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.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...