Mike Pender (Letters, 20 August) may well be right about the microwave oven’s contribution to the UK’s excessive consumption of sugar. However, I think he is being somewhat disingenuous about the merits of cooking by microwave. As his wife, I can testify that two of his favourite homemade delicacies are strawberry jam and clootie dumpling, both of which I make in our microwave oven. And both require a healthy dollop of sugar.
• Overtourism (Editorial, 20 August) is partly the consequence of low-cost flying and airlines paying no duty or VAT on aviation fuel. Making airlines pay duty would not help Cornwall, but would certainly help many other destinations “being loved to death”. Air pollution would also reduce. Is there any government, anywhere, ready to take this drastic but necessary action?
• A few suggestions for food bank contributions for Margaret Squires (Letters, 16 August), bearing in mind that items should keep well without refrigeration, be easy to open and be edible either hot (heated over a gas ring) or cold and straight from the tin: fish (sardines, pilchards, salmon); baked beans; soups, both vegetable and meat varieties. And don’t forget to add some Tampax or the like.
• In the 1980s my girlfriend had a cat by the name of Ben (Letters, passim), who surprised us all by giving birth. From then on she was referred to, by me at least, as Ben Her.
East Boldon, Tyne and Wear
• The reviewer might have crucified The Cafe (G2, 20 August), but I am a Guardian reader and I adored it.
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