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Not English enough: Indian-origin woman denied permission to sell chicken tikka masala in UK

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

While English food is commonly associated with fish and chips and the Sunday roast, the Chicken tikka masala has long enjoyed equivalent popularity, if not more.

It should come as a surprise then, that when an enterprising food trader applied to serve the curry at a St George’s Day celebration, she was refused on the grounds that it was “not English enough”.

Vehemently turning down Tania Rahman’s request, the Salisbury City Council, sent her an email explaining that visitors to the event should eat “English themed food only”.

Miss Rahman, who runs an Indian street food company called Chit Chaat Chai, was “shocked and upset” with the pronouncement.

“We were dismayed to find out that our application has not been successful on the grounds that it was deemed ‘not English enough’.

“In the multicultural hotbed that is modern Britain, it is inconceivable to not celebrate the impact of Indian culture to British life and what better way to do so than by exploring the culinary delights of the former British Empire… A little history will reveal that St George himself was in fact of Palestinian heritage.

St George’s Day is a celebration of all things English, yet much of English culture (tea drinking, for instance) was adopted from India”, she said in a message on the company’s Facebook page.

She received a dismissive reply from the city council stating, “It has been decided that St Georges day [sic] will be English themed food only. I hope this helps.”

With an aim to justify the response, a spokesman of the city council said the email to Miss Rahman had been “poorly worded” and insisted: “The council never intended to be racist.

“The theme of the St George’s Day event in 2015 was olde worlde traditional English with Morris Dancers and dragon fighting. Ms Rahman has raised some very interesting points about modern England and the Council will wish to reflect upon these issues when setting the theme for the St George’s Day in 2016 and onwards.”

Chicken tikka masala was only recently supplanted as Britain’s most popular dish, after holding the title for years.

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Farmers To Grow Modified Cotton With Its Seed Edible

Many of the world’s roughly 80 cotton-producing countries, especially in Asia and Africa, have populations that face malnutrition that could be addressed with the new plant

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Cotton
An experimental cotton plant is shown at a Texas A&M research facility in this handout image provided by the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in College Station, Texas, U.S. VOA

U.S. regulators have cleared the way for farmers to grow a cotton plant genetically modified to make the cottonseed edible for people, a protein-packed potential new food source that could be especially useful in cotton-growing countries beset with malnutrition.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Tuesday lifted the regulatory prohibition on cultivation by farmers of the cotton plant, which was developed by Texas A&M University scientists. The plant’s cottonseed cannot be used as food for people or as animal feed yet in the United States because it lacks Food and Drug Administration approval.

Cotton
Cotton plant. pixabay

Cotton is widely grown around the world, with its fiber used to make textiles and the cottonseed used among other things to feed animals such as cattle and sheep that have multiple stomach chambers. Ordinary cottonseed is unfit for humans and many animals to eat because it contains high levels of gossypol, a toxic chemical.

With financial help from a cotton industry group, scientists led by Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant biotechnologist Keerti Rathore used so-called RNAi, or RNA interference, technology to “silence” a gene, virtually eliminating gossypol from the cottonseed. They left gossypol at natural levels in the rest of the plant because it guards against insects and disease.

“To me, personally, it tastes somewhat like chickpea and it could easily be used to make a tasty hummus,” Rathore said of gossypol-free cottonseed.

After cottonseed oil, which can be used for cooking, is extracted, the remaining high-protein meal from the new cotton plant can find many uses, Rathore said.

Cotton
If all of the cottonseed currently produced worldwide were used for human nutrition, it could meet the daily protein requirements of about 575 million people. Pixabay

It can be turned into flour for use in breads, tortillas and other baked goods and used in protein bars, while whole cottonseed kernels, roasted and salted, can be consumed as a snack or to create a peanut butter type of paste, Rathore added.

If all of the cottonseed currently produced worldwide were used for human nutrition, it could meet the daily protein requirements of about 575 million people, Rathore said.

Other countries would have to give regulatory approval for the new cotton plant to be grown, though U.S. regulatory action often is taken into consideration.

Also Read: Food Cooked on The Barbecue Can Impair Your Lungs

The new cottonseed’s biggest commercial use may be as feed for poultry, swine and farmed aquatic species like fish and shrimp, Rathore said.

Many of the world’s roughly 80 cotton-producing countries, especially in Asia and Africa, have populations that face malnutrition that could be addressed with the new plant, Rathore added. (VOA)