to be kind of glad they found horse in cheap meat?

(140 Posts)
ManyBellyKicks Sat 16-Feb-13 10:45:10

I mean I'm not glad they did it, but that its all out now?

And more importantly its gave me a massive kick up the arse because I don't want my kids eating unknown crap. Its not the horse meat thats offensive to me really, more the thought that I was buying 'cheap beef products' and it wasn't beef at all.

Of course I've always known these ready meals and cheap processed stuff isn't the best, I'm not daft, but it was cheap and edible and the kids liked it and it suited my (struggling) pocket. I knew it wouldn't be prime cuts of meat but the realisation that there's stuff not listed on the box is quite disgusting, who knows what the heck is in there.

So in light of this, the last few weeks we have had NO processed meat.

This is quite a turn around in our house.

I'm cooking frech meals with fresh lean beef, lasgane, chillis, bolognases. And instead of things like chicken nuggets or chicken burgers I'm 'splashing out' on chicken breasts and doing my own.

So AIBU to think that this could turn out to be a (slightlyyy) positive thing is it makes people who ate alot of processed, convenience food think about their meals and eat better?

PrettyKitty1986 Sat 16-Feb-13 10:47:41

Tbh I'm sure just as many people who used those products couldn't give a shit if they're eating ground up unicorn as long as the price is right.

But how much is this affecting your pocket? As much as it seems ideal, it's expensive and VERY time consuming.

DontmindifIdo Sat 16-Feb-13 10:48:40

I see what you mean, and it does make you think more about your diet and what you are eating.

If the budget is being stretched by buying better quality meat food products, then perhaps take a decision to go veggie once or twice a week to balance it out.

TheMagicMumber Sat 16-Feb-13 10:48:56

Yanbu, in the grand scheme of things, its bloody brilliant IMO.

MrsGeologist Sat 16-Feb-13 10:49:04

Yes, I can see that too. Also, I hope it gets people going to their local butchers (if they have them left) because it's always better to support community shops.

It's more expensive, but on the whole, the meat is better, the staff are knowledgable and the cuts and types of meat are more varied than stuff from the supermarket.

ManyBellyKicks Sat 16-Feb-13 10:50:33

Well thats the ting break, its alot more expensive, but other stuff is going to have to be cut back. We don't drink or smoke, we don't have a car either but still find it hard.

I think it was mostly laziness on my part. Hard to admit but true.

ManyBellyKicks Sat 16-Feb-13 10:51:44

Don't mind, we eat 'veggie' meals alot anyways, so it would be 'meat everyday'

I think good meat 3/4 times a week is better than bad meat everyday?

ManyBellyKicks Sat 16-Feb-13 10:54:06

*wouldn't be meat everyday

DeepRedBetty Sat 16-Feb-13 10:54:58

I'd already given up cheap meat from Lidl, Tesco etc, not because I was worried but because it was always either rubbery or full of water or both. Even stuff in the Finest range wasn't as good as Waitrose or the butcher. However appreciate that some families will struggle to afford meat if they avoid these shops. Pragmatically speaking though, you cut your coat to suit your cloth.

There isn't loca lbutchers in easy reach of where i live, except for Bexleys, which most families who live around me could not afford.

What your preaching for able bodied families is great, if they can afford it.

But i used to work in an adult disability team and i have been involvedin the care for the elderly, who cannot prepare food from scratch.

Also, whilst they are saying that the riskis samll from the drugs used, do we know the effect on pregnant women?

My relative has been very ill and has found that she could keep Icelands ready cottage pie down (amongst other things).

If we are pledging to teach everyone to cook and giving them enough money to do so and if they cannot that Social Care is funded so that ready meals are not used, then i would agree.

Does anyone know if hospital food has been involved?

DeepRedBetty Sat 16-Feb-13 10:56:50

And I agree, better a couple of good meat meals in amongst several vegetable based meals than cheap processed crap six or seven times a week.

I'd already given up cheap meat from Lidl

Do you mean their Beef, Mince etc? Or prepared food?

I wouldn't say that it is cheap and Lidl seem to be the only one not mentioned.

ManyBellyKicks Sat 16-Feb-13 10:57:34

Birds I'm not preaching, how am I in the position to preach when I've ate nothing but this cheap stuff for years?

We generally stick to unprocessed meat at home, have sausages occasionally but that's about all. The problem comes in cafes, takeaways etc, which is something we do a couple of times a month, more on holiday.

We need to eat less, better quality meat. It's not rocket science.

Hugh F-W doesn't seem like such a loon now, does he?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 16-Feb-13 11:01:28

Again, I don't want to sound preachy, but it sounds to me as though you eat too much meat. Why not have it as a special occasion once or twice a week, like people used to do?

DontmindifIdo Sat 16-Feb-13 11:01:36

sorry babiesinslingsgetcoveredinfood - but you are very wrong, it will take more than this to make Hugh F-W look non-loon like grin

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OhMyNoReally Sat 16-Feb-13 11:02:11

I just hopes it helps tighten the market. British cattle need passports since I think BSE, I don't know about European or Irish cattle but we do need a way of ensuring the quality and traceability of our meat. Even if putting 100% beef in processed food dose bump the price up.

I very rarely buy processed meat but I hope the scandal improves the food we eat. Hopefully anything put in place in the future will ensure we can trust the labelling on the packets.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 16-Feb-13 11:02:25

(never thought Hugh was a loon. He seems like the sanest of the lot. He has done more than any other individual to highlight the dangers of over fishing amongst the general public)

MrsGeologist Sat 16-Feb-13 11:02:43

The big supermarkets have killed off most of the small local shops, so now butchers/bakeries etc. are seen as artisan and do cost more.

Fucking Tesco.

MrsGeologist Sat 16-Feb-13 11:03:13

Not to mention supermarkets get meat cheaper because they can buy more.

peanutMD Sat 16-Feb-13 11:06:16

My DS is an extreme restricted eater so sausages, chicken nuggets and sausage rolls is the closest he gets to meat.

My DP is also quite a restricted eater and will not touch any veg or fish and only the occassional pasta dish so its meat only in our house at meal and we have no chance of being able to buy butcher all the time unfortunately sad

I would love to cook from scratch all the time using the best quality products but the fact that no one would eat it except me would make it v.uneconomical regardless of the quality of the ingredients but no YANBU.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Feb-13 11:06:48

Many years ago I had a friend whose father had a chicken processing company. They made ready meals for the big supermarkets, including the high end ones, not just cheap stuff.

They NEVER ate anything that was processed and warned me about chopped and shaped chicken saying "if you knew what went in there you wouldn't eat it."

That stuck with me and I have always avoided stuff like that, although I'm sure the odd chicken nugget has passed my DCs lips over the years. They were not suggesting it was anything other than the horrid bits of meat went in there, but even that was enough to put me off. I'm the same with sausages.

I think what's scary about the horse meat thing is you don't know what you are eating and that drugs that are banned in the UK for human consumption may well have been used on these horses abroad.

I usually only buy meat from my local farm, and I know the animals have grazed in the fields around my house. It costs more and a joint of beef is like taking out a mortgage! (over exaggeration there but YKWIM)

limitedperiodonly Sat 16-Feb-13 11:15:30

There is nothing wrong in expecting the food you're eating to be affordable, of good quality and correctly labelled. This is a not just punishment for people being somehow lazy. It is fraud and whatever the government is currently saying, it is a public health issue and one of public trust.

How do you know the meat from a local butcher's is good? I think mine is, and I think I can trust Sainsbury's, but I don't go shopping with a DNA testing kit.

There's a lot talked about the percentage of income relative to expenditure on food and how it's lower than it used to be and that that's somehow bad.

I happen to disagree. Within my mother's memory people, generally women, regularly went without food to feed their families, and generally the husband got the lion's share. It wasn't necessarily because the men were horrible. It was because they needed food to be able to work and for their families to exist another day.

People were malnourished. They contracted disease because of malnourishment and malnourishment made it difficult or impossible to recover.

It's only because we live in a time of food abundance that we forget this.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 11:26:59

The thing is - meat SHOULD be expensive if it is comes from animals which have been well cared for and allowed to exhibit natural behaviours, fed well and killed in UK slaughterhouses (which are often a disgrace but so much better than many elsewhere in the world).

The consumer has been very happy to buy meat from factory farmed, abused animals very cheaply from all over the world. It is time that this stopped and I hope that many people wake up to the reality of the meat industry through this latest scandal.

My fear is that the uproar that 'meat is too expensive and we can't live without it' will again ensure that farming practices stay where they are or get worse because people don't really care as long as they are getting their burgers.

OP - I think what you are doing id great and hope that you can keep it up. I think that meat should be seen as a treat for a few times a week and that's what we do in our family.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 11:30:05

And we do buy meat from Sainsburys too but it is hard to find non factory farmed meat even from there - you can find it if you look closely! Farm shops are the best way as they tend to be local and stock local produce. I appreciate that we are lucky on this in that we live very rurally in farming county.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Feb-13 11:43:11

I do wonder how the Lancashire mums feel after the revelations about horse DNA being found in school meals.

I also think its probably the tip of the iceberg and there are more disclosures to come.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 16-Feb-13 11:43:48

And dads?

INeedThatForkOff Sat 16-Feb-13 11:45:06

restricted eater - is that the PC for fussy bigger? I've got one of those.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Feb-13 11:45:41

Oops posted too soon.

Hospitals, care homes, I suspect most of us have eaten horse at some point without knowing it. And its ok for the government to say minimal risk but it's still a risk and we don't know what the effects might be.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Feb-13 11:47:57

Ok Lancashire parents Ariel.

So used to it being mumsnet and talking mostly to mums. No discrimination intended grin

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 16-Feb-13 11:49:28

Just sayin' ;)

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 16-Feb-13 11:49:36

Bugger. wink

theodorakisses Sat 16-Feb-13 11:51:02

I really hope that this crisis has a positive impact on the British farming industry. Will it though?

ClayDavis Sat 16-Feb-13 11:55:02

Downton, out of 2500 samples tested so far only 29 have tested positive for horse meat. Those 29 positive results come from only 7 different beef containing products. The chances are that most people haven't eaten horse.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Feb-13 12:03:17

Still it is 29 too many.

littlemisssarcastic Sat 16-Feb-13 12:05:48

It's not the horse meat I object to, it's the rest of the rubbish they put into ready meals I object to.
Even if certain ready meals are deemed free of horse meat, it's not something I want to feed my DC, or myself for that matter.
I have friends who truly believe that if it is Tesco's own brand ready meal, it is rubbish but so long as it is a Findus ready meal, it is good wholesome nutritious food. hmm
I disagree.

trixymalixy Sat 16-Feb-13 12:12:26

I agree OP. things have changed a bit in this house too.

It would be extremely difficult for us to eat vegetarian as the kids have allergies to nuts, seeds, legumes, dairy and eggs so meat is their main protein source.

LaLaGabby Sat 16-Feb-13 12:31:14


Not everyone who eats ready meals is 'too lazy' to cook from scratch. Some of them just don't have very much money or time.

It's pretty U to suggest that those people somehow deserve to be ripped off and sold crap.

FWIW if they sold horse burgers labelled as horse and correspondingly cheaper than beef I would have no problem with it.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 12:32:16

Your children have real allergies to all of these foods? That is pretty amazing. So they eat a completely vegan diet bar meat iyswim? And what do you do about food like bread?

I thought my diet was reasonably extreme in being vegan but your children must have the most restricted diet I have ever heard of!

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 16-Feb-13 12:34:41

But open the mince you use for your fresh cooked meals might not be all beef either

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sat 16-Feb-13 12:36:10

Yabu. I feel very sorry for those whose children have 'free' school meals. They probably can't afford to send them with a packed lunch. I would be feeling properly gutted if I was too poor to have a choice about feeding my children a 'safe' and healthy diet.

PessaryPam Sat 16-Feb-13 12:36:38

I am more worried about Bute contaminated meat in the food chain.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 12:36:48

BTW trixy, almond milk is a fab source of protein for vegans.

PessaryPam Sat 16-Feb-13 12:38:20

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Bugger

Don't you mean burger?

IAmLouisWalsh Sat 16-Feb-13 12:39:55

I work with highly paid people who say they can't afford free range eggs or chicken. "And they don't taste any different anyway, so what's the point?"

Interested to see of this will change their mind about cheap meat..

MrsMushroom Sat 16-Feb-13 12:44:03

We have never at a lot of meat as a family as it's too expensive and we wouldn't buy cheap meat. We have one chicken a week and get two meals out of it. We sometimes have bacon but not often....mostly we're veggie...we make lovely vegetable soups, dhals, bean salads, our own bread and's much healthier and so much cheaper.

MrsMushroom Sat 16-Feb-13 12:45:25

Can anyone enlighten me on something....on the radio yesterday, an expert in something or other said that the meat chain is very complex...and long.

Why can't we eat the meat our own farmers have reared...and that has been slaughtered here? And only that.

Mosschops30 Sat 16-Feb-13 12:53:05

Can i ask a really dumb question?

Whats is processed meat? Is that things like ham, burgers, sausages?
What is unprocessed? Chickem breasts, diced beef?

Sorry very confused

whois Sat 16-Feb-13 12:55:17

It is absolutely appalling that there hasn't been traceability in the food chain and that bute contaminated meat has entered, and god knows what else.

Just because you buy cheap meat does not mean you deserve to be eating unknown and potentially unsafe meat. Although I despairs at the number of well educated and well off people who think a meal isn't a meal without meat and buy shit chicken or low welfare imported pork.

I was feeling relieved as I eat meat rarely at home and when I do I buy expensive meat. I've never bought value mince or anything like that. I'm obviously lucky to be able to afford to do that. Smug face was wiped off pretty quickly when DP pointed out I'd eated meat in the work canteen, in restaurants and at friends houses and the work canteen is hardly likely to be serving premium mince!

Not really sure what the answer is. I don't want to give up meat entirely, suppose I need to limit meat intake to only 'posh' restaurants and home.

LaQueen Sat 16-Feb-13 12:57:37

I think it's a good thing.

I don't cook much red meat, but when I do it's good quality, and from our local butcher (who slaughters his own meat).

Hopefully, it will make people really think about what they're eating.

trixymalixy Sat 16-Feb-13 13:00:06

I'm not sure why you think they're vegan countrykitten hmm. I would have thought the part where I said that "meat is their main protein source" would have been a slight giveaway.

And yes they are "real" epipen carrying allergies.

MrsMushroom Sat 16-Feb-13 13:00:28

mosschops it's meat that has been 'changed' from it's raw state either by having things stretch it further...or by being cooked or smoked or covered in breadcrumbs.

So sausages, burgers, meatballs, any product like pies or flans or ready meals with meat. Ham....whether sliced or on the bone....chicken drumsticks with crumb on them....chicken nuggets.

fresh minced beef is not processed really though it's state has been changed....

trixymalixy Sat 16-Feb-13 13:00:52

DS is allergic to almond milk so no good, we use oat and coconut milk.

trixymalixy Sat 16-Feb-13 13:01:57

Oh nearly forgot [odfo] for your use of real allergies.

MrsMushroom Sat 16-Feb-13 13:02:57

Unprocessed would be chicken breasts or a whole chicken....chops, leg of lamb etc. Diced beef or pork is just meat...chopped up...but it's not processed.

Angelfootprints Sat 16-Feb-13 13:08:31

I never buy cheap meat op, more mid-priced but I still am not that confident the lean minced beef or half-fat sausages from Tesco will be just the good stuff.

How can you be so confident?

trixymalixy Sat 16-Feb-13 13:09:43

I couldn't bring myself to buy mince in the supermarket. I don't count that as unprocessed, especially since reading about the levels of collagen and fat allowed in it by law.

somewherewest Sat 16-Feb-13 13:13:11

The problem comes when people can't afford or don't know how to go back to first principles of cooking.

There are lots of people who have no idea how to cook from scratch. Their families/friends never did, so they never learned. And they often don't have the literacy skills / financial means to teach themselves (especially as most cook books assume a fair bit of basic knowledge). So if they're on low incomes they're completely dependent on Tesco Value etc etc. Its easy to talk about how wonderful it would be if we all lived on lovely, home-cooked food made from fresh, local ingredients blah blah if we have the time, money and skills to do that. Some of us don't.

Tryharder Sat 16-Feb-13 13:14:45

I agree with you 100%.

freetoanyhome Sat 16-Feb-13 13:15:47

think I'll stick to fish. DH says he will go to the kosher butcher as the London kosher council are very strict and the animal is followed from field to butchers. Is that true?

AuntieMaggie Sat 16-Feb-13 13:16:45

Its not just cheap meat affected... some butchers and farm shops have been selling horse meat instead of beef too as their suppliers haven't been packaging/labelling it properly and when its just a chunk of red meat its hard to tell the difference!

And even 'unprocessed' meat has stuff added to it to make it last!

I'm not veggie but I wish people would stop thinking they're 'entitled' to meat and that there's something wrong with a diet without it.

Quite simply for health and environmental reasons people should either eat no meat or very little high quality provenanced meat. I eat meat once or twice a week as that's the way I was brought up - meat is special and expensive for a reason.

AuntieMaggie Sat 16-Feb-13 13:18:55

And I think I'm right in saying that the only supermarket that hasn't been touched by this is Morrisons?

trixymalixy Sat 16-Feb-13 13:20:31

Chicken breasts have stuff pumped in to plump them up.

We had fish pie for dinner last night and tuna baked potatoes for lunch. Just waiting for the fish scandal now.....

LahleeMooloo Sat 16-Feb-13 13:21:06

It's always nice when the well off middle classes judge the scummy working class plebs for having lower morals, when really it is simply having lower incomes and lower mobility. Hate hate hate the smugness and judginess on threads like this, it makes me feel even sicker than the prospect of eating a horse burger.

limitedperiodonly Sat 16-Feb-13 13:21:59

YY somewherewest.

And you also have to trust where your food comes from.

For most of us that trust is meaningless and we have to rely on assuming it's all right because the place looks nice or it's a reputable brand. Which isn't good enough, but it's all we can do.

I can't believe that people aren't more angry and afraid by this.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sat 16-Feb-13 13:24:14

country it's perfectly possible to have several allergies in one house. Dc1 is allergic to nuts & wheat & some pulses(she has an epipen), dd2 to dairy & eggs but no epipen & I'm gluten free as it inflames my athritis. Mealtimes in this house are interesting. & most things obviously have to be made from scratch.

limitedperiodonly Sat 16-Feb-13 13:25:20

auntiemaggie I believe Iceland is in the clear too. Their chief executive was the only person from a big supermarket I saw giving interviews yesterday. Everyone else was unavailable.

If that's true it made me smile given many people's view of Iceland.

somewherewest Sat 16-Feb-13 13:25:39

Maybe this is just my non-veggie bias coming through, but I think it takes more time and skill to prepare interesting, well-balanced vegetarian meals, in additional to the 'cultural' experience of eating a wide range of fruit/vegetables (I'm saying this as someone from a working class background whose sole experience of vegetables prior to leaving home was carrots/peas/potatoes boiled to within an inch of their lives). If you were never taught to cook and weren't brought up on a wide range of foods or educated about nutrition it just isn't that simple.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sat 16-Feb-13 13:27:00

I don't mind the fact that I MAY have eaten horse if I had known about it. I've eaten goat & kangaroo knowingly it's the not knowing that's wrong.

AuntieMaggie Sat 16-Feb-13 13:27:13

Ditto LahleeMooloo

even expensive meat has been affected and the more expensive supermarkets so the cost of it is irrelevant - the media have just jumped on ready meals as another way to create this type of thing

trixymalixy Sat 16-Feb-13 13:28:25

Exactly aftereight. I find it tough enough as it is trying to make stuff everyone can eat.

I would prefer to have meat only a couple of nights a week, but I would struggle tbh to have to cut out meat and still give the kids some protein.

AuntieMaggie Sat 16-Feb-13 13:28:25

limitedperiodonly that just made me chuckle... kinda throws the cost thing our of the water then doesn't it???

nokidshere Sat 16-Feb-13 13:35:09

It doesn't matter if people "think about what they are eating" (how patronising is that?) affordability is a big issue for lots of people and the problem here is the food suppliers and manufacturers not the consumers.

I don't know how all this stuff was revealed initially but if it hadn't been none of us - regardless of the quality of meat we though we were eating - would still have been happily enjoying our food!

limitedperiodonly Sat 16-Feb-13 13:36:43

This scandal just happens to concern mince and processed food that appeals to other people.

I remember another one where condemned meat was washed of its dye and sold on who knows where. The first food scandal I ever heard about was in about 1980 and centred on olive oil in Spain that turned out to be partly industrial mineral oil. People died yet who'd have thought it of olive oil. It's practically a health food, isn't it?

If unscrupulous people see a chance to make money, they take it so I don't think anyone should feel smug.

Piecesofmyheart Sat 16-Feb-13 13:37:49

It has had an impact here. My children qualify for free school meals. After half term I'm going to start packed lunches again. I think that schools and healthcare settings will have been, and continue to be 'easy' targets for unscrupulous criminals processing and selling on shit meat dressed up as beef.

DowntonTrout Sat 16-Feb-13 13:49:19

It is more than the fact that it is misleading to label products beef when they contain horse. Some people don't care that they may have eaten horse. That's fine.

The thing I find makes me really angry and a bit scared is the antibiotics that these horses may have been given that are banned in the Uk for the food chain. When I discovered meat labelled British didn't mean it was British meat, ie it could have come from anywhere but was either slaughtered or packaged here, it really bothered me. It's like smoke and mirrors and this latest problem just highlights that there should be absolute transparency so that you KNOW exactly what you're buying.

LaQueen Sat 16-Feb-13 13:51:26

Agree with Laurie we only eat red meat, maybe once a week? And, then it's always good quality stuff.

I don't understand why people think they have to eat meat every day? Human beings are omnivores, and don't need to eat meat many times a week.

theodorakisses Sat 16-Feb-13 13:54:12

The thing is - meat SHOULD be expensive if it is comes from animals which have been well cared for and allowed to exhibit natural behaviours
feeling V smug about only buying Duchy of Cornwall free range eggs rather than the hideous battery ones from Saudi even though they are £7.50 for 6 and we only have them on high days and holidays. (I live in the ME)

CrispyHedgeHog Sat 16-Feb-13 14:07:38

For me personally and I know my circs are unusual, I DO have to eat meat or fish every day. I need 120g of net protein just to survive. Most veggies, pulses, nuts and grains are off the menu for me as I just can't tolerate them and I've tried protein shakes but they're grim too.

My diet mostly consists of flesh, fats and dairy and an awful lot of supplements. It's dull, tedious and expensive but I'd end up in hospital otherwise.

Luckily I rarely eat those processed things, apart from deli meats like ham, corned beef, salami etc, as the protein count is just too low for it to be worthwhile for me but it's getting more and more expensive just to be able to eat basic meals.. and it seems to me that it's going to get worse. I'm fortunate in that I only have to feed myself, I feel bad for people who have families to feed and we all know how picky children can be.

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 16-Feb-13 14:30:09

You are all up in arms over the meat...but last summer it was the veggies poisoning us.

Since I've been taking notice of the food there have been scandals including :
Bean sprouts
Corned beef

Even the Salem witches were supposedly poisoned by the bread Ffs!

I just don't see a way that we can protect ourselves unless we grow/rear our own and that's just not going to happen large scale. People don't have the land..

And before you all start a out only eating animals you can see in the field outside your house... What will happen to your health when there is local contamination that you will have consumed copious amounts of because the contamination is in the fruit and veg you consume as well as the local meat!

limitedperiodonly Sat 16-Feb-13 14:38:59

What about Camelford in Cornwall where the water was contaminated with aluminium sulphate and it was kept quiet?

Perhaps the thousands of people poisoned should have drunk Perrier?

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 16-Feb-13 14:44:10

That's kind of my point... They shouldn't have to question the water that comes out of their taps.....we shouldn't have to question lure food

But there always have been scandals and there always will be... Just more inventive ways every time

Not that I'm not. Ross about it...I just feel powerless to stop it.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 15:03:07

trixy I did not say that your children were vegans if you actually read what I wrote. AS a teacher I get to see plenty of 'allergies' which turn out to be 'don't likes' or a mild intolerance which do not require epi pens. It drives our matron crackers and undermines pupils with real allergies and problems which need to be addressed. I myself avoid wheat as it bloats me and aggravates my endometriosis but I would never say I was allergic to it as I am not. It must be difficult cooking for your family!

I was only offering the almond milk as a suggestion - I did not realise that they are all allergic to nuts - so thanks for telling me to fuck off.

I agree with the poster who said that people should stop feeling that they are 'entitled' to meat. Everyone ignores the cruelty issues but is happy to debate price - the two are intrinsically linked. Crap meat is produced cruelly and probably very unhygenically. This is not middle class patronisation either as I make not assumptions that poorer people eat ready meals all the time -THAT would be patronising.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 15:03:34

no assumptions rather than not assumptions.

TheOriginalLadyFT Sat 16-Feb-13 15:15:14

YANBU and I hope many other people think long and hard about what they are eating

I know that lots of people run on tight household budgets, and my feeling is it is better to eat less meat, and buy what you do from a butcher, farmshop or online farm producer who can tell you exactly where the meat is from and often how it has been reared. As a farmer, I'd rather people eat less, eat better, eat British than buy 'value' meals from the supermarket.

You're just supporting the major retailers in delivering massive profit to shareholders - they don't give a god damn about you or your health - buying this rubbish. A good butcher can tell you how to cook cheaper cuts of meat to make really good, nutritious meals - get a slow cooker and just chuck in meal, veg and a stock cube or whatever else seasoning you fancy. You'll have a fab stew waiting when you get home from work

TheOriginalLadyFT Sat 16-Feb-13 15:17:29

I also hope it makes people take a look at the appalling conditions in which horses are live transported on the continent. Around 65,000 are dealt with like this every year and the abuse and cruelty is dreadful

World Horse Welfare has details on their website

Flatbread Sat 16-Feb-13 15:42:59

I like the Thai and asian way of cooking. Lots of veggies in a spicy soupy base with little bits of meat.

Fills you up quickly because of the full flavours and provides a balanced meal.

And to the posters who say their children have to eat slabs of meat/chicken nuggets/ sausages everyday because they are allergic to veggies and legumes. Sorry, I don't believe it.

I think meat should be expensive. And if you are poor, eat veggies and very little meat. It won't be detrimental to your health, quite the contrary.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 15:48:43

I agree with your sentiments* Flatbread*.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 15:49:19


badtemperedaldbitch Sat 16-Feb-13 17:38:53

What about the fake cheese on top of your pizza? I think jimmy Doherty did a programme about it...

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 16-Feb-13 17:42:31

Sorry it was the food factory

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 16-Feb-13 17:44:49

Flatbread. Are you really suggesting only the rich eat meat??????

LaLaGabby Sat 16-Feb-13 17:45:47

I haven't heard about horse being sold in butchers and 'farm shops'.

No butcher could fail to tell the difference between horse and beef.

allthatglittersisnotgold Sat 16-Feb-13 18:19:26

I don't buy ready meals, but I do make chillis etc from mince meat. Concerned this may be contaminated too?! It's not that I would object to horse per say, but if I am buying british beef you want it to be beef from Britain! I hope this boosts the use of local butchers. I for one will certainly be visiting mine. There are 2 halal ones and a more farm shop one near me.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 18:48:56

Bloody hell don't use halal meat! It is slaughtered in the most appalling cruel way. Please, please don't buy it. Or at the very least get your research done and see what compassion in world farming and vets have to say about it. If you can stomach meat from animals killed so cruelly then....confused

allthatglittersisnotgold Sat 16-Feb-13 19:07:40

It's naive to think that all non halal butchers kill their animals humanely?! Shocking them in the anus! Not nice. No butcher leds their animals through a field of daisies and soothes them off to sleep. All animals know and smell death and fear. I will certainly do my research before buying.

marjproops Sat 16-Feb-13 19:14:15

I had to laugh today at the supermarket everyone seemed to be avoiding the meat products and there was a massive queue at the fish counter!!!

DC and I eat a lot of fresh fish anyway (just wish it wouldnt stink up the kitchen!). Only meat we eat are chicken,(fresh), frankfurters, and bacon.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 19:15:08

I have never thought that any slaughter of animals is humane - which is why I am a vegan.

However halal slaughter is widely condemned and there are better ways to kill animals if you must eat meat.

Btw - butchers do not kill animals, that is done in slaughterhouses. Butchers shop them up afterwards.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 19:15:45

sigh - that would be 'chop'.

Can't type today.

allthatglittersisnotgold Sat 16-Feb-13 19:29:15

Thank you for clearing up who kills the animals! breathes sigh of relief

My point was about looking round locally. I personally fid the thought of a bolt in the end no less or more gruesome, than slitting the throat where the blood pressure drops till the animal falls unconscious.

freetoanyhome Sat 16-Feb-13 19:32:41

slaughter is slaughter. Many stunned animals wake up once hung upside down by one leg as their throats are cut. You eat meat. It gets killed. Thats how it is.
Its also a different topic to the adulteration of food. And I bet it doesnt end with meat either.

countrykitten Sat 16-Feb-13 19:50:36

No YOU eat meat freetoanyhome. I don't as I have pointed out.

And allthatglitters, if you really think that then you most certainly need to do your research. It's all disgusting but you owe it to the animals who die for your plate to make their end as good as it can be.

simplesusan Sat 16-Feb-13 20:09:01

The thing is how on earth do you know that the "good quality" meat you are buying is what it states it is?

There are lots of animals I don't eat and to be honest I have been thinking of becoming vegetarian, though not vegan. When I think about the slaughter of animals I find it unnecessary and I suppose it is laziness that has stopped me from being totally vegetarian.

When I buy mince to cook a shepherds pie for example, I buy the more expensive type. However, and this is the thing, I cannot be 100% certain that it is beef and not horse.
Yes I sometimes use the local butchers but I don't see him kill the animal and make the mince do I? Quite frankly if I did then I know for certain that I would never eat it again.
I don't think being smug about buying expensive meat is helpful.

freetoanyhome Sat 16-Feb-13 20:31:43

yes countrykitten, we do once every few months. Home reared and slaughtered on a farm by a friend. I think a quick chopping off of the head after a decent life is fine. Not mass slaughter in an abbatoir after long travel.

maisiejoe123 Sat 16-Feb-13 20:44:22

God knows how long this has been going on for but I guess - not totally unexpected. Notice that neither Waitrose or M&S have been mentioned at all. If I couldnt afford Waitrose or M&S then tbh - I would be a veggie. And splash out on more expensive mince when I could. I heard on the radio that 20 yrs ago we spent 25-30% of our pay on food, now its around 12%. I think we can come to expect cheaper food.

Everyone moans about Ryanair. They charge for luggage and everything else they can. But what can you expect!! We went on a Ryanair flight at a cost of £25 each. We had to pay for our luggage (I am not going on holiday without all my stuff!) or we could have gone with BA for 5 times more and got our luggage included in the price. I thought Ryanair was fine. On time, no frills, and plane was completely full!

And you know -if I had eaten horse by mistake - well I am still standing, no side affects and I have more to worry about in life than this...

GazpachoSoup Sat 16-Feb-13 20:57:28

I completely understand where you're coming from, OP. Me, and the two small people of the household both eat meat and enjoy meat products.
DH is veggie and frowns at anything cheap meat. though. Which I've always agreed with him on, BUT even though we mainly cook from scratch and always veggie options, even when it comes to spag bol, it's SO easy to lapse into a false sense of security and eat meat you think is OK but probably isn't.
Processed meat sandwiches for packed lunches? Tinned ravioli on toast or meatball with pasta every now and again?
Makes you think what really is on those every now and again things and has woken me up a bit.
More shopping at the local farm shop for me now, never mind the supermarket. Which can only be a good thing.

PessaryPam Sat 16-Feb-13 21:19:56

Never eat cheap un-local meat so think we are OK. Horse meat with Bute is horrendous.

Flatbread Sat 16-Feb-13 21:36:14

I am vegetarian, but dh eats meat. We usually order half a lamb from the butcher. It comes cleaned and chopped, with clear, identifiable pieces marked as shoulder, rib etc. No mince, no sausages or unidentifiable stuff.

The only time dh gets burgers is from M&S where it £5 for two beef burgers. And according to him, it is excellent quality

I don't think expensive equals good meat. But certainly, good quality meat is expensive

BarbJohnson5 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:20:28

Scary stuff. I hope that we haven't eaten horse meat, but like everyone says, you never really know what you're buying. I buy mainly organic or free range chicken, but will also buy what is labelled as 'lean' mince from Asda. It makes me think of cutting out beef completely. I can't see me giving up meat completely, especially lamb as i find eating chicken and fish can become boring. I do incorporate vegetarian burgers/sausages in our meals, but haven't done so for several months. Will be going back to that to supplement our weekly meals. Its such a shame that there isn't much local butchers in my area of London. I don't like the Halal/indian butcher's shops, so don't shop there much. I've had so many bad experiences with them, from them ripping me off with change to trying to sell me stale meat!

BarbJohnson5 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:21:48

Will sacrifice and get meat from M&S or Waitrose from now on.

CremeEggThief Sun 17-Feb-13 20:11:31

I'm probably paranoid, but this whole scare has made me wonder how do I know the processed vegetarian products I enjoy once or twice a week are really safe? I'm going to cut right down, and opt for spicy bean burgers, instead of soya burgers, for example. Might try lentils in chilli rather than soya mince too.

usualsuspect Sun 17-Feb-13 20:13:59

If you are poor eat veggies? Only the rich should eat meat?

Bloody hell.

Flatbread Sun 17-Feb-13 20:21:30

What is wrong with eating neat only occasionally, usual ? We veggies manage fine without meat, it is hardly a human right to eat meat everyday.

And what about the poor animals who are factory farmed and abused to provide cheap meat? Do they have no right to a happy and dignified existence?

Meat that is ethically produced will be expensive. And if people can't afford it on a daily basis, so be it.

Flatbread Sun 17-Feb-13 20:22:03

Erm, meat, not 'neat'

countrykitten Sun 17-Feb-13 21:28:54

There are plenty of things that the rich can afford regularly that I cannot! That is life. As flatbread says, good quality meat every now and then rather then cheap meat all the time is far preferable.

Genuinely interested in your home slaughter freetoanyhome - it certainly is preferable to factory farming and hideous slaughter methods. I am assuming that you are talking about poultry though as anything larger would be illegal - am I right? We are deep in farming country and I know that people 'deal' with their own birds here.

My girls are safe though- even if some of the buggers are ancient and barely lay!

limitedperiodonly Mon 18-Feb-13 07:51:57

This is a scandal about the criminal adulteration of food. This time it's meat eaten by ghastly people. It's been vegetables and water in the past.

Treating it as an opportunity to demonise people who do things we don't approve of lets the true culprits off the hook.

Flatbread Mon 18-Feb-13 11:09:40

It is a scandal, which frankly, can be best controlled by joint efforts from regulators and consumers.

As long as there are unaware consumers who fuel the demand for cheap meat, there will be unscrupulous suppliers to meet that demand.

limitedperiodonly Mon 18-Feb-13 12:07:03

The only power consumers have is to kick up a fuss. And people aren't doing that in the case of this scandal because they think it affects other people who deserve it.

On this thread we have people breathing a sigh of relief because they don't eat meat or buy it from Waitrose, M&S or independent butchers, as if you know where they get their meat from.

But one of the food processors being investigated is 2 Sisters Food Group which supplies Harrods, BA, M&S and Pret A Manger and others and you don't get more well-respected brands than those.

Yesterday we had the chief executive of Waitrose basically blaming people who want cheap food and the rivals that sell it. This'll be the Waitrose who withdrew a range of frozen burgers this week 'purely as a precautionary measure'.

His opposite number from Iceland blew his trumpet while hitting out at local authorities supplying schools and hospitals. Places we are entitled to trust.

Unscrupulous suppliers are everywhere, selling every type of food. And food retailers have a duty to know exactly what they're selling.

You can't avoid being caught in a food scandal, but you can defend everyone who has been duped by criminal behaviour because next time it'll be you.

freetoanyhome Mon 18-Feb-13 12:24:51

'Genuinely interested in your home slaughter freetoanyhome - it certainly is preferable to factory farming and hideous slaughter methods. I am assuming that you are talking about poultry though as anything larger would be illegal - am I right? We are deep in farming country and I know that people 'deal' with their own birds here. '

Yes. I dont do it myself (I am a hypocrite and I'm too afraid of causing them any pain by being inept). We have a small flock as we live in a city and naturally when you raise chicks you end up with a few cockerals plus I take in unwanted male chicks. We keep them until they start getting fighty and noisy then take them to a friend who uses the cone method. So we maybe get 6 birds a year. It varies as he takes some, friends take others. I feel they had a decent life, werent crushed to death at 1 day old and the death is as fast as can be (I do watch as I owe them that). I was veggie for decades but we now eat them and have meat maybe once every month or so from these roosters. We keep the hens even when they dont lay anymore but have only been doing this 6 years. Our oldest girl is 6 and still pops out the odd egg.

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 13:00:43

Thanks for explaining that. We too hatched a few boys but I did not have the guts to arrange for this to be done and they went to a local breeder who liked the look of them to breed from (they were a cochin and a buff orp). I think that the honesty of raising birds like this and seeing it through as you do is really commendable.

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 13:01:56

And you are not a hypocrite - it is humane to let an expert see to that part of their lives in order to keep it as quick as possible.

freetoanyhome Mon 18-Feb-13 13:10:08

least I know they are chicken and not dobbin wink

cantspel Mon 18-Feb-13 13:18:21

You can still eat good quality meat cheaply but you need to buy the cheaper cuts so swap your rib of beef for brisket , your chicken breast for thighs and your leg of lamb for neck. All very tasty if you cook them correctly. The problem is people dont know how to and so complain they are tough or stringy.

badtemperedaldbitch Mon 18-Feb-13 13:20:05

i'm really saddened by the opinons on this thread, since there seems to be an outcry against the eating or non eating of meat

rather than the supply and control of food that is safe to eat.
And all of you who are so complacent this time... unless you are growing/rearing you own.... you are all prime targets next time, so dont get too comfy in your smug little world!

I'm expemt from this crisis because i'm rich enough to buy my way out of it... that attitude is much more distasteful to me

Flatbread Mon 18-Feb-13 14:17:27

Cantspel, agree that some of the cheaper cuts are really good when slow-cooked. Also using bones for making broth. And Waitrose has organic chicken livers that are only a couple of quid and could feed a family of four if prepared with vegetables.

It is a question of people educating themselves about food and making the right choices. If people knew cuts of meat and how to tell a good piece of meat, then the supermarkets wouldn't be able to get away with it. (Some butchers are sub-standard as well. It is like everything else, finding a supplier you trust, and having the ability to tell quality from crap)

If one buys mince and processed nuggets and other meat of unknown providence or prepared meals for less than it takes to buy the ingredients....well, what do you expect?

The scandal has shaken people out of a gluttonous meat complacence. Hopefully it will mean people learn to respect food and the animals they eat, instead of gorging themselves on meat 'nuggets' and 'fingers' and cheap processed crap.

As a precaution, I have stopped buying veggie burgers (rarely did anyway) and make my own. And I check the origins of my veggies and usually buy seasonal and from local farms. And I grow my own.

Am I smug? Yes, a little bit grin

MrsBethel Mon 18-Feb-13 14:45:20

If one buys mince and processed nuggets and other meat of unknown providence or prepared meals for less than it takes to buy the ingredients....well, what do you expect?

For the products to comply with UK law?

AuntieMaggie Mon 18-Feb-13 14:52:56

limitedperiodonly you speak sense.

This has been going on for years and the suppliers involved also supply farm shops and butchers so being a snob about where you buy your meat from does not make any sense at all because in all likelihood even those that buy from their local butcher may have eaten horse too as (I quote someone who knows more than I do) one lump of red meat looks very much like another and in a cut up state even butchers have difficulty telling the difference!

Flatbread Mon 18-Feb-13 15:09:06

Better regulation and increased customer awareness are not mutually incompatible, you know.

As a consumer, you cannot rely on the government to do all your due diligence for you. You can hope they do, but at the end of the day, you have to exercise your own judgement and vigilance.

If supermarkets put pressure on suppliers to provide food at unsustainably low prices, well, something will have to give. Perhaps the result will be more intensive factory farming, cheap, exploited labour or mixing of ingredients and tweaking labels to meet EU regulations.

What is snobbish about being aware and engaged with your food sources? I know which farm our lamb comes from. Because I ask the butcher and the farm is within driving distance for us to check it out. And I found a good butcher because I asked for recommendations and tried a few till I found one we could trust for consistently high quality meat.

It is easy to throw your hands in the air in horror and blame the government. But we as consumers, have the power to vote with our feet. And promote our local food producers.

limitedperiodonly Mon 18-Feb-13 16:01:44

Thanks auntiemaggie

It is snobbery and it’s worked both ways over the years.

In the ‘80s I remember people being mocked for ‘listeria hysteria’ because they were yuppies who ate the ‘poncey’ foods affected by sloppy manufacturing and handling standards such as bagged salads, pate and any cheese that wasn't cheddar.

Then BSE hit in the mid-90s and suddenly it was all about ‘chavs’ and how they deserved dementia because they devoured cheap burgers and didn’t care enough about animal welfare or their own bodies.

Neither approach was well-informed. It wasn't kind for a start and if people get sick, we all end up paying for it through the NHS.

As other people have said, it’s about being to trust that food conforms to UK health and trading standards.

The 19th century was a time of terrible food adulteration with people being fed rat, cat, dog and even human flesh and bread made with chalk, sawdust and brickdust because people had moved into the cities to find work and were helpless to scammers. That’s how we got trusted brands such as Hovis and Acts of Parliament to ensure public health.

We might be obsessed with cookery shows and sourcing artisan titbits but the reality is that most of us live urban lives, far from food production and shop in supermarkets. That is how our society runs. We not only have to rely on the government to act for us, they should.

limitedperiodonly Mon 18-Feb-13 16:09:31

That's not to say this is the government's fault. It would be wise for them to get a grip on it soon though, and consider legislation or prosecutions, if warranted.

Flatbread Mon 18-Feb-13 16:16:13

Ok, you rely on government. I will rely on my own vigilance.

You think my approach is snobbish. I think your approach is lazy. Guess the truth lies somewhere in between.

Maybe I am a natural suspicious kind, but I never trust anyone else to watch out for me. Tbh, I am much, much more shocked at the NHS inquiry, and yet not one person has resigned, fired or being prosecuted.

It is the clearest sign that no one really cares about us, the consumers. The government will do the minimal it can against vested power and business.

You can 'rely' on the government to monitor producers. I will continue to use my power as a consumer to support local business that produce food ethically. Not because the government tells me they are good, but because we can visit our food source and make our own judgement.

Everyone can do it, btw. There are caring/ high-quality producers dotted all over the country. And many of them deliver their meat/produce.

countrykitten Mon 18-Feb-13 17:05:21

I too do not see what is 'snobbish' about caring about what you eat and where it has come from! That is such a ridiculous notion and it saddens me to think that people hold such a view.

I do detect a rather large chunk of hypocrisy is some posts here though as the general assumption seems to be that the working classes eat any old shit and don't care where it comes from and the middle classes are poncey and snobby for caring too much. Highly patronising imo - to both groups of people.

If we as individuals don't care about this then you can be sure that govt will do the minimum (if anything at all) about it. As a consumer you have to vote with your feet....

limitedperiodonly Mon 18-Feb-13 18:39:06

I come from a working class background. I’d call myself middle class, not because I’m ashamed of my origins, but because I can't square my lifestyle and professional job with the working class and expect them to keep a straight face. My sister, who has a similar lifestyle, disagrees and we have endless, essentially harmless discussions about it.

Anyway, for 30 or 40 years it's been more accurate to talk about ABC 1s and 2s and 3s than working, middle and upper class, so that’s irrelevant.

And it has nothing to do with expecting basic trading and health standards.

The last thing I’d say is that working class people eat any old shit. I was taught about nutrition and cooking in Home Economics at school when I was still resoundingly working class.

There is nothing class-based about a concern for animal welfare and knowing about nutrition and cookery. They are separate things.

However, there is a growing income and class issue about being able to afford decent food, having the knowledge and wherewithal to cook it, being able to afford it and the fuel to store and cook it in the first place.

My mother lived through the Second World War and remembers with fear the threat of starvation through the U boat blockades and the subsequent terror of food adulteration.

Her family raised rabbits and chickens in their East London back garden and traded them with neighbours for vegetables or tobacco or anything else they could get. My grandfather killed the chickens but couldn’t face finishing off the rabbits so a local butcher did that and kept all the meat in his cold store for a trade off.

She tells me that rabbits were sold with their heads on so you could tell them from cats. When I took her to France she was obsessed that we'd be served horse. Because of her experiences she finds it patronising that what you'd call middle class people might expect her to eat horse or anything else that’s not what it says it is.

Because of her experiences she loves and trusts supermarkets. I keep an open mind. But I certainly wouldn’t discount her knowledge or ditch food standards regulation for my own nose and I don’t think anyone else should either. That’s where we agree.

AuntieMaggie Mon 18-Feb-13 22:28:04

What is snobbish is the amount of people assuming that because they spend more money or buy their meat from waitrose for example that they can't possibly have eaten horse.

countrykitten Nothing wrong with caring where your food comes from but don't assume you're better off or a better person because you can afford to throw more money at it (which I think has been implied by some on this thread... Not you btw smile).

flatbread you are an exception as you have actually checked it out.

limitedperiodonly my mother is younger than yours and we're working class. She often cooks things like rabbit and oxtail that most people would turn their noses up at (including me) and it wasn't uncommon when I was younger for us to have a whole tongue in the fridge for cold meat!!!

LaLaGabby Mon 18-Feb-13 22:41:42

AuntieMaggie, it is simply utter nonsense to claim that a butcher would not be able to tell whether 'a lump of red meat' in 'a chopped state' comes from.

No butcher would have any trouble telling whether a piece of meat is cow (which they dissect every single day of their working lives) or not.

Beside which butchers generally take delivery of meat as sides of beef or similar, not chopped up chunks.

I am still waiting to hear about which butchers or farm shops have been found selling horse as you claim.

AuntieMaggie Tue 19-Feb-13 19:55:21

According to one whistleblower some try to tell the difference by smelling it...

I'm not going to name and shame as its more than my lifes worth.

Not all butchers dissect their own all the time same as not all farm shops sell just their own produce - sometimes they get their supplies from the same suppliers as the supermarkets and other food companies. And sometimes its already been rejected by the latter...

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