Thursday, 15 October 2009

Hugh, Chickens and Mint Jelly

I've become a bit of a fan lately of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the River Cottage. The ABC has been showing the River Cottage Spring series and starting next week will show River Cottage Autumn. Top viewing, if you have the time on a Wednesday evening ...

Today I ordered the cookbook, which apparently has been around for some time; I'm just a bit slow catching on to some of these things ...

Last night, they had a session on the difference between organic, free range chickens and massed produced chickens. A British professor has been conducting research into their nutrient value.

Here's some chicken factoids:

  • Compared to the chicken available to consumers 50 years ago, today's mass produced chicken has more fat and is no longer the lean option many people think it is - 12.9% fat comes to mind, but I didn't write it down, so I could have it wrong.

  • Chicken used to be considered a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids - essential for good brain function, lowering high-density cholesterol, reducing inflammation, etc, etc. Modern mass-produced chicken has very little Omega 3. In addition to the added fat, it seems modern mass-produced chicken is not at all good for our arteries.

  • Corn-fed chicken did not fair much better than the mass-produced stuff, but it did have slightly more Omega 3, although this was accompanied by extra fat.

  • The supermarket purchased organic, free range chicken tested had more than 10 times the Omega 3 fats, was leaner, older and had more flavour.

So, if you weren't eating organic, free range chicken before reading this, you might like to reconsider. Yes, it's more expensive, but what price the health of your family?

So, to the mint jelly .....

We had a minor culinary crisis in our house the other day when we realised that we were out of mint jelly. I mean totally out, not even a bottle in the cupboard, a most unusual event in our household. So, my darling man went to the shop and bought some.

I have not eaten shop-bought mint jelly since I don't remember when. I have obviously been very spoilt. The shop bought stuff was not only coloured green, it tasted disgusting - something akin to a bad tube of toothpaste. Ugh!!!! Can't wait for the mint to be big enough to pick. Mint jelly making is definitely on my culinary horizon in the near future.

love and light


Anonymous said...

Love that show! I did the same post after watching it in January here, the stats are on my post:

and I adore home made mint jelly!

Cheryl said...

They are great programmes....I have watched all of them. I source all my meat locally.....I know the farmer and her methods. Although I do not eat meat, I like to know I am giving my family the best.

Shop bought mint jelly is dreadful, homemade is the best......

Kelly said...

i had a Hugh binge about a month back - the Gnomes lent me ALL his shows on DVD- like 15 years worth, right back to when he was roaming the countryside eating free food and driving an old van with a gouret kitchen drop-down. We watched an episode every night for about a month. It was HEAVEN! We have now finished them all - are up to date and awaiting Winter 2009! Im hoping MR HFW causes a minor revoooution here like he ahs done in the UK

naturewitch said...

Hi Molly
Must have missed that post (or it's my poor memory LOL!) - but it's well worth repeating. xx

Hi Cheryl
I agree - local is best, especially when you know where your food has come from and what it has been through. xx

Hi Kelly
I think I'm going to embark on a similar binge. I have the River Cottage Treatment DVD waiting for me, so that will be the start.
It would be so great if people caught on to the trend, which, after all, is how it used to be. xx

Ramsey said...

Hi Naturewitch,
The ABC are also showing some of the older River cottage series on at 12:30 on Thursday afternoon.

We are really enjoying all of the River cottage shows. The River cottage "gone fishing" series that started this week are a big hit with my 4yo little hunter & gather.

I enjoy your blog keep up the great posts.

naturewitch said...

Hi Ramsey

Thanks for that. i'll have to ask my man (who's into the technology) to try and tape it for me. Unfortunately, I'm at work at that time. xx

Rapunzel said...

I have never had mint jelly on anything other than lamb and since I hate was my only experience! I might have to give it another try!

Tracy said...

I have all of the River Cottage dvds and they are great fun to watch especially the earlier series. We grow and processs our own meat so we know it is safe and well treated.

I am just getting back to blogging after deleting my original blog and no way of retrieving it. So there isn't much to read on my site at the moment but I am hoping to get it up to scratch soon.

Florescaroly said...

French food dictionary was then but these days help is on hand with a neat little pocket book called The A-Z of French Food - Dictionaire Gastronomique Francais-Anglais which comes highly recommended by Hub-UK.