I have never been one for eating a diet consisting of processed food, of food made in a factory which is then packaged and sold ready to eat. The last few weeks processed food has been in the news pretty much constantly starting with a revelation that products which were labelled as containing beef also contain horse meat. Various investigations have ensued and further food has been removed from supermarket shelves as it contains meat that is not listed on the labels. The supply chain for these products is bewildering and I could not make sense of this map at all.
Personally I prefer to buy, what little meat my family eats, from the farmer themselves or from the butcher in my village who labels all his meat with the farm they have come from. This is how my mother shopped and I well remember, as a child, visiting the butchers shop ten minutes walk from their house. This butchers is sadly long gone. The meat I do buy is most likely, I have never compared, more expensive than the meat sold in the supermarket. I personally would prefer to pay more for meat that I can be sure of its provenance and has travelled few miles.
I keep hearing that it is the consumer that is going to loose out, that the price of food is going to go up. My argument is that surely that is what has caused the problem in the first place. Good quality beef is expensive, as I would expect it to be rearing a cow is expensive. Beef is only eaten two or three time a year in this house because of that. So in order to make products containing beef cheap how do you keep the costs down? I guess it has been bulked out with other ingredients which we now find includes horse meat.
One of the products that has been removed from the shelves in a number of supermarkets is beef burgers. My mother always used to make these when we were children, whenever I cook them they remind me of the summer weekends as a child as we often had them barbecued and ate outside. I have not eaten meat for nearly twenty years, the rest of the family eat meat so occasionally when I have some beef mince I make these:
Homemade Beef Burgers
500g minced beef
2 medium potatoes peeled and grated
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Mix all ingredients well.
Shape into burgers
Chill for about half an hour.
Grill, barbecue or fry for approx ten minutes.