Like so many other couples unable to find the time/money/baby-sitter, Rob and I sat down to an eat-in Valentine’s supper.
We ate very happily and – yes, OK, smugly. Firstly because it was Valentine’s and we are still happily married after 14 years and managed a child-free meal with tablecloth, music and candles. And secondly because we ate our own home-produced beef with a very small supply chain from our gate to the plate. Pretty sure there was no horse meat there.
It seems the most important ingredient in our food is trust; even we have to trust the local abattoir and butcher that it’s our carcass returning, and that it has been properly chilled and stored. Trust is easier when you know people, have a relationship with people. Keep it local. In our hectic, busy lives it’s very easy to run to the supermarket and do most of our shopping under one roof but much harder to have that relationship with the supplier. I feel a further blog coming on, about all the other problems of welfare and wildlife wrought by the pressure to provide cheap food!
The horse meat scandal has presumably happened because fraudsters will operate in any industry and the supply of food has become a vast business opening the door to the compromising of standards and blatant criminal activity. Whether the scale of the food chain has been driven by the big retailers or us as consumers, I am not sure. But I do know the length of this chain is madness when dealing with what we put in our mouths. It also seems crazy to have cut so many resources from the Food Standards Agency in the last 3 years and still expect it to be able to control our food standards. Yet I suspect it still does a better job than many other enforcement agencies in Europe.
We are lucky the latest scandal is unlikely to have an impact on human health. I do not specifically object to eating horse meat but if that can sneak into our burgers, what other species or quality of cut can?
So we enjoyed every mouthful of entirely grass-fed, rich in omega-3, organic rump steak. I just ate mine a little better done: we don’t agree on everything after 14 years!