There are all kinds of reasons not to like celebrity chefs: envy of their boyish good looks, say, the fact they never have to wash up, or their ability to do things with a courgette and a peeler than would make grown men weep.
Today the papers had a new one: TV chefs are to blame for Britain’s food waste problem. Not because Nigella tips litres of goose fat down the plughole every time she whips up a Sunday roast, but because they dupe unsophisticated shoppers into buying obscure and exotic ingredients we don’t need and will probably never use.
What’s more, the unhealthy obsession top chefs have with using fresh food instead of the processed stuff that keeps so much longer means we chuck even more in the bin. Delia was held up as an exception, a positive role model unafraid to ‘cheat’ with pre-prepared ingredients.
Of course, this is tough to square with the eternal battle to get us to eat more fruit and vegetables (although frozen veg gets a free pass from the University of Manchester team that made the report).
Perhaps it’s just as well Andrew Lansley was elsewhere. Like a less charismatic Jamie Oliver, the embattled health secretary took his message of hope across the Atlantic today, telling UN grandees that governments around the world should join hands, sing a few songs and make obesity their top priority for public health – rather than, say, malaria.
Either way, food waste will be a key theme in this Saturday edition of The Grocer, which marks our latest annual Green Issue.
Meanwhile, with Lansley out of the picture the Liberal Democrats were banging the drum about the Grocery Code Adjudicator at their annual party conference, pledging to “stand firm” against supermarket power. If that’s meant in the same way they stood firm against tuition fee increases, it was probably the last thing suppliers wanted to hear.