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Gordon Ramsay criticises Prince of Wales's organic food range

 
Mr Ramsay, in a trenchant interview in the Daily Telegraph magazine, describes the Duchy Originals as over-priced and boring,

He accuses the future King of using his royal lineage to promote sales of his food which now has an annual turnover of �50 million.

In typically forthright comments, Mr Ramsay says: "I am upset with him. When I looked at his Duchy food I was gob-smacked, amazed and dumbfounded at what I discovered. Why would anyone pay that much money for one of his pies? I tried them. Just because it has a stamp and his royal crest everyone thinks it's fine, but the number of sodiums, and the sugar content, is embarrassing."

Mr Ramsay, who now has 13 restaurants and who has signed a three year $10 million deal in the United States with Fox Television for Hell's Kitchen and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, has met the Prince on several occasions.

In his Daily Telegraph interview he said that the heir to the throne produced "amazing meat, but why does he process it?".

He added: "I'll tell you why: he wants it to have a longer shelf life. Whose advantage is that? His. It's boring processed food. I don't think that the Royals should be producing food like that, even if the profits do go to charity."

Duchy Originals was launched by the Prince of Wales in 1992 to promote organic food and farming, two causes close to his heart,. There are now more than 200 products sold in a range of outlets across the country

Duchy products are being launched in the United States and India as art of a five year plan to quadruple turnover from �50 million to �200 million in five years, The venture has so far raised more than �6 million for his charities.

On the 10th anniversary of the launch, the Prince said: "I wanted to demonstrate that it was possible to produce food of the highest quality working in harmony with the environment and nature, using the best ingredients and adding value through expert production,

But the Prince, having criticised the products of McDonalds last year was embarrassed when it emerged that the Big Mac contains less salt and fat and fewer calories than some of his own products. The Duchy cheese and onion pasty had 655 calories and 36 grams of fat, compared to a Big Mac, 495 calories and 24 grams of fat.

Mr Ramsay, whose personal fortune is estimated at �67 million, had tasted many of the Duchy products and checked their fat and salt content.

"If it was coming from the estate, cooked there, and 24 hours later was in my kitchen, I would understand. But it is processed."

In his interview Mr Ramsay also floated the idea of doing a food version of X-Factor the television talent show fronted by Simon Cowell, "If he can do that for music why can't I do that for food?"

Andrew Baker, CEO of Duchy Originals said: �Duchy Originals is proud of its commitment to selling top quality, delicious products made from wholesome, natural ingredients, grown in a sustainable way.

�We use Soil Association specified organic ingredients as the norm and only natural flavours and colours. We never use artificial fertilisers or pesticides and our products do not contain hydrogenated fat.

�We never seek to extend the shelf life of our products by over-processing. A large percentage of our products, including our sausages, bacon and baked desserts, are delivered fresh to store on a daily basis.�
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