Parents turn their backs on the packs

Barbara Crick making pasta at her home in Emsworth
Barbara Crick making pasta at her home in Emsworth
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Packet appeal is waning among parents – and those at the forefront of the food industry have the evidence.

Butchers and cooks have reported a rise in people wanting to find out more about the contents of their meals and learn to cook from scratch rather than opt for ready meals.

‘It’s in the wake of the horse meat scandal. People are trying to find out more about cooking and asking the advice of their local businesses,’ says Barbara Crick, founder of Emsworth Cookery School.

The great news is that Barbara, Emsworth butcher’s H H Treagust and Sons and Sheila Stakim, from the Emsworth Chiropractic Clinic, have teamed up for an affordable session in cookery advice and combating the effects of modern convenience living.

Aimed at families, the event at The Emsworth Centre will feature demonstrations with locally-supplied ingredients and three-minute exercises to improve posture.

The businesses banded together after butcher’s shop owner Sue Treagust and Barbara noted a rise in people asking for advice.

‘They were going into the butcher’s and saying they wanted to cook a spaghetti Bolognese and didn’t really know how to go about it – not from scratch anyway,’ says Barbara.

The cook has also been receiving more comments and enquiries from parents and children coming to her classes.

‘People want to know what they’re eating and have more control over the ingredients.’

Barbara will be demonstrating simple mince dishes at the event, using products from H H Treagust and other local businesses.

She says: ‘I think it’s just the case that people haven’t learned and it’s all too easy to buy a packet of food or open a jar.’

Even those adept at mince dishes might learn a thing or two as Barbara will be showing them how to create particularly tasty recipes using the best herbs and less salt than is found in a jar of sauce

The exercises are for children and adults who spend too long hunched over computers or mobile phones. .

The event is at 7pm on Wednesday, May 22 at The Emsworth Centre in South Street. Tickets are £3 and available from H H Treagust and Sons in High Street and Emsworth Chiropractic Clinic in North Street.