas I buy, a luxury I know is not available to those on lower incomes who have to buy less expensive bananas.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 17:02:44

mignonette Any law that benefits their trading in a fair, equitable market is lobbied out of existence by powerful corporations such as Del Monte

so why can I buy smaller producer fair trade bananas?

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 17:03:17

What is also interesting is the way that apple breeding has been impacted by the increasing demand for them in China and Japan. The aesthetics of an apple comes into play hence varieties such as Pink Lady gain in popularity worldwide because of not just looks but reliability in ripening and uniformity. A great article on this is authored by Gina Mallet and is called "As Asian As Apple Crumble" from 'Last Chance To Eat: The fate of taste in a fast world' 2004.

I found it in the anthology 'Best Food Writing' edited by Holly Hughes.

twistyfeet Tue 27-Aug-13 17:04:15

'does Jamie Oliver sneer at people physically unable to cook?'

His diatrebe tars everyone with the same brush without understanding that many of the poor are also elderly and/or disabled and struggle with cooking for physical reasons. He doesnt explore why people arent cooking and seems to blame buying plasma screen TV's and deliberate laziness. Now its possible it's the article and perhaps he sits at home hand-wringing over the plight of those genuinely unable to cook and the food deserts created by giant out of town supermarkets that the poor/disabled and elderly cant get too but I dont reckon so.
But if thats the case then I will apologise to Mr Oliver personally.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 17:07:22

You can buy them but they have a constant struggle to exist against the powerful vested interests of multinationals. Fairtrade is an umbrella set up to, in part protect small growers so they can benefit from a fair price, not having to use unsafe chemicals etc, actual intimidation in some cases, sell their goods with some sense of security and develop new markets. It is kind of the 'Good witch' trading organisation to the 'bad witch' of global markets (their negative effects). There is plenty of information on this out there.

ZenGardener Tue 27-Aug-13 17:09:20

By the way, I have seen Jamie Oliver's programs on TV and while some of it looks nice I have never been tempted to make anything.

I have a friend who is very into "Country Living" and is quite happy to spend 80 pounds on wool to knit a jumper that she will never wear, keeps some fashionable breed of chicken which never lays eggs and grows all sorts of exotic veg on her allotment that she never bothers to eat. She will happily spend loads of money on ingredients to prepare a Jamie Oliver meal to impress her friends with at the weekend.

However I haven't read his new book so perhaps it is full of cheap, easy recipes that don't have hard-to-find, expensive ingredients and my kids will actually eat. Perhaps it won't cost 25 pounds to buy? Perhaps that's the point? Otherwise what is the point in him doing it?

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 17:10:26

What I should have said was "any law that benefits individual and small company growers/traders is swiftly lobbied against by the large multinational corporations". Fact is, they are very powerful and a lot of the accounts of what happens make terrible reading.

This is why I love food journalism and have started my own oral history research into how people maintain their culinary traditions when they migrate to the UK. Early days yet but it fascinates me.

FasterStronger Tue 27-Aug-13 17:15:34

however fairtrade banana sales grow every year so del monte at al are not all powerful.

shebird Tue 27-Aug-13 17:17:00

Jamie seems to imply that this book/tv show is aimed at those who live on ready meals and don't or can't afford cook from scratch. Well if they can't afford to cook then they can't afford his book and will they bother to watch the show if they don't like cooking anyhow. I think the reality is that it will be watched by Jamie fans who already cook for their families and are feeling the pinch or those looking for new ideas. I wish he was just honest about this rather than implying that he's trying to save the world.

MrsDeVere Tue 27-Aug-13 17:18:28

I used to be poor. It was horrible
I managed to feed my kids ok because I grew up in a family that cooked and very rarely ate take aways.
Because there weren't many take aways.
Even in London.
You didn't walk down the street eating because the only place to buy hot food was the chippy and that wasn't open all day. Just at tea time.

As a kid, if I had money,the last thing I would spend it on was food!

It was still hard later on. Quality food was really expensive. In the early 90's food prices were on a par with now. Bread had gone up to over a quid a loaf.
Then Safeways Savers arrived and I could buy fresh OJ and beans for 9p. I could have cried.
I often went without food back then.

I have a lovely kitchen, fridge, two freezers, lots of pots and pans and a care that will get me to a 24hr supermarket in minutes.

That awful dread of not being able to feed my family has never left me though. My cupboards are stocked to the brim. Just in case.

I am down at my 'van at the moment. It's a slight reminder of how bloody annoying it is trying to feed a family with no freezer, a crap cooker and a shop that only sells expensive junk.

But I get to go home.

MrsDeVere Tue 27-Aug-13 17:22:31

I used to have a book 'feed your family on £1 a day' does anyone remember that? It was by a west Indian mum. This would have been waaaaaaay before being frugal was a bit of jolly fun and a challenge undertaken by those trying to sell a lifestyle.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 17:24:23

Faster I think you might need to read up a little on Del Monte and similar organisations and their influence over Washington.

Then read up on Fair Trade and their total sales. Plus also a lot of Fairtrade comes from non Caribbean sources and Del Monte has its power base in the Caribbean.

Seriously, just because Fair Trade are doing well doesn't mean that 1) multinationals are becoming less powerful and 2) that they aren't having to fight a rearguard action all the time.

Fairtrade will provide you with plenty of information about the activities of multinationals upon the fruit and nut trade.

We are becoming better informed about what we buy. That is where Fair Trade have been particularly effective.

twistyfeet Tue 27-Aug-13 17:27:54

I still have that book MrsDeVere. Its a bit out of date now!

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 17:30:50

Also of interest is the powerful meat industry lobbyists-slaughterhouse owners, ranchers, processors who have an enormous influence upon the way meat is farmed, sold and protected by laws 'paid for' by powerful industrial moguls.

Fast Food Nation was the first to mainstream explore this.

I think my mum was telling me about that book MrsDV. She said it was written ages ago but all the stuff in it about how and why it's hard to be healthy when you are poor is still true now.

Mignonette - I'm an immigrant