New Out-of Date Food Bumpy Label Trial

date label

Currently in the UK, foods are sold with ‘display until’ and ‘best before end’ labels. These are intended to advise consumers about when foods are no longer safe to eat. However, this system is not without fault. First, if foods are stored incorrectly, they may be unsafe to eat before the specified date. Second, many people rely on the dates provided on the labels and throw food away that is perfectly safe. This results in a lot of food wastage in the UK. There are now new plans to trail an entirely different system.

A high-tech food label has been designed that turns bumpy if a food is no longer safe to eat. Dairy products company Arla is trialling this new label. Their cheese, cream, and milk will have this new label to help consumers to definitively know if food is no longer safe.

The labels contain a gelatine-based gel that reacts to the temperature outside and the packaged food. The conditions cause a molecular breakdown and the labels are designed to deteriorate at the same rate as the food.  

The main aim of these labels is to prevent waste. The current labelling system errs on the side of caution and the new labels will provide a more accurate date for which the products are no longer safe. The new label is being backed by food waste campaigners as an effective solution to this problem.



Unnecessary Kitchen Gadgets


Recently, I realized the number of completely unnecessary kitchen gadget there are available. This realization came to me as I was wandering down the seasonal offers aisle in Aldi and I spotted an omelette maker and genuinely couldn’t think of the benefit of owning one of these gadgets.

I am a big fan of buying things that make your life easier, save you time or improve a particular aspect of cooking. I mean, who can imagine life without a food processor? Even items that only come out of the cupboard once in a while have their advantages. For example, I don’t use my pasta maker often, but when I do, the pasta I make is definitely thinner and evener.

My issue with the omelette maker is that I can see absolutely no advantage to owning one. Omelettes are something that I probably cook about once a month, so the rest of the time it would sit gathering dust on a shelf or take up space in a cupboard.

This is one of the simplest and quickest meals you can make so I cannot imagine why anyone would need this gadget in their lives. You still need to create the omelette mixture, so it is saving no time or effort at all.

I have similar feelings of frustration towards egg slicer. How often do you want to slice a hard-boiled egg and how difficult of a task is this anyway? Another item on my list is electric can openers, although these are fantastic for people who struggle to use their hands, Beyond gadgets, I have equal levels of irritation about pre-sliced mushrooms. Why pay more to save one minute of time? 

Is this just me or do other people not see the use of these things?

Empty Shelves and Shocking Behaviour in Supermarkets Following Bad Weather

empty shleves 2

During the snow storms of the past week, people have flocked to the supermarkets to panic buy in preparation for the bad weather. This has left many supermarkets with empty shelves. In turn, this has led to some shocking behaviour from customers in supermarkets.

There have been multiple reports of people complaining about the lack of food available and becoming abusive with members of staff. In some cases, the frustrations of shoppers have led to them fighting with other customers over the few remaining items on the shelves.

A local Plymouth newspaper reported that there were ‘apocalyptic’scenes in some stores as the customers took out their anger and frustrations on each other. This is a situation reflected right across the country. The stores have spent the weekend trying to restock their shelves for the week ahead. 

This news is not all that surprising as there are similar situations whenever the Brits experience a short spell of bad weather. There are countries across the globe that experience extreme weather on a regular basis and their residents barely raise an eyelid. In the UK, there is mass panic if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

It seems rather shocking that a few days of snow can bring out the worst in people’s personalities and lead to such appalling behaviour towards each other and the hardworking staff at the supermarkets.

Using Local Lancashire Ingredients

fruit and veg

I am a big believer in using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. It is something that I try to do at home and is also something I look for when I am eating out at a restaurant. Not only does buying local ingredients support local businesses, the quality of the produce is so much better than buying processed and manufactured alternatives. The meats are fresher and the fruit and vegetables are in season and taste so much better.

lancs map

I am lucky in terms of the location where I live. I live in a semi-rural village in Lancashire, just across from the coastal towns of Fleetwood and Morecambe and at a mid-point between Blackpool and Lancaster. This means my village is surrounded on one side by the sea and on the other side by farmland. Both are fantastic sources of delicious ingredients.

The coastal location means there is a fresh supply of fish and seafood available and I usually shop at a seafood shop on the docks at Fleetwood.

Two of the best cheese manufacturers in the company are located within driving distance of my home; Dewlay and Butler’s. They both produce delicious ranges of cheese from their farm factories. These are sold directly from their own shops, local farm shops and many other retailers locally. My personal favourite is Lancashire crumbly.

Pork, beef, chicken and lamb are all available from local sources and sold in local butchers. There is also one of the biggest game hatcheries in the country, Hi-Fly, just one mile from my house and there are even ostrich farms in the surrounding area. 

The area in which I live is fantastic for anyone who enjoys farmers markets as these are held regularly in many locations in the local area. Not only are these a good place to buy the produce that is raised and grown locally, it is also a great place to sample foods created using locally sourced produce. This includes everything from pies to chutneys. Similarly, there are amazing farm shops in Lancashire and there are events that cater to food lovers throughout the year.



Cooking Tips for Students on a Budget


When people leave home to become a student, it is the start of a new chapter of their lives. Along with the freedom and independence come additional responsibilities which require the development of new life skills. Two such skills are cooking and budgeting. The majority of students will have limited funds and will need to cover bills in their new accommodation as well as making sure they eat a healthy and nutritious diet. To achieve this on such limited funds can be tricky, but it is manageable with a little thought and planning into shopping and the preparation of food. Here are some ideas of some staple foods that every student should buy and some ideas for student meals on a budget.


These are a much cheaper source of protein than meat. They can be used to make vegetarian alternatives to meals or to bulk up a meal if only a small amount of meat can be afforded. Chilli con Carne is one such meal where meat can be entirely replaced, or kidney beans and haricot (or baked) beans can be used to bulk up the meal using only a small amount of minced meat.  Beans on toast are also a really quick snack or meal to eat that is cheap and packed with nutrients. Opt for tins with low salt and sugar content.


Rice is usually really cheap to buy and you can buy it in large bags to store for long periods of time, thus avoiding wasting money and food. You can use rice as a side dish to accompany another item, such as a curry, or to create a dish on its own. Adding spices, small amounts of meat or fish and as many vegetables as you like are quick, easy, cheap and tasty ways to use rice. Rice is also an ingredient that you can experiment with a little as it will absorb the flavors of the other ingredients with which it is served.


Similarly, pasta is inexpensive and you can but it in large quantities that store for long periods of time. There are countless ways of serving pasta.  One really easy and cheap option is to simply add a tomato sauce to the pasta.  You can do this either by using a jar of pasta sauce or making a homemade sauce using fresh tomatoes and some herbs. A simple ratatouille added to the pasta is another option for a cheap, tasty and nutritious dish. There are many variations of this but frying courgette, tomatoes and peppers together is really easy even for an amateur cook. Other options with pasta include tuna pasta bake, pasta carbonara (adding cheese, ham and mushrooms) or spaghetti bolognese. 


Finally, the best advice that can be given to a student is to experiment with the food you create. Buy lots of things that store well and try out different combinations of ingredients together. Keep a stock of dried herbs and spices in the cupboard so you can get experimental with flavours in your cooking.

FOOD NEWS: Global Hummus Crisis


Sad news for fans of hummus as it has recently been declared that there is a global shortage of this product. Millions of people internationally enjoy eating hummus as either a dip, a filling or an accompaniment, but they are now facing disappointment when they visit the store.

The space that is usually filled with hummus is now left bare as shopkeepers are struggling to get hold of this popular Middle Eastern dip to meet the demands of consumers. So, what has caused hummus to suddenly become unavailable?

The answer to this is easy- there are simply not enough chickpeas. The main areas that produce chickpeas have suffered from poor crops over the last 12 months and this has led to a shortage in the availability of the product.

This, in turn, has had a knock-on effect on the prices that consumers pay. As there are not enough chickpeas to meet demands, the cost of buying this product has been driven up and companies that make hummus are paying through the nose. This has led to them passing on the additional cost to consumers by hiking up the prices.

Fans of hummus can only hope that chickpea costs are better this year and there favourite Middle Eastern dip is back on the shelves soon.



Hot to Get Kids Eating Vegetables

veg stall

Vegetables are an essential part of a varied, healthy and balanced diet.  It is important that your child eats vegetables daily so that they remain healthy and develop normally.  One of the biggest challenges parents face is getting their children to eat vegetables. This is sometimes because they don’t like the taste, texture, or color and occasionally because they have choked on a particular food when they were younger and this has developed into a phobia.  Here are some tips on how you can get your children to eat vegetables.

Start As You Mean To Go On

It is important to introduce a wide range of vegetables from the start.  This can be done even in the early stages of weaning your child as vegetables are ideal for mashing pureeing.  They are also fantastic finger foods when your child moves to the next stage.

Set an Example

Children mimic their parent’s behaviour  If they see you eating a variety of vegetables daily, then they will see this as being the norm and follow your lead.  If they only see you eating junk food, then vegetables will become an alien concept that they be unwilling to eat. 

Make It Fun and Involve Them

Making mealtimes and the food that is served can help the meal to seem more appealing.  One way of doing this is to turn the food into pictures.  For example, top a pizza with cherry tomatoes and slices of pepper arranged into the design of a face.  Children also like to be involved in the cooking process and if they have made the food their selves or helped to prepare it, it can make the vegetables served more appealing.

Grow Your Own

Seeing the whole process of the creation of vegetables, from seed to serving on a plate, can make the food seem interesting. If they get involved in this process, they will feel pride in what they have achieved.  It is also a great way to educate children about how plants grow and the sources of different food types.

Disguise the Vegetables

If you are really struggling to get your child to eat vegetables and want them to benefit from the nutrients, then you can disguise the vegetables.  One way is to dice them up very finely in foods like casseroles, chilli con carne or spaghetti bolognese.  Soups are also a great way to disguise the vegetable content as they are usually pureed.  Similarly, making homemade pasta sauces with ingredients such as tomatoes, peppers and onions is a good way of disguising what their meal contains.