Get Email Updates

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Question of Spice

A recent email conversation with Tristram raised some interesting points about spices:

From: Tristram Stuart
Sent: 24 October 2006 14:55
To: Sarah Dixon

Dear Sarah,

Hooray for 100 mile diets! That sounds really interesting. I sometimes wonder if one could make a fair case in favour of importing high value, low volume items such as spices. I haven’t looked at the figures for wealth generation at point of origin, or tried to balance them against emissions from the international trade; but at least I think there’s a stronger case for buying those things than say, imported low value high volume items such as courgettes or rice. I guess crops such as coffee/tea/chocolate would probably be borderline on this scale.

Pickles; very nice. I’m always a bit torn when I use sugar (and gas) in huge quantities as a preserving agent (as I did last night for quince cheese); chutneys and pickles using vinegar is probably more eco-friendly; and best of all is bottling which doesn’t need any agent except for a bit of heat and the kilner jar (though sometimes best with a scoop of sugar).



  1. From: Sarah D
    Sent: 26 October 2006 12:02
    To: 'Tristram Stuart'

    Hey tristram,

    If you know of any local sugar or oil suppliers (or any other local food sources) that would be very helpful. I know what you mean about the values of spices etc. of course it can be good to balance and not be too strict.

    This kind of thing is what I am hoping to learn more about through this experiment, and to have the chance to get information and to have discussions and think about boundaries etc. I don’t see 100 miles as an 'ideal' way to live, but a way of learning more about the way we do live and
    how on a wider scale we could adapt that in a practical way and to find out what direction is a good one to go in.

    Also I hope we get some publicity. I went to a meeting on climate change at the ZSL on Tuesday and the Met office were there and the WWF and their projections and reports are rather bleak, so the more consciousness we can raise in our small way (but also we are in a very rich, powerful area of the world - Richmond I mean - so maybe it will have some good impacts) the
    better - because it is very urgent and we may have to all adapt to local diets anyway if transport and supply is disrupted by climate change as seems likely,


  2. Tristram4:35 pm

    From: Tristram Stuart
    Sent: 30 October 2006 11:35
    To: Sarah Dixon

    By the way, have you thought about sourcing fish from Thames upstream? Might be fun to find a pike?

  3. There was a programme I caught on telly a while ago (some bored Sunday evening) about a guy passionately trying to find native brown trout within the M25 in Thames tributaries. It was a programme really about the condition of our urban rivers, which while the water quality of the Thames has apparently improved, people still dump a shocking amount of crap in (shopping trolleys and items of that ilk). Eventually after much disappointment, and a few underground trips up buried rivers such as the Fleet, he caught a trout out by Rickmansworth, just inside the M25. Meanwhile, however, he caught some less sensitive fish in several tributaries. Mmmm... tasty.

  4. I was reading a recipe for heron last night. Apparently it has a wonderful medicinal 'fishy' liquid in its bones but it shouldnt get into the meat or the flavour will be unpleasant. Perhaps it would be better to eat the heron than try for the fish.