Recent European Health Interview Survey                                                                                                       shows we are tops when it comes to eating our ‘five a day’ 

We may be bottom of European survival rates post cancer, and used to being blamed by medical profession for our health, so it’s nice to know that we take far more care to eat healthily than our European neighbours.  When it comes to eating 5 portions of fruit and veg. a day, statitics show:-

  1. UK                                                               33.1% are following guidelines
  2. Denmark                                                       25.9%
  3. Netherlands                                                   25%
  4. France                                                         14.9%  (even with all those lovely open-air markets)
  5. Belgium                                                     12.7%
  6. Spain                                                          12.4%                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Oncologists want us to have as healthy a life style as possible;  eating sensibly, exercising etc. to enable us to live as long as possible after treatment.But – the irony is we are buying much of our fruit and veg. from European countries.  Perhaps if we stopped buying from them, and started to eat our own produce, their growers would look for local markets.  I have a strong suspicion that EU subsidies have something to do with all the produce that pours across the Channel into our supermarkets.


Having been around during the opening of Eurotunnel, I know that freight lorries are a massive source of revenue, and the organisers go overboard to keep the hauliers and their drivers happy, as they are such a massive percentage of their revenue. The tunnel is full of lorries bringing produce in to Britain, grown in Netherlands, Poland, Spain etc.


When the Referendum was going on, I was open-mouthed at the claims that we might be barred from trading with Europe.  If that happened, this would be a classic case of cutting off noses – and the ones who would suffer would be European growers.  What many don’t realise is that we now import far more from Europe, than we export to them – and fruit and veg, from Portugal to Poland, forms a huge percentage of the goods that make their way across the Channel and into our shops.  And I can’t see any Euro-crats wanting to cut off a major export market, from Polish potatoes to Dutch tomatoes – their growers would soon be demonstrating!

But  one good result of Brexit could well be more knobbly carrots and mis-shapen, but tasty fruit and veg. availabke in our shops at lower prices.  This nonsense about making everything look even and throwing out any veg that didn’t look pristine, was largely the result of Britain having to abide – or thinking we had to abide – by EU laws.  Now, Jamie Oliver and all those banging the drum for ‘two-legged’ carrots, mis-shapen parsnips etc. may get their wish – and with any luck we will see lower prices in the shops.

Where to buy ‘proper’ fruit and veg

Supermarkets have led the so-called demand for evenly-matched veg., but anyone who is looking for flavour in their food, at a price that is often cheaper than supermarkets, can Google ‘farmers markets on-line’.  Or contact the NFU (National Farmers Union), Farmers for Action or any of the many farming co-operatives now tapping into the online market, and have fun ordering.

I use, with an easy-to-navigate website, and a delivery area that is spreading across London. Every week I get a chatty email telling me what is seasonal (cob nuts, English grown figs and other goodies that appear for a few weeks), they have a tie-up with a sustainable fisherman, with info about what is going to be landed this week, and one can even choose to have Organic or ordinary fruit and veg.  It’s the nearest thing I know to wandering around a French market, but from one’s chair.

Their meat is gorgeous and they even make up Recipe boxes – all the shopping and hard work done to make a classic dish for Sunday lunch or entertaining,  Fun and practical!

I like the idea of supporting British farmers – you never know when we are really going to need them, so it’s best to encourage them to grow more of what we want.

We are behaving sensibly – so why don’t we get support?

Even though the World Health Organisation says we are some of best at getting outselves checked out for possible cancers, dis-proving the Dept. Health claim that we don’t present early enough, we still aren’t getting the support that Europeans get from Oncologists, hospitals, health services etc.  So come on, NHS.  Buck your ideas up and listen to patients – we are a pretty sensible bunch, as the stats from the European Health survey shows!  We are doing our bit, so the fact that we are bottom of the European post-cancer survival tables must show we aren’t getting support from the medical profession here.


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