It's been a good week for … vegetarians

It's been a good week for … vegetarians

Let me tell you about Nanny, a late acquaintance of my childhood. She was a poor soul: personal hygiene problems and a tendency to bleat about nothing. But I suppose she had a rough time of it, what with her son Billy being a bit of a hooligan. We were all very fond of her, though. Well, she was nicer to have around than those vicious geese. Did I mention Nanny was our goat?

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Nice as it was to grow up in the countryside, the creatures great and small which made up our resident menagerie had their downsides and the smell of goat is one that has lingered with me for many years.

That is why I won't be bemoaning the news of a global shortage of goat's cheese due to a gap between supply and demand across Europe. Experts say the shortage could push up costs in both supermarkets and restaurants and some chefs may even have to remove the product from their menus entirely.

Vegetarians will be celebrating - how fed up they must be of the various incarnations of goat's cheese tartlet that haunt so many menus. Perhaps the crisis in the nanny state will force chefs to employ more imagination in creating their dishes. Or am I kidding myself?

It's been a bad week for … Irn-Bru

The owner of a British food shop in Canada has been banned from selling Irn-Bru. Tony Badger, who owns Brit Foods in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, said food safety officials removed the fizzy drink from his shelves, along with delicacies including Marmite, Ovaltine, Lucozade, Penguin biscuits and Bovril.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reportedly cracking down on the sale of such goods. The recipe for Irn-Bru, Scotland's most popular soft drink, is top secret, but it contains at least one additive - Ponceau 4R - which has been linked to hyperactivity and does not appear on the approved food list in Canada. The other products are banned because they are "enriched with vitamins and minerals", while some canned foods and soup contained too much animal product.

AG Barr, maker of Irn-Bru, is probably not over concerned about its Canadian market, having just announced it expects to grow full-year revenues by 6% to about £252 million.

But Badger and his clients are fizzing. One customer, Nigel Westwick, a Brit, said: "For a country that allows one to buy firearms, guns, bullets … stopping a soft drink suitable for all ages seems a little ludicrous."

Indeed. What a bru-haha.