Haiti: the aid army marches on its stomach

families receiving aid and food in Haiti

Children leave the Muncheez restaurant in Port-au-Prince. The restaurant owners have been giving out free meals to children in the camps for homeless earthquake survivors.

19th March 2010

In stricken Haiti, food is key not just to survival, but also to the morale of the aid workers and the displaced

Lunch was patés, which look a bit like Cornish pasties that someone has stamped on. But the children were very excited. Most of them had had nothing but bread or the United Nations high-energy biscuits to eat that day. The cook, 19-year-old Valencia Desiluz, was frying them in hot oil, for anyone with 5 Haitian gourdes (about 10p) to spend.

When my turn came I had a nervous bite: the crunchy pastry was good, but it opened up a Worcester sauce reek of dried fish and onion . This was a little bit further than my stomach was prepared to go on a first date with Haitian disaster camp food. So I gave the rest of the paté to two small boys — Stanley and Dieudonné — who thanked me politely and ate it before we’d finished exchanging names.

Read the rest of this article at Times Online.

Word of Mouth: Britain’s first milk factory

2nd March 2010 The Guardian Online

cows in a cowshed

Photograph: Rex Features

Is the plan to open an industrial feed-lot in Lincolnshire another unavoidable nail in the coffin of the British dairy industry?

The move by a group of English farmers to open the UK’s first American-style industrial dairy feed-lot – where 8,100 cows will be fed on maize and Lucerne, a form of alfalfa – was desperately predictable. The evidence has been mounting – for the want of a couple of pence on a litre of milk, we’ve destroyed our traditional, and highly efficient, dairy industry.

Britain has had a dairy industry based on cows fed on grass and kept for most of the year in fields, for millennia. You may have noticed – much of our countryside was shaped by it. It worked. It employed lots of people, and provided cheap protein and fats to the entire population.

Read the rest here via Guardian Online