Firstly, the Observer magazine food section, where restaurant critic Jay Rayner had written a eulogy to all things porcine including ham, bacon, crackling, belly and chops. I was in full agreement with his fond portrayal of nose to tail cuisine including pork scratching, pigs cheek, black pudding and pies, all rightly sanctified as ‘waste not-want not’ yet reprising an almost romantic frugality from a forgotten era.

By comparison, over in the Sunday Times I was treated to a free DVD of the recent Robert Kenner movie – Food Inc. This demanding little American film asked all its difficult questions with alarming frankness, illustrating scant food control, greedy margins, diet related illnesses and the grotesque mechanised methods of meat production that link them all.

Clearly our food politics, disguised during times of plenty, will be subject to the same fiscal position any incoming Chancellor will have to endure. I suspect that his available budget will allow little more than feigned respect for our dietary health. On the one hand he must quietly applaud KFC and McDonalds for providing jobs and taxable income, whilst at the same time knowing that freshly picked English apples or Norfolk spring lamb will give him little margin about which to boast.

As America created a vehicle known as pork belly futures, and Mr Rayner had affectionately selected an offal dish, you will see how our little pig stories became entwined the other Sunday.

To cap it all I had just read the latest book by American author Michael Pollan, In Defence of Food.  His highlighting of some cynical aspects of food processing as opposed to the sale of basic food was alarming, adding that the resultant medical consequences of such a skewed diet is a reality clearly no longer confined to the United States.  The view of food production, undertaken by successive governments across Europe purely as cheap fuel for the workforce is conveniently tolerant. Jamie Oliver may well get his knighthood, but twizzlers, or their like, are too valuable an income stream to be dispensed with entirely.

That the processing of food, has become a desirable governmental income in America is alarmingly clear, that such attitudes have begun to define our food purchasing here in the UK is clearly becoming more common.

Knowing that farms may be deferring to laboratories, it made a recent trip down to a  smallholding south of Norwich far more topical than I had imagined. My original plan was to meet some pigs, perhaps talk to their busy owners, conduct an intensive pie tasting and find out why some breeds are called rare now thatI was becoming conscious of where all this may fit within our recessionary gastronomic landscape.

The smallholding I visited belongs to Karen and Jeff.  They also run two shops one at Blickling Hall the other at Wymondham. Both are named after that Norfolk coastal delight Samphire. They had kindly furnished our  meeting with some freshly baked pies, made entirely of rare breed pork. My opinion had long been that against impossibly stiff local competition, unequalled in many English counties, they probably make the tastiest pork pies in the country. I had no reason to alter my view at the close of that day, but why were they so special?

Rare breeds are rare because we choose not to eat them. The more we consume at a commercial margin for the breeder the less rare the animal becomes. Pigs have never been pets in our economy but why did delicious Old Spots and Saddlebacks, both reared by Karen, become rare? Well probably because we are still stuck with the pressures that governed wartime output. Swollen, fast maturing pigs with a meagre taste profile, low fat and at a cheap price, was the product of necessity rather than taste at a time when we simply required fuel, not fulfilment. Since World War Two their breeding has remained commercially convenient.

No one visiting Karen’s farm will be in any doubt as to whether the animals she rears lead the life they rightly deserve, whilst at the same time providing us with staple food in the months to come. This I would have thought is the very least a civilized nation that wishes to eat meat can undertake. To meet Karen and Jeff, follow the blood-line of all their animals from birth until dispatch, grants us an aspect of food ownership which in some political quarters (including DEFRA) is quietly slipping away. It allows consumption to become as important an agricultural act as the choice of beasts we rear in the first place. Not only do the pies taste wonderful, they offer that honesty and substance I was originally seeking from my future government. Some hopes I am afraid, it seems it is not just food that is getting increasingly processed.