Horse meat scandal – look for food with a better story
Horse meat or pig meat found in ‘beef’ products highlights the weaknesses of a globalised system of meat production and distribution in which supermarkets comb the EU market (which absurdly includes imports from Chile) for the cheapest meat produced in factory farms and distributed via dubious wholesalers.
Although supermarkets have promised better quality control, consumers will continue to be misled until meat is labelled with the country of origin and whether it was produced in an intensive factory farm.
Consumers in the UK who want pork which avoids this centralised system in supermarkets must look for labels saying outdoor bred and reared, free range or organic. Pork with these labels has been raised on high welfare farms, almost certainly in the UK, which means the animals have not been given routine doses of antibiotics which are needed to keep them alive in stressful, overcrowded factory farms and will not have been mixed with any other product.
Consumers can also find high welfare pork at farmers’ markets or small butchers who can vouch for the origin of the meat. Buying in this fully transparent way ensures that the pig has not been tortured before you eat it, that you are paying a fair price and that your money stays in the locality, thus helping to preserve our farming skills and vibrant rural communities.
- Labelling Matters campaign – Click here to sign the petition for better food labelling
- Safety concerns emerge over horse DNA in supermarket beef – The Guardian 18th January 2012
- FSA orders tests of processed beef after horsemeat is found in Findus lasagne – The Guardian 8th February 2012
- Sustainable Food Trust Director, Patrick Holden, reflects on the wider implications of the inevitable scandals that come from an international, industrialised food production system in this short video (2m 52s):
- Local butchers see trade beefed up by horse meat scandal (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
- Aldi Supermarkets Find Up To 100% Horse Meat in Some Beef Products (inhabitat.com)
- Tests on Chicken and Pork… (telegraph.co.uk)
- First UK tests reveal scope of horse meat contamination (cnn.com)
- Horse meat scandal: ‘Limited edition’ Findus beef lasagne for sale on eBay (metro.co.uk)
- Horse meat found in 29 British beef products (abc.net.au)
- Horse meat scandal: Shoppers who buy ‘cheapest food’ at risk (telegraph.co.uk)
- Supermarkets must tell public of suspect foods, MPs demand (telegraph.co.uk)
- Still more horse meat found in European ‘beef’ products (euronews.com)
- Criminal gangs implicated in horse-meat scandal (spiritandanimal.wordpress.com)