WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Stanley
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Stanley » 28 Jan 2013, 05:51

The source of the horsemeat in the burgers has been traced to Poland. A spokesman for the meat processors is defending importation from countries with lower standards than us as I write. Surprise surprise! As I surmised earlier it was MRM reclaimed from bones and trimmings. The authorities say they are satisfied and seem to want to sweep the investigation under the carpet. So no surprises there. The defence (if you can afford it!) is to avoid buying cheap burgers. The bottom line is that it is the poorest who will continue to be fed with MRM, believe me, if you saw it you wouldn't touch it with a barge pole!
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Stanley » 02 Feb 2013, 08:42

More trouble with meat in the food chain. Pork has been found in Halal meat supplied to the Prison Service by a certified contractor. Tim Lang was on 'Today' this morning and basically what he was saying is that the food processors are so powerful they have produced what could be described as an alternative governance in the industry. He also said that the FSA was too close to the industry and this was hampering their ability to investigate properly. Instead of taking strong remedial action they are 'having talks with the industry'. This is the same route which has been followed in the past and it becomes increasingly clear that the processors feel so strong that they effectively manage any intervention. You have only to listen to the firewall apologists that they have put up to defend themselves to see where the power lies.
I was thinking about adulteration.... Anyone who has read 'The Jungle' and 'Fast Food Nation' will recognise exactly the same manipulation of the processes to get maximum profit. The key thing here is that you can't hide 'extenders' or foreign substances in joints of meat. The way to hide the additions is to make things like burgers, sausages etc where the meat is minced and then recombined. This was probably the reason why they became so popular with the processors. Think of Spam, 'luncheon meat' and tinned 'Ham' made of 'choice pork cuts' recombined so that they can be packed into a tin. The only way to stop this adulteration is to stop buying these products or make your own. This all comes back to education. I got my education working in food plants and delivering ingredients to them and recognised what was going on 40 years ago. Others don't have this experience and we should be educating kids at school on nutrition and pure unadulterated food. We are being taken for a ride, there is no such thing as cheap meat and every time I see the adverts for firms advertising cheap frozen meat I automatically think "How can they do it at that price?" The answer is some very dodgy sourcing. The food industry is the biggest single sector of the economy and employs the most people. The truth is that, like the financial industry, they are too big to attack effectively.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Stanley » 08 Feb 2013, 06:28

More horse meat. Findus find they have been selling Lasagne some of which was entirely horse meat. Made for them by another company in Europe. (LINK)
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by PanBiker » 08 Feb 2013, 12:11

I fully agree that when you buy something you should get what it says on the label, no argument there. However, in a world where a great number of people are starving or living on the streets, including here in the UK. Is it folly to simply remove literally thousands of pre packed meals off the shelf and dump them? After all horse meat is not poisonous, it is widely eaten in many places around the world and has superior nutritional value to lots of processed meats.
Chris Evans, on the R2 Breakfast Show made aver valid point in my opinion. Why can't the supermarkets simple stick a big honest sign on all existing stock of potential horsey beef and sell it off at half price or even give it away rather than dump it.

I found this link that gives a run down on the history of horse meat:

The History of Horse Meat
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Big Kev » 08 Feb 2013, 14:10

PanBiker wrote:Why can't the supermarkets simple stick a big honest sign on all existing stock of potential horsey beef and sell it off at half price or even give it away rather than dump it.
I'm with you on that one, Ian. I'd happily eat it
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by PanBiker » 08 Feb 2013, 16:05

So would I Kev, particularly if it was free! As far as I am aware no-one has complained about the taste of the Findus Lasagne, all have been happily chomping away without ill effect so what's the problem other than the lie on the label? A lot of people eat horses and it was certainly on the menu during both world wars, there are far more disgusting things that people eat and never turn a hair.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Wendyf » 08 Feb 2013, 18:39

As someone who loves horses I have very mixed feelings about this. A couple of years ago I had to have a horse put down. I had loved and looked after him for 16 years and he was a big part of my life, however he had been un-rideable for 15 years, had cost me thousands of pounds in vets bills and was more often than not a pain to handle. I had a feeling that I could have enjoyed eating him if had beenconsidered Ok to do so. He had been on the drug Bute for at least 12 years so his carcass shouldn't have gone into the food chain...but who knows what happened once he went into the knackers lorry. The main problem is still that many of our horses and ponies get shipped live from this country to the continent to be slaughtered over there, and that is something that definitely shouldn't be happening.

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Marilyn » 09 Feb 2013, 00:12

Another excellent reason why I never buy anything pre-made or pre-packaged....and I rarely eat meat...but when I do I expect to get what I ask and paid for.
I have no objections to anyone eating horse meat, if the CHOOSE to, but it is totally unacceptable to be eating it unknowingly as a substitute for what they thought they were buying. Hope heads roll all the way to the abattoir. ( if dishonest people are substituting meat, do you really think they are going to care about the quality of the beasts they butcher!?)

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Stanley » 09 Feb 2013, 04:57

You all make valid points but I think Maz put her finger on it, it should say on the pack what's in it. My biggest problem is the fact that almost anything can be in 'protein extender'. For instance, I can remember when broiler house hen muck was ground and used in cattle food on the grounds that it was high in protein, did any get in the human food chain? 'Coarse Ration' for cows always cost more than pre-formed cattle cake because you could see what was in it. Am I picky or just sensible? MRM can have anything in it as long as it is animal based.
The real flaw exposed by genetic testing of food is that once you depart from single source meat as an ingredient control is lost of what is in the food and this is entirely due to food processors sourcing the cheapest 'legal' ingredients to maximise profit. As for it being the food of the poorest, there is plenty of cheap meat in the legitimate food chain. The reason why it is not used is that people 'heven't got time' or don't know about the benefits of cheap cuts. I am eating a lamb neck at the moment, when did you last see that in the average supermarket?
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by chinatyke » 09 Feb 2013, 06:44

Stanley wrote:More horse meat. Findus find they have been selling Lasagne some of which was entirely horse meat. Made for them by another company in Europe. (LINK)

Up to 100% Horse meat!! Neigh cannot be true. It was LASAGNEIGH :grin:

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Stanley » 11 Feb 2013, 08:12

What started as a flash news item is now becoming much more serious. A whole slew of tests has been ordered on processed foods containing meat, results to be in by the end of the week. I have an idea thare are going to be more shocks. I see one good thing about this. Public awareness of processed meat has been raised and this should be good for the butchers who retail proper meat. It will also tighten the bands on processors who habitually source the cheapest ingredients they can from Europe-wide sources. There will also be some interesting questions about the relationship between the FSA and the major food producers. I have long shared the opinion that they are too close to the industry and this has inhibited the sort of blanket testing that would have stopped this rash of surprises before it happened. They are there to protect food supplies, not act as a facilitator for the food industry and this focus may have a good effect. Another focus should be the supermarkets. They only retail the simple cuts of meat and completely ignore the rest of the carcass because the profit margin is lower than what they can get on highly processed meats like burgers, sausages and ready meals. Or, alternatively, will we see their power being deployed to brush these fundamental questions about our food under the carpet..... Am I alone in thinking about the common factors with the banks, too big to fail morphs into too big to reform.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Marilyn » 11 Feb 2013, 08:49

Although it doesn't help in this particular problem of substitution ( which is totally misleading and utterly unacceptable), I think that people ( generally) are getting better at reading food labels and making choices about what they buy. I know there will be those who will never read the labels on anything, but education is always aimed at the majority who are willing to put in a little bit of effort. ( there is always going to be a market for people who buy CHEAP and base their choices solely on price).
We owe it to our bodies to know where our food is sourced and how far it has travelled and how long it has sat, waiting to be bought. ( some baby food that folk feed their babies IS OLDER than their babies!)
We have had recent problems here because our government supports imports from New Zealand. ( New Zealand being a fabulous country with fabulous people, but sadly they struggle with their economy, which leaves them open to exploitation. Countries whose food is not deemed fit for Australian import is transported to New Zealand, repackaged or processed, then enters Australia under the New Zealand export labels. It puts a slur on every ( 'ridgeydidge') import from New Zealand, because their labelling and disclosure laws are different to ours and we just dont know what to trust).
Everyone does it...buys the cheap cans of tomatoes because the tin looks ok and they are SO cheap...do we really care where they originally grew in the soil? And if we buy the more expensive cans, are we truly getting any better product?

We just have to get better at sourcing our food and revert back to buying things in as close to the natural state as possible.
Steer clear of packets, pre-cooked, highly processed rubbish. Get back to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker!

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Tizer » 11 Feb 2013, 17:00

PanBiker wrote:Is it folly to simply remove literally thousands of pre packed meals off the shelf and dump them? After all horse meat is not poisonous, it is widely eaten in many places around the world and has superior nutritional value to lots of processed meats.[/url]
It's not about whether horse meat itself is poisonous or not Ian, but the fact that if the product is found to contain a large amount of something that shouldn't be there, and nobody knows exactly why or how it got there, then the product has to be considered potentially unsafe and should not be consumed. Fraudsters don't observe food safety regulations, nor do they care whether they harm the public - the horse meat could be contaminated with all sorts of undesirable things (e.g. carcinogenic chemicals). This is why the government's repeated statement "This is not a food safety issue" is quite wrong and misleading in this case. An example of the damage that food fraudsters can do is the 1981 cooking oil poisonings in Spain when rapeseed oil intended for chemical use and containing a nasty chemical was passed off as food quality rapeseed oil. It's estimated that around 1000 people have since died from the long-term effects of consuming that oil, which damaged their nervous system.

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Stanley » 12 Feb 2013, 06:45

Maz, reading the labels is fine but have you aver seen a label that says that the baker's shortening was made from recycled out of date fats from supermarkets, or that the vegetable oil was 13 years old and came from EEC intervention stocks or that mechanically recovered meat was used to bulk up the genuine butcher's cuts?
The current tests should be extended to all imported 'meat products' and there should be complete transparency about ingredients. The whole reason for making complicated products is that cheap (and otherwise unacceptable) ingredients can be hidden under general statements like 'Pork 85%'. This is an old problem and I was flagging it up twenty years ago after I saw what was happening in the rendering plants.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Marilyn » 12 Feb 2013, 06:49

It's just awful if you think about it. Makes one feel sick...

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by rossylass » 12 Feb 2013, 11:56

I suppose the solution is to return to the cottager lifestyle - a plot of land to grow your own & a pig. I don't eat much meat, but I love the cheaper cuts -shoulder of lamb, oxtail & belly pork etc. Unfortunately they are the most fatty, but that gives them their succulence. They are identifiable, but unless you buy organic the livestock they come from could have been fed all sorts of rubbish. Vegetarian meals are generally cheap - lentils, beans and a large array of veg, but generally people who live in poverty don't subscribe. Again, even vegetables, unless organic, have been sprayed with chemicals. Maybe a small town like Barnoldswick could start their own co-operative as the Rochdale pioneers did in the 1840's; this was to combat the adulteration of food. Hey ho, everything goes round in a circle.

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Marilyn » 12 Feb 2013, 20:45

Ah...
Have just heard this morning that one chain of our supermarkets is going to DNA processed meat products from New Zealand. Good idea. I've mentioned before that New Zealnd has become a back door for other countries whose foodstuffs are not up to our strict standards. New Zealand has put itself in the position of processing/packaging these substandard foods and using their trade agreement with us to get rubbish into our market.
Unfortunately this behaviour taints all imports from New Zealand, which many of us now view with suspicion and avoid buying.
Such a beautiful country...though I think we would rather spend on tourism with New Zealand than buy their produce.

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by chinatyke » 13 Feb 2013, 02:19

Anyone eaten Shippams chicken paste? Made from 100% chicken. I do mean 100%, nothing wasted. Horrendous. Do you really know what you are eating in ultra-processed foods?

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Marilyn » 13 Feb 2013, 02:42

Sounds...quite disgusting...Chinatyke.
Hubby happened to see some Peck's Paste on the supermarket shelf on the weekend (" a little Peck's goes a looooong way").
He said it had been years and years since he tried it.
I just gave him that look ( every male know THAT look) that says it ain't gonna happen! I don't even want to consider what could be in it.

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Stanley » 13 Feb 2013, 04:53

No need to go back to a peasant lifestyle, just use your head and only buy things you are confident about, that is not processed. We can't avoid some things, unfortunately the environment has been polluted but we can make sure we ingest the minimum. Just one example, the use of oestrogen in contraceptive pills has meant that there is a higher level of it in water supplies than in days before the Pill. You can't eliminate something like that.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Tizer » 13 Feb 2013, 11:45

I must admit to bursting into laughter when, after reading Stanley's repeated warnings about food from Eastern Europe, I heard the news last night that an abattoir in Todmorden was in trouble over trading horse meat! :laugh5:

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Stanley » 14 Feb 2013, 05:25

Problem is Tiz that on the face of it they did nothing wrong..... Knee-jerk reaction creeping in?
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by rossylass » 14 Feb 2013, 11:42

I wasn't really suggesting that we return to a peasant lifestyle....it was tongue in cheek! I was going to post an advertisement I saw for a "philyburger", but didn't know how.

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Wendyf » 14 Feb 2013, 19:44

EU regulations brought in a few years ago meant that every equine had to have a passport and within that passport is a declaration to be filled in if the horse is taking medication such as bute which makes it unfit for human consumption. Three years ago, when my horse (who had been on bute for years) had to be put down and taken away by the knackerman no questions were asked - even though a vet was present. The instructions on the passport were to return it to the issuing agency. I presume the passports only become useful if the animals are being moved out of the country and even then there is only a brief description to match equine to passport. Once the carcass is on that lorry there is no way of identifying it. I didn't really want to think about it but assumed that the carcass would be used in pet food. If this is what happens generally then no wonder there is a problem!

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by PanBiker » 14 Feb 2013, 19:55

They said on the news tonight that there is more than one issuing agency or avenue for equine passports which again introduces complications in tracing. There has been reluctance as well to introduce mandatory chipping which would be of benefit in tracing carcasses.
Ian

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