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Food for Thought

Novembre 2009
Nostrano o d’importazione? Jimmy Doherty, allevatore inglese, si batte per il consumo di prodotti locali. E questo vale anche per noi: occhio all’etichetta!

di Mark Worden

File audio:

Jimmy Doherty
Jimmy Doherty

Speaker: Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

The expression “to tell porkies” is common in British English. It is an example of Cockney rhyming slang: “pork pie” rhymes with “lie” and therefore a “pork pie“ means a “lie.” But in Cockney rhyming slang you must also abbreviate and remove the rhyming word; in this case “pie.” So “a lie” becomes “a porky” and “to tell a porky” means “to tell a lie.” This helps explain why a group of British pig farmers have launched a “No More Porkies!” campaign. They are angry about the fact that many of the so-called “British” pork products on sale in Britain are in fact foreign.
The campaign, which is led by BPEX, the “British Pig Executive,” has the active support of Jimmy Doherty, a pig farmer and a media personality who has presented numerous series on television, including Jimmy’s Farming Heroes. He is also a childhood friend of the “celebrity chef” Jamie Oliver. Jimmy Doherty took the campaign to this year’s Leeds (Loves) Food Festival, where he talked to Speak Up. We asked him about the pork problem:

Jimmy Doherty (Standard British accent):

Well, it’s labeling, it’s labeling. I mean, you must know that, when you go into a supermarket, how confusing it is, you’ve got to turn the pack over, it’s lots of small writing, you could be buying some pork pies that has a Union Jack on, thinking, “Oh, brilliant! It says, ‘traditional pork pies,’ or ham that’s ‘Wiltshire-cured,’ it’s got a Union Jack on, it’s got to be British, the pigs are going to be British, surely?” You turn it over, and, oh, hey presto, it’s packed in Britain, or it’s cured in Britain, or the pies are made in Britain, but the pork is from Poland! And what we’re saying, as pork farmers, is that “Just give us a level playing field because the majority of customers want to buy British” and I think it’s time that we allow simplicity to rule, so when you’re in the supermarket next time, if you’re buying a product, and it has the Quality Standard mark on, you guarantee you’re buying what you want.


Jimmy Doherty, who studied entomology before becoming a farmer, is also interested in more global food issues. Last year he traveled the world to make a documentary called Jimmy’s GM Food Fight, which was about genetically modified food. He believes that we face some major challenges:

Jimmy Doherty:

The problem we have got is that we’ve got a small area of land – or small area of top soil, shall I say? – in the world, that feeds six billion people. In 30 years’ time there’s going to be 9 billion people and they all have to be fed from the same amount of land. And the people that are going to do that and help ring in the changes, especially in terms of dealing with population growth, global climate change and conservation issues, aren’t going to be, necessarily, governments, NGOs, they’re going to be the farmer and it’s down to the farmer to do that and that’s why we need to maintain the farmers on the land now because, without those people, we’re going to be in big trouble.

For further information, visit: www.jimmysfarm.com

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pork pie - pasticcio di maiale.

lie - bugia.

pig farmers - allevatori di maiali.

childhood friend - amico d’infanzia.

it’s labeling - sta tutto nelle etichette.

you’ve got ot turn the pack over - devi capovolgere il pacchetto.

it’s lot of small writing - ci sono un sacco di scritte piccole.

Union Jack - bandiera inglese.

ham - prosciutto.

Wiltshire-cured - stagionato in salamoia (metodo tradizionale del Wiltshire).

hey presto - guarda un po’.

just give us a level playing field - stabiliamo le stesse regole per tutti (lett. dateci un campo piatto).

it’s time that we allow simplicity to rule - è ora di dare la priorità alla semplicità.

global food issues - questioni di cibo a livello globale.

major challenges - sfide importanti.

top soil - terreno coltivabile.

fed - nutrite.

the people... help ring

in the changes - la gente che aiuterà a cambiare le cose.

in terms of dealing with population growth - quando si tratta di affrontare l’aumento della popolazione.

NGOs - organizzazioni non governative (Non-Governmental Organizations).

it’s down to the farmer - spetta al contadino.

in big trouble - nei guai grossi.