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HOW PURE IS YOUR FOOD?

The answer to that question is not very – and it’s enough to put you off your dinner. From dried herbs made from any old edible leaves to vodka containing industrial solvent, food fraud in the UK is rife. But how much responsibility rests in the hands of the consumer? Daniel Tapper investigates…

Food has never featured so highly in popular culture. Once a topic reserved for chefs, restaurant critics and ambitious home cooks, the stuff we eat is now endlessly discussed, dissected and displayed through every medium imaginable. There’s an endless flow of new cookery books and kitchen-based television shows – it’s been estimated that across all the channels there are 18 days’ worth of food-related TV in a single week.

But has this deluge of food-related content made us more knowledgeable about what we eat? After hearing chefs talk non-stop about the integrity of their dishes made with local, seasonal food, are we more discerning about our ingredients?

It doesn’t look like it. Obesity and diabetes are on the up – something experts have suggested is exacerbated by increased consumption of ready-meals and other processed foods. Another sign of our apparent disconnect from food is the rapid growth in food-related fraud, a crime now so widespread in the UK that it costs the country an estimated £11bn a year, according to a recent report by the University of Portsmouth. It stands to reason that as the food industry grows bigger as a business, it’s going to be more attractive to criminals.

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About Delicious Magazine

The July issue of delicious. is all about reinventing summer cooking with new sticky BBQ recipes and brilliant picnic ideas. You’ll also find a seaside menu from Cornwall, seasonal courgette dishes and the 10 most useful recipes for summer. Debbie Major works her magic with curry powder, Natasha Corrett rustles up fast, healthy meals, plus there’s a guide to baking fennel-seed buns and a stunning 16-page Collector’s Edition Pastry Special.
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