You can’t eat a label but sure as eggs you can read one and it might help you decide whether you want to eat the food behind it. At Bohemian Mojo's FoodFight we’ve been talking recently about the contrast between GM or ‘transgenic’ food and heritage strains.

It’s our intention to discuss these differences more fully in the days and weeks to come. But the point where these quite radical differences meet are in the world of labeling and its in crisis.

Last July the United States flew in the face of world practice and the wishes of their home consumers when the House passed a Bill preventing individual states from requiring GM food to be so labeled.
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Stilton is a protected designation of origin cheese and in order to be called Stilton must be from one of three counties; either Derbyshire, Leicestershire, or Nottinghamshire in the U.K. Sharp and pungent with a creamy earthiness; stilton cheese is traditionally enjoyed with a nice glass of port. Tonight’s cheese is actually accompanying dinner so no port is on the scene, although a nice glass of shiraz seems to be holding its own with the strong stilton flavors.

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The Problem of Packaging - Try this simple packaging test. Go to your local farmers market, buy some vegetables then watch the trader pop them into a brown paper bag. There’s something reassuring about seeing it flipped over to seal the pack with a twist.

Next stroll into your nearest supermarket and try to buy anything, really anything, that isn’t pre-wrapped in plastic. Even the bags provided for the limited selection of un-pre-packed veg will be a form of plastic.

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Buttery, creamy, with a hint of earthy nuttiness, Ossau Iraty is a traditional Basque cheese. It's an AOC protected status. Protected status is a practice that is critical to small communities, regions, and traditional means of producing food. 

I stumbled across a wedge of Ossau Iraty quite by accident and am completely smitten. It is delicious! I must confess, sheep’s cheese is beginning to hedge to the top of my favorites list. This particular cheese originates in the Pyrenees and is the only cheese from the Pyrenees with a controlled designation of origin, the AOC. The AOC, is a French designation recognizing that legally any cheese using the name Ossau Iraty must comply with the designated criteria and come from the designated area.

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There's a whole new meaning to tempting your tastebuds. Do not be fooled if someone tells you that flavor is flavor is flavor and all like foods taste the same. This actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, an apple is going to have many similarities to all the other apples; that’s what makes them apples.

However, once you start narrowing down actual flavor characteristics and “notes”, believe me, a Fuji apple from New Zealand tastes very different from a Fuji apple grown in Washington. The difference comes from a little thing called Terroir (pronounced tear waaahr).

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The term “heirloom” typically applies to fruits and vegetables. Heirloom is defined as “a horticultural variety that has survived for several generations usually due to the efforts of private individuals”. Heirlooms are hardy (quality) strains of older cultivars that are open pollinated. While there seems to be some disagreement how old a cultivar has to be to be referred to as “heirloom”, there is a general consensus that it should be older than the 1950’s which is when agribusiness began introducing the first inbred hybrid plants and seeds.

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