I love Porridge, obviously! But not just because it’s delicious and a highly nutritious grain but because oats are a sustainable crop. From the time we ceased hunter-gathering and settled into farming the land, oats have been a regular harvest and part of the nations diet. This is for a very good and very practical reason – they grow well in our climate on even poor soil. So at a time of increasing concern for food security isn’t it time we looked again at indigenous crops?
Having been a student of Environmental Sciences I ‘cut my teeth’ in the world of food by reading books like the 1975 seminal text ‘Can Britain Fee Itself’ written by Ecologist Kenneth Mellanby. His worked showed me that Britain could be self-sufficient in food, if we employed correct agricultural techniques and a diet based on healthy but simple foods. These findings were repeated again in 2008 by the University of Reading who found that under an organic agricultural system Britain could actually increase production of certain crops, sustainable crops like oats.
It is against this backdrop of increasing interest in food self sufficiency that I am very excited to see the launch of a new oat product by Mornflake. Whilst not organic, Mornflake Gold Scottish Oats can make the statement of being 100% grown and milled in Scotland. Being the oldest oat company in the country, having been milling since 1675, Mornflake is still independently owned and managed by the Lea family.
Working to produce and then to promote a ‘Scotland’s Own’ Porridge I feel is a good step by Mornflake in remembering and regaining pride in our national foods. If we are to become more sustainable in what we grown and eat we must remember our food heritage and our food culture.
Mornflake kindly sent me packs of the new oats to test out and later in the week I will post some of my favourite recipes using the Gold Scottish Oats. I should point out that yes I have worked with Mornflake in the past, I’ve even won the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship Speciality Trophy with thier oats. So I am more than a little biased when it comes to their Porridge but a company working for future food security and to keep me in Porridge for some time to come! I will raise my spurtle too!