Monday, 8 April 2013

So this horse business.....

So I know that we are over this now. That the whole horse thing was aaaaages ago and we are all talking about something different now. But I have been meaning to write a post about the horse meat scandal for ages and have only just gotten round to it.

It probably surprises a lot of people to discover that I can be a bit squeamish about this whole horse meat thing. I sort of promote myself on the blog as a bit of a ‘foodie’ and foodie’s don’t mind eating horse. But ever since the scandal broke I have not eaten one bite of mince. Not a sausage. I’ve even changed the way I shop. Our fridge used to be full of things like cocktail sausages and pate, but not anymore. Much to the annoyance of my little family I have pretty much stopped buying anything unless I am 100% sure I know exactly what is in it. Foolish or sensible?

I’m guessing that most of you will think foolish. I’m not daft enough to think that I have never eaten horse. I have no doubt in my mind that that dodgy burger I had in 2008 at T in the Park was almost certainly some part equine. And that hangover driven ready meal I ate a couple of years ago could practically neigh at me. The problem is that it’s not actually the idea of horse itself that I am so against. I would happily go into a restaurant and order horse just to try it. In fact, I would quite like to.

My problem is the fact we have been deceived to such a great extent. A massive extent in fact. And if we can deceived to that level then who the hell knows what else there is hidden in what we are eating. I don’t think I should spend my hard earned cash on certain food products only to find out that I am being lied to. If you are getting my money then I want to know exactly what I am getting. What’s so bad about that?

So pretty much anything that I am unsure about has been scored off my shopping list for the time being. And that has been over two months I have gone without a burger. Or a sausage sandwich. And my god am I craving lasagne. I even made meatballs with turkey mince the other night because I just didn’t trust the pork mince that the recipe called for.

My boyfriend thinks I am mad. That if it isn’t doing me any harm then what is the problem? But I can't help it. The thought that I don't know what I am digesting turns my stomach. However, I have some 100% Aberdeen angus steak mince in the freezer and I am having sordid dreams about making a chilli con carne. And those posh 95% pork sausages I bought the other day are going into a stew quick smart.

So maybe the horsemeat scandal has done my health a bit of good. I didn’t eat a lot of processed food before but I eat even less now. I am eating a lot more chicken and fish and steering clear of red meat for the most part. I am occasionally paying slightly more money for my food but if that means I know what I am putting in my body (and Ava’s) then I am a lot happier for it.

If anything good has come from the horse meat scandal it’s that it has made me think a lot more about what I am eating. I have always chosen what I cook, eat and buy quite carefully due to a love of cooking and trying new recipes but I probably got a bit lazy in some ways. Buying the cheap pate because I know A prefers it or paying a bit less for mince because we are skint. I've stopped doing things like that now and make much more conscious decisions when I am doing my grocery shop.

So how about you? Has the horse meat scandal changed the way you eat or what you buy? Or are you one of those 'if you eat meat you eat meat' people? 

Do tell!


char said...

I guess I should start this comment with the fact that for the last 15 yrs or so I've been pretty much vegetarian (with a little bit of fish and chicken now and then, when my anaemia has been really bad) and that was due to not liking meat rather than a moral reason, but I cook meat dishes for others and whether it's a meat or a veggie dish, I'd always cook something myself, make my own sauce, etc rather than buy something ready-made and processed. I've always been wary of buying The Cheapest items on offer, when it's something like meat and I've always avoided ready meals because I don't like the thought of not knowing what chemicals are in things. (That all spans from watching too many episodes of "How It's Made", I think).
When this story broke I couldn't quite understand the outrage - people get what they pay for and there's a big part of me that wonders why people who are paying less than a couple of quid for a meal or a pack of mince aren't wondering where it's come from or how it's made, for that price. It's not likely to be all that possible to produce something that cheaply using decent components, even on a mass-production scale.
I hope that it does start to make people think about where things come from, and maybe it will push people towards buying local, which in turn may help the economy.

P said...

It doesn't really bother me. But I do, when I'm try to be healthier, always try to go for food that 1) I know exactly what it contains and 2) has as few ingredients actually in at as possible. TAD off-topic, but have you ever picked up a weight watchers ready meal in a shop and clocked the list of ingredients??? It's massive and full of words that COULD for all intents and purposes, be a fancy name for horse.... but is more likely just a ridiculous type of chemical.

Which is probably worse than horse in the grand scheme of things...

Dawn Young said...

I totally agree. Although I still see the horse thing as LYING to consumers which (when you have an ingredients list on the size of the packet) is wrong no matter how much you pay for something. However I still agree very much with what you are saying xx

Dawn Young said...

Totally. Although at least they are being honest about the chemicals! Xx