Wednesday, April 17

La Vera cries out against Masterchef


Criticism of tobacco farming in the latest edition of the program unleashes criticism from politicians and farmers

Luis Miguel Martin

What seemed like a powerful tourist and commercial promotion of the Cáceres region of La Vera has led to a bitter controversy. And all on account of last Monday’s broadcast of a new edition of the popular Masterchef cooking contest. The outdoor test was recorded at an organic farm in Jarandilla de la Vera, Los Confites.

Before the test, Jordi Cruz, one of the members of the jury, affirms: «That we have selected this particular farm is not by chance, its history is exemplary. For decades it was a tobacco plantation. An extremely harmful crop for the body but also for the earth. It leaves it almost unusable in just three cycles, ”said the Catalan chef Jordi Cruz to the contestants who were about to.

Immediately afterwards, another of the jurors, Pepe Rodríguez, clinched: «Luckily, one day, María and her family fell on this plantation and realized the great damage that tobacco was doing to nature and decided to stop it. They looked for financing, bought the farm and began to transform it into an organic farm.”

The reactions came quickly. The Talayuela City Council has issued a statement in which it is said that “when a platform with such an impact is used to pour information about a region or a specific crop, they should at least have been documented about it, since it is totally and absolutely false. that the cultivation of tobacco leaves the land “almost unusable in just three cycles” as its presenter affirms. In fact, the little coherence of his words is revealed in his clumsy speech, since he begins by saying that the farm chosen to film his program ‘for decades was a tobacco plantation’. How is it possible that tobacco was grown on the farm for decades if it leaves the land unusable in ‘three cycles’? Absurd, right?

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The mayor of the town, Ismael Bravo, defended that in the north of Cáceres around 20,000 people live directly and indirectly from the benefits generated by tobacco. In addition, he demands a rectification by the program. “We repudiate Mr. Cruz’s words for assuming a direct attack. Consequently, we demand from the television program and this irresponsible presenter the opportune and immediate rectification before said malicious statement about the cultivation of tobacco, which has created a false idea about it and that supposes a very serious excess of the respectable exercise of freedom of expression. ».

The Jarandilla City Council greatly thanks MasterChef Spain for carrying out the program on June 13 and the promotion that was made to the town in said program.

Likewise, the Consistory of Jarandilla categorically rejects the comments. «Most of the tobacco cultivation in Extremadura is located in edaphologically degraded and unproductive areas, which is why this crop plays a fundamental role in maintaining the fertile soil, avoiding erosion, fundamentally keeping microbial life active as a starting point in the preservation of the environment and of the biodiversity of the different cultivation areas, affirms the Consistory.

For its part, Asaja Extremadura denounced that in the program “the participants had the idea of ​​attacking at all times and degrading the most social crop that exists in the European Union, which is the cultivation of tobacco, a model of development and population fixation to the territory, as has been recognized by the European Union.

«The sheer ignorance of these two chefs on the program, Jordi Cruz and Pepe Rodríguez, led them to affirm that it was an extremely harmful crop for the land, rendering it unusable in just three cycles. These daring characters are unaware that this crop causes the opposite, giving greater fertility, avoiding erosion and serves as the basis for the production of the red gold ‘Paprika de la Vera'”, adds its president, Ángel GArcía Blanco.

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«We do not have the strength of the couple of wealthy gentlemen who have acquired the farm, and who intend to denigrate an entire region for their own benefit through this type of marketing. I personally will not buy a single product from this farm that damages the prestige of Extremaduran producers,” concludes García Blanco.

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