Voices The Houses of Parliament illuminated at night

It’s a tough life at the House of Commons. Aperitifs are in short supply, the Cajun food is poor and there is a dearth of ‘fresh game’ on the lunchtime menu.

Barley: Planting is down 19 per cent. Seed for spring planting is in short supply

Beleaguered farmers' third poor harvest in a row means British shoppers will rely on imported food - and prices will rise

Crops from potatoes and peas to cereals are being hit, leading to increased reliance on imported produce

Top of the pots: You don't need a garden to grow your own vegetables

Tomatoes, potatoes, even courgettes, are perfectly happy in pots says our green-fingered correspondent.

My life in food: Tom Nichol

Master distiller, Tanqueray

Gizzi Erskine: 'My earliest food memories are peeling veggies, chopping and making jam tarts’

My Life in Food: Gizzi Erskine

Until the age of 23, Gizzi Erskine was a professional body-piercer in Camden, north London. Now a food writer, chef and television presenter, she is best known as the host of the Channel 4 show Cook Yourself Thin and for the bestselling book of the same name. Her latest book, Skinny Weeks & Weekend Feasts, is due to be released on 28 March. She is working with Total Greek Yoghurt (totalgreekyoghurt.com) to create two new recipes.

Brazil’s big landowners have far too much power

Every 12 days in Brazil, someone gets murdered in a land-related conflict - how do the landowners get away with it?

Mark Pitts-Tucker, Cheese grader: 'Every good cheese grader has a secret bit of the fridge for his finest stuff'

My Life in Food: Mark Pitts-Tucker, cheese grader

Pitts-Tucker is in charge of assessing all the cheese made by Davidstow, the largest cheddar producer in the UK. He grades each cheese on body (firmness), texture (feel) and flavour (style and strength level). He works most often with the Cathedral City brand, eating around 500 chunks of 500 different cheese blocks each week.

Pork cooked in milk with potatoes and sage by Blanche Vaughan

Pork cooked in milk with potatoes and sage

Ingredients to serve 4

Ken Hom: 'When I come to the UK and to London, I really want to eat good Chinese food and the UK has some of the best Chinese food in Europe.'

My Life in Food: Ken Hom

'If I ever feel the pang of homesickness, I eat something with rice. It's my comfort food'

Jamie Roberts: Why Bruce Springsteen, self-belief and porridge are on menu for me today

Millennium Eye: We have to play on the front foot to right the wrongs of the autumn

Chef John Torode

John Torode: My life in food...

John Torode is best known as the straight-talking TV presenter and judge of BBC’s MasterChef. He originally moved to the UK from his native Australia in the mid-1990s when he worked for the Conran Group. He owns two London restaurants. He is now working with IWSC Winemaker of the Year Neil McGuigan to launch the Neil McGuigan & John Torode Recipe Collection, a personalised food and wine matching service: mcguiganwines.co.uk

The reclusive family who didn't see another human for 40 years

Those with an interest in 20th century history will be familiar with the stories of famous recluses like Howard Hughes or the Vietnam vets who emerged from the jungle some 20 years after the war had ended, but the Lykov family beats them all.

When a team of Soviet geologists accidentally stumbled across the family in a remote part of Siberia, they were so isolated that they were unaware that the second world war had even started, never mind finished. It was 1978.

Ham, mustard and parsley tartiflette

A little oil, for greasing
1kg waxy potatoes, peeled
1 large onion, peeled
Approx. 3 thick slices of ham (200g), torn
1 whole 250g camembert cheese, torn into 2cm chunks
3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus 1 tablespoon to serve
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
200ml hot vegetable stock
300ml double cream (not single as it will split during cooking)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Did the French invent chips? Or was it the Belgians?

French battle Belgians over invention of ‘les frites’

Neighbours fight for right to be named 'home of the chip'

Use leftover meat to make turkey croquettes and serve with cranberry sauce

Turkey croquettes

Serves 10

Airlines and aircraft makers use sacks of potatoes to test in-flight wireless internet connections

If the wireless internet connection during your holiday flight seems more reliable than it used to, you could have the humble potato to thank.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee