Filed under food production

St Kilda’s Diet

St Kilda’s Diet

St Kilda is one of the most isolated places in the British Isles, an archipelago in the Outer Hebrides whose final human inhabitants left in 1930. It is now home to 600,000 nesting birds each year. This is from the i paper of 29 December: A 250-year-old census has revealed that islanders on St Kilda… … Continue reading

Harsh Justice

Our ancestors had to deal with a lot of problems but a major one was ensuring safe reliable supplies of food. This is why markets were established within walking distance of all citizens. In Britain, selling underweight food -especially the staple of grain or bread – was punished with a ducking or heavy fines. The … Continue reading

A Wily Yorkshire Miller

In the days before modern policing, people had to make do. This miller served up his own justice and probably taught the thieves a lesson about messing with him. This is from a letter in The Kentish Gazette of May 1771 Letter from York A few nights ago a gang of 9 thieves beset the … Continue reading

Law Abiding in Yorkshire, 1766

This is from the Newcastle Chronicle of July 1766. It is noteworthy as soon after this, the south and west of England erupted in food riots. This region remained calm as they ate mostly potatoes instead of suffering speculation in wheat which caused bread to skyrocket in price. York, July 22 Last Friday the assizes … Continue reading

Ensuring Fresh Meat at Markets

The guild of butchers was one of the most important, and its members among the most respected, due to their importance in ensuring safe food but also they had to heft large animal carcasses, so they were also big strong men, not the sort you would want to mess with. But it seems the lack … Continue reading

‘The Good Life’ or Malnutrition?

Saturday’s i had an article featuring Monty Don, tv gardening presenter, who criticised the popular 1970s sitcom The Good Life, based on a suburban couple played by Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers who trie d to be self sufficient. Don claims: “No one seriously waned to know how to separate curds from whey  or render … Continue reading

Mao the Mass Murderer

Mao Tse Tung was once seen as the hero of the left in the West;  his Red Book was recently waved by an MP in Britain’s House of Commons.  But Chinese archives are now being opened, and Frank Dikoetter in the current History Today explains the great man now appears one of the great criminals. … Continue reading

Harvest Home, Monmouthshire, 1796

This is from a wonderful book I’ve just discovered, The Diary of a Farmer’s Wife 1796-1797 account of a single year written by Anne Hughes who lived in the remote countryside near Chepstow, Monmouthshire. It’s wonderful as it is written in her dialect, which is sending my spellchecker into meltdown, but you can hear the speech … Continue reading

The Secret of Golden Syrup

This is a phrase that surprises, as I always  thought the stuff was just a byproduct of sugar refining, but was surprised by this article in the i; Paul McGilligan has been making golden syrup for more than 28 years. And not just any syrup: Lyle’s Golden Syrup. The former soldier knows his stuff too. … Continue reading

Antibiotic-fed Cows Emit More Methane

This is from the i paper a few days ago, and should surprise nobody who has ever taken antibiotics: Feeding antibiotics to farm animals is having an unintended consequence – fuelling global warming by almost doubling the amount of methane cattle produce. antibiotics are being so widely used in agriculture that cow dung is now … Continue reading