Juliette Banks manages the SPCA's Blue Tick programme, which is designed to help consumers identify food products that meet high animal welfare standards. She decided one way of getting the message into Kiwi kitchens was a recipe book. Together with high-profile New Zealanders, Banks came up with recipes that included Blue Tick ingredients, creating Made With Love. Colleen Thorpe talks to Banks about the Blue Tick programme and the book.
WHO CAME UP WITH THE NAME MADE WITH LOVE?
It was the Random House team - and we loved it.
WHO IS YOUR BOOK AIMED AT AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE?
Mainstream New Zealanders, obviously the household shopper, but we want everyone to be empowered with the knowledge of the Blue Tick scheme as it is the most effective tool we have that is actively helping to improve the welfare on New Zealand farms - and getting animals out of cages.
YOUR BOOK IS MADE UP OF RECIPES FROM NEW ZEALAND CELEBRITIES. HOW DID YOU APPROACH THEM WITH THE CONCEPT ... AND HOW DID YOU CHOOSE WHOM TO APPROACH?
I already had a good relationship with some of the top celebrity chefs so once I knew I had a handful of them on board - and they loved the idea - then it was a case of approaching the rest one by one. A timely but rewarding job as only three of the 60 I approached said no. I won't say who they were.
YOU HAVE A RECIPE IN HERE YOURSELF ... HOW HARD WAS IT TO CHOOSE YOUR FAVOURITE?
I was prodded to put in a recipe myself, but given I have a sweet tooth it wasn't so hard.
SWAPPING TO FREE-RANGE FARMING IS NOT WITHOUT ITS COMPLICATIONS. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THAT.
Free range is a marketing term, not a welfare term. There is no legal definition and therefore there is no guarantee that said animal has been farmed humanely.
Clever marketers have led us to believe that hens need a big green field like a cow. Hens are naturally a forest animal and therefore feel vulnerable and stressed in an open environment because they fear overhead predators.
Our standards ensure they can express their natural behaviours, such as dust bathing, and include requirements such as the appropriate amount of perches, nest boxes, good water quality, vet care etc.
Each species has different requirements and our standards reflect this.
Barn-style farming is also approved by the Blue Tick and it is now more important than ever that Kiwis support this. Colony cages were approved by the Government in 2012 and so with the investment farmers will need to make we are going to see our hens in cages for another 30 to 50 years. Unless we drive the change at the checkout. Barn allows farmers to throw away their cages and convert without the restriction of money or land. It also offers a lower price point for consumers who cannot afford free range. And both styles are excellent welfare for the hens - without cages.
YOU ARE ACCREDITATION AND MARKETING MANAGER FOR BLUE TICK. WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE?
I manage the entire scheme from legal, marketing, managing our auditors around the country, developing the standards with experts, growing and developing the scheme, advocacy, networking and writing a cookbook.
In April we employed a part-time assistant due to the 500 per cent growth we have had since I started and we officially launched in 2010.
APART FROM YOU, WHO ELSE PUT IN A LOT OF WORK TO GET THIS BOOK AND YOUR MESSAGE OUT THERE?
Our amazing celebrities of course, including our cover models; Ray McVinnie, Nicole Whippy and Alison Leonard. Random House and the wonderful team there. Grant Allen, cook and foodstylist, who donated two weeks of his time, and photographers Rosita Manning and Antoinette Walters. Our former and multiskilled chief executive, Robyn Kippenberger, who also joined Grant in the kitchen.
WHAT PRODUCTS CAN WE BUY WITH THE BLUE TICK ON AND WHERE CAN WE GET THEM?
We recommend that people look for the Blue Tick on packs to ensure they get a humanely farmed product.
Or they can look on our website for approved brands or follow us on Facebook to keep up with the latest news.
IN WHAT WAYS CAN WE MAKE A STAND?
Vote with your wallet - these are businesses and speak the language of money.
This is why the SPCA Blue Tick is so successful. While still being non-profit, it is the commercially intelligent end of our organisation and it's working.
In 2010 we had about 200,000 animals on the scheme and now we have about five million and that figure will expand very rapidly.
And of course we would love people to buy this cookbook because the royalties go straight back into the scheme.
EXTRACT: MADE WITH LOVE
Honor Carter's chicken Caesar salad
2 tsp olive oil
2 boneless, skinless, SPCA Blue Tick chicken breasts, cut into slices
4 rashers 1cm-thick SPCA Blue Tick bacon, rind removed, cut into 1cm strips
4 slices bread, cut into cubes
4 SPCA Blue Tick eggs
1 cos lettuce, leaves picked, washed and dried
1/2 red onion, very finely sliced
1 cup Caesar salad dressing (see recipe below)
1/2 cup freshly shaved parmesan
1 tbsp white wine vinegar,
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 SPCA Blue Tick egg yolk
1 cup light olive oil
Lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Heat a frying pan over a medium to high heat. Heat 1 tsp of the oil and cook the chicken for 2 minutes each side, or until cooked but still tender. Set aside under foil.
In the same pan, fry the bacon until golden and crispy. Remove from pan and set aside, leaving behind the fat. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the bread cubes until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
To make the dressing, place the vinegar, garlic, mustard, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce and egg yolk in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat until well combined and the egg is pale and fluffy. Add the olive oil very slowly until the dressing starts to thicken. Beat in the remaining oil. When the dressing is thick and smooth, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.
Fill a saucepan with water about 4cm deep and bring the water to a very gentle simmer. Crack the eggs and gently drop them into the simmering water. This works best with fresh eggs. Poach the eggs until the white is firm and the yolk still runny, then carefully remove each egg from the water with a slotted spoon and drain thoroughly.
To assemble, toss the lettuce leaves and red onion in the dressing and divide between four large bowls or plates. Top with the grilled chicken and bacon. Gently place a poached egg on top, then scatter with croutons. Finish off with parmesan. - serves 4
Juliette Banks' flourless orange chocolate cake
Dairy, gluten and wheat free, this is a delicious, moist cake with a great orangey tang and, when made with SPCA Blue Tick eggs, it's the perfect guilt-free treat.
1 large orange
6 SPCA Blue Tick eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 & 1/2 cups ground almonds
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
Ganache: 1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp butter
200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
Orange slices: 2 medium thick-skinned oranges (about 355g), thinly sliced and pips removed
2 cups water
1/2 cup caster sugar
Place the large orange in a saucepan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for one hour or until soft. Cool.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
Pulp orange in a food processor or chop and mash well in a large bowl. Add the eggs, baking powder, baking soda, ground almonds, sugar and cocoa. Pulse in the processor or whisk until well combined. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Check after 45 minutes and cover the cake if the top is getting too brown.
Leave to cool in the tin or turn out on a wire rack. When cold, glaze with ganache and top with orange slices.
To make the ganache, heat the cream and butter in a saucepan.
Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is glossy.
Put the orange slices in a saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add more water to cover, and sugar. Cook until the liquid reduces by half.
Lay orange slices on a tray. Place in the oven and bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until slightly caramelised.
Made with Love by SPCA, Random House, $39.99