Is the horsemeat saga another reason we should go back to basics?


Plant in hand


For a long time now Mike and I have been re-thinking our family’s lifestyle.  About five years ago we opted to stop buying the cheaper meats and instead eat more veg-based meals so that when we did eat meat we could afford the organic version instead.

Our dream of moving to a place with some land to enable us to grow our own food and keep a couple of goats for dairy and pigs for meat became stronger.  On a smaller scale, keeping chickens in the garden for eggs and taking on an allotment is a start.

A few months ago we began looking into stepping things up more regarding our quest for self-sufficiency – milling our own flour to make bread, making butter and cheese and saving up for a new machine to enable us to grind meat to make our own sausages.

The time spent doing these things would be time well spent as all would provide a saving to our pocket, so our calculations revealed but the recent Tesco debacle has confirmed our existing concerns… that you can’t really know where your food comes from or what it contains unless you are as fully involved in the process as you can be.

As much as 30% horsemeat has been found in Tesco burgers as well as several of their ready meal products too.  It brings more questions for the public to ask.  Who knows what other types of meat or what other ingredients are included that we still don’t yet know about.  And how long has this been going on for?  Never buying either types of these products this didn’t directly affect us but it still made us bring up our often spoken conversation we regularly had several times.

Jamie Oliver, Jimmy Doherty and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have all fronted national campaigns in recent years on the true cost of cheaper meat.  How possible is it, after all, to pay pittance for a burger or a frozen bag of chicken nuggets and expect it to consist of anything but the leftover scraps of animals that, unless minced and squashed together to resemble something far from what it once was, would be completely and utterly stomach-turning to the majority of the population.

Understanding that it isn’t just meat but that so many products can and do contain ingredients we simply wouldn’t want to consume, let alone want our children to, makes us all the more determined to move away from our dependence on what the stores and manufacturers think they can feed us.

Modern times means that convenience is placed ahead of anything else.  Why bake bread when you can pop to the shops and buy your own?  Why bother making butter?  And who makes their own cheese anyway?  But will the recent news headlines make people think twice about what they buy and why, and will this encourage more people to turn their hands, or at least their thoughts, to making or growing their own?

Has the horsemeat saga made you think any differently about your food?  It has made us more determined in our quest, that’s for sure!


 Edit: Since writing this post several supermarkets and products including Burger King, Aldi, Findus Pancakes and Iceland, have been found to have been selling products containing horsemeat, so it is certainly unfair to single out Tesco as the original title of the post does. 



5 thoughts on “Is the horsemeat saga another reason we should go back to basics?

  1. To be fair to Tesco (not something I would usually ever admit to lol) it isn’t them directly that’s the problem, it is their suppliers who also supplied to Lidl, Aldi and Iceland, who also have the same problem.
    However, that aside, I have never trusted their convenience meat products. I make my own burgers/meatballs etc, and cook from scratch. The only thing I do buy are sausages, usually from a local butcher but again, it’s not something you can be 100% sure of.
    Unless you can see what you put into the food, ie at home, you can’t trust them.

    1. But if a supermarket is selling groceries for pittance, think of how much they themselves pay for them in order to be able to make a profit – pennies! Is it really surprising to anyone (even the sellers; Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and whoever else will now have been affected) that this has been exposed.

      Since writing this I have also read that the Food Standards Agency were aware of horsemeat in products for at least 10 years! Worrying?

  2. I don’t eat Beef anyway so I don’t buy it and I don’t buy burgers, therefore it doesn’t affect us in that way. However it has made me think about the types of food I buy and where from. I am thinking I need to buy local more. I need to use the grocer more and the local butcher. I like your idea of having more veggie based meals. Do you have any recipes?

  3. eugh!!!! this has completely turned my stomach!!! We dont even buy these products but i seriously feel for the people that do!!!
    We are gradually switching to a local farmers grass fed organic meat box, they are called ‘the well hung meat company’ and are brilliant.
    They can tell you exactly what is in their products, where it cames from and ever who the parents were, they know every spice and herb or even bit of salt added to their sausages etc and are very open for you to visist the farm whenever you like to see where production takes place!
    Before i met my husband i was a veggie and we eat very little meat nowadays and prefer veggie cuisine. This has just confirmed my suspisions
    and made me so glad that we have never bought this stuff!!!

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