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a place for talking about food, specially Kurdish food recipes

Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat May 22, 2021 10:00 am

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1316

All Olive Bread Is Good—But This One Is Great

Castelvetrano olives are named after an eponymous town in Sicily, where they’re grown both for pressing into olive oil and simply for snacking. Unlike the typical green olive you’d find in a salad or entrée, Castelvetranos’ mild flavor comes from being harvested at a younger stage, and because they’re typically packed in a brine that has less salt than other jarred olives. The flavor of these bright green gems leans subtly sweet and buttery, with a mellow tang. When compared to the ubiquitous little green olive in a can, the Castelvetrano is larger and substantially meatier, meaning it truly is an olive you can sink your teeth into

All of these attributes make for an olive that is simply perfect for baking bread. The reduced salt content means less interference with your intended flavor profile (much like a baker who prefers to use unsalted butter so the salt content is completely under their control) and the thick, meaty olive flesh makes for a dramatic presentation in the loaf’s cross sections—and a substantial bite with every slice of bread.
How many olives should I add to the dough?

I find adding a proportion of olives somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of the total flour to be a good starting point: Any lower and you end up with a loaf that lacks enough olive punch—a bread with olives as opposed to an olive bread. If you go the other direction, a higher than 30 percent olive-to-flour ratio starts to impact the dough’s structure and eating experience, resulting in a loaf that has less height and an overpoweringly olivey flavor.

Through several rounds of test-baking, I found 24 percent Castelvetranos to total flour weight to be just right. The flavor of the olives permeates the entire loaf even if you don’t catch a bite of the fruit. But when you do snag a piece of olive, and this happens often, the flavor is exuberant and rich, lighting up your palate.

If you can’t find Castelvetrano olives, swap them out for any pitted green olive you enjoy eating all on their own. Chances are, if you like them as a snacking olive, they’ll also be wonderful in a loaf of sourdough bread.
How do I prepare olives for baking?

Olives are typically jarred or canned in a brine, which tends to be rather salty (great for a snack plate and martinis, not so great for bread), so it’s best to thoroughly rinse the olives a few hours before you want to add them to your dough to remove the brine and excessive salt, then leave them out to dry on a layer or two of paper or kitchen towels to help wick away even more moisture.

After the olives are rinsed and totally dry, if they still contain their pits, it’s necessary to remove them. I find it’s easiest to use the side of a wide-bladed knife to smash the olive on a cutting board. Smashing splits the fruit open and exposes the pit, which can then easily be removed and discarded. While pitting olives is a bit of work, I actually prefer starting with olives that still have their pits, as I find the flavor is more intense than their pitted brethren. Additionally, smashing them leaves the fruit into convenient pieces which disperse easier throughout the dough during bulk fermentation.

You can choose to chop the pitted olives further if you’d like them to disperse more thoroughly through each loaf, leave them whole for a more striking presentation, or do a mixture of both.
Why is the salt percentage in the dough slightly lower?

For the vast majority of my lean sourdough bread baking ("lean" meaning doughs that don’t include enrichments like dairy, sugar, or eggs), I tend to peg salt to 1.8 percent of the total flour in a recipe. This is mostly a personal preference, as I find that amount of salt plenty for a tasty loaf of bread, but salt that’s anywhere in the range of 1.8 to 2.3 percent is common for a lean dough. But when adding in olives, which are already salty, it’s helpful to reduce the salt percentage slightly to offset the fruit.

For my latest sourdough bread recipe with Castelvetrano olives, I reduced the salt to 1.7 percent to ensure the final loaf isn’t excessively salty. On the surface, 0.1 percent (meaning only a gram or two less salt) might not seem like a drastic reduction, but I can assure you, the difference is profound.
Why add olive oil to the dough?

In my Olive Oil Sourdough With Castelvetranos, I added a bit of extra-virgin olive oil to the dough for both flavor and texture. Olive oil brings an undeniable fruitiness (which can be more or less pronounced depending on the variety), which certainly complements the olives in this dough, but it also affects the loaf’s overall texture. Olive oil, like any fat, inhibits gluten formation, resulting in a loaf that’s softer and more tender overall. The added flavor and modified texture make for bread that’s texturally a bit different from the classic sourdough boule you’d pick up at a bakery, and if I may say so, a quite deliciously different loaf.

https://food52.com/blog/26161-how-to-ma ... obal-en-GB
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:52 pm

4 Ways Exercise Helps Fight Aging

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. But it’s not just beneficial for the young, healthy and already fit. It’s also one of the best defenses against the toughest aspects of aging

Exercise not only improves heart and lung health, but research shows that even modest physical activity is good for the brain, bones, muscles and mood. Numerous studies have found that lifelong exercise may keep people healthier for longer; delay the onset of 40 chronic conditions or diseases; stave off cognitive decline; reduce the risk of falls; alleviate depression, stress and anxiety; and may even help people live longer.

“Exercise is the best defense and repair strategy that we have to counter different drivers of aging,” says aging researcher Nathan LeBrasseur, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. It can’t reverse aging, per se, he cautions, but “there’s clear evidence that exercise can activate the machinery necessary for DNA repair.”

Of course, the sooner you begin and the longer you remain physically active, the better. But physical activity is important at every age. Research on the effects of exercise on nursing-home residents found improvements in their physical and cognitive abilities as well as on their mental health.

Something else to keep in mind, says LeBrasseur, is that while your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer or other conditions of aging may not substantially increase until middle age or later, the underlying biology for those conditions is in motion early in life. Genetics and the lifestyle factors you choose will determine that trajectory, but these can influence your likelihood for disease at any point. “So, there’s no such thing as too little, too late.”

The good news is that you don’t have to run a marathon or go to the gym to reap the anti-aging benefits of exercise. Even modest physical activity—taking the stairs instead of the elevator, gardening or walking the dog—has physical and cognitive benefits, as long as you do it regularly. Here are just some of the ways research shows regular activity benefits your health.

It builds muscle strength

As people age, they lose muscle mass and strength, a condition known as sarcopenia. Scientists say resistance training is one of the best ways to help slow that decline. It not only maintains muscle strength and power (what you’ll need while opening a jar or pushing a heavy door), but it makes everyday activities like cooking, cleaning and climbing stairs less difficult. It can also help reduce susceptibility to disease, improve brain health and mood and help you maintain independence longer. Researchers at the University of Alabama found that resistance training is safe and effective for older adults, with rates of injuries extremely low and similar across all ages and intensities.

It improves bone density

To keep bones strong, the body breaks down old bone and replaces it with new bone tissue—but around age 30, bone mass stops increasing. In your 40s and 50s, you slowly start losing more bone than you make. Exercise can help increase bone density when you’re younger and stave off osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bone and increases the risk of breaks as you age.

Almost half of all adults 50 and older are at risk of breaking a bone due to osteoporosis, which costs the health system $19 billion annually, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. But that doesn’t mean that older people are powerless; doing weight-bearing exercise throughout life helps increase bone mass and strength.

Since osteoporosis affects women more often than men, activities like walking or aerobics are especially important after menopause. While older people can’t gain more bone mass, physical activity can help prevent bone loss. Lower impact activities like cycling, yoga and swimming aren’t enough to affect bone loss, but when combined with weight-bearing exercises, they can help improve balance and reduce risk of falls and fractures.

Exercise can lengthen telomeres

Telomeres are the caps on the ends of DNA strands, similar to the caps on shoelaces. Their length decreases with aging, and this contributes to cell senescence, meaning the cells can no longer divide. Telomere length is connected to certain chronic conditions, especially high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Several studies have found that higher levels of physical activity are related to longer telomere lengths in some people, compared to those who are sedentary. This seems to be especially true in older people. However, it’s still not clear whether that relationship is causal, and it’s likely that multiple processes affect telomere length. But in general, longer telomeres are believed to be a plus for reducing risk of age-related diseases.

It can improve cognition

Your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity and ignore irrelevant information are all signs of good cognitive function, according to the National Institute on Aging. Physical activity is now seen as one of the most promising methods for improving cognition throughout life and reducing risk of age-related cognitive decline. While researchers can’t yet say for sure that exercise can actually prevent dementia, studies show that more physical activity is linked to reduced risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

As scientists continue to research the effects of exercise, they’re finding all kinds of exciting benefits, says Steven Austad, senior scientific director at the American Federation for Aging Research and chair in the department of biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For example, “exercising muscle produces myokines, which are small molecules that have all kinds of benefits in your brain,” he says. ”It’s also one way to really improve the quality of your sleep, and we know that the quality of your sleep is related to the quality of your health.”

There’s still a lot we don’t know about how exercise affects the aging process, but what we do know is this: moving your body regularly—five times per week, for at least 30 minutes daily—is better than moving less often. Exercise is cumulative; you don’t have to do it all at once (and of course, check with your health provider before starting any new activity). And a combination of aerobic and resistance exercises seems to provide the most benefits for most people.

Best of all, it’s never too late to start
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:16 pm

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Pastila

The Historic Russian Recipe That Turns Apples Into Marshmallows Disarmingly simple, pastila is lighter than air

Dostoevsky loved it. Catherine the Great enjoyed it. Sofia Tolstaya, Tolstoy’s long-suffering wife and assistant, made it. It was once the quintessential Russian dessert: pastila.

Sweet, fluffy pastila was a classic afternoon tea snack at aristocratic Russian soirees of the 19th century. To make it, apple puree—essentially, applesauce—egg whites, and sugar are leavened with lots and lots of air that’s forced into the mixture with hard whisking. What happens next is improbable but stunning. The earthy apple gloop transforms into a gleaming white cloud, as light and soft as a goose-down comforter.

Next, this soft cream is gently spread into pans and baked at a low temperature for hours. What results is, for lack of a better description, a pale, caramel-colored marshmallow or meringue that’s exquisitely apple-flavored.

To Darra Goldstein, though, pastila stands apart from both meringue and marshmallow. “Some people have compared it to a marshmallow, but it’s not as chewy and it is not crisp like a meringue,” she explains. “But it has that quality of softness that you get inside some soft meringues.”

Goldstein, one of the foremost experts on Russian cuisine and the founder of Gastronomica magazine, knows what she’s talking about. And she’s been obsessed with pastila for decades. Her many cookbooks include pastila recipes. According to her, pastila is hundreds of years old, though she hesitates to name an exact era of origin. What she does know is that it started out as fruit leather, sweetened with honey and dried in an oven. The name, she says, comes from the Slavic postel, or bed, likely due to the mixture’s fluffy appearance in the wooden trays used to dry it.

Pastila’s popularity springs from the long-held Russian love of apples. My friend, Stanislav “Stas” Nikiforov, agrees. A tech CTO living in New York, he spent the first half of his life in Russia. Across the ocean, his passion for his national culture and cuisine has only grown. As for why apples are so present in his mother cuisine, he responds with a question in turn. “Why is cheese important to the French or potatoes to Peruvians?” he asks rhetorically. Russia, he points out, has historically had an enormous variety of apples, and familiarity in this case bred affection. “It’s a tree that can provide—like wood, shade, fruit—and grows really, really well,” especially in chilly Russia, he says. “And it’s pretty good-looking to boot.”

Before the Russian Revolution, the apple-growing towns south of Moscow vied to produce the most glorious varieties of pastila. The finest, it’s said, is made with the hardy, huge, cold-loving Antonovka apples. But the main feature of Antonovka apples is their acid. Sour and underripe apples, as it happens, have the most pectin, the substance that gives pastila its gummy texture.

Kolomna and Belyov are still the most famous pastila-producing cities, and, according to Goldstein’s cookbook Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore, each claims to be responsible for one major pastila innovation. One legend has it that Kolomna was the first to whip pastila into airiness, sometime during the 14th century. A Belyov merchant in the 19th century, on the other hand, was the first to add egg whites, making the treat even fluffier.

In the days before electricity, making pastila was painful labor. Without a mechanical mixer, beating cooked apples into fluff had to be done by hand. One “particularly exquisite” 19th-century variety, says Goldstein, had to be beaten for an agonizing 48 straight hours. “So in Russia, you had serfs and they were in the kitchen and they were whipping the pastila,” notes Goldstein. “So it wasn’t any effort on the part of the people who would be enjoying it.”

Cue the Russian Revolution. Under the restrictions and scarcities of the Soviet Union, pastila slowly faded away. “It wasn’t part of the necessary food groups,” says Goldstein. “It was hard enough for them to get basic foods to market, which they didn’t succeed in doing either.” Many of Russia’s traditional, unusual, or unique foods met the same fate. But recently, there has been a massive upswing of interest in recovering ancestral Russian recipes. A decade ago, my friend Stas took notice that the interest in restoring Russian foodways became mainstream. To him, it was especially poignant. “We always grew up thinking that a lot of our culture had been just completely obliterated,” he says. “Then there’s this wave of people unearthing really old recipes such as Belyov pastila. And so everybody’s like, holy shit, this is what this thing is supposed to look like.”

Makes 8 to 10 slices

This recipe takes a cue from Belyov-style pastila, which is stacked into layers, dried again, and then sliced. But Goldstein recommends simply taking two layers and sandwiching them together with jam.

Ingredients

6 large apples (if you’re outside Russia, Granny Smith makes a good substitution for Antonovka)
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350º F. Wash the apples, and place them into a shallow, oven-safe dish with a ¼ inch of water at the bottom. Then, roast the apples for an hour, or until they’re golden, saggy, and wrinkly.

2. Remove the apples from the oven, and allow them to cool completely. (For now, turn off the oven.) Then, scrape the skins and cores until you have a mound of soft, seed-free puree. With a blender, process the puree until smooth.

3. Next comes the fun part. Put the puree, egg whites, and granulated sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or get out your handheld mixer and the largest mixing bowl you have). Whip the apple-sugar-egg mixture for 10 minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides occasionally.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven once again, this time to 180º F or the lowest setting it will go. Line a cookie sheet, including the sides, with parchment paper.

5. Back at the mixer, the puree will have nearly quadrupled in size after 10 minutes. Stop the machine once you have a bowl filled with gleaming, thick white foam. Scrape the foam into the pan, reserving about a cup and a half and putting it in the fridge.

6. Spread the remaining foam in the pan evenly, and leave it in the oven for 4 to 6 hours. The pastila needs to be dry to the touch, and solid enough to pick up as one entire sheet without being extremely floppy. If not, return it to the oven.

7. Remove the pastila from the oven and allow it to cool completely before peeling away the parchment paper.

8. With a knife dipped in hot water, cut the pastila into three identical pieces (you’ll want three rectangles instead of three long strips). Using the reserved puree as glue, stack the three pieces on top of each other, using the puree to patch any holes or fill any pits.

8. Then, on a baking sheet lined with more parchment paper, return the pastila to the oven once more, for an hour and a half. After making sure the layers have all molded together, remove it from the oven and let it cool.

9. When the pastila is cool, rub it all over with powdered sugar, and carefully slice down through the layers in inch-long increments (the resulting pieces will look like ladyfingers). The pastila, now ready to be eaten with tea, will keep in a sealed container.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/h ... ke-pastila
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:55 pm

Olympic Snacks

As world nations come together in the spirit of competition, take yourself on a culinary odyssey and enjoy the Olympics with some of the world's great snacks and dishes!

Omu-rice
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Ingredients

For the ketchup rice

300g/10½oz Japanese short-grain rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
150g/5½oz chicken thighs, boneless and skin removed, chopped into small cubes
1 bay leaf
70g/2½oz tomato ketchup, plus extra to serve (or sauce below if preferred)
20ml/¾fl oz soy sauce
25g/1oz unsalted butter
pinch salt
pinch white pepper
100g/3½oz onion, minced

For the sauce (optional)

1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp butter
1 brown onion, cut in half and sliced against the grain
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp milk
4 tbsp red wine
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
handful mushrooms, chopped if large

For the omelette

5 free-range eggs
10g/⅓oz unsalted butter

Recipe tips

Method

To make the ketchup rice, wash the rice five times, draining the water each time. Tip the rice into a colander to drain thoroughly, then transfer to a large pot or casserole and leave soaking in 400ml/14fl oz water for about 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the chicken until it turns golden. Add the rest of the rice ingredients to the pot, except the onion and chicken, and stir to mix. Add the onions and chicken on top and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil over a medium–low heat and cook for about 10–15 minutes. There is no need to open the lid at any point as you will see it boiling when you hear the rice bubbling, or when the bubbles lift the lid up. Turn the heat down to low and cook for a further 10–15 minutes (if you’ve been tempted to open the lid, give it a little extra high heat for 10 seconds). Turn the heat off and leave to steam in the pot for further 10 minutes. Once the steaming is done, mix the rice from the bottom of the pot a few times.

To make the sauce, dry roast the flour in a frying pan over a medium–low heat, mixing the flour constantly around the pan, for about 3–5 minutes until it turns golden. Set aside. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a low heat. Fry the onion until golden and softened. Add the flour and mix until it starts to resemble a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and 150ml/5fl oz water. Simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes.

To make the omelette, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Once the butter is completely melted, add half of the egg mixture to the pan. Keep mixing the egg with a rubber spatula and shake the frying pan with a small motion until the eggs start to resemble creamy French scrambled eggs. Turn off the heat, the residual heat will continue to cook the omelette.

Place about about a third of the ketchup rice, moulded roughly into a rugby-ball shape, in the middle of the omelette. Using the rubber spatula, wrap each side of the rugby-ball rice in the omelette, tilting the frying pan to help. Wrap on all sides so the rice is completely enclosed. Move the wrapped rice to one end of the frying pan. Take a plate in one hand, holding it at an angle, and gently slide the wrapped rice onto the plate. Repeat to create the other omu-rice.

Add a good spoonful of the sauce over the omelette or simply draw a smiley face or zig-zag with ketchup on the omelette instead.

Recipe Tips

This will make more rice than needed for the recipe. Store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge and use for another omu-rice, or to make fried rice.

Follow the link bellow to over 30 more delicious dishes

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/collections/ ... cSnacks%5D
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jul 25, 2021 8:20 pm

Biggest food myths you shouldn't believe

Eggs increase cholesterol and olive oil shouldn't be heated: Dietitian debunks the biggest food myths of 2021 you shouldn't believe

    Australian dietitian Susie Burrell has busted the most common food myths
    Online she said eggs don't increase cholesterol and olive oil doesn't burn
    Other beliefs included avoiding fruit because of the high sugar levels
    Susie aims to help others by shedding light on the numerous health myths
A leading dietitian has debunked some of the common food myths that are often misconstrued or deemed to be nutritional facts.

Susie Burrell, from Sydney, looked at some of the misconceptions that are not necessarily true for all individuals, including that eggs increase cholesterol and fruits should be avoided because it's high in sugar.

'Despite the influx of nutrition information, there remains several beliefs out there that are simply not true,' she wrote on her website.

Susie Burrell, from Sydney, listed the common myths and revealed how eggs don't increase cholesterol and fruit should not be avoided simply due to containing sugar

Myth: Eggs increase cholesterol

Susie addressed potentially the number one nutritional myth that eggs increase cholesterol levels, which she says is not true.

She explained how you can continue to enjoy an egg or two for your morning breakfast or lunch without impacting your cholesterol.

'Rather it is our dietary fat balance, calorie intake along with individual genetics that will determine if you have high cholesterol,' she said.

Myth: Fruit is high in sugar and should be avoided

While fruit is known to be a healthy type of food that should be consumed daily, some have a tendency to reduce their fruit intake due to the high levels of sugar.

Susie said there are more benefits from eating fruit than removing this key source of vitamins and fibre from your diet.

What's more, eating fruit regularly is commonly linked to weight loss.

'While fruit does contain the sugar fructose, it also contains plenty of fibre and key nutrients and many thousands of years consumption would tell us that a couple of pieces of fruit a day will do no harm,' she said.

Myth: Olive oil should not be heated

Susie said olive oil is a great choice to use when cooking as the antioxidants present prevent the oil from burning.

Particularly extra virgin olive oil is a perfect healthy oil that provides benefits for the brain, heart, joints and muscles.

Olive oil is also deemed to be a healthier and better option compared to sunflower oil and vegetable oil.

Myth: Nut milk is better than dairy milk

Nut-based milks are a perfect solution for those who are dairy intolerant, but others who deliberately choose not to consume dairy milk are likely missing out on key nutrients the body needs.

'The key nutrients we get from milk are protein and calcium and it is important to remember that almond milk contains literally none of either of these,' Susie said.

'Some non-dairy milks have a little calcium added, but again it is much smaller amounts than is found in dairy, or soy milks for that matter so if you do choose nut milk, make sure you get your calcium from somewhere else.'

How much protein do we need?

The recommended dietary allowance for protein suggest that individuals should focus on getting at least 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

This may increase depending on variables such as activity level, age, gender, the rest of your diet composition and how you digest and utilise protein.

A dietary intake of 1.0-1.6g of protein per kg of body weight per day is recommended for those participating in minimal to intense activity, respectively.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/arti ... lieve.html
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Aug 03, 2021 10:02 pm

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Prestigious British Kebab Awards

Kebab takeaways and restaurants have been significantly challenged over the past year; but local restaurants across the UK have reason to celebrate, having made it onto the shortlist of the great British Kebab Awards which will crown its winners in October

The judges have got together and filtered through a huge volume of incredibly high standard entries and the results are now in. Finalists from across the UK have a chance to win one of 18 prestigious awards at the ceremony which takes place at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge Hotel, on 26 October.

As a nation we’re proud of our locals. Our local kebab takeaways and restaurants are the beating hearts of our high streets and now, more than ever, kebabs are becoming part of our daily lives. From once being seen as a humble late-night snack after a night out in town, they are now enjoying a glow up and revolution as part of a sit-down meal with family and friends, as a quick healthy lunch or delicious takeaway on the way home from work.

The awards, run in association with JUST EAT and supported by the Kebab Alliance, the sector’s trade body, are in their ninth year and this year have attracted record breaking numbers of entries. They recognise and champion the efforts of local kebab takeaways and restaurants across the UK.

Other sponsors also include major players in the kebab industry such as Unilever and its leading brands Hellman’s and Ben & Jerry’s, McCain Foodservice, Coca-Cola and Cobra Beer, to name a few.

Over 1,200 guests, including Cabinet ministers and Shadow Cabinet members, usually attend the VIP-studded ceremony. Judges of the illustrious Awards this year will include Conservative Minister Nadhim Zahawi, Labour MP Carolyn Harris, Assistant General Secretary of Unite Steve Turner, SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil, Conservative MP David Warburton and David Galman from Galliard Homes. Also invited are UK political party leaders Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford and Ed Davey.

Ibrahim Dogus, founder of the British Kebab Awards and Director of the recently formed Kebab Alliance, commented: “Kebab eateries are a key part of the local community and it’s great to see so many entries at the end of a year that has tested every business operating in the hospitality sector. Getting to the shortlist is a real achievement given the competition across the country and all outlets should be rightly proud. We wish all finalists the best of luck.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said: “I would like to send my best wishes to the British Kebab Awards and congratulate all the nominees. This ceremony is one of the highlights of London’s calendar and a chance to celebrate a much-loved cuisine of Londoners. London has a thriving hospitality and restaurant trade, and these awards highlight the importance of the kebab industry’s contributions to the city’s culture and economy.”

Andrew Kenny, UK Managing Director of longstanding award sponsors Just Eat, added: “We’re delighted to continue our sponsorship of the British Kebab Awards, which recognises individuals and businesses at the forefront of the kebab industry. Not only do the shortlisted restaurants and takeaways serve fantastic food, they also offer a vital source of local jobs, bring diversity to our high streets and make a significant contribution to the UK economy – particularly important at the end of a challenging year.”

Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment, comments: “Like much of the hospitality sector, Kebab Houses were hit hard by the pandemic. Which is why there has never been a better time to fan the flames of Britain’s love affair with kebabs than by supporting The British Kebab Awards this year. This year’s awards serve not just as an opportunity to recognise the Kebab Houses which have continued to excite palates and fill stomachs in the face of so much adversity, but also as an opportunity to stride towards enhanced standards and an ever more vibrant industry as we emerge from the ashes of coronavirus.”

Horacio Cal, Away-from-Home CD Director at Unilever, said: “We are delighted to be part of the 2021 British Kebab Awards for the 4th year running and I want to congratulate all the semi-finalists! As our partnership grows stronger, the number of kebab independent restaurants realising the value of offering Unilever ice cream is growing every year. They provide some of our most loved ice cream brands available for every occasion: Magnum (the number one Ice Cream brand in the UK) and Ben & Jerry’s (the number one dessert in the UK). We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Kebab restaurant industry, as we continue to increase our knowledge of how we can better support this favourite of the British High Street.”

Further endorsements from high profile figures can be seen at https://britishkebabawards.co.uk/category/endorsements/

To view the full list of finalists see https://britishkebabawards.co.uk/britis ... finalists/
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Re: Food and Health Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:02 pm

Galleri cancer test:

What is it and who can get it?

Tens of thousands of volunteers are being recruited in a trial of a potentially "game-changing" blood test for cancer.

It's hoped the Galleri test can detect more than 50 types of the disease before symptoms appear.

What is the Galleri cancer test?

It's a simple blood test that looks for the earliest signs of cancer, particularly those that are typically difficult to identify early or for which there are no NHS screening programmes - such as lung, pancreas or stomach cancers.

Developed by Californian firm Grail - and already used in the US - the test can detect subtle changes caused by cancers, when patients may have no other obvious symptoms.

It works by finding chemical changes in fragments of genetic code - cell-free DNA (cfDNA) - that leak from tumours into the bloodstream.

The signal does not mean that a person definitely has cancer. It just means that they might have cancer, and that they will need to have some follow-up tests to check.

"This quick and simple blood test could mark the beginning of a revolution in cancer detection and treatment here and around the world," says NHS England's Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard.

How will the trial work?

Participants will be asked to give a blood sample at a locally based mobile clinic.

They will then be invited back twice - after 12 months and two years - to give further samples.

Half those taking part will have their blood screened with the Galleri test immediately.

However, others will simply have their samples stored away to be tested in the future - should they go on to be diagnosed with cancer.

This is because the trial is what's known as a Randomised Control Trial (RCT).

It will allow scientists to see whether cancer is detected significantly earlier among people who have their blood tested straight away.

Will participants know if their blood has been tested?

People will only know they're in the first test group if they are among the small minority whose blood test detects potential signs of cancer.

Those people will be contacted by the trial nurses by phone and referred to an NHS hospital for further tests.

Everyone taking part will be advised to continue with their standard NHS screening appointments and to still contact their GP if they notice any new or unusual symptoms.

Who can volunteer for the NHS-Galleri trial?

The trial aims to recruit 140,000 volunteers across England.

But only people living in these areas can take part and they must be invited:

    Cheshire and Merseyside
    Cumbria
    Greater Manchester
    the North East
    West Midlands
    East Midlands
    East of England
    Kent and Medway
    South East London
Letters have already been sent to tens of thousands of people asking them to take part.

Those being asked are aged between 50 and 77, from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities, and must not have had a cancer diagnosis in the past three years.

What is the aim of the trial?

The NHS hopes the blood tests will help increase five-year survival rates for cancer, which are below the levels seen in many other high-income countries.

Developing a blood test for cancer has been keeping scientists busy for many years without much success.

Making one that's accurate and reliable has proved incredibly complex. The danger is that a test doesn't detect a person's cancer when they do have it, or it indicates someone has cancer when they don't.

"The test could be a game-changer for early cancer detection," says Prof Peter Sasieni, one of the trial's lead investigators. But he adds a note of caution:

"Cancer screening can find cancers earlier when they are more likely to be treated successfully, but not all types of screening work."

What difference could it make to cancer patients?

Patients whose cancers are found early - known as stage one or two - typically have a broader range of treatment options available to them, which can often be less aggressive.

Graph of five-year survival estimates by cancer types

NHS England says a patient diagnosed at the earliest stage typically has between five and 10 times the chance of surviving compared with those found at the more advanced stage four.

Initial results from the Galleri study are expected by 2023. If successful, the NHS in England plans to extend the rollout to a further one million people in 2024 and 2025.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-58544874
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:28 pm

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10% of UK drugs pointless

Ministers have ordered a crackdown on overprescribing of medicines after a review found one in 10 drugs dispensed by GPs and pharmacists are pointless and potentially harmful

Family doctors will be told to boost the use of social prescribing, such as gardening, walking or volunteering. They are also being urged to call millions of patients in for medication reviews to see whether there are any pills they can stop taking.

The landmark review, ordered by the government in 2018 and published on Wednesday, concludes that overprescribing is a “serious problem”. As many as 110m medicines handed to patients each year may be unnecessary and even potentially harmful, it suggests.

More than one in six (15%) of people in England now take five or more medicines a day, increasing the risk of adverse effects, the review found. One in 14 (7%) are on eight drugs or more.

About one in five hospital admissions in over-65s, and 6.5% of all hospital admissions, are caused by the adverse effects of medicines. The more pills a person takes, the higher the risk that one or more of these medicines will have an unwanted or harmful effect. Some medicines, such as those to reduce blood pressure, can also raise the risk of falls among the frail and elderly.

The findings follow a report by Public Health England in 2019 which found that a quarter of adults in England are taking potentially addictive prescription medicines, with as many as half of them dependent on the drugs for the long term.

Led by NHS England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Dr Keith Ridge, the new review found that 10% of prescription items dispensed via primary care in England are inappropriate for the circumstances or wishes of that patient, or could be replaced with better, alternative treatments.

Estimated total NHS spending on medicines in England soared from £13bn in 2010/11 to £18.2bn in 2017/18. This represents an average growth of 5% a year – with 1.1bn prescription items dispensed in primary care by GPs and pharmacists every year.

Overprescribing, where patients are given medicines they either do not need or want, or where the potential harm outweighs the benefit of the medication, has increasingly concerned health leaders in recent years. It can happen when a better alternative is available but not prescribed, the medicine is appropriate for a condition but not the individual patient, a condition changes and the medicine is no longer appropriate, or the patient no longer needs the medicine but continues to be prescribed it.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, welcomed the report. “This is an incredibly important review which will have a lasting impact on people’s lives and improve the way medicines are prescribed,” he said.

“With 15% of people taking five or more medicines a day, in some cases to deal with the side effects of another medicine, more needs to be done to listen to patients and help clinical teams tackle overprescribing.”

The authors said that while they did not want to set a target for cutting overprescribing, a 10% reduction is “realistic”. The review adds: “This would be equivalent to a reduction of around 110m items a year.”

Javid accepted all the recommendations of the review and vowed to take action to prevent medicines being prescribed unnecessarily. Reforms to pharmacist training are already under way, he said. The government will also appoint a national clinical director for prescribing.

The review also recommends “system-wide changes” to improve patient records and handovers between GPs and hospitals, plus a national toolkit and training to help primary care staff improve the consistency of repeat prescribing. Repeat prescriptions make up around three-quarters of all prescription items, the report found, and can be left without review for long periods, increasing the risk of overprescribing.

There must be support for patients who are taken off medicines but struggle to give them up, the review says. GPs must also be empowered to challenge and change prescribing decisions made in hospitals, it adds.

Ridge said that while overprescribing was a “global issue”, it was vital that the NHS ramps up efforts it has already made to tackle the problem.

“Medicines do people a lot of good and the practical measures set out in this report will help clinicians ensure people are getting the right type and amount of medication, which is better for patients and also benefits taxpayers, by preventing unnecessary spending on prescriptions,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/202 ... -pointless
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:33 pm

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Impossible Foods Meatless Pork

The latest alt-meat from Impossible Foods—a ground pork product it unveiled in 2020, at CES—technically hits tables today

Only it isn’t a bunch of them: According to the company’s press release, the new Impossible Pork debuts tonight at New York’s Momofuku Ssäm Bar, where the famous David Chang restaurant will serve it on top of its signature spicy rice cakes. (Call it a loyalty reward: Chang was the first chef to serve Impossible’s flagship burgers back in 2016, too.)

On October 4, it will launch in restaurants in Hong Kong, including the Chinese fast-food chain MX and the original Tim Ho Wan, the Michelin-starred hotspot for cheap eats. Ruby Tuesday restaurants there will also get them. In November, it jumps to four restaurants in Singapore.

According to the company, the amount of protein in real pork is replicated in Impossible Pork—whose primary ingredient is soy, including soy leghemoglobin, Impossible’s “secret sauce” that “bleeds”—but the plant-based product has no cholesterol, one-third less saturated fat, and fewer calories. As always, Impossible argues it’s not only healthier than the animal counterpart, but also tastier.

Impossible obviously contends, too, that its products are better for the planet, though that claim has come under scrutiny. While cows and chickens are our top meat choices in America, this isn’t the case everywhere in the world. “From pork bao buns to kielbasa to feijoada to BBQ ribs, cultural dishes around the world contribute to humanity’s voracious pork demand,” Impossible says, adding that large-scale pork production worldwide “releases excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus into the environment, and high doses of copper and zinc fed to pigs to promote growth accumulate in our soil.”

Alt-proteins keep getting more popular as consumers grow more aware of the environmental impact of animal agriculture, and industry studies show livestock produces as much as 18% of Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions. Impossible counters that its pork product “is vastly more sustainable,” producing around 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and using between 81% and 85% less water and between 66% and 82% less land.

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 10, 2021 12:07 am

Kurdistan to ease costs for Erbil bakeries

Nearly 500 bakeries have shut their doors in and around Erbil city in the past three months because of high flour and fuel prices, a member of the bakers’ association told Rudaw. The mayor said they will subsidize prices to ease the burden on the bakeries

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has decided to give bakeries a 20 percent discount on their electricity bills and “the ministry of natural resources will provide them with cheap fuel,” Erbil Mayor Nabaz Abdulhamid told Rudaw Radio on Saturday.

On Thursday, Jamshir Mushir, a member of Erbil’s bakers’ association, told Rudaw that nearly 500 bakeries have been closed in the past three months because of high costs. "The government used to support us a lot, providing 400 litres of fuel per month, but it doesn’t give us anything now,” he said.

Authorities told him on Thursday, he said, that they will begin working on the issue this week.

Fuel prices rose earlier this year because of devaluation of the dinar, taxes, and fuel monopolies. The cost of imported flour has also increased. Prices spiked internationally in August after the US Department of Agriculture slashed its forecast for the global wheat crop. Wheat production in the Kurdistan Region is down by half and by 70 percent in Nineveh because of water shortages.

In August, some bakers in Sulaimani began selling bread at a higher price. The mayor ordered bakers to keep prices unchanged and the KRG ordered subsidies for bakers.

Bakery owners have protested several times, including in front of the office Erbil’s governor on Thursday. The price of cooking gas almost doubled in recent months and the price of flour increased from 25,000 Iraqi dinars to nearly 40,000 dinars for a 50kg bag of flour.

The mayor said they will meet with local factories to see about providing cheap flour to bakeries. Meeting the demands of bakers is important for the government, Abdulhamid added, saying “the interests of people come first.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/091020212
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 16, 2021 12:55 am

Halabja's famous pomegranates

Halabja’s seventh annual pomegranate festival is underway this weekend and farmers are hoping to increase exports of the fruit that symbolizes the Kurdish city

“We have been able to make pomegranate the identity of Halabja and further introduce Halabja pomegranates,” Star Kamal, head of Halabja’s agriculture directorate, told Rudaw. “We also made a step forward in finding a good institution that can export Halabja pomegranates to world markets.”

Nearly 500 farmers are attending the three-day festival that began Thursday. Twenty-six types of pomegranates are on show. Halabja produced less than 25,000 tons of pomegranates this year, according to Kamal, down from last year’s 35,000 tons.

Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) ministry of agriculture said it has plans to support farmers who want to export their pomegranates.

Mohammed Hussein, spokesperson for the ministry, told Rudaw that they have issued instructions to all companies who want to export pomegranates. “We have told them that this has to be done in a way that will not harm the reputation of Kurdistan Region’s local produce, and that it should match the standard of the country that requests it.”

Halabja pomegranates were seen in European markets last year, but the volume of exports was limited.

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https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/151020212
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:58 am

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The Kurdish Yogurt Billionaire
Article by The Kurdish Project

In 2016, Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and CEO of Chobani — the yogurt brand which redefined the American dairy marketplace when it hit stores in 2007 — made waves when he granted 10 percent of the billion-dollar dairy conglomerate’s shares to his employees

Ulukaya, born in 1979 in an eastern Turkish village to a Kurdish family of dairy-farmers, resolved to leave Turkey mid-way through his schooling due to the Turkish government’s treatment of Kurdish people. A self-proclaimed “Kurdish activist,” Ulukaya came to the United States, starting out his career by working to recreate the feta cheese indigenous to the Middle East and Mediterranean for the American populace. On a whim, in 2005, he bought a yogurt plant that the Kraft Company was trying to get off of its hands for $700,000.

In an interview with The New York Times, Ulukaya told reporter David Gelles that when he acquired the factory in 2005, Greek yogurt “[represented] probably less than half of 1 percent” of the U.S. yogurt market. Today, Greek yogurt holds over 50% of the market share of U.S. yogurt, and Ulukaya is worth $1.9 billion. At Chobani, 30% of all employees are immigrants or refugees, and the company has built a workforce that exceeds 2,000 people. This year, Forbes magazine honored Ulakaya as “The Socially Responsible CEO.”

When Ulakaya named his company “Chobani,” he was harkening back to his parents’ roots as sheep farmers — “Choban” means “shepherd” in Turkish. A “shepherd” is, of course, a reference to the product itself. But “to shepherd” can also mean to act as a guide, a director, moving towards a goal or in a specific direction.

t would seem, then, that the title of “Choban” is a double-meaning for Ulukaya himself, who is leading the charge on representing a new type of billionaire, and who, from his Kurdish roots to his status as one of TIME Magazine’s Most Influential People, has proven to be a “shepherd” in more ways than one.

https://thekurdishproject.org/hamdi-ulukaya/
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:24 pm

How to Achieve Happiness

This Japanese Philosophy Is the Lifestyle Trend to Help You Achieve Happiness

Happiness; it’s a feeling that’s hard to quantify and is unique to each individual, but still, we discuss how we can achieve it and continue to search for it throughout the whole of our lives.

We ask the elderly what the secret to a happy life is, you can even now do a university course to find out how to harness it and attempt to exercise your way into feeling it. But with Japanese people being recognised as some of longest living and happiest in the world, you might be interested to know that within their culture happiness is considered to be a way of life described as ikigai.

Now, us Brits are known for getting exciting over adopting lifestyle trends from other cultures. There was the booming popularity of Denmark’s hygge, which encouraged us to get cosy and enjoy snuggling up inside, the Swedish world of lagom, which encourages us to streamline our lifestyles so that they’re more functional and efficient, and niksen, practiced by the Dutch to slow down and relish the art of doing nothing.

Ikigai could be the most beneficial yet

We spoke to Erin Niimi Longhurst, ambassador for Yakult UK (who are big supporters of ikigai), and author of Japonisme, who explained to us exactly what ikigai and how you can embrace it.

“Ikigai is a word that means purpose, or your reason for being. It’s a Japanese philosophy, or way of life. Its the thing in our life that gives it that delicious richness – meaning, or raison d’être,” says Longhurst.

“Japan still leads the way for the longest and healthiest life expectancy globally, as it has done for many years. There are, of course, several factors at play, like genetics, diet, lifestyle, but there are several other countries that have it. Ikigai, in my opinion, is the key differentiator.

Longhurst continues: “It’s at the core of who you are as an individual, and the things that motivate and drive you. For most people, they know what it is, or it comes to them – they just might not have thought about it in that way before.”

There are four ways you can come to realise your ikigai, something that’s done gradually and unconsciously over time. According to Longhurst in involves asking yourself four questions: what are you good at? What do you love? What do you think the world needs? How do you sustain yourself?

Finding your ikigai helps you also find your balance, encouraging you to be more mindful and within the act of doing simple things reminds you to stop putting pressure on our hectic daily lives and appreciate the small things.

Longhurst reiterates how crucial understanding balance is in order to be happy: “Finding your ikigai simply isn’t possible without balance. As much joy as I get through the work I do in helping charities, it wouldn’t be enough to sustain me – having a strong family connection, wonderful friendships, and a beautiful little home all contribute towards making my ikigai richer and more meaningful.

“None of this is passively attained. All relationships require hard work, and communication; sustaining work and home requires compromise; and negativity, self-doubt, and hardships are all facts of life. Your ikigai is what propels you forward in the darkest moments. Knowing it will pass, and finding the element in your life that helps you achieve contentment, is what ikigai is all about.”

What are the benefits of incorporating ikigai into your life?

If there are two things that ikigai can teach us, they are resilience and reflection. One of the key aspects of this lifestyle choice is to be appreciative for the everyday and practice having gratitude for the things we already have. Longhurst says that by registering this, it will help you to be stronger in the future.

“Of course, there will always be tough times – there is a Japanese proverb that goes ‘if the current sinks, it will rise again’ – and I think that comes across in ikigai, too,” she says.

“By taking the time to reflect on the things that give your life purpose – whether it’s family, friends, work, helping make the world around you a better place – you can achieve a sense of contentment.”

For Longhurst personally, her journey to ikigai has helped motivate her: “There is another Japanese proverb – ‘The prime of your life does not come twice’, and I think the constant search and reflection required when thinking about the concept of ikigai requires you to be more inquisitive.”

How can I practice ikigai?

Longhurst recommends three traditional ways of getting your ikigai on, listed below, that she not only does herself but has written about in her book.

Forest Bathing

“‘Shinrinyoku’ is a term coined by the Japanese Ministry for Agriculture in the 80s, to describe the practice of healing through being immersed in nature, or ‘forest bathing’. There have been countless scientific studies that have proven the value of being surrounded by nature, and trees, and the practice is considered to have therapeutic value.

“Feeling the sun on your face, or the wind in your hair, even if only for a little bit, can be so refreshing. This is feeling that you are chasing through shinrinyoku – being healed by nature, and it works wonders.

“There is a saying in Japan – kachou fuugetsu (花鳥風月). Separately, the characters are ‘flower, bird, wind, and moon’, but together they are greater than the sum of its parts, and describe something far more emotive. Kachou fuugetsu most commonly translates to learning about yourself, through experiencing the beauty of nature. I think there is something so beautiful in that sentiment, and almost restorative – knowing your place in the world and taking it back to basics.

“Ideally, you want to be surrounded by greenery – and trees in particular. Japan is home to some beautiful forests, and the Japanese are famous for their gardens. Think of being out in nature as a type of medicine, similar to your eight fruit or vegetables a day - counteracting your hectic and stressful day-to-day or 9 to 5.”

Tea Ceremony

“Chado or Sado, also known as ‘The Way of The Tea’, is the ceremonial presentation of a powdered green tea called matcha. Tea ceremony is founded on four principles – harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity. What I love about tea ceremony isn’t just about tea and the food served (although that is a bonus), but flower arrangements and calligraphy used as decoration, which highlight and give a commentary reflecting the seasons.”

Cooking

“Food is as big passion of mine. Particularly when it comes to the process and preparation required of cooking. Making your own gyoza dumplings, for example, can be very therapeutic (once you get into the swing of things!)”

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:03 am

Food price rises are terrifying

Food and drink firms are seeing "terrifying" price rises, a sector trade body has said, warning of a knock-on effect for consumers

Food and Drink Federation boss Ian Wright told MPs inflation is between 14% and 18% for hospitality firms.

The price rises for food firms' ingredients will lead to consumer price rises, he said, and described the situation as "concerning".

The UK's rate of inflation was 3.2% in August and is expected to rise further.

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey recently warned it "will have to act", suggesting that UK interest rates may soon rise from the historic low of 0.1%.

Mr Wright told MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee: "Inflation is a bigger scourge than anything else because it discriminates against the poor."

The Office for National Statistics will publish the latest inflation figures for September on Wednesday. It is expected to rise further above the Bank of England's target of 2% for longer than previously thought.

Make UK, the manufacturers' organisation, said that inflation was becoming "baked in" among its members.

Stephen Phipson, chief executive at Make UK, told MPs that while there was a welcome rise in demand, many manufacturers are looking at 30% to 40% average increases in material costs.

"When people are able to get hold of materials they are passing those costs on which does imply to us that inflation is more or less baked in at this stage now," he said.

"This is not a transitory inflationary demand we are seeing really serious issues now in terms of price increases."

'I expect further inflation in January'

Des Gunewardena, chief executive of high-end restaurant group D&D London, says his business has seen half of its costs rise, including surging energy prices.

He says staff shortages are his "number one issue" and has increased salaries by 10%.

The business has 1,700 employees across the UK and is currently 150 staff short, which he said could lead to a "nightmare situation" in the busier December period.

Table covers have been reduced from 400 on a Friday night at his Quaglino's restaurant to between 300 and 350 due to staff shortages.

However, he said the restaurants have seen increased customer spending, so he is stocking up on specific champagne brands ahead of time, to pre-empt possible supply problems.

"I think we'll have a very strong Christmas so there's no need to panic yet, but I expect further inflation in January when there won't be the same spending to offset the extra costs".

Visa scheme 'designed to fail'

Amid concerns about deliveries of food, fuel and other items in the run-up to Christmas, the government is taking steps to address the shortage of HGV drivers.

The shortage has been blamed on several factors, including Covid, Brexit and tax changes.

The government introduced temporary visas for 5,000 lorry drivers to work in the UK, although only just over 20 of the 300 applications have been approved so far, according to Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden.

Duncan Buchanan, policy director at the Road Haulage Association (RHA), told the select committee that the government's visa scheme to ease driver shortages had been "designed to fail".

"Reports haven't really eased at all things are not visibly getting better at this stage," he said.

Regarding the government's measures to try to ease the crisis, Mr Buchanan said "visually on the ground that is not having an effect".

A survey by the RHA of its members estimated there was now a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK.

"The consumer is really going to visualise this in terms of reduced choice. We have supply chain disruption but that doesn't mean we are going to run out of food," Mr Buchanan added.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58962049
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Re: Food Room

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:08 pm

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Halabja’s pomegranate festival

Halabja province held its 7th Annual Pomegranate Festival over October 14-16, taking approximately 600 million dinars ($410,000) in sales, according to organizers

The popular festival saw around 200,000 tourists visit the city over the course of the three days, a member of the festival’s organizing committee told Rudaw.

“Based on the calculations we have done, the festival took around 600 million dinars in sales,” Arsalan Abid told Rudaw, adding that outside the festival, business owners have also made tens of millions this year.

Showcasing 26 different types pomegranates from Halabja province, the festival also displayed local products made by Halabja women – something festival organizers were keen to encourage.

Nearly 500 farmers took part in the event, with 600 shops - many of which were run by women. Another member of the organizing committee, Bahra Ahmed, told Rudaw that over 150 women had sold textiles, folklore products and food.

Vendor Kale Qadir explained that “the men usually sell pomegranates and women mostly sell products they make themselves such as textiles, Kurdish clothes, and food.”

Halabja produced fewer than 25,000 tons of pomegranates this year, according to Star Kamal, head of Halabja’s Agriculture Directorate, which is down from last year’s 35,000 tons and linked to shortages of water.

Farmers previously expressed their desire to increase the export of Halabja’s pomegranates. Halabja pomegranates were seen in European markets last year, but the volume of exports was limited.

Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Agriculture said it has plans to support farmers who want to export their pomegranates.

According to Abid, the committee is keen to hold the festival every year, “despite the hard work it takes to prepare for it.” The festival’s organizing committee has planned to open a similar festival in spring in order to sell more local products.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/business/20102021
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