I’m always a little cautious about the cult of personality in society. For example, TV chefs, like TV gardeners, make it look so easy, which I’m sure it is if you have a TV crew and a team of lackeys to do the washing up.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall entranced me with his River Cottage series but I was always aware that how things appear and the reality were different. Nothing like a research assistant or two to make it easy to find those characters that appear as extras in his programmes.
Then we have Jamie Oliver, bishing and boshing as he throws together dishes that win a Michelin star. Taking on a group of unemployed youngsters to train as chefs always struck me as a TV stunt and probably earned him a tidy sum. His school dinners, however, struck a cord in the nation and the amount of time and effort he spent on it couldn’t have been his cleverest money maker.
So, why this ramble?
The reason is that Channel 4 are showing some programmes over the next couple of weeks I’d encourage you to watch.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 9pm on C4 Hugh will be showing us where the chickens and eggs really come from. C4 says “Hugh, a committed free-range enthusiast, investigates intensive chicken farming, and is driven to quite astonishing lengths to demonstrate what he strongly believes is the cruelty involved.”
Then, on Thursday 10 th January at 9pm The Truth About Food is shown, journalist, Jane Moore investigates the truth behind food labelling and the excuses we tell ourselves that are keeping us the most obese nation in Europe.
On Friday, again at 9pm, Jamie’s Fowl Dinners – In a revealing new programme, Jamie Oliver hosts a gala dinner to dramatically demonstrate the reality of how chickens live and die to put food on our plates.
If you care about what you put on your plate and especially if you care about how we treat animals, these sound like must watch programmes.
Hugh’s Chicken Run – 7, 8 & 9 Jan, 9pm
The Truth About Food – 10 Jan, 9pm
Jamie’s Fowl Dinners – 11 Jan, 9pm
John, I would like to thank you for making my life so much more enjoyable! I started reading your blog completely by accident last January (2007) when I had decided to sign up for a plot against my husband’s wishes and needed some moral support to keep me going as I knew I wouldn’t be able to do any serious digging before I had completed my accountancy qualifications in June. I have followed your pages for information, fun and inspiration ever since. Please don’t ever change! Although I am a vegetarian I like where Hugh F-W is coming from and can’t wait to see the programmes but I think that people will always blank out the bits of life they don’t want to see. I’m sure it’s a human trait and am probably just a guity as the next person but then perfect people are boring! Regards, Odette.