Food Writer Katie Johnson

PUBLISHED: 16:44 08 January 2013 | UPDATED: 22:36 20 February 2013

Food Writer Katie Johnson

Food Writer Katie Johnson

Pictured as an incentive for us all will be a slim, spot-free smiling lass eating yoghurt<br/><br/>... and all of 18 years old

Hands up then, whos over-done the festivities? Are you wearing a pair of trainers? Perhaps youve bought an item in Lycra and maybe even a reflective vest for physical activities in the dark

What I am willing to bet this month is that page after page of magazines and newspapers will be focusing on diet and exercise and pictured as an incentive for us all will be a slim, spot-free smiling lass eating yoghurt ... and all of 18 years old.

We all know what we should be doing and yet each year were bombarded with a new fad diet, and slimming programmes seeing an increase in membership.

Were led to believe that a lot of the problems with the increase in obesity must stem from food labelling, hence the traffic light system coming in this summer. Next year there will be even more regulations to make it easier for us to see whats in our food and where it comes from. The latter Im happy about as food products will have to declare the country of origin for meat (in an ideal world it would only ever be British) and also the plant origin of any oils, such as palm oil used in just about everything nowadays, resulting in the devastation of vast amounts of rainforests. Lets hope that soon the words with regard to this product will read 100% sustainable and credible.

Calories too will have to be written on restaurant menus, which tends to spoil the treat part doesnt it? And lets be honest, havent we been labelling cigarettes for years, yet people still smoke.

I think there is a lost connection with food for a lot of people, whether its due to the dominance of supermarkets or the lack of farm visits from schools I dont know, although thank goodness for Open Farm Sunday, now firmly established in the calendar for June.

Food and drink festivals certainly do their bit to help but theyre in hibernation at the moment. One of the best ways to re-establish the relationship is using your farmers market and because they operate all year round you cant help but eat seasonally and local, and by getting to know the producer behind the stall, you learn exactly where the food comes from who needs a label then!

Food and drink is part of our life, its our fuel as well as marking major events such as birthdays, weddings, christenings and funerals.

Sadly we have just lost Glyns mum and again with food intended to assist recovery, we have witnessed hospital offerings up close and personal. Lets just say we certainly had our eyes opened, not only with what a patient is offered, but how they make sure the patient eats what they are given. But thats another column for another time.

One thing my mum-in-law loved was making herb beer, at one time producing 15 bottles a week. It contained seven ingredients including yarrow and nettles and certainly gained a reputation, but not necessarily for the taste!

One Sunday afternoon when Glyn was opening a bottle in the garden (which says it all) the cork flew off and it and the contents shot off over the wall. The next day a lady told us shed been drenched in the stuff when passing, so much so that her husband had accused her of drinking! There was also the exploding bottle in the boot of a Mini and the cork embedded in the ceiling of a friends kitchen well thats one way of starting the New Year with a bang!

Former farmer Katie is a familiar face across the region as a presenter at food and drink events and a champion of regional produce.

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