Wednesday 27 February 2013

Horse Sense

Horse-meat for sale - a healthy choice but a bit sweet for my taste

I don't know about you but I'm getting increasingly bored by the furore over horse turning up in beefburgers. Some perspective please! Tests show that a tiny number of products have included some horse meat and none of them could have done anybody the remotest harm - in fact horse meat is healthier than beef by some margin as it is very lean. Naturally we should pursue criminals who have made a buck out of substituting horse flesh but it is no big deal.

The most annoying aspect of all this is the gloating and gleeful jumping up and down of super-rich foodie campaigners telling us all how stupid we are to trust supermarkets and how we should all be trooping off to the local "farmers' market" and snooty high-class butchers to pay through the nose for basic foodstuffs.

This just upsets and offends those many people who can't afford to buy fancy food and now feel guilty and inadequate because the millionaire foodies are effectively accusing them of not providing their families and themselves with decent, healthy food. This obviously includes many people with a mental illness who may be more than averagely disturbed by all the fuss.

Can I offer some comfort?

A moment's thought will tell you that you are far, far more likely to get something dodgy from an independent butcher or other supplier (however "superior" or friendly to their customers) because among them there will be a significant proportion who are tempted through greed to bung something foreign or even condemned into their mince or other products.

By contrast supermarkets are "super-careful" to ensure the integrity of their products, not because they are nice people (though there is no reason to think they are nastier than an independent supplier) but because their reputation is precious, failure is horribly damaging, and there are hundreds of potential whistleblowers working for them who would stop them in their tracks.

So by all means use independent suppliers if they've got what you want but don't hesitate to use the supermarket where the products are equally healthy and probably safer.