Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sick of being sick, food in Britain, and copyrighting recipes

I have been languishing in my sickbed for two solid days, mostly too ill for meditation, although I have reached the following conclusion: surely the ailment that delivers the hardest blow to the solar plexis of the student of food culture is stomach flu. My diet since Monday has consisted of a large bottle of water, two glasses of juice, and this evening about a half cup of cooked white rice. Not least of my discomforts was the irritation of knowing I was missing lectures by visiting food culture expert Laura Mason, who I'd particularly wanted to hear. I did manage to listen to the radio for a little while today, and reflect on some recent articles I'd read.

I listened again to a report on Italian vs British food on the latest Food Programme, which is available online until Sunday when it is replaced by a report on olive oil: very timely for us as we begin a few weeks of study on that very topic. This episode was built around a visit to Fiera del Bue Grasso in Piemonte. Some interesting discussion about attitudes to food, issues around steroid use in cattle, and a recipe for brasato. One remark caught my ear (by eminent food writer Anna del Conte, a longtime Italian expat living in Dorset), which was that there was good food to be had in Britain, and the opportunity to buy from producers, but getting hold of it was tied to class (and income).

On a partially connected note I spotted a piece by Israeli food writer Daniel Rogov on finding good food in Britain. I was amused by his observation that “French restaurants have become the rage in the city and many of these serve meals that, in addition to being creative and exquisite are often so expensive that a weekend in Paris is a cheaper way to enjoy French food than by dining in London.”

I had come upon Rogov while reading his excellent commentary on recipe writing which I’d been led to by following a report on some weird things happening with food patents and copyrights Oddly enough, a friend (thanks Ruth!) had earlier in the week sent me a link to an article about food experiments by the very chef Cantu mentioned in the copyright article. Not convinced this is the kind of food I want to spend my money on just now: too many unprocessed foods I haven’t tried yet, still in their original packaging. (Why does everything I read lately make me want to wail “what have we done to our food??”)

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1 Comments:

Blogger Kyla said...

Copywriting recipes really got me excited. I'm a Chef myself and suffer from a lot of people copying my recipes, would you mind providing more information on how to protect myself internationally?

I recently moved to Kuwait, and all the way from finding a Apartment in Kuwait on the site I just linked to , which gave me the impression they had supporting laws that protect great ideas, IP laws. To the plethora of International Companies that work in the region.

Yet shockingly upon working in the region for sometime, I soon realized that anyone and anybody could copy my recipes, down to the names I marketed them as, and I could do nothing about it.

Any ideas?

12:47 PM  

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