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MAC THE KNIFE: Lesson learned from meat scandal: buy it locally
10:00am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in Columns
Breaking news, ‘Willy Carson found in sausage roll.’ Oh yes, the jokes are coming in thick and fast: “My doctor advised me to watch what I eat, so I’m off to the Grand National”, or “what’s the fuss, for years we’ve been told we were eating too much salt and Shergar”.
My favourite Twitter feed, however, remains: “If you eat Findus lasagna then horsemeat is the least of your worries.” Good point.
It seems ironic if not downright stupid then that, during the week when the horsemeat scandal erupted and skips around the UK were being filled with Findus crispy pancakes, when fly-tipping’s top culprit is shop-made spaghetti bolognaise, Britain’s top chefs chose to lecture us about waste.
So here is their top tips on how to reduce your food waste, as adapted by moi.
1. Devise a weekly meal schedule and stick to it – horse on Monday, donkey on Tuesday, dog on Wednesday.
2. Avoid offers that lure you to purchase more – the two for one Findus lasagna might not seem so appealing now – they won’t be able to give it away!
3. Decipher labels – because regardless of the use-by and best-before dates, it’ll still be horse.
4. Avoid buying in bulk – it’s hard to fit a whole horse in your freezer!
5. Choose dishes where the same ingredients can be used again – that ain’t hard at the moment, horse au vin, horse supreme, horse bougignon.
6. Have a food waste bin – it’ll save you fly-tipping at midnight.
7. Turn it into garden food – who needs a mower when your horse can graze in your garden?
But if anything comes out of this revolting example of food suppliers and supermarkets trying to rip us off, where profit comes so far before customers welfare and rights that the shop assistants might as well stick two fingers up at us when we park at Tesco, it should be that we start eating British meat, because at least it hasn’t toured eastern Europe first.
Jamie Oliver has been telling us that for decades now, and irritatingly he seems to be right.
We should either be making our own bolognaise or spending a bit more on traceable meat.
Either way, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, that’s for sure, unless it’s squeezed out of the Romania equestrian centre’s backdoor.
So buy British Red Tractor logoed meat – at least that way something good will come out of it and British farmers might emerge as the unlikely winners of this entire fiasco.
You heard it here first, straight from the horse’s mouth, lips and hooves, so to speak.
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