Should we be so shocked to see horse meat and other hidden dodgy ingredients in a food industry that has such a long supply chain and dominated by huge profit focused corporations?
It started with traces of horse meat in Economy Tesco Beefburgers. 3 weeks later, a reported 100% of the stated ‘beef’ in Findus Lasagne could be horse meat. And some may contain ‘bute’ a pain relief drug for horses that can cause the serious blood disorder aplastic anaemia in humans.
It seems amazing that such a well known, and ‘trusted’ brand could allow this to happen. However, brands like Findus are traded between multinational companies, and the length of the supply chain, including foreign suppliers, put continual pressure on cost cutting. As a result cheaper ingredients are almost bound to appear.
Perhaps this ‘scare’ will encourage more people to look at the label. Like the economy burgers I once found in a school kitchen that were mainly water, rusk, reconstituted chicken (bone, connective tissue, skin) and only 8% beef heart, (yes the heart, not steak or mince). It was amazing to find the burgers I was making from local, grass fed, mature, lean, mince, cost only a fraction more.
A butcher on our BigBarn map last week told me that new customers were coming in to the shop and talking about the horse meat scandal. He was delighted with the new business and took extra time to talk about where his meat came from, and his competitive prices compared to the supermarket. He also told me that if he had added horse meat to his burgers, locals would have thrown bricks through his window.
No one has thrown a brick at Tesco and my butcher friend is rather frustrated that their clever marketing may protect them.
Since we launched BigBarn 12 years ago we have been warning about the dangers of the national supply chain and trying to build a shorter, more transparent, local food supply chain.
Since 2001 then we have experienced BSE, Salmonella, and foot and Mouth, food scares and I am sure we will see more.
So if you want to know where your food comes from type your post code in to BigBarn.co.uk and our local food map will show you local suppliers. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your demand will encourage further production and help build a more sustainable LOCAL food supply chain.