Here we go again. I have to admit I tend to switch off every time the next big food health scare hits the headlines, but the most recent ones have me intrigued.
First it was Tesco and Aldi burgers, then Burger King, then pork in Halal meat and now Findus Beef Lasagne has been found to be up to 100% horse meat. The names and products are becoming increasingly irrelevant, as what is becoming clear is that food manufacturers clearly have no idea what actually goes into our food. Or do they?
Is this really a case of “oops” who put the wrong meat through the machine or have they been conning us for years? Do they have so little opinion of their customers that they think any old rubbish will do? I’m not entirely sure and I find neither scenario particularly comfortable.
Admittedly, I don’t think I’ve probably ever bought a Findus Beef Lasagne but I have the feeling that these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. If I bought a packet of beef mince from Tesco’s say, how do I know that I’m actually getting beef? After everything that’s been reported over the last few weeks, do you feel confident that you know what you’re feeding your family?
What’s worse is that instead of getting down on their knees and begging for the forgiveness of their valuable (or should that be gullible?) customers, Findus just say they don’t consider it to be a health issue. So there you have it folks, eating horse meat labelled as beef is not bad for your health. That’s to say nothing of it being massively dishonest or misleading.
So Mr Big Food Manufacturer, which is it? A right royal cock up proving you have no real idea what your customers are eating or did you think you could get away with using cheap meat as no-one would be able to taste the difference? Sheer incompetence or blatent dishonesty?
I have no real opinion on the rights or wrongs of halal meat, just as I’m not that bothered which brand of imaginary friend society you subscribe to but I will defend your right to choose and to live your life as you see fit. They are your beliefs and you are entitled to them. So if you don’t want to eat a certain meat for whatever reason, your wishes should be respected. Just as this isn’t about whether or not we should be eating horse meat, it may well be perfectly edible but I should be informed and have the right to choose.
There seems to be a dirty little underworld with food now, to maximise profits and quality and the customer be damned. But there is an upside to all this. Yes, really. If all it does is open people’s eyes to the evil that is mass produced food, then that is all well and good. Maybe we’ll go back to the day of the family butcher, where they know what you like and all their food is traceable. Maybe people will start to enjoy food and to respect good food again. My Nan used to tell me that cheapest wasn’t always necessarily best, now we know why.
I’ll be interested to hear the results of the tests on the Findus Lasagne for traces of bute. If they get a positive result there you might hear Findus execs squirming a bit. Arthritis getting you down? Dodgy Knees? Sore Navicular? Eat Findus Equine Lasagne….