FARMING MATTERS: Trying veganuary but sticking to meat
When most people think of British farmers they think of cattle and sheep and perhaps a bit of wheat and barley.
But there are many more types of farmer including those who grow sugar beet, vegetables and fruit.
So it is not only meat eaters who are sustained by the work of our farmers, vegetarians and vegans also benefit.
Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January, and so when I received an invitation to try out Veganuary Dining at Stoke Place country house hotel in south Buckinghamshire I decided to give it a try.
In our household we could never be vegans, or vegetarians for that matter. We enjoy our meat too much and eat our own Terrick Beef and Terrick Lamb, as well as chicken, pork and bacon from other local producers.
But I often cook vegetarian food and enjoy it. Vegan, however, is something else entirely. In addition to excluding meat, vegans also exclude eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. In addition, many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines.
To my mind, it doesn’t seem to leave a lot to enjoy!
But the menu I was sent sounded appealing so I went along with a friend and enjoyed a lunch of carrot, ginger and coconut soup, chestnut and sage crushed butternut with crispy kale and oyster mushrooms followed by chocolate brownie with a berry compote and raspberry sorbet.
It was indeed delicious, and unlike most times when I eat out, I managed the full three courses and the bread roll served with the soup. This is because the menu was light and at the end of the meal I felt satisfied but not stuffed like I usually do after a meal out.
However, by evening I was beginning to feel peckish again. So although the menu was interesting I prefer to give my custom to all farmers - livestock, arable, fruit and vegetable, to enjoy a full compliment of the food on offer from the agricultural sector.