WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Stanley
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Stanley »

Fallen stock and casualties were always a problem when they went to the knackers. All ours went to Jerusalem above Bingley and God alone knows what their eventual destination was. There was a big clamp-down following BSE and the profits of the renderers went through the roof. Have a look at a firm called Prosper de Mulder and see how it affected them! We used to maintain the boilers for a firm at Penrith and the maggoty food waste that went in there re-emerged as 'protein granules' ostensibly for the pet food industry but who was tracing it? How good was the audit trail? How do the supermarkets account for out of date foods sent to the renderers? It's a massive industry and the only way to stop leakage from it would be to make certain that all waste was destroyed b y burning, at the producer's expense of course.
The only way a customer can assure themselves is to buy non-processed food from a reliable source, like your local butcher. This depends on education and the bottom line is that the general public is ignorant and ill-educated as well as being lazy when it comes to food. Their awareness is too low for them to make informed decisions. This is where, in the end, the problem will be addressed and it will be bad news for the supermarkets and what people see as 'cheap food'. There is no such thing but this doesn't mean that using raw ingredients isn't economical. on the contrary it's a lot cheaper than buying from the processors. Compare a 'ready meal' with one you cook yourself from the best ingredients. No contest!
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Marilyn »

The biggest tragedy is that many folk won't look beyond pre-prepared crap, Stanley. They are just too darn lazy.
And we see it with our own kids who readily admit that coming to dinner at our house is great because of the fresh food and level of veg in a meal. My son can cook very well - I taught him from an early age and he had to cook dinner one night a week for both of us when he was a teenager...I was a working single Mum and we both looked forward to the night he cooked because it meant going to buy ingredients together and I would watch him cook and give him tips. He knows all about food groups and what goes with what. He can Roast, Braise, BBQ...you name it. He knows how fresh food looks, smells and feels...and he knows what a body needs.
I do notice that the females who are in our male children's lives are absolutely useless when it comes to anything domestic.
I just don't get it. ( what were their mothers thinking?)
They seem to be the ones leading the 'ready meal' crusade!
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Maz, the tragedy is that by some accident of circumstance, perhaps always having food on tap, the young seem to be wired up differently than us. There is nothing more satisfying than having an industrial scale cooking fest at weekend and filling the freezer with 'ready meals' for the week produced at a fraction of the cost and all made from good ingredients. We can't understand it because what's so difficult about cooking anyway? I have an idea that watching these TV chefs making immensely complicated dishes might have something to do with it. We know that if you chuck the right ingredients in and cook them slowly anyone can make a good meal, they don't even try because it is so complicated and needs so many esoteric ingredients. Perhaps when they are all poor and food gets scarce they will be forced to go back to good plain cheap cooking.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Aye...one day they may discover the art of feeding themselves and nourishing a family. What is the bet they will believe they are the first generation to do so?!

( I am not joking about the females of today. Stepson took up with a thoroughly modern Millie who could make about 120 alcoholic cocktails by heart, without referring to notes, and could drink about that many without swaying! Same female could not operate a vacuum cleaner, plan a meal or knew how long to cook Rice (Derrrrr... you buy cooked rice, don't you?)
Add to that a total blind spot when it came to being economical or saving money...eee...what a waste of space.
In fact, I am embarrassed to say, I ( normally quite tolerant) referred to her as "the space cadet"!
And there are so many out there just like her. Can make up their faces perfectly but can not boil an egg.)
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Post by Wendyf »

My mum wasn't one for cooking, and for as far back as I can remember she used ready prepared foods. Her excuse, which admittedly was a good one, was that she couldn't stand up for long enough to cook without her bad hip hurting. As you know she is still standing and will be 92 in a couple of weeks....but she is getting bored with ready meals now. :smile:
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Lost 1st 2lbs in a month on Weight Watchers online. Nolic
"I'm a self made man who worships his creator." Image
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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My God Comrade! It's taken me over three months to do that! Glad it's going well.....
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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We may be seeing the tip of a very large iceberg this morning. Testing aimed at discovering horse meat has revealed traces of pork as well in some products. I've wondered all along what tests in this depth would reveal in other processed foods. Is all Mozzarella cheese on pizzas genuine? Are other processed meats exactly what they say they are? I remember the DNA tests that looked for contamination in 'Genuine Basmati Rice' and the fact that they only found I think it was three pure brands, I remember that Lubna, sold at Chowdrey's was one of them.
Another interesting research result this morning was a study that compared overall alcohol sales with the amount reported in surveys of how much people drank. Twice as much is sold as reported. A very blunt conclusion of course but it strongly suggests that consumption is under-reported and this has implications for health.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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We have to be careful about interpretation of DNA testing results because it is such a sensitive method, able to detect minuscule amounts. You can imagine getting a situation where a farmer can't have pigs and cattle on the same farm without someone finding a `pig molecule' in his beef. Sampling is also important - you can't assume that `foreign' material is evenly distributed in the meat, rice or whatever. You could get negative results for pork in beef mince when in fact pork is present; conversely, a positive result doesn't mean it is present throughout the mince. With a cereal grain like rice, one grain of rice variety A in a tanker of variety B could be detected and the whole tanker considered as being contaminated. There's a danger of more food wastage due to being overly strict about contamination. Food is shifted around in massive quantities now and each condemned batch could represent thousands of tones of otherwise good food.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Agreed. But it could be a good indicator for further investigations. In the case of the rice they found widespread fraud and stopped most of it. Of course, I am a bad arbiter on matters like this because I start from the point where I have no confidence whatsoever in the food processors and never trusted them. I protect myself by getting as close to the source as I can. By the way, my dried peas, direct from the farm, occasionally contain a stone the size of a pea....
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Yes Tizer, good point. This is a time for clear heads, calm assessment, measured conclusions and clear messages. Everything frankly, we shouldn't expect these days.

I was a bit puzzled by Tesco's noting they were putting cameras into their suppliers. What do they expect to see? A horse strung up on the hook?

On some of the comments further up, I never cooked with my mother and she taught me no recipes or skills, save for short pastry where she gave me her method 3 or so years ago and supervised my attempts. However, what she did do was put fresh food on the table each day. So when I found myself having to cook for myself at age 19, it never occured to me to go out and stock up on pre-prepared food or gravitate to the takeaways day-in, day-out. Seemed the thing to do was cook something yourself. And as almost everything my mother got in was from a grocers and a butchers and a bakers and so on, it seemed the thing to do was to go to a butchers, a grocers etc (and there were a lot around). And that's what I do today.

But that was then and we are where we are now. I'm lucky - I have the access, I have the skills (such as they are), I'm interested so give of the time, am reasonably off and so and so on. Many folk don't have any of these and so it's a thorny issue.

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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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I usually buy organic & get a bit smug about it, but a discussion got me thinking. We were talking horse manure....how do you know what the horses have been fed, eaten, or been injected / dosed with....& then excreted? Organic is only organic if the soil is fertilised by manure from organically fed horses.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Rossy, one of the factors in food production that can't be tackled quickly is the deterioration in soil quality and the general environment. We are all ingesting or breathing pollutants caused by our modern manufacturing processes and way of life. Look at Oestrogen for instance from Birth Pills. In addition the levels of micro-nutrients and bacterial activity in soil is falling due to farming practices. Too big a subject to go into here but many scientists are looking at this in relation to the growth of the 'Western Diseases'. The consequence has been a fall in essential nutrients and vitamins in common field crops. Organic farming can address the micro-nutrients but not the general pollution. The reason why micro-nutrients can't be positively cited as an advantage of organic farming is because we know so little about them and their affect on health.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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As part of my basic education we studied crop rotation,the whole basis of this is that the soil got time to recover. Modern farming practices threw this all away. Now the soil is sucked dry of all goodness its micro organisms killed off. Then just before it is replanted chemicals are spread on it, over and over this is repeated,sometimes two crops a year from one super field. Ask anyone who has access to an allotment for a taste of their produce and see what we have lost.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Exactly! And look at the amount of long chain Omega3 fat the world produces versus what we need for good health.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Attention seems to be directed at chicken products now. Good!
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Quorn report that sales of their meat substitute products has almost doubled since the start of the horse burger affair.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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The 'I don't believe it!' department.... See page 10 of this weeks PE for a report that the European Commissioners have ended the 2001 ban on feeding ground-up animal remains to farmed animals. Remember BSE and diseased brain and nerve tissue? At the moment it is allowing pig and chicken waste to be fed to farmed fish. Only the French voted against it.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Not enough fish left in the sea, to catch, then dessicate and grind up, then form into pellets to feed the farmed fish. So we have to find a substitute protein feed.
What puzzles me is who eats them. To worry about drugs in horsemeat is small potatoes to the level of drugs in farmed salmon or trout.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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I was crumbling a beef stock cube the other day, and I suddenly thought "I wonder what is in this".
Stock is traditionally made out of the more unusable parts of the beast...one presumes a beef stock cube would be made from beef...but if unscrupulous people are going to put horse meat in your beef lasagne...how much regard would they have for stock cubes/powder?
Horse stock cubes, anyone?
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Any sort of stock cube is a bit of a mystery isn't it Maz. One of the few processed foods I use without a second's thought. On the whole the risk is worth it I think, I've survived for almost 80 years on them!
Yet another food warning! A large European study involving more than 500,000 respondents 'shows' that eating heavily preserved meats like bacon and sausage is bad for you. My problem with this is that my version of bacon is mature pig meat preserved by drying and salting with occasional use of sugar and honey. In the old fashioned 'dry cure' the only other chemical that was used sometimes was a small amount of nitrate pushed into the knuckle joint on the ham where there was more danger of deterioration. Modern bacon is actually pickled pork and is soaked/injected with a cocktail of ingredients designed to preserve the meat, keep the weight up and prolong shelf life which would otherwise be shorter because it isn't cured properly. I have a suspicion that nitrates and phosphates are part of the chemical pickle and in my book this may be where the danger is. The same provisos no doubt exist with heavily preserved sausages like chorizo. Of course there is a way out, seek out a proper butcher and get old-fashioned bacon and sausage or, better still, eat fresh meat.

I daren't eat bacon under my weight loss regime, I like it too much! But if you are a bacon fan don't let this food scare puit you off good dry-cure bacon and sausage. The Industrial Revolution was built on them!
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Twenty years ago I lodged in a French bed and breakfast in the hills near Lyon. Every morning this lovely french lady cooked me eggs bacon and mushrooms the bacon came from a dried ham hanging in the kitchen, The memory of this bacon will probably stay with me for the rest of my life, I know that it will never be beaten this is a dissappointment i have to live with. But the stuff from my farm butcher still smells and tastes good,and no nasty white leakage.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Indications that the Coalition is about to drop plans for minimum pricing of alcohol. Public health organisations describe this as a disaster waiting to happen. What's so difficult about it? Has someone been lobbying? Bit like trying to get soft drinks better regulated. I pick a piece of litter every day and yesterday it was a bottle of 'energy drink'. Bit of a misnomer really, main ingredients were lots of sugar and 18mg of caffeine in a small bottle..... That's not energy, it's being wired!
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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My son, who is 32 and getting quite seriously overweight, seems to think that he needs one of these energy drinks if he does the slightest bit of exercise. He appears to be completely brainwashed by the advertising.
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Re: WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

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Stanley wrote:Indications that the Coalition is about to drop plans for minimum pricing of alcohol. Public health organisations describe this as a disaster waiting to happen. What's so difficult about it? Has someone been lobbying? Bit like trying to get soft drinks better regulated. I pick a piece of litter every day and yesterday it was a bottle of 'energy drink'. Bit of a misnomer really, main ingredients were lots of sugar and 18mg of caffeine in a small bottle..... That's not energy, it's being wired!
Correct stanley. Whilst working for an Italian company I was introduced to espresso coffee the first cup was like an electric shock I could feel it running through my veins, but I developed a taste, or a habit but only one small cup a day.
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