Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bureaucrat says "no".

Via Timmy, this lovely story of how the anti-salt bureaucrats are trying to wreck Stilton cheese.
The centuries-old recipe that gives Stilton, the "king of English cheeses", its distinctive flavour is under threat from the Government's anti-salt campaigners.

Cheese makers say they are under pressure to slash levels of salt to meet the Department of Health's targets.

Although Whitehall is encouraging voluntary reductions, it could force companies to reduce salt by law if they are slow to act.

Stilton makers accept the need to cut salt in the national diet - particularly from processed foods. But they argue that it plays a key role in the creation of all blue cheeses and that tampering with the recipe could be disastrous.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has proposed cutting the salt in blue cheese to under 1.9 per cent but makers say Stilton typically needs around 2.5 per cent.

Talks with the FSA ended a few weeks ago and the watchdog is drawing up draft guidelines.

Salt is added partly for taste, partly to drive out moisture and also to slow the development of bacteria.

Without salt, the curd "races away" and the resulting cheese is unpalatable and does not last well.

"Of all the blue cheeses, Stilton has consistently the lowest salt levels," said Mr White.

"The reason it is higher than cheddar is that if you don't get an even distribution of salt above a minimum level, you won't get the cheese to blue. And since blueing is the single most important characteristic of blue cheese, you risk shooting yourself in the foot."

He also argues that British cheeses are being discriminated against. French makers are under no pressure to lower salt and a Roquefort has around four per cent.

The FSA said it was eager to reach a voluntary agreement with the Stilton makers but warned that mandatory limits were possible.

"We are responsible for finding a way of reducing the nation's salt and we have a target of six grams a day by 2010," a spokesman said.

"We have to find a way to do so while taking into account manufacturers' concerns about traditional recipes. Nobody is suggesting making products unpalatable but at some time we will have to weigh that against the health implications."

I'm sorry, but at what stage, exactly, did I elect these ghastly shits to control what I eat? Was this in Labour's manifesto? At what point did I elect these cunts to tell cheesemakers how much salt these can use?

How did this country, admired for so long for it's people's hard won freedoms, come to the sorry state wherein we are today? Do we know the answer: I do.

Such measures could only come from a socialist regime. Socialism requires, by its very nature, the state to control its citizens; such micromanagement in our name, in the name of our health, could come only from an intrinsically socialist government. Socialism: it's the root of all evil.

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