I’m hoarse from shouting about eating local, seasonal food but it really is the perfect time for us to demand proper products that are traceable and vibrant with nutrients. Doesn’t that sound lovely already…?!
Richard the Third, as the current joke goes, wouldn’t have to go very far to find the horse he so craved for the sake of his kingdom…it just wouldn’t be much use to him unless he was hungry. Tesco, is clearly on hand to provide us with whatever our heart desires. It is said that £1 in every £8 is spent on Tesco product…but it’s clearly not just them…it’s loads of companies that rely on faceless factories in nameless places for the ingredients to their prepared processed foods (even writing that makes me gip a tad).
But firstly, let me say I’m going to skip the ‘ew I’m eating horse!’ whinging as separating out one animal from another to be eaten or not is a fairly indefensible standpoint and really just a question of choice and cuteness of the said beast. Oh don’t look at me like that! ‘I’d never eat a dog!’ you wail but tuck into a lamb’s neck, a cow’s liver or a chicken’s thigh…
The dog has pet-factor and tail waggy adorability and horses have always been our pals, I agree. One unravels toilet rolls all over the house and we laugh and cuddle it and the other has been our trusted and sturdy worker, run races for our amusement (which I’m sure they simply adore especially when they trip and fall) and eat apples out of our hands in fields, right?
Well, actually many countries eat them and the same European factories are clearly ‘processing’ the bovine and the equine and we are getting the meat equivalent of a bit of both. America lifted it’s ban on horse slaughter but like many non-organic meat farming systems, that are designed for efficiency and economy, the horses are treated in a horrific and brutal manner and legislation doesn’t protect them. And that means it doesn’t protect us either…
My point is that it is the knowledge of what you are eating that really counts here. Obviously, knowing you are eating a bloody horse when it clearly says ‘beef’ on the packet is paramount (but at risk of being stoned to death, or at least till I’m very poorly, for repetition…how many times can I urge you to ditch processed foods before you do it?!?) Equally important is knowing where the animal has come from and crucially how it was treated. Hormone and antibiotic filled meat which has been force reared (that sound so wrong on every level doesn’t it?!?) and ruthlessly slaughtered should not even be an option.
The aftermath of the horse for beef scandal is that we seem to be actually waking up to the atrocities committed in the food industry in our name and demanding a change. Please, please let’s keep this up! Supermarkets have long ruled the high street and driven out proper butchers and grocers (shockingly through convenience rather than price…I weep at this fact!) and forced farmers, and therefore prices, to operate at levels that suit them rather than us. It’s bad enough we have taste free fruit and vegetables that seem miraculously to fit into the storage trays the supermarkets have made without Shergar in our Emintrude. Wouldn’t it be most excellent of the big food manufacturing companies and the supermarkets to return the investment we have made in them (for better and for worse) and make all their processed, prepared meals from well sourced, additive free, humanely treated produce? Ahh the utopia of it all is so blissful…CRASH! Oh there’s reality again, to rain on my parade…boo!!
Choosing local British produce that we can trace and rely on has to be the way forward doesn’t it? This what we had with the local butcher that we have turned our back on and abandoned to extinction. The grass our animals are eating certainly isn’t greener, in fact, it’s usually GM feed instead…
Tesco vows to buy more local British produce:
Why you should get to know your local butcher:
More British food stories:
and just to freak you out…