I found it fascinating to read an article about Russian scientists making food products like chocolate biscuits and yoghurt from blood rather than from dairy products. The technology is sophisticated and separates blood into its component parts for treatment in different ways to achieve different results.
The finished products are, apparently, delicious and much cheaper than the milk-based originals. Not surprisingly, these are products that would be difficult to market in the UK. But why should that be?
When we are becoming increasingly environmentally aware and introducing legislation to ensure as much recycling as possible and less landfilling, why are we using less of the 'fifth quarter' of slaughtered animals?
Quite rightly, foot and mouth disease and BSE have highlighted the dangers of almost indiscriminate recycling, but surely we should have a more sophisticated approach.
When I was a food technology student in the late 'sixties, the sort of research just done by the Russians was encouraged and we saw it as being environmentally sensitive to use as much of a slaughtered animal as possible. We had people like Magnus Pyke to champion what was being done. Nowadays, food technology is an unpopular subject because it is seen to be linked with bad practices, GM foods etc.
While I am no advocate of using cheaper raw materials and passing them off as something else, I do believe that we need to take a more educated look at recycling bone and offal. The Russian example is perhaps not right for the UK, but the principle is.