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Food Trends and Intolerance – Glebe Farm on the Radio

The Word is out! Rebecca Rayner was asked to join Norman Knapper on his evening radio show.. The discussion started with food trends seen over last 30 years. There has been a swing from the 1990’s low fat, high fibre to 10 years later low carbs eg Aitkins diet, to today’s interest in high protein, more vegetarian meals consumed, and food intolerances.

Followinng on from this: what is gluten? what are the signs of being gluten intolerance compared to wheat intolerance? Actual diagnosed coeliacs are 1% of the population whilst a further 9% feel better or avoid wheat or gluten as a lifestyle choice.

We are also seeing dairy free trends and ‘veganism’ with up to 9% in the UK actively reducing meat consumption. Why is this? Is meat becoming a treat? What is a flexitarian?

Today there are Wholegrains and there are Ancient grains such as Quinoa, Chia, Spelt with Oats are becoming ever more popular.

The old enemy: Diabetes and reducing our sugar intake. What alternative sugars are out there and where do they come from.?

Who are making these products? Are they small innovative players or large multinationals.

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Pets With Intolerances

Poorly Moggy

Ever wondered why your moggy has bald patches in its fur or keeps scratching its back under the kitchen table till the skin is raw? Your dog certainly can be intolerant to its food – may be gluten or cereals, or surroundings like pollen could be to blame.

A colleague found that her dog continued to be sneezing and scabs were seen on the skin. She headed to the vets to hopefully find some answers. Steroids were given for the first two years but there was the usual concern over the long term use of steroids of liver damage.

As an alternative to steroids two blood test packages can be performed. One for Food and one for Pollen. Vet examinations, of course are never cheap. Whole  package costs around £400, but they can be cheaper if there is a specific suspicion of what can cause the allergy.

Paddy the CatFor the food package, cats and dogs can be tested for cereals such as: gluten, wheat and barley, meat eg lamb, pork and beef, and any reaction to cat or dog. So your pet cat may be allergic to your pet dog! The pollen package includes allergies to trees, shrubs and grasses, flowers etc.

Once diagnosed, it is sense of relief. Food intolerances can be avoided by typically not giving the pet the food. For example a dog with a gluten intolerance, the owner would feed gluten free pasta or rice with no biscuits or bread and to check all labels. Often pet food is poorly labelled as it does not require the same strict labelling as for human consumption. Treats can be poorly labelled. The word ‘protein’ can be written but the source of the protein, ie. the type of meat, can be unknown so a dog intolerant to pork could not be given this pet food.

POOCHS Yoghurt Snaps

There is an expanding number of pet food companies offering alternative foods. Pouches do a wide range of treats.

A range of Pooches foods have been tested by the Glebe Farm dog crèche and were a great success!

Diagnosis to pollen allergies can be resolved by vaccination solutions, made up by the vaccination laboratory. The aim is to build up immunity slowly with doses administered every 2-3 weeks in the beginning and monthly thereafter. An ongoing monthly injection can be administered by either the vet or the owner once trained. The injection package can be around £150 per solution, but if dog is allergic to more pollens than 6, more solutions have to be prepared which will increase the cost as well.  Immunotherapy will help, as it increases the immune system and reaction to the allergen, it just takes some time and does not happen instantly.

In summary, seeing a loved pet in pain is a great concern to its owner. It can be very stressful until the diagnosis is made. Even then, there is a lot of time and patience required visiting vets and reading pet food labels. But best of all there are a growing number of specialist petfood manufacturers to treat and feed your pet!



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Visits to Glebe Farm

When the sun is shining and the crops look at their fullest just before harvest, there is nothing we like better than to show the farm at its best.

The group’s organiser brought a coach of 35 people to do a tour at Glebe FarmColchestet groupWe have been lucky enough to have the Colchester Coeliac Group around in mid June. Beryl Whittingham, the group’s organiser brought a coach of 35 people to do a tour at Glebe Farm.

Guests where invited into the farmhouse kitchen for a cup of tea and a slice of ginger and chocolate cakeAs well as being able to see how the gluten free ranges were made, including Glebe Farm’s bulk porridge oat range and retail packs of gluten free porridge oats, muesli and granolas, flours and mixes, guests where invited into the farmhouse kitchen for a cup of tea and a slice of ginger and chocolate cake.

Visitors where given the full tour of the facilitiesLater at the end of June, a group of 30 local business members of The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) came over. Visitors where given the full tour of the facilities.

Many were impressed over the size of operation and to know that Glebe Farm is probably the largest grower and processor of gluten free oats in Europe.

Malcolm Lyons, the Huntingdonshire branch chairman gave the vote of thanks and liked to see this kind of agri-food business succeeding in farming’s uncertain times. He said “Glebe Farm was growing and exporting and bringing investment into the rural economy of Cambridgeshire.”

Glebe Farm are FSB members, thanks to the work place pensions, insurance, advice and lobbying support.  Rebecca said she was pleased to welcome fellow business owners to the farm to gain knowledge through networking and events. For further details on FSB see

Last but not least, the local Riptons Womens Institute came round. Their previous visit had been about 8 years ago during Glebe’s organic days. They had certainly noticed a transformation from the farm’s past to present, with new buildings and new laid concrete.

We welcome groups to come and tour the farm.
Please ring the office 01487 773282 or email us on and book a day.

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Glebe Farm get recognition for help to keep flying at RAF Wyton

RAF Wyton marks a century of flying with the opening of a grass runway


By CambridgeNews  |  Posted: May 14, 2016   By Julian Makey

Wing Commander Andy March
CHOCKS AWAY: Wing Commander Andy March, Pathfinder Flying Club’s officer in charge, makes the first flight from RAF Wyton’s new grass runway

Pilots at RAF Wyton have turned the clock back a century to the dawn of flying at the station – by building a new grass runway.

The inaugural flight from the new runway was made to mark the 100th anniversary of aviation which began at the then Wyton Aerodrome in the middle of the First World War.

Wing Commander Andy March, who made the last flight from the station’s paved runway in March this year, carried out the first take-off on the grass strip.

“I had a lump in my throat as I took off,” he said. “To think that 100 years ago those early aviation pioneers who joined the Royal Flying Corps were taking off from a grass strip that is just a stone’s throw from where I was. Amazing.”

Wing Commander March, an RAF aerosystems engineering officer, said: “In March this year I had the proud honour to be the last pilot to take off from RAF Wyton’s paved runway, one that has witnessed some of the most impressive and iconic aircraft ever to have worn the RAF roundel.

“It is now up to the Pathfinder Flying Club to uphold the station’s proud flying tradition and our new grass runway will ensure the club can continue to operate from RAF Wyton.”

Wyton’s paved runways were formally decommissioned in March meaning they could not be used for flying.

But the Pathfinder Flying Club, which had been using them, already had plans in hand to build a grass runway and the bulk of the ground work was carried out last year.

Pathfinder Flying Club's Roy Twigg and Wind Commander Andy March
CHOCKS AWAY: Pathfinder Flying Club’s Roy Twigg and Wind Commander Andy March

Roy Twigg, a retired RAF engineering officer who is now the club’s chief engineer, said the runway was self-funded but that they had been given a great deal of support by the Wyton-based 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) which surveyed the site and Rebecca Rayner, from Glebe Farm, who provided machinery hire, soil and grass seed.

Mr Twigg said: “The ground work needed to properly prepare the new runway required a great deal of support from club members and it was a real team effort making this project work.”

He said that in addition to levelling the site, a further 60 tonnes of top soil was added, along with 40 kilos of grass seed.

RAF Wyton's new grass runway turns the clock back
CHOCKS AWAY: RAF Wyton’s new grass runway turns the clock back

The club also had to draw up new procedures before the grass strip became operational.

Pathfinder Flying Club provides flying training for regular and reserve service personnel and civil service staff employed by the RAF, together with a small number of civilian members.

It is named after the Pathfinder Force which operated from RAF Wyton during the Second World War.

The first flight at Wyton Aerodrome was by a Royal Flying Corps Nieuport 12 on April 19 1916 and the site became RAF Wyton in 1918 on the formation of the Royal Air Force. Military flying ended just short of the centenary.

The first RAF operations of the Second World War were flown from RAF Wyton and Canberras operated from the station for many years.