For days the newspapers have been full of reports of horsemeat being substituted for beef in processed food. The nation is shocked. We don’t eat horses. The real disgrace is that this has been brought about by the never ending quest for cheaper food, driven by the supermarkets, and the dreadful increasing dependency on processed food.
The scandal highlights the dishonesty of big business and authorities – lie after lie has been promulgated. For example, Burger King immediately gave everybody an absolute assurance that their beefburgers were ‘unaffected’ and were not contaminated – a lie. Findus say their 100% horse as meat in lasagne was not a food safety issue – a lie (how can it not be an issue when there is no knowledge of how or when the food became contaminated!) – disgustingly they also tried to evade the consequences by not owning up to it for weeks (and it is possible the problem has been there since last summer!). The food agencies have been complicit in also claiming that there was no risk and no health issues – well, they weren’t really trustworthy were they when they told the public there was ‘no risk’ from beef in the 1980s before the BSE crises hit the country a decade later in 1995, killed young & old in a dreadful way, as well as all-but destroyed our meat industry, and the epidemic cost us billions of pounds (over 170 confirmed deaths from JCD and still the threat of a second wave).
Reportedly the supermarkets were surreptitiously taking product of the shelves before the public knew about matters, in an attempt to get away with it.
A big problem for us with processed food is that food supply is now a global phenomenon. For example the Swedish firm Findus, which is embroiled in the scandal, sells 20 million meals a week in this country, but reportedly not one of its popular meals are made here, as its food comes from over 20 European factories.
Where has the government been in all of this? How has this appalling and unacceptable food fraud situation been allowed to develop into this fiasco when the warning signals were fired last year after Ireland had identified and alerted others that horsemeat had entered the UK food chain? Ministers, normally self promoting and verbose, have been strangely silent and absolutely no advice has been issued. Number10 apparently insist that the contamination is more ‘distasteful than dangerous’, a comment which I find ‘more dangerous than distasteful’ !
The responsible authorities, the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), and the Food Standards Agency (FSA ), both seem to have been asleep (and not only for the past few months!), and there are too many participants that do not want to disclose the full truth.
I myself blame the consumer for allowing a situation to develop where such a crisis could occur. First for laziness in not being willing to cook their own fresh food and use factory meals, but also for stupidity in thinking they can trust and rely on foreign global industrial food processors to give a hoot what they put in their processed food, or that the supermarkets could or would control them (when horse meat costs a fifth of beef the suppliers are going to try it on, particularly when price overrides all else.
It has always been a surprise to me that no one stops to think, before they buy products labelled ‘reduced fat’ etc, and question what the manufacturer has done to the product to replace what has been taken out? (Well – it is things like the introduction of ‘slime’).
There is an annoying proliferation of food cooking programmes on the Television. I assume people must watch that rubbish, and that is why nobody actually cooks or can prepare a simple family meal.
I cook quite a lot myself and different types of food, so if there is a demand I can post some simple recipes for home cooked food that are quick and easy, also wholesome, and beat the processed rubbish into a cocked hat!
Be like me and boycott pre-packed meals and enjoy life without the worry.