Wine is going to be a nightmare—but at least we've got plenty of potatoesby Stephanie Boland / December 23, 2017 / Leave a comment
We’ve talked about how Brexit will affect immigration, the banking sector, our passports, airline prices, and Erasmus. But how will it affect our Christmas dinner?
Sit down, pour yourself a snowball (with help from the Dutch) and let’s dig in…
We’ve all heard of chlorine chicken, the US Department of Agriculture-approved treat that could be served up on British plates once your poultry industry is free of petty EU regulations.
As lecturer Simon Dawson explained, without EU rulings on minimum space, lighting and ventilation for the birds, disease and contamination can spread quickly amongst the crammed-together flock. “Washing the chicken in a strong chlorine solution … provides a brash, cost-effective method of killing any microorganisms on the surface of the bird.” (You can read more about the benefits and potential risks of chlorine chicken in Dawson’s article here.)
Whatever your read on the safety of chlorinated chicken, the idea isn’t particularly appetising. But could our post-Brexit Turkeys also be subject to a quick swimming-pool rinse?
Currently, Turkeys in the UK spend half their lives in windowless rearing sheds. Some birds are debeaked to stop them pecking each other. “Stocking density” varies according to how big the birds are, with one BBC article reporting that the Bernard Matthews site at Holton has around 7,000 birds in each 500m long shed. Currently, “industry and government standards use a formula based on the weight of the birds” to decide limits on this.
It’s not clear whether the removal of EU regulations would change this (and therefore, potentially, necessitate a chlorine wash). Many of the major providers, particularly more upmarket supermarkets like Waitrose, adhere to RSPCA or other minimum standards which allow the turkeys a better life—my instinct is it’s unlikely this would change. If even the above has you feeling a bit unsure about your dinner, though, you can check out some of the best free range Turkey farms here.
Coming shortly behind the Yorkshire puddings as the most carb-focussed and therefore most important part of the roast (don’t argue), potatoes are key to the Christmas menu—if only so you can instigate heartfelt but pretentious arguments about whether they should be done in olive oil or goose fat. (Sorry, mum.)
Luckily, then, they’re unlikely…