Gordon Ramsey has a problem with food processing

Chef Gordon Ramsay told the BBC that British restaurants should be fined if they serve fruit and vegetables which are not in season, and that fruit and vegetables should be locally-sourced and only on menus when in season.

"There should be stringent laws, licensing laws, to make sure produce is only used in season and season only. If we don’t restrict our movements within this industry of seasonal-produce only, then the whole thing will spiral out of control."

Ramsay also went on to vent his anger at fellow TV chef Delia Smith, whose latest book, How to Cheat at Cooking, encourages people to mix together ready-made food rather than cook from scratch if they are short of time or on a tight budget, adding,

"I would expect students struggling on £15 a week to survive eating from a can but the nation’s favourite, all-time icon reducing us down to using frozen, canned food. It’s an insult. And it makes our lives, from a chef’s point of view, a lot harder. Here we are trying to establish a reputation across the world for this country’s food and along comes Delia and tips it out of a can. That hurts."

Me, I’m a fan of freezing, canning, fresh and whatever. It’s about mixing it up. Frozen corn, peas (left) and others, canned tomatoes and sauces, the garden out back, Amy and I got it all (and enjoyed our first spinach and lettuce salad of the season this evening, with frozen scallops, which don’t grow so well in Manhattan — Kansas).

I’ll have more to say about this in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Oxfam’s head of research, Duncan Green, said he was sure "the million farmers in east Africa who rely on exporting their goods to scrape a living would see Gordon Ramsay’s assertions as a recipe for disaster."