Food and Drink

Tories marching the UK towards Chlorine Chicken

Chlorinated Chicken in the US

December 2019

Before the UK general election of December 2019, the Conservative party promised us all lots of things with slogans like "Brexit is Oven Ready" and "After Brexit British Food Standards would remain as high as the EU, if not higher".  Of course millions of fools (sorry I should say voters) swallowed this....But the thing about the Conservative party is they only keep their promises when there is something in it for them. 

October 2020 

There is an Agriculture Bill going through the Houses of Parliament at the moment. This bill is needed to replace EU laws and rules as the UK leaves the European Union.

During its 3rd reading in May 2020, 183 Labour MPs, 44 SNP MPs, 11 Liberal Democrats, 8 DUP, 4 Plaid Cymru as well as Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, voted for an amendment 

to enshrine in British law, the high standards we have enjoyed as members of the EU for the past 40 years. The amendment was defeated because 328 Conservative MP's  voted it down.  Here is a full list of the Tory Members of Parliament who voted to in effect to lower UK Food Standards go see if your MP is on the list?

This will open the flood gates to cheap lower quality foods being imported into the UK, particularly from the USA once a trade deal is done. To anyone with half a brain , once again the Tories have told us one thing and done the opposite.  I keep bumping into people who are surprised  at this behaviour?

Go  Watch The Damning Documentary About American Food, here is a sample on Twitter

Chlorine Washed Chicken

Battery farmed chicken in America live in very crowded conditions which bred more diseases than UK chicken so to kill the higher levels of bacteria the chicken at the end of the production process they are bathed in bleach (see above photo).  Now even though Donald Trump recommend using bleach to help fight and or protect you from CoVid 19 in his balminess, I for one  do not wish to eat chicken that has been dunked in a bath of bleach. Of course the poorest people will end up buying the chicken once it appears in UK supermarkets.  Chlorinated Chicken will end up in cheap meat pies and school dinners where the profit margins are thin. Would you want an "Oven Ready Chicken" like this???

UK Food Standards

This threatened lowering of our food standards has been like a car crash in slow motion. 72% of British people have repeatedly said they will not buy Chlorinated Chicken or Genetically Modified Food in our supermarkets.  Various groups, the National Farmers Union,  GreenPeace UK, consumer group WHICH, 38Degrees and Change.Org  all have worthy petitions for the public to sign but none of the keys figure in each organisation have managed to bring the various groups together and form a "rainbow coalition" for the sake of the British public.  To me this failing is unconscionable and as bad as the greed of the Tory party to lower the food standards and get on the "gravy train". Bad things happen when good people do nothing.

The Petitions Updated Nov 4th 2020

I have spent 4 weeks tweeting about the 327 Tory MPs who voted down Amendment 16 on October 12th. The amendment was attached to the Agriculture Bill that would have guaranteed in law that all food imports after (Brexit transitions ends) would have to met the same high standards as UK produced food. Of course it was voted down by the Tories because they are hell bent on getting a trade deal with America at any cost.  For each MP I tagged the area they represent so that voters in their area could see what they have been doing. Since the beginning of my marathon tweeting the number of signatures have gone up by almost 100,000.  Collectively the campaign called Bite Back gathered 2,650,000 signatures and counting which a brilliant achievement.  British MP's rarely face this kind of scrutiny for their voting choices.

The Campaign continues 

Below are links to the 5 Main petitions and I do urge all UK residents to sign them. Of course it would be better if there was one large petition with 4-5 million signatures on it, instead we have 5 petitions (at least) with 2.65 million signatures on, giving slippery politicians the opportunity to say the interest in Food Standards is not so great, and they will say a few people have sign multiple petitions.  Given that fact, the best way forward is to encourage everyone to sign all of the petitions to get the collective number of signatures up to 4-5 million.

National Farmer Union petition has been signed by over 1,056,343 people

Which Magazine have a petition signed so far by 227,466 people

Green Peace UK have a petition signed so far by 490,195 people

Change.Org petition started by Eric Millstone 2018 so far signed by 467,253
Keep British Food Safe after Brexit

38Degrees Petition started in 2018 has had 228,576 signature so far
Don’t weaken our food, farm, & animal welfare standards

There are currently approximately 53 million adults out of our total population of 66 million, Surely this is not to much to ask if 72% of Brits want the keep Chlorine Chicken and GMO's out of our shops?

Genetically Modified Foods
In the US, 88% of corn and 93% of soy are genetically modified (GM) and products containing GM ingredients are commonly sold. In the EU, GM is widely rejected due to concerns over its safety and and lack of scientific proof of its purported benefits. Indeed a growing number of studies have shown harmful health impacts for humans and animals, and the crops have been associated with some environmental problems, including weed and insect resistance, and degradation of soil health.  One of the most used GMO varieties of corn has been engineered to be pesticide resistant, so now US farmers use approximately 5 times more pesticides than UK farms. The global company Monsanto make both the corn and the pesticide to spray on the crop, does anyone else think this is bad to engineer a crop to sell more pesticide?  One of the ingredients in their Roundup pesticide is called glyphosate, which has now been linked cancer.  If that wasn't bad enough US farmers have found that weeds have accidently crossed with Genetically Modified Corn to produce super 8 foot weeds that are pesticide resistant.  This worrying resistance to pesticide is growing and has reached epic proportions as this one report shows: US Farmers Lose Superweeds Fight as Glyphosate Resistance Tops 75%


courtesy of Cosmos Magazine

For anyone who thinks what is all the fuss about I strongly recommend you go and read the book Genetic Roulette written by Jeffrey M. Smith. This isn't a book written by some eco warrior fantasist but an acclaimed book that is backed up with science. 

I wrote an article about this book back in 2008 which you can find here.  The article also includes just a sample of the endorsements by eminent scientists. It book goes into detail, but can be understood by anyone.



A Rogue Food Site Called Recipeler

Recipeler logo

A few posts back it seems I could both make a point and be humorous, but at the moment it is hard to raise even a rye smile particularly when talking about the internet.

The internet has brought the possibility of worldwide communication, the chance for an oppressed people to tell their story to the world, for small businesses to sell their products/ services around the globe and for wrongdoers to be exposed.

For most of us the workings of the internet is a mystery, but just like owning a car we shouldn't have to be a mechanic to take advantage of the benefits.  But unfortunately at the moment, unscrupulous people are stealing from us left right and centre and we need to fight back!


Rogue sites

Continue to steal my photos and recipes and post it on their own sites; they do this first and foremost because it boosts their own search engine rankings, and because they think you won't notice.  In September 2017 I wrote about the theft I suffered from a website called The Black Pudding Club  Currently, I am fighting with a rogue food site called

As far as I can tell all of the content on the food site called is content they have stolen from search engine results.  I'm not talking a few dozen recipes but a few hundred recipes, taken from sites like All Recipes without their knowledge or permission. A few of my high ranking photos were also taken and posted on this rogue site without my permission.

Although theft like this has now happened to me many times, it still doesn't make it any easier to take, I feel violated as if someone has robbed my house.  My copyrighted recipes and photos help me to get work, as such I defend them fiercely. 

I don't just blame the individuals that steal my stuff, I also blame the big players like Google and other search engines that make it so easy to illegally copy other people's property. Both Google and Facebook make billions of dollars selling adverts, but this is only possible because of the content we (all of us) create.  Without that daily tide of content, the world would not be watching and reading those ads.  Google and Facebook should be protecting our content against theft, if for no other reason than to protect its own financial interests, but that is not the case at the moment, so lawmakers need to step in and force them to do the right thing.

Worse still...

I found out the other day that Google+ Tumblr and Twitter are selling access to our data to third party companies such as

Haven't any lessons been learnt from the Cambridge Analytical scandal?   The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable said, "People should be "empowered" to sell their own

data if they want to, to share in the profits of technological advances." He continued to say "data was "the new oil" yet people were happy to give it up for free."



Back to the Recipeler story.......

As the internet has grown up and become more sophisticated so have the tools and methods to aid the theft.  In complicated situations, you can have several different companies that host a site or a conduit in the process.  Like other shady websites, do all they can to hide who owns them and what company has been used to host the site.


Telltale signs of dishonest intent

Recipeler has no contact information on their site, none whatsoever, which is always a bad sign about the honesty and intent of a website or blog.  So I'm forced to spend time trying to track that information down.  At the moment I am still sending emails off to verify which hosting company Recipeler uses, but I am close very close.

Here are a couple of Screenshots of my stolen photos on

Recipeler theft 2

Recipeler theft 1

Here are links to my original recipes

Roast Belly of Pork with Apple Cabbage

Green Tomato Soup with Roasted Chillies

As part of my fightback, I have begun to contact other websites that have had recipes stolen to make them aware of the illegal behaviour of 

I will update this post as I uncover who is the host company and their response to the outrageous theft by

The Black Pudding Club Theft

Chicken Stuffed with Black Pudding

It seems that every year I have to fight hard to defend my recipes and photos from unscrupulous bloggers that think it is fine to cut and paste one of my recipes onto their site.  

The Why

Climbing up the Google rankings is a slow process if you are a new site; however, if you are unscrupulous you can copy and paste say 20-30 of the top black pudding recipes, and suddenly your site is now in the nosebleed section of Google page1. Having gotten onto google page 1 using other people's work, the site can now get organic traffic because most people will click on a link from page 1.  Which of course helps to keep them on page 1 and makes the selling of adverts possible.  


If a piece of work has been copyrighted then it should NOT be used without the owner's permission, period!!

Making lame excuses saying that they credited me as the author and my blog as the source, is not good enough by a country mile.

Why should they gain google ranking benefit and possibly money (by selling Google Ads) from stealing my work? Just because a recipe on the internet is less physical than a car doesn't make it okay, in fact, it's worse because at the moment too much theft like this goes on, and perpetrators are shocked when you call them thieves.

The Culprit is a site called

They have lots of black pudding recipes from popular sites, some without permission, including one of mine they posted in January 2017.

Here is the recipe that was taken without my permission:  Chicken Stuffed with Black Pudding © Kevin Ashton 2005 

I did not realise this theft until September, so they benefitted from my high Google ranking for 8 months!  I wrote to the site. also to the facebook page and here is what I said and their reply:

Plagiarism by Black pudding club

Dealing the faceless perpetrators

It has often been my experience (when plagiarised) that the perpetrators hide their identity, as was the case with the

Even when they wrote to me via email they signed it  'Club Secretary', which just shows their desire to stay in the shadows.


The Damage caused by the theft

Even after the plagiarised (stolen) work is taken down, it takes weeks, sometimes months for the original recipe and photograph to regain the search engine ranking it had.

This sort of illegal behaviour goes on a lot but at the moment; the internet stakeholders (internet providers, search engines and social media) don't do enough to remind users what a breach of copyright is and remind them that using other people's property without permission is theft, plain and simple. 

 Links from my plagiarised recipe and photo were still linked back to this wretched 7 days later on Bing, AOL, DuckDuckGo, MetaCrawler, Yahoo, here are just 2 examples. 


Yahoo Search 18th Sept

Right now, on the internet, you have to be ready and able to defend yourself and make them wish they had never plagiarised your work.

Tools To Defend Yourself

  • Plan of attack: Although it is tempting to send an angry email to the site that has stolen your work immediately.  You are better off to take screenshots of the stolen work on their blog, also take screenshots of the results in Google and Google images, to prove not only the theft but the dates it occurred and show if it damaged your own search engine ranking.
  • DMCA Takedown Notice: If the site ignores your messages then you need to send them DMCA takedown notice ( you can google blank forms you can use as a template). Once you have sent them a takedown notice, you should also send another to the company that hosts the site.
  • Host Site: Often the host company 's initial response is they can't  be held responsible for what is done on the site, which is true in the first instance. But once you have sent them a DMCA takedown notice with the details of the plagiarism, which is a legal document, they are then also liable if the stolen material isn't completely removed from their servers.
  • Shout & Blog about it: If your copyrighted work has genuinely been used without your permission then blog about it and let the world know. You have to be factual, but if you stick to the facts, then you are only telling the truth.  Of course, the people behind the rogue site will be angry about the world knowing of their dirty little secrets, but it might make them think twice before that they do this to any other site.
  • Their Advertisers: If they are selling Google Ads or some other scheme, send them copies of the takedown notice to let them know the kind illegal behaviour they are being associated with.

The Weight of a Nation

Wales from England
Although dating is not the most pressing issue in my life, I would like to have a meaningful long-term relationship.   But therein lies the rub, or should I say the sub?

It seems that in the last ten or fifteen years a large proportion of British females have become overweight, many actually morbidly obese.  The chances are that if I date someone from my own age group..... she will be overweight, have a few (now) wrinkly tattoos and hate men due to past experiences. (shudder)


Pregnant Pause?

Almost one in five pregnant women in the UK is clinically obese. Some health authorities have given up on the birthing pool and hired the swimming baths.  Many new mums never lose that excess weight and afterwards their bad examples of living off junk food is passed onto their kids.


Empty Calories

Soda…….a tin of coke has 17 teaspoons of sugar plus all the alcopops drunk by our teenage women.

It was reported in 2011 that UK women are more likely than men to weigh over 30st (which is 420lb for my American readers) a study says.  The shock statistic emerged as our women were revealed to be the fattest in any major nation across western Europe.  The average British female has ballooned since 1980. Experts have blamed ready meals, takeaways and driving instead of walking.  Average body mass index, a fat measurement based on height and weight, is 26.9.This is classed as seriously overweight and well above women in Italy, France and Greece.


De Nile is A Big Fat River

Rather than face the health threat reality of their situation overweight mommas have begun using terms like… Big and Beautiful, Curvacious, Curvy, Thick, Ample to describe themselves on dating sites.   Often on their profile, they will complain that their last boyfriend lost interest in them (sob)…..I can’t imagine why, can you?   Some of these self-indulgent gluttons have gone so far as to call some of my slim female friends “anorexic bitches”.


UK men should shoulder a large portion of the Blame

Mostly, men want a quiet life and therefore don’t turn around to their wives or girlfriends and threaten to withhold sex unless their loved ones lose weight.    Let’s face it from a blokes point of view free sex is still free sex even if you have to think of say “Goal of the Month”  at the critical moment.

The War for hearts and minds
The obesity rate in England has doubled since 1980, but some people like Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver continue the fight knowing eating habits are formed in childhood.  His 2004 initiative to bring smart eating and cooking instruction to schools has helped improve childhood obesity rates, James said, though adult stats remain stubbornly high. There are some success stories in some schools.  A recent survey showed that 19 percent of boys and 20 percent of girls ate at least five daily portions of fruit and vegetables in 2008, compared to 10 and 13 percent just four years earlier.

Gold digga

The evil Triumvirate of the 80's

From a historical point of view, the UK problems with obesity took off in the 80's because of 3 factors.  First Margaret Thatcher changed a law which stated that school meals needed to meet a minimum nutritional standard.  She did this in the 1980 education act to make the sell-off of school dinners possible and the result was school kitchen staffs were slashed (fired) as more convenience foods such as Turkey Twizzlers were brought in.  Some schools in their wisdom (not) completely threw away their in-house kitchens and got their school meals brought in (yum!). 

Secondly, about the same time fast food chains like McDonalds and others came flooding into the UK.  In response, many UK restaurants and hotels (even nice ones) felt compelled to fight fast food food ! So the kiddie menu was born and I then witnessed parents eating wonderful fresh foods but demanding chicken nuggets (chemicals and all) for their blessed offspring?    

The third part of this evil plan was well meant...I think?   Someone in the current Tory government decided to end the teaching of Domestic science in schools, instead it was replaced with Food technology (an evil concoction of Technical drawing, food manufacturing and ??)   The intention was I think to show working class people that UK schools had moved into the age of technology, but ask anyone who took the subject what did they learn and they will tell you they learned how to make a pizza box but not the pizza. Now for those who don't know Domestic science was the teaching of basic cooking skills which had many benefits, particularly if you came from a family who didn't cook ....this was a chance to break that cycle.  To teach children the value and cost saving of cooking for yourself, not to mention the health benefits.     So here we are 30 years on with health consequences of these stupid ill-thought-out policies, to save a little money only to cost taxpayers billions today.

On a more humorous note

Are fat people adding to the problem of Global Warming?

Further compounding the problem, say the scientists, is that overweight people are more likely to drive than walk causing an increase in CO2 gases in our atmosphere.

The study by Dr Edwards and colleague Ian Roberts is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.    Dr Edwards went on: “We are not just pointing the finger at fat people. All populations are getting fatter and it has an impact on the environment.

Supersized Sodas in the USA

Recently, soda companies fought and defeated attempts by local lawmakers to limit the size their drinks can be sold in.  The decision of a New York State court to throw out a proposed ban on super-sized soft drinks has laid bare an unlikely web of alliances between major beverage manufacturers and civil rights campaigners, health advocates and community service organisations.

Groups including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Hispanic Federation (a coalition of Hispanic service agencies in the New York area) supported major soft drink companies including Pepsi and Coca-Cola when they successfully fought off an effort by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to limit the size of soft drink serves to 16 ounces (450 millilitres) at restaurants, theatres and food carts.  So you can still buy a 64 oz (which is over 3 UK pints in size) in many places, but it’s their God given right to ignore common sense!

Beached whale

Personally, I blame the whole obesity issue on my late mother, well at least the UK portion of it.

You see if she hadn’t stopped me and my twin brother from yelling “There she blows” whenever we saw fat women in the cake or chocolate aisle (when we were kids) none of this would have happened.