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Food foraging: how to find fresh food for free

by Hannah Stokes

We're a nation of food lovers - but the cheaper and fresher it is - the more we love it! So what do you say to handpicked food for free?

Food foraging is becoming more popular, with those in the know taking a countryside stroll and coming home laden with ingredients.

As well as saving money it can also mean unique flavours. It's rumoured London's famous Ivy restaurant was so named after the head chef added the plant to his dishes.

So we sent Hannah Stokes to Hartington's cookery school in Bakewell, to discover the secrets of the Midlands landscape.

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Healthy eating costs too much according to research

People across the region are saying they do not eat healthily because it is too expensive, according to new research from a UK health charity.

Is healthy food too expensive? Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Nuffield Health has found more than a third of people in the West Midlands, and almost half of people in the East Midlands think healthy food costs too much.

Experts say the findings are concerning, and show that obesity is becoming 'the norm' in society.

Firm behind pork scare in halal burgers say no traces have been found

The makers of halal lamb burgers at the centre of a contamination scare in Leicester schools, say new tests show their products were completely pork free.

Paragon Quality Foods – based near Doncaster – say their reputation has been 'unfairly damaged' by the results of the tests carried out on behalf of Leicester City Council.

Their burgers were withdrawn from 24 schools in the city as a precaution earlier this month.

Mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulsby, said the council wil do additional tests.

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Burger maker says reputation has been 'unfairly damaged'

Paragon Quality Foods, the company at the centre of a scare over halal lamb burgers, say their products are 'pork free', despite tests by Leicester City Council.

The firm said the initial DNA tests carried out by the council, which found halal burgers contained some pork, were not carried out on a formal controlled sample .The company sent samples to an independent specialist.

'I am pleased to announce that all of the results confirm that Paragon Halal Lamb burgers were clear of pork. Our good reputation has been unfairly damaged by the publications since May 8, 2013 and we trust that it will now be fully restored.'

– Metin Pekin, Paragon Quality Foods

Leicester City Council said last week that they had removed the burgers as a precautionary measure while further tests on the burgers were carried out. They also said they would no longer continue to work with the company,

Halal burger tests challenged

The Paragon Foods factory at Armthorpe, near Doncaster Credit: ITV News

The manufacturers of halal lamb burgers withdrawn from schools in Leicester after a sample was said to contain pork, have challenged the findings of the test.

Leicester City Council took the decision to remove all the halal lamb burgers from schools following the scare and 6000 letters were sent out to parents, following DNA tests at Doncaster-based Paragon Quality Foods Limited.

The company say the tests were not based on a formal controlled sample and are challenging the decision. They say their own independent analysis shows the results should have come back that the burgers were 'pork free'.

Investigation launched over halal contamination

The Food Standards Agency and Doncaster Metropolitan Council are investigating how, and where, pork got into halal lamb burgers that were then supplied to schools in Leicester.

Further tests are being carried out on remaining stock at Paragon Quality Foods in Doncaster.

The city council is pressing the relevant authorities to investigate this matter as rigorously as possible. Food fraud is a serious offence and those responsible should face the full force of the law

– Adrian Russell, Leicester City Council

The council has contacted the headteachers of the 19 schools potentially affected to advise them of the action being taken. 6000 letters have also been sent to parents of children at the schools concerned. Meetings have also taken place with Muslim city councillors.

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