Have you been wondering why your favourite fruits and vegetables have been disappearing off the supermarket shelves or been seeing advertisements for the Great British Bake Off the Musical and want to find out more? This roundup covers the four biggest news stories and events in the world of food this week.
UK vegetable shortage
As I entered Market Square Tesco today I discovered to my dismay that there is currently a shortage of some vegetables in the United Kingdom. In particular, my favourite vegetable (which is actually a fruit) the tomato was completely out of stock and the store was limiting each customer to three packs. This shortage has affected the sale of cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce among other vegetables. Stores across the country such as Lidl, Aldi, Tesco and Asda have all placed measures to limit the number of these products that each customer is permitted to buy. According to the former environment secretary George Eustice, these shortages may last up to four weeks. Mr Eustice blames the shortage on a variety of factors including the heatwave and drought last year and the current spike in energy prices due to the Ukrainian war. However, others are more critical and believe the fault lies with the government which should be doing more. This includes Ms Miers, the boss of the restaurant Wahaca, who thinks the food production in the country is ‘completely broken’ and that the problems will deteriorate over time. She believes the solution to food shortages is a move to regenerative farming which is a technique that involves avoiding using chemicals on the soil, keeping it covered and maintaining a variety of crops on the land. You can find more about the technique of regenerative farming here.
The Great British Bake Off the Musical hits the West End
On a more exciting note, the musical that is inspired by the TV show The Great British Bake Off has reached the West End this week after a sold-out run in Cheltenham. The show is being performed from the 25th of February until the 13th of May 2023 in the Nöel Coward Theatre which previously saw Dear Evan Hansen take to its stage. The production imagines a fictional season of the popular Channel 4 series judged by Phil Hollinghurst and Pam Lee who represent Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. Commenting on the musical, Paul Hollywood has given it two of his Hollywood handshakes which fans will recognise as a sign of his highest appraisal of the musical. The show appears to be filled with tongue-in-cheek humour and references to Bake Off with a plot centred on a romance between two contestants and has been rated three out of five stars by The Guardian. Tickets for the musical start at £17.75 and can be found here.
Fairtrade Fortnight returns from the 27th of February to the 12th of March
Fairtrade Fortnight is a two-week campaign by Fairtrade which seeks to support farmers and workers to improve the conditions they work in and protect their surrounding environment. In 2023, the campaign seeks to spread the message that no matter where you shop if you choose to buy fairtrade products you are supporting farmers around the world. The focus is on how climate change is affecting agriculture such as bananas, cocoa and coffee which may not survive if we do not support farmers with change. Durham University Greenspace is hosting a series of events that you can get involved in if you want to support the cause. These include a coffee morning, a virtual talk and a fairtrade bake sale. You can find more details about the events here.
A new way to store potatoes?
In other news, experts have discovered that potatoes can be stored in the fridge after previously thinking that this could cause cancer. It was believed that storing potatoes in the fridge could cause the development of extra sugars which then would turn into acrylamide which is a carcinogen for humans. Now it has been suggested that storing potatoes in the fridge may even cause them to stay fresh for longer.