As the unidentified meat in our food scandal dies down (or gets swept under the carpet by suppliers), we have to be wary of not falling into complacency.
Many of the mentioned suppliers are simply carrying on trading, the food they supply remains on our shop shelves and in our grocery trolleys. What has changed? Are there new processes in place to ensure this does not happen again/ is not still happening? I haven’t heard of any. Everyone is saying “cross contamination”, “better screening processes”, “review of labeling laws”, etc., etc., but what is BEING done?
I fail to see any news informing consumers about any of these new processes allegedly in place to ensure this does not happen again. If these processes are being passed into law, shouldn’t the public be aware of every step along the way? How else are we going to stand up and insist on our right to know what we’re eating, and to eat only what we choose to eat?
Here in South Africa, one of our leading universities, in the wake of the UK horse meat scandal, tested our leading shops for unidentified ingredients in meat products and most of our leading shops failed the test. All matter of unlabeled ingredients, including meat, were found in the products. Some products (e.g. Game meat) were not at all what they claimed to be (beef instead)!
At first the university declined to name and shame the perpetrators, but the media were on them in an instant with the law and the consumers right to know, and the university recently named the implicated shops. Unfortunately, the specific products have not been named, which leaves us wondering, what can we buy?
Well, a good start is to buy only what you can identify. Want lamb chops? Buy something that looks like lamb chops. Avoid the processed stuff- meat is meat, there should only be one ingredient on the list, if there’s more, you’re probably buying something dodgy. All processed (deli) meats have added ingredients which means, not only are you not sure of what you’re eating, it could also be really bad for your health with loads of added salt and preservatives. All frozen ready meals – same story. You cannot be certain of what you are buying if it is no longer in its natural state.
I know we are short on time these days. No one feels like spending an hour cooking after a long day at work, but this junk we are eating is slowly killing us and our kids. For the sake of your health, do the cooking yourself. If you cook double or triple portions and freeze the rest, you will only have to cook 2-3 times a week, just add fresh salad or vegetables on the day you reheat and eat. Is it exciting? No, but neither is being slowly poisoned by artificial hormones and pesticides.
And consider a day or two per week that you go meat-free. There are awesome vegetarian recipes available on the net, try something new, its good for you! And easier on the wallet, because in spite of our “meat ” containing less meat than ever, we seem to pay more than ever.
Chunky vegetable stew or lentil and chickpea curries are filling, healthy, and you know what you’re eating.
We have strayed so far from the way we were intended to live. We are intelligent, sentient beings. We are meant to live in the fullest flush of health, be fit, sharp minded and care about the planet and the creatures we share it with. Why do we think so little of ourselves that we abuse the planet, practice animal cruelty to feed our greed, and poison our bodies with chemicals, pesticides and hormones?
This is not how it’s meant to be. You can make a difference, by being the change you want to see.