Too many shoddy products on market
Their suggestion is a tax on food to stop people eating so much of it. Not all food: merely (so far, at least) sausages, bacon and steak, the usual suspects when it comes to the food police lecturing us about what we should and shouldn’t be putting on our plates and thence into our mouths.
I may have come across more ludicrous ideas but I can’t for the moment recall any. And as someone involved in the production of both livestock and products derived from them I have to question the sanity of people who suggest such ideas.
Steak has long been a target for the anti-meat lobby because, ostensibly, of the unwelcome contribution livestock farming allegedly makes to greenhouse gas emissions – which conveniently overlooks the other side of the equation which demon- strates how much CO2 is usefully locked up by pastures.
And bacon and sausages have now been added to the list purely as a result of studies showing that some products so described are less than wholesome, containing high proportions of either flavour enhancers or fat or preservatives.
The problem we are really facing is that the Government effectively lost control of the food sector years ago and is now desperately attempting to put the genie back in the bottle.
Successive governments have allowed far too many shoddy and indeed unhealthy products to fly onto the market under a flag of convenience – whether ‘sausages’ produced not from prime cuts of meat but from snouts, ears and rusk; or processed ‘cheese’ cobbled together from milk powder and various flavourings and colourings; or ‘cider’ made not by fermenting pressed apple juice but by blending industrial spirit carbonated water and fruit pulp.
All these low-grade products are sold alongside the genuine, vastly superior articles. And now any attempt to stop us eating so many inferior and unhealthy products is threatening to catch the bona fide products quite unfairly in the same net.
Can any of these researchers tell me why the pork sausages I make from parts of a pig are any unhealthier than the rest of the pig which I sell as joints?
Why preserving the same meat to make bacon – a process which has been going on for 10,000 years at least without, apparently causing the disappearance of the human race – creates a dangerous product?
Or why a helping of grass-fed steak – for most of us an occasional treat anyway because of its price – is going to send us to an early grave?
And can I expect the idea of a breakfast tax now too be examined closely by ministers not because of their concern for our health and wellbeing but as a potential new source of revenue for the Treasury?
Or am I being unduly cynical?
‘The problem we are really facing is that the Government effectively lost control of the food
sector years ago