Original source: Morning Star (UK)

This recipe is an appeal for solidarity. In its final week in office, the Bush administration imposed prohibitory tariffs on Roquefort cheese.

This was a reprisal authorised by the World Trade Organisation over a ban on bovine growth hormone (BGH).

The US and its client states are the only countries in the world which consider BGH to pose no threat to human health, which may be one reason why so many of them are so very, very fat.

The WTO, being itself analogous to a US client state, has authorised the US to impose retaliatory sanctions, one of which is to ban the import of Roquefort cheese.

There is in fact a great deal of evidence that BGH is not something you want to be exposed to. Even the US General Accounting Office has warned of its dangers to human health. It also leads to suffering for the animals themselves.

Roquefort cheese is a product of sustainable agriculture conducted by small farmers. It is made with the milk of Lacaune ewes on family farms where, on average, fewer than three people are involved in production.

There is a description in the works of Pliny the Elder of cheese of this style made in this area almost 2,000 years ago.

It is illegal to call a cheese Roquefort unless it is made in a small, defined area and matured in the caves of a single ‘commune’ Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, the commune being the French unit of local government.

Total production in 2008 was around 19,000 tons, of which only 450 tons were exported to the US. The more Roquefort you eat, the more you will be contributing to telling the US that it can stick its import ban where the sun never shines.

It’s not cheap, but it’s flavour is so rich that you really don’t need very much. Try it spread on very thin slices of good bread, on crackers, mixed into a salad or chopped with walnuts and served with grapes or apples. Or in this delicious soup – serve with good bread and garnished with parsley or chives. What to do

Warm the oil over a medium heat. Add the finely chopped celery and let it cook for two minutes, stirring. Add the stock, the pasta and the Roquefort, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat until you have a steady simmer, not too vigorous. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Mix vigorously and add the milk. Ingredients

1 pint/600ml stock 2 sticks of celery, chopped very fine 30g/1oz pasta (vermicelli or similar) 1 tbsp olive/sunflower oil (olive oil’s nicer, sunflower cheaper) 50g pack Roquefort, broken into crumb-sized pieces 2 tbsp milk fresh parsley or chives, chopped very fine pepper Garnish with parsley or chives.