Horse Meat Burgers? Well That’s Value For You

redtractor2So Waitrose is now in on the horse meat scandal or should we say pork since it’s pork which has been found in their “beef” meatballs.  It’s about time the British woke up to the fact that mass produced food is designed for one purpose only and that is to make as much money as possible for the supermarkets and meat processing plants.
This will inevitably lead to ruthless and unethical cost cutting measures which, when the truth finally comes out, will almost certainly damn every mass produced item currently being sold for a pittance on our supermarket shelves.
Bread, cakes, gravy powder, spreads, the list goes on and on.  Do any of us really know what they’ve added or changed from what is on the label?  Not only that, much of this is pushed at us as the “healthy option.”
If it is so good for us, how come a huge percentage of the population is fat, diabetic, depressed and hitting the bottle in unprecedented numbers?
The sad fact is we are to blame!  We allow ourselves to be duped by clever advertising packaging and the slick kids from yuppy marketing agencies who present these products in a stylised and idealise way which we swallow with the gullibility of a three year old.  Instead of using common sense, (£1 for a value lasagna) I ask you, our eyes light up at the prospect of a bargain and we cram yet another batch into our freezers.
Greed by the supermarkets and processors and greed on the part of the consumers.  Everyone is culprable and yet there is another option which most of us don’t consider.  All over the country there are hundreds of farm shops selling produce produced either on their own farms or sourced locally.
cattleThese people are real farmers who care about their stock, their produce and their land.  They are not in it just for the money as proved by the long hours and physical hard work needed to make a success of this type of venture.
Their cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens etc in the vast majority of cases are reared in a welfare friendly fashion complying with the 5 Freedoms which all British farmers have to adhere with and woe betide them if they don’t!  They suffer heavy financial penalties for transgressing DEFRA’s many rules and regulations and can expect unannounced visits at any time to ensure proper compliance.
Your value meals, even if they do contain the products listed on the packet will almost certainly contain meat from countries either not subject to our stringent standards or are blatently flaunting them.
A ban on keeping hens in battery cages for egg production was  introduced in January, 2012, but many European countries are still not complying with it.  Next time you are in the supermarket looking for the value option think about the hens stuffed into a tiny cage with no room to turn around.  That’s value for you!
Wake up British public and take responsibility for your food sources.  Learn about labeling, currently very confusing, but generally look for the Red Tractor logo.  redtractorThis is a quality assured scheme which means food has been farmed, processed and packed in the UK with all participants subject to regular and rigorous inspections.
Support your local farm shop!  Here you will see the true cost of food production which again should make you think about the value meals on supermarket shelves and before you start bleating about the higher costs, it won’t wash!  Learn to cook properly and you’ll actually save money.

About farmersue

Part time farmer, morris dancer and writer.

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