Final Thoughts on Horsemeat … and … whoa now.

The upshot thinking from my previous rant is rather better thought out.

The mane* outcome from the Horrifying Horsemeat Scandal that has apparently rocked the UK is that the government has made the food manufacturers promise that they will test their meat products every quarter.

Great. So that’ll help … who, exactly?

What are they going to do? Every time they find evidence of some kind of ‘foreign’ meat, they will presumably trace it back, identify suppliers, decide what to do about it, try to walk the balance between media excitement and public hysteria. What a palaver.

This is a chance for them (the Govt., the manufacturers ho hum, and the producers, growers, farmers) to look at the processes they employ to achieve their ends (i.e. profit) and ask themselves if this is not an ethics question after all.

The labeling/dodgy suppliers issues are insignificant compared to the alarming moral slippage. The reason suppliers have to declare the percentage of meat in their products is because some of them use very little meat compared to their public image. They get away with it because ‘we’ buy it. Literally. And the more watered down the product is, the more money they make out of each sale.

At what point does the ‘helpless’ public put its hands up and say “No more!”? I’m all for mass production if it can be done at the level of quality we should expect. But it can’t. It isn’t.

The world has dumbed itself down on sandwiches and ‘mystery meat’** and the Govt. can now take advantage of that ignorance by paying lip service to ‘quality assurance’. The most important word in that phrase being the second.

This way they get to keep making the products and the profit, and that stays the damage. And the Great British Public gets to continue wolfing down huge quantities of meat-ish products without giving it another thought.

In the meantime … Small producers in the UK are struggling through high fuel prices (with the knock on effects on feed, labour, etc.), a wet, damp, torrential 18 months and the prices of milk and lamb dropping through the bottom of the market. Large producers are helping the supermarkets force the prices down through their economies of scale and now the market has little competition.

It’s down to the consumer to vote with their wallets.

People eat too much meat. The amount they think they eat may not be correct, due to the hidden fillers within popular products. The bit that is meat contains complex proteins which the body can sometimes struggle to break down. It’s far better to make the unsullied raw meat stretch across two or more meals, using potatoes, rice, vegetables, and beans than to eat the industrial fillers provided by food production companies. Sure locally reared British meat is expensive. But you don’t need as much as you think.

Changing your eating habits is really hard. It’s like joining a new culture. You have to try twice as hard to begin with because you sometimes have to learn things. Like how to cook. Remembering to read ingredients labels for vegetarian products. Boring *yawn* but necessary for survival.

I’m serious. Here’s the mantra: Meat less eat, veggies more eat, food more make. You have to say it backwards 242 times a day for four months.

*thanks to Tammy Maas for her earlier comments. Buy her newest book here.
**not a deliberate reference to Castleville, whatever you may think.



Stop Twining, Panicking and Carrying On … At least Horsemeat is Still Meat.

I’m so mad – nay(!) infuriated, I’m not sure I’m going to get this out in a coherent way. So apologies if it is just a garbled mass of opinion. Except I’m not sorry.

The British Public are a bunch of nincompoops. Or, as my three year old self told the mean next door neighbour – a BIG FAT POOPOO.

What is wrong with everyone? To all those people who thought that it was okay to eat ready made meals made from what passes as mince and other indescribable insults to food for the sake of convenience: yah boo sux. You flaming well deserve to eat something you didn’t expect. Don’t be so bloody lazy, and naive.

Oh, woe is you, you’ve been eating horsemeat, who knows how long. Well, what a surprise. You thought you knew what you were eating, because it said it on the label. *sigh*. I didn’t go to the best school, or the best university; didn’t get the best grades or the best degree, but somehow I magically know that just because something comes with a label, doesn’t mean that the label is true. Is it really lying if it just misses out information?

In fact (and this one deserves its own space):

If you can’t identify it as something specific (i.e. beef) and you don’t really know what the specific thing (beef) should taste like, then you probably shouldn’t eat it.

So much for everyone cooking from scratch. If they did, not only would none of this happen, but also that much lauded thing in times of impure food uncertainty – the British Farmer (and butcher, baker and candlestick maker if needs be, especially bearing in mind the price of electricity here now) would be surviving rather better than they are at present.

Anyone still eating ready meals now don’t like food. They aren’t interested in food in itself. That I understand. They simply require something to fill their stomach pit with fuel. Surely they don’t now care about what they are eating? Now that someone has told them it isn’t what they thought? How hypocritical.

Buy British. Make it from scratch. Get your hands dirty and learn how to survive, instead of giving it to manufacturers of false products who aren’t interested in your survival.