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The currant state of hot cross buns and the LNDR Freefall leggings

As if we haven't got enough to deal with, there's a global raisin shortage now. Raisins, currants and sultanas are all in short supply and this will see the cost of hot cross buns soar this Easter, with serious fears over how Christmas puddings will fare later in the year.

Who do we blame? Not Brexit as it turns out, but the wildfires at vineyards in California. The fires last year saw a loss of 275,000 tons of Californian crop, driving costs up by a massive 40 per cent.

Cunning bakers are expected to swap the dried fruits for alternatives such as chocolate chips and orange peel. Excellent news, if you don't like currants.

Poor Jamie Oliver. The superstar chef, with the propensity for saying "pukka", has been forced to close 12 branches of his Italian restaurant chain due to declining profits. He has received relentless criticism from the media - saying this is what happens when a chef starts playing at being a businessman.

However, it's not just Jamie who is feeling the pinch. Many other restaurants are struggling to keep afloat, chiefly due to customers failing to keep their end of the bargain and show up. Restaurateurs, from independents to major chains, are having to take drastic measures to prevent customer 'no shows' including naming and shaming them on social media, taking deposits and even selling tickets for tables, like you do at the theatre.

Other factors affecting restaurant trade include minimum wage, business rates and higher food prices caused by the weak pound. Whilst delivery companies like uber hip Deliveroo are enabling people to eat fancy cuisine in the comfort of their own homes.

Meanwhile, 'middle-aged' millennials are set to be the most overweight generation since records began. It is predicted 70 per cent of those born between the early 1980's to mid-1990's will be overweight or obese by the age of 35 to 45.

Health campaigners are "horrified", saying the government is only paying "lip service" to tackling the obesity crisis whilst slashing health budgets. They cite that 800,000 cancers are caused by being overweight each year, second only to smoking.

In comparison, around 50 per cent of the baby boomer generation, born between 1945 and 1955, were overweight or obese in their thirties and forties (which is still, arguably, high).

There is always lard of course. In staggering news, nutritionists have revealed that lard is good for you. It used to be a cornerstone of the British diet, despite being made of pig's fat, but a move towards plant-based oils, and now even more trendy alternatives like coconut, macadamia nut and even (groan) avocado oil, has caused lard to fall out of fashion.

One nutritionist, Jo Travers, of the British Dietetic Association, says we should go back to eating lard as it contains so-called 'good' fats known as monounsaturated, which studies have found help lower levels of 'bad' cholesterol. Ms Travers goes as far as to say it is a healthier option than butter.

As a far more tantalizing alternative, this reporter proposes the LNDR Freefall striped stretch-knit leggings. You can't eat them but their stretchiness means they are ideal to wear whilst gorging on hot cross buns - minus the currants - for brunch at a Jamie Oliver restaurant or a takeaway curry in front of the TV.

They are also, and here's a thought, ideal for wearing out on a run...


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