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Liars and Cheats

I’m sure I’m not alone in hating liars and cheats. The problem with a liar is that once you find them out, you realise you can’t believe anything they say. Any conversation becomes pointless because you know you cannot trust them, so why waste another minute of your life listening to them.

Now I’m not on about white lies, those fibs we all tell to oil the social waters. You know, “I’m sure your 2 inch carrots stand a chance in the show” is just being polite. I’m on about those carefully crafted misleading statements made by souless corporate drones to con you out of your money.

Cheats are even worse, they do you harm by deception or trickery, usually stealing from you. Like the guy who resets the clock when selling a car or the weasel who points out the small print in the contract.

I’m rather hopeful that we’ll get our own back on them.

I’m talking about our food again in case you thought otherwise. It goes well beyond the horsemeat in beef scandal. The whole food supply industry is in question and those who regulate it. The FSA and DEFRA claiming that a bit of a banned chemical won’t do you any harm when it’s found in food. DEFRA seem more and more like a front for trans-global business rather than a government department to me at times.

Yesterday it was dangerous and the sky would fall if meat containing bute (the horse pain-killer Phenylbutazone) was sold to eat.. today it’s basically safe. Just a little top up for those pesticide residues we love.

But come on people, wake up. If they’ll sell you horsemeat to make a few bob, what won’t they do? Condemned meat? Just cut off the bad bits and hey presto, from being a costly item to dispose of, it’s a very profitable meat product to feed you on.

What about cows too old to be slaughtered for food? Hey, once it’s minced and pounded nobody will know and even if it presents a risk of BSE, nobody will connect it back.

Someone told me that they always bought organic, so they knew their food was safe. Really? How? Because it said so on the label. But we know we can’t trust the label. Eggs found containing residues of treatments not licensed for use on hens even with a withdrawal period could be the tip of an iceberg. The problem is there are too many foods and too many potential hazards to test them all and the numbers of products tested is pitiful

Now the supermarkets aren’t deliberately lying regarding the horsemeat. They been conned or their supplier has further up the chain but even so I don’t think they’re blameless. How much beef is in your beefburger? 100% or perhaps 90% – a little chopped onion and an egg to bind or maybe even a few breadcrumbs to bind it being all you need to add.

Nope – your beefburger can (unless otherwise stated on the packet) be just 62% beef. Unless it’s an economy burger, in which case it could be just 47% beef. It will tell you the percentage on the packet. In great big letters it says BEEFBURGERS and in tichy tiny letters it tells you how much is beef. Assuming you’ve time to check out the label on a Friday night in the crowd as the kids throw a tantrum for a bar of chocolate

Incidentally ‘beef’ in this context ain’t beef as you might think. 25% can be fat and 25% connective tissue. Yummy. Although, in fairness you do need fat or the burger will be too dry.

This is why I believe the supermarkets con us. The beefburgers that never were what we thought, the bacon that shrivels to nothing because it’s pumped up with water and the same for those plump chicken breasts. Is it any wonder that someone decided to con them?

Maybe, just maybe, some good will come out of all this. Perhaps we’ll pay a bit more for food we know the provenance of from local shops we trust. I don’t think it will make a real dent in the supermarkets but it just might make those marketing people wonder if they would do better being honest and treating their customers with respect. But don’t hold your breath.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
One comment on “Liars and Cheats
  1. gayle says:

    How right you are….. I now buy from a local farmer?butcher. He serves from a shed with his own meat and chickens….. fresh as can be. yes it is more expensive but the taste is superb… and guess what … bacon stays same size and only half a cup of liqiud from a chicken . Today i sowed my first seeds for toms , lettuce , pots and radish ( all going to be grown in pots ) followed instructions on packet, so fingers crossed and i will soon be eating extra fresh vegand salad to go with my meat…. cant wait. Came across your site today it is excellent

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