Thursday, 14 February 2013

Sorry, food SHOULD cost more - to save money

This is not, of course, supermarket bacon - it's real bacon, not the sodden dripping swollen waterlogged slops from Tesco or the Co-op. Not only does it not shrink to a third the size during grilling, it cooks in about a quarter the time, not needing to boil-off all the added water before starting to grill. And it tastes infinitely better. Cost per cooked ounce, including energy cost, I'd guess is about the same as the supermarket mess. Likewise flabby sloppy chicken breasts or pork joints the consistency of fresh builder's mortar pumped up with added water. Who the hell do they think they're kidding? 

And even the cats won't touch those Vietnamese giant prawns sold so cheaply and grown so quickly on a diet of human faeces. Cold-water Atlantic every time. And forget farmed Salmon that tastes of rank stale weevil-infested meal, processed chicken products using chicken from Brazil or Thailand, any 'fresh' meat that can't be frozen, rancid cow's milk sold as 'Cravendale' so finely homogenised that human taste buds can't detect the rotten fat particles of ten-day old milk, anything that says 'reformed from ...' on the label and all sausages of unknown provenance. 

If you take the processed gloop away, even petty-gourmands such as I can dine well and cheaply; a net of fresh mussels with home-baked bread spread thickly with butter feeds two for about £1.20 each, Savoy cabbage and Polish Boczek make a quick filling and wholesome soup for about £1 a head - both this week's supper dishes here at Raedwald Towers, just simple food in season.

If the 'food industry' and all it's nasty gloopish Frankenstein output needs to be policed and regulated then let the industry bear the whole costs of such regulation; fresh mussels, cabbages and wheat flour produced domestically shouldn't have to. And it may even, in the long term, save money. 


Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see Cravendale on your little list Raedwald...

I have just started using it steamed for espresso, and the stretch is excellent, and there is a distinct flavour improvement... unlike Farmer Hook's "green top" un-pasteurised un-homogenised "pure" milk, which doesn't work at all in coffee.

I suppose I will have to look at Prince Charlie's Ayrshire milk again, but it isn't as good as Cravendale, even if he does personally milk the old cow(s).


William Gruff said...

The Gruff household makes its own beer, wine, bread (all bread including muffins and pizzas) pickles (brown eggs and onions included), jams and other preserves, yoghurt and soft cheese. Had we more of that volatile substance Folding Green, I would make our own bacon ham, sausages and spiced and salted beef. Having worked as a fish curer I know how to smoke and would happily do so, had I the aforementioned VFG, and although I am growing a little long in the tooth, I still hope one day to breed Tamworths. Should I ever have the room for that I will grow my own vegetables, not from any yearning for self-sufficiency, simply because I resent paying even one penny for industrially processed shite.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, you should be teaching the kids in schools - not how to cook but how to source and purchase real food Radders - infinitely more important.

Anonymous said...

Their time has come; the quality butcher, baker and greengrocer. The farm shop and the market stall should all now capitalise on the fact (and it is very clearly a fact) that, not only supermarkets are bad, but yet another tax-payer funded "agency" was either asleep on watch or couldn't care less - or both. Corruption right to the very top - again!

Coney Island

G. Tingey said...


And a local butcher hwo openly "sources" his meat & a Sunday-amrket stall that catch their own fish.

NO problems.

Lots of beer & vino, of course.....

mikebravo said...

Ah yes. But "busy mums" don't have time to shop for these products. They are busy out working as tax slaves to prop up the welfare state.
Much easier to bung some frankenstein gloop in the microwave.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Let's be clear about all this present malarkey.

With horsemeat selling out at €3kg, and beef fetching up to €15kg, and the product being sold by the container-load, meat substitution is a highly lucrative business. A 20-ton container of horsemeat sold as beef will fetch a gross profit of €200,000 or thereabouts.

This is lucrative crime - for simply switching the label on a frozen lump of "meat".

We really do employ legions of "policemen" who are by and large half witted overpaid shiny arsed penpushing bureaucrats and their associated parasitic academics who wallow in pools of glowing self regard that stretch past the horizon.

I'm reminded of the watery (as in 51% H2O) chilled "fresh" chicken (with added cow, pig, buffalo and "alien protein") episode back in 2003 sparked by Felicity Lawrence's book Not on The Label".

BBC's Panorama still had some vestigial investigative remit back then and they did to my mind a pretty good job of nailing the story.

That Panorama program has been wiped from Ministry of Truth archives - I've spoken with Felicity and she was pretty miffed as she'd have liked a copy...

What was really notable about the program was the abject, woeful, miserable performance of the Food Standards Agency - in particular the utterly toe-curlingly poor performance of David Statham , - Director of Enforcement and Standards at the Food Standards Agency. A transcript of some stuff here. The performance of the FSA was so poor that it seems the Panorama piece was deemed unsuitable for archiving and shredded.

Budgie said...

This latest food debacle is another example of institutional failure to go alongside the BBC, the NHS, the Social Services, the CFP, MPs, etc etc.

A plethora of complex rules benefits corporations and top politicians not the little man. Watch us get more rules as a result of horses for courses. Anyway Food is an EU 'competence', so 'our' local government in Westminster cannot do much about it.

It will continue to get worse until we get out of the EU, and can once more hold our own politicians directly to account.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

"It will continue to get worse until we get out of the EU, and can once more hold our own politicians directly to account."

Things will not improve until we start holding our public servants properly to account.

The Food Standards Agency seems to have trouble reading what's on its own packet - £160,000,000 a year is a non trivial sum - plus all the handouts to "food policy researchers".

Really, they spent millions apparently policing "food standards" for the Olympics - which it's safe to assume I think involved the odd burger.

They seek to take public money to do nothing more than ponce around with PR consultants, client academics and mountains of bureaucrat generated pink slime

G. Tingey said...

Both better & worse than you think.

Semi-related subject ....
This morning the BBC did a super job of reporting a gross scandal, which is known to have cost lives, ans aspect of the hospital deaths, but, well:
a very worrying programme & development has just disappeared – yes I said DISAPPEARED.

First thing this morning, all over BBC radio4 “Today”, all over BBC main news on the web, mention on “Telegraph” (I’m told it was front-page on the “Mail”) … VANISHED.

What has vanished?
It can still can be found if you had previously looked for it – or pick up my link.
But, looking at the web now, you woould never know it had happened.

Someone, somewhere is pulling strings to try to gag this, & I don’t like it.
Incidentally, the next issue of “Private Eye” might be worth a read.

Budgie said...

Gordon Tortoise, you cannot hold "public servants [The Food Standards Agency] properly to account" - because they work for the EU, not you.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Hi Budgie

At the risk of turning this into a pentomime :-)

Oh! yes I can (well.. alright - might be able to)

The Civil Servant's Code of Conduct carries criminal sanctions under the 2010 Constitution and Governance Act. Take a look at both and tell me there isn't a remedy for the delinquency we are seeing across the board in the civil service...

Greg - I just heard Hunt on R4 trying to sound calm balanced and measured in the face of the evidence.

Now, where's that roll of piano wire?

Budgie said...

Gordon Tortoise, I was specifically commenting on the FSA, not civil servants across the board. If the FSA is doing what its effective masters (the EU) say then there isn't much you or I can do about it.

So many areas of what we have been used to thinking is UK government responsibility in fact turns out to be the EU's. Issues which ought to have traction wither because the person ultimately responsible cannot be pin-pointed. There is a black hole for accountability and it's called the EU.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Civil Servants (and that's presently classified as anybody in direct government employ outside military, spooks and overseas deployed staff)has to abide by The Code - bugger all to do with the EU.

As ever with our provincial penpushers the directives from Brussels aren't enough and they cannot resist embroidering and gold plating to the point where the budget is squeezed - and traditionally they then attempt to coerce compliance by withdrawal of cooperation.

No doubt the Brussels colleagues would like the UK to be simply a midwestern branch office - but we are not there yet.

The EU regs that are handed down still constrain the powers of the executive - we are not at the stage of if it isn't specifically allowed ist verboten.

My point fwiw is that they have pushed it out so far that they are riding made up shit, breaking the law = their own professional codes of conduct and *can* be challenged.

The FSA are civil servants and are within the scope of the Constitution and Governance Act 2010 - as are many other "Agencies".

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Greg - looks like you're partially right BBC web presence has nary a mention on the front page....

Budgie said...

Gordon Tortoise, you are entitled to the opinion that the FSA does not do the job that you think the FSA ought to do. Indeed I, and many others, agree with you.

But if the FSA faithfully follows the laws, rules and procedures laid down for it by mainly by the EU, there is nothing you or I can do, short of managing to change the EU's collective mind, Code of Conduct not withstanding.

I do not like the CFP - I think it is a disaster and a crime. But that is just my opinion. That does not mean I can throw the Code of Conduct at the DEFRA civil servants because of my opinion.

If you have evidence that the FSA has broken the law your duty is to go to the police with the facts. Otherwise do not confuse bad policy with misconduct, the two are different.

Tom said...

The Code specifies that civil servants *must* be objective in their actions and decision taking.

That means that they must evaluate all the evidence - not just those bits that suit their case. This is clearly not happening.

The CFP - which I am more familiar with than most - is indeed in large part a criminal enterprise with EU officials falsifying records etcetera.

We have been to the police - they are more concerned with the underclass than delinquent petty princelings in the state bureaucracy.

If you want to see if we confuse policy with misconduct try this.

Budgie said...

Tom, food safety is an exclusive EU 'competence' defined by Regulation 178/2002. So, in effect, the FSA is a child of the EU, and will jump to the EU's tune, not to our local government in Westminster.

Moreover, if the FSA complies with its statutory requirements, even if the statutes reflect bad policy, blaming the FSA or the UK government is worse than futile - it allows the real culprits, the EU, to escape.

Johnm said...

Do shut up.
A crook is a crook, whether an EU crook or a UK crook.
AND what we have is not food unfit for, but food not labelled correctly.
It WAS labelled correctly as it galloped out of the abattoir but changed its name along the course.
And if the routine is changed then the route of the crime will change, and things will carry-on as in the past.
Food is not cheap because the producer has charitable intentions, it is cheap because it is not what it seems, or says on the label.
Anyway, there are loads of other substitutions of loads of other foods along the way.
Maybe I won't mention the chicken we eat is pumped full of hormones to grow fast, or the beef cattle pumped with antibiotics.
Any complex system is ripe for fraud. It has happened in this country many times, with food grown in this country and not imported.