Gobby Chef: Processed Food…Processed S**te!

David Mooney - image courtesy of Paul Warpole Photography. David Mooney – image courtesy of Paul Warpole Photography.

David Mooney spent his early years travelling in France indulging his love of food, wine and life in general. It’s still his favourite travel destination. David is one of Cheshire’s original celebrity chefs. Having worked with the likes of Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White in the past, he currently focuses on his three gorgeous pubs. www.carrwoodltd.com


Yet again the news is about thousands of tons of contaminated food being thrown away. Yes folks, this time it’s eggs again, following hotly on the tails of horse meat. Why is this constant roundabout of appalling food safety allowed to continue asks David Mooney?

Let’s strip it back to essentials – the population is expanding and needs food; we all understand that.

But surely, we don’t have to eat the ever-increasing processed gunk that is placed on our supermarket shelves and promoted with glossy photos and ‘cool’ serving suggestions.


When did a processed lasagne ever come out remotely looking like it does on the sleeve?

Let’s call it as it is – it’s a factory product, over processed, full of compounds and chemicals and god only knows what else.

I guess what I’m saying is buy stuff from a source you know – if it’s meat, then form a relationship with a local butcher; find a local fishmonger (yes, I know it’s hard!), find a real farm shop where they grow stuff.

What this involves is time and planning, but it can become a great family activity.

If your kids are picking the carrots caked in soil; washing them and peeling them – pound for penny they’ll be desperate to eat them, and so begins a cycle.

Remember how eager we all were as kids to barbeque those dopey mackerel that jumped on our hooks when we were on holiday in Wales? Same rules apply with any food item.

So, come on good people of Cheshire; look around and see what glorious products we have.

Let’s all make a massive effort to avoid doing our main shopping at the supermarket; even those that use evocative black & white pictures of their ‘producers’.

They never put a picture of the Frey Bentos factory on display, do they?

On the subject of cooking, all it needs is three or four decent saucepans, a few decent knifes and a little common sense.

You’ll find that however complex a recipe is, the same general rules apply.

If you’re not that confident, get yourself down to your local college and you’ll be amazed at how much better you will eat and you’ll be amazed how much money you can save (to spend on wine!).

Image courtesy of @sircharlesmoon Image courtesy of @sircharlesmoon

Just a quick personal plea when buying your food. Always buy the best you can afford. There’s no such thing as cheap food (ask any farmer!), just great value food.

For instance, if you buy a great chicken that will cost you, say, £14, but by using every morsel, including the carcass, you can easily get six or seven great meals from it.

Guess what? You get more food for your pound and, more importantly, more enjoyment and a great experience.

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