A Useful App and an Almost Half Price Le Creuset Casserole

A Useful App?

The other day a friend showed me an app that she had on her phone called ‘Yuka’. Not a promising start one might think, especially when I tell you what it’s for.

Yuka is an independent company* and is a mobile App that scans food and beauty products and scores their quality according to their make up / content. The scores are out of a hundred, and when I tested 4 products from my shopping basket from Sainsburys, these were the conclusions: 

1.      My Chocolate Covered Ginger Biscuits were considered BAD (18/100) which left me a little crest fallen, Yuka told me there are too many additives, too much fat, too much sugar and too high in calories. Although it does go on to say it has some protein and is low in salt! Phew that’s ok then….

2.      My Deliciously Ella Apple Raisin and Cinnamon Oat Bar was scored as POOR (33/100). It’s too fatty, too calorific and too sweet, but is high in fibre, has some protein and is low in salt.

3.      My Pitted Green Olives were GOOD (57/100), These, it says are good because of the fibre content, low sugar content, low saturated fat, and no risky additives. But it does add, that they’re too high in salt.

4.      My Organic Cooked Beetroot, scored EXCELLENT (88/100). This has no additives or herbicides, it has some fibre, low in saturates, low in sugar (which surprises me) and low in salt.  

Indeed, the Yuka system is not a perfect one. For instance, I found this opinion from an American magazine article, entitled “my love hate relationship with Yuka” which said this about its scanning of beauty products, ‘Yuka does not take into account the quantity of the bad ingredients within the product, only their presence. This can become an issue when scanning makeup and skincare products, as many that Yuka deems hazardous contain only a minuscule amount of the ingredient’.

Yuka rebuts this, saying:

1) The quantity is almost never listed by manufacturers.

2) Some ingredients, especially those suspected of being endocrine disruptors, can cause problems even in very small quantities (i.e. there is no threshold effect).

3) Some ingredients, even when present in small quantities in any given product, are used in a wide range of products. Exposure to high quantities can therefore be quickly achieved.

Despite the writer’s concerns, having become more and more aware of the levels of toxicity of our modern world**, I’d say anything we can do to reduce our exposure to these potential nasties, is a “good thing”.

In terms of food, Yuka does seem to highlight the poor nutritional quality of ‘highly processed’ foods and that has to be good. And, in fact, contrary to the magazine article, it does currently highlight items that we buy that are high in salt or sugar and marks them down accordingly.

So maybe they are taking that criticism on board now….?

Whatever its imperfections, it does seem like a very useful app to have as guide to what to buy  and what to avoid, or in my case, not so much avoid (I’m not about to give up crisps, chocolate, chocolate biscuits, chocolate cake, ice-cream, wine, etc.) as possibly being a little more circumspect in the frequency, or volume, of these delights, that I consume!

*It appears completely independent of any food companies, so far as I can see.

**E.g. potentially the presence of ‘forever chemicals’ such as the PFAS family that have pervaded our water systems, our food, our clothes, our furniture and even our electronics.

To Product

Some months ago, Le Creuset did an offer based on their 22cm Casserole, but with a glass lid, instead of the usual cast iron one. In terms of looks I’m a little undecided on them, but as I picked one up earlier, I was struck by how much lighter the glass lid makes the whole casserole, and of course you can, sort of, see what’s going on during the cooking process.

I say sort of because the condensation usually makes it a little tricky.    

They have sold tolerably well, but we still have just over a dozen left in the company and we wanted to clear them out to make way for other stuff.

The cast iron lidded version has an RRP of £255, and the official offer on these being £179.00 I thought that if I reduced them to £99 for this weekend, you probably wouldn’t be able to resist a Le Creuset casserole, for that price.

We have them in three colours Cerise, Volcanic (very low stock) and Satin Black.

If you’re tempted, then please use code LC9924 if you’re buying online, or just tell us who you are if coming into Cobham or Reigate.


Deglazing my Demeyere Atlantis Uncoated 28cm Frying pan

Just before I finish, I was frying bacon for Jeanne’s and my breakfast last Sunday, in my trusty Demeyere uncoated frying pan. Two thoughts occurred to me.

Firstly, I was doing this in a dry, hot pan (no fat) and the bacon itself barely stuck …. impressive! Secondly, as usually happens, the bacon did leave a sticky residue behind, a common issue, which is difficult to remove, even with my metal fish slice. If you are interested in how I resolved this, whilst the pan was still very hot I deglazed it (I used a little hot water from the kettle) and seconds later I had a nice light gravy and a clean pan to boot!

That’s it for this week. The last word comes from author Kingsley Amis, who said,

“If you can’t annoy somebody with what you write, then there’s little point in writing”.

A somewhat unusual point of view perhaps, but maybe quite an Amis one….?

I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Warm regards


Andrew Bluett-Duncan



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