27 February 2013

Straight from the horse's arse.

According to the news on the radio yesterday, the 'horsemeat' scandal has caused a 43% drop in the purchase of supermarket burgers.  Well that's hardly a surprise, is it? 

Giles Coren, writing in The Times, sums it up extremely well:

"What on earth did you think they put in them? Prime cuts of delicious free-range, organic, rare breed, heritage beef, grass-fed, Eton-educated, humanely slaughtered, dry-aged and hand-ground by fairies with a pinch of pink Murray River salt and a twist of black pepper?

"Jesus, no. At those prices (you pay only £1 at Tesco for a cheeseburger complete with bun, cheese and a portion of fries), I’d have thought a mouthful of Shergar is the least of your problems.

"Listen to the product name. When your first three words are “frozen”, “everyday” and “value”, that means almost by definition that the fourth word (in this case, randomly, “beef”) is to be taken with an armful of Maldon.


"It’s only 29 per cent horse, for God’s sake. What do you think the other 71 per cent is? It’s sure as hell not from a beef cow I would eat. Nor the bits of it you want to think about either. At that price, you’re into scrotum, eyelid, foreskin, lungs, mechanically reclaimed connective tissue ... the sort of scrapings from the abattoir floor that could only be improved by a nice bit of horse’s arse."

Tesco is now announcing that they will start to sell more British meat, rather than imported from abroad.  That makes me happy, not only because it will be supporting British farmers, but also because it will reduce the number of 'food miles', reducing the environmental impact.  I never did think it was sensible to transport animals and meat thousands of miles from abroad when there's plenty here in the UK already.  For some supermarkets, though, it's already too late.  The Vegetarian Society reports that it has had a massive increase in the number of 'hits' on its website, and omnivores are abandoning the supermarket meat shelves in favour of local butchers, where the butcher knows exactly where the meat has come from.  Hopefully, this will lead to a revival of our dying high streets.

For the past couple of decades, the general public has sleepwalked into a trance when it relates to shopping.  So many people just go to the supermarket and buy all of their produce there because that is what they have been trained to do.  Everything under one roof, convenience, free parking and supposedly cheap prices have duped people into forgetting that other shops exist, and all the while, the prices have slowly risen and most people have just accepted it.  

Not me.  I stopped shopping in supermarkets several years ago, because I realised that most of the food products they sold were just expensive rubbish.  On the very rare occasions I do go into my local supermarket, I usually have a look at the 'reduced' shelf, to see if there's anything worth having.  It's very rare that there is.  I look at some of the items there and think "That is a product I would NEVER buy; in fact I wouldn't even take it if it was being given away for free", for example the ready made burger-in-a-bun, to be heated in a microwave.  Even thinking about it now makes me feel nauseous. Why on earth anyone would want to buy ready-mashed potato in a plastic, film-covered tub, for heating in a microwave is beyond me.  It takes only 10 minutes to boil a potato and mash it yourself, for a fraction of the cost.  Just how lazy does one have to be?  Not only that, but you then chuck the plastic tub in the bin, which eventually (almost always) ends up in landfill.  You're wrecking the planet because you're bone idle, but that's a rant for another day.

Come on Britain.  Wake up!

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