Stazjia’s Commentary

Posts Tagged ‘food

This year, up to September, food prices in the UK rose by 9%. Much of the rise was a combination of increased oil prices, poor harvests and a trend for crops to be produced for bio-fuels. Now prices are beginning to either fall or rise more slowly.

Generally harvests around the world have improved this year, although some crops in the UK have suffered from the wet summer. Even so, fruit and vegetables prices have fallen by an average of 5.9%. A factor in price reductions has been increasing numbers of consumers buying from discount supermarkets with Aldi seeing an increase in customers numbers of 21%. Stores like Tesco and Sainsburys have had to bring down prices to hold on to customers.

Another trend in the UK has been a switch by shoppers from higher priced foods, for example, buying minced (ground) beef instead of steak. Even Waitrose, one of the UK’s higher priced supermarkets, have started selling cheaper cuts of meat like ox cheek and pigs’ trotters.

Petrol (Gas) Prices
Today Brent Crude Oil is selling for $68 a barrel, a big drop from its record high of $147 a barrel in July this year. Finally, we are beginning to see a fall in prices for motorists at the pumps.

Yesterday Gordon Brown told petrol retailers they should be dropping their prices to below £1 (British pound) per litre. He said there was too much variation throughout the country with some petrol stations charging £1.20 per litre while two supermarkets, Asda and Morrisons, are charging 99p (pence) .  The Automobile Association (AA) in the UK has released a statement today saying that prices of petrol in Britain have fallen faster than the summer increase. With average prices in mid September of just over £1.24 per litre as opposed to an average of just over £1.17 today, The AA said, “The 6.48 pence petrol price change compares with the record 5.6 pence increase in June.”

Now we just have to hope that companies pass on these savings in their own costs to consumers. If they don’t, their sales will almost certainly suffer with increasing worries about job security and rises in the cost  of mortgages.


Although they are moving out of the East End of London, Cockneys can still be found in and around the capital in a wide range of occupations. Some still eat jellied eels and pie and mash. There are even still pearly kings and queens.

read more | digg story

A typical full English breakfast with eggs, sausage, black pudding, tomato, baked beans.

A typical full English breakfast with eggs, sausage, black pudding, baked beans.

Yesterday I finished two new lenses. They started off as just one called Meet the English but the section on food got so long that I decided to put it in a lens of its own called English Food Explained.

In the second lens, I show pictures of traditional food like a ‘full English breakfast’, shepherd’s pie, toad in the hole and steamed treacle pudding with a bit of explanation. I also cover how we English eat now, particularly how we’ve taken to foreign food like ducks to water. I hope it’s interesting.

I thought Meet the English would be quite lighthearted but it didn’t work out like that. I start off lightly enough with ‘English Humour’ and even patriotism wasn’t too serious. When I got to English Passions Run High, I wrote about rioting and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Religion was so-so, but ‘The English and Alcohol’ got very serious with all the binge drinking that goes on here. I managed to end on a lighter note, though, with Sport.

It’s not as much fun as London Cockneys, that’s for sure.

It’s raining again today – actually it’s bucketing down and there’s a severe weather warning. We’ve had so much rain over the last couple of weeks that the ground is sodden and can’t absorb any more. I took the dogs for a walk on the common at 7.45am today and it was like paddling because there was so much water lying on top of the grass. Just like Sunday, my top half was dry under my waterproof jacket and my jeans were so wet all the way up that I had to change them as soon as I got in.

Britain is just not a fun place right now. Apart from the rain, pundits are forecasting we are heading for a recession in just a few months. I wonder what gives them that idea. Could it be the bottom falling out of the property market, people not being able to get mortgages, nobody’s got any money to spend so businesses are having a hard time, rising oil prices, more people going bankrupt, etc, etc?

I think that the problem isn’t really in the Government’s power to fix. It all started with the home loans problems in the USA and the fact that British banks got hit because they had been underwriting some of those mortgages. That led to a shortage of mortgage funds here, people couldn’t get mortgages which led to home owners not able to sell their property at the expected price (or at all, in some cases), and then a lot of personal loans and borrowings have dried up. Most people are nervous now and just not prepared to spend money the way they have been doing with easy credit available. All of this against the background of rising fuel and food prices.


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