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Horsemeat Saga – Spaghetti Bologneighs and Corned Dog Hash

I’ve tried to resist writing about the recent horsemeat saga for fear of upsetting people, but I can’t resist any longer.  Please note that these are my views, my own personal views, I’m not trying to force these on anyone but if you’re reading this then I assume that you are open to listening to other people’s views on this situation – I hope so anyway.  Please no nasty letters.

This is a labelling issue, the meat is perfectly safe to eat (as far as I can gather), so this is down to incorrect labelling.  I agree that if you buy something labelled ‘beef’ lasagne and on the back the only meat listed on the ingredients is beef then you don’t expect it to be made from horsemeat. However, and this is a big however and I really can’t stop myself from expressing this view, if you eat food that is processed and made in a food factory with a massive supply chain then surely you must expect something to go wrong at some time  as you are trusting someone else (or a number of other someones) to make sure that what goes into your food is what you’d expect to go into your food.

Meat is expensive, it’s getting more expensive and people are demanding cheap meat, if you want cheap meat then you’re not going to get prime beef, or any beef for that matter, and the people processing the meat will try and serve demand with what they can get on the cheap, in this case horsemeat.

If you want to know exactly what’s going into your food then source if from your local butcher, ask him where it’s come from (our butcher sources all their meat within around 7 miles unless it’s New Zealand lamb – der!).  I will only allow my kids to eat sausages from our butcher as I know that he makes them from pork belly, I’ve made them myself (the show is on BucksTV) and you can watch him making them in the shop, yes they are expensive but we don’t have them very often.  If you want chicken that tastes of chicken rather than flavourless something then buy free range or organic, it’s really pricey so don’t eat it every night, eat meat less frequently but buy the good stuff.  Use decent meat that you know where it’s originated and cook from scratch.

If you can’t be bothered to cook from scratch, want cheap meat and buy meat products that have been processed to within an inch of their life then don’t moan that there is something else than beef in there such as horse, pig, lamb, whatever.  If you’re buying processed meats then you must realise that you’re eating eyelids, brain, testicles, all the bits that wouldn’t pass as food unless it was mashed up, processed and churned out as mush – that’s why it’s cheap, it’s not rocket science people.  If you’re happy to eat that then why is everyone shocked that there’s horse in there too?  It doesn’t say eyelids and ‘parts of the animal that no normal person would ever like to think about eating’ on the label does it?  No, it usually says something like ‘pork’ it doesn’t say which part of the pig and it’s never defined.

Chicken nuggets are one of my pet hates, I’ve just looked up ingredients for one brand online, this is in a high end supermarket too, 25% chicken breast – if they’re chicken nuggets and it’s only 25% chicken breast then that means they’re made of 75% of things other than chicken breast – let your imagination take you away.  I’m one of those Mother’s from Hell who qualifies out with the restaurant, cafe, whatever whether the chicken breasts are chunks of chicken breast or ‘reconstituted and mashed parts of the chicken that no person in their right mind would ever put anywhere near their mouth’, if it’s the former my children are allowed to eat them if it’s the latter they’re not.  Needless to say that it’s rare for my children to ask for chicken nuggets for fear of being completely embarrassed in a restaurant by me.  One way of getting them to eat decent food.

There was always a standing joke when I was growing up about the local Chinese takeaway and finding rats and dogs in their freezer.  My Dad used to refer to corned beef as corned ‘dog’ on the basis that it was so processed no one would ever really know what was in it, it tasted good to eat it and don’t think about it – same with Findus foods or other highly processed foods.  Corned beef hash is amazing, as long as you don’t spend too much time musing on what actually is in the corned beef.

Basically it comes down to if you want cheap meals that someone else has prepared and you can’t be bothered to cook it yourself from scratch don’t moan about what’s in it. don’t go all’ I can’t eat horse’ they’re cute, what about lambs, piglets and calves, they’re really cute and you eat them, if you’re in France horsemeat is readily available in supermarkets. If you are concerned about what’s in your food then learn to cook, source locally from a butcher you know and trust or go vegie – however, don’t vegetables have feelings too?

The real point, from the way I see it, is that all this food has been thrown away, into landfill, there are people out there starving, on the breadline, desperate for food, this food is safe to eat it’s just mislabelled so why has it been thrown away rather than frozen and distributed to people who are hungry and would be glad of it instead of it now contributing to global warming.  Come on world wake up.