Monday, January 28, 2013

Horse trading, part two.

Our Minister for Agriculture has now announced his latest findings on the 'Beefburger' or should that be 'Horse-burger' saga? Having stated previously that the contamination had come from either Spain or Holland in the form of additives, in his latest statement he has declared that in fact the horse meat had been imported from Poland and not in additive form but as fresh meat. This whole story opens up a load of questions, but I doubt very much that any of them will be answered publicly.
 The very fact that it has taken so long to identify the source of the horse-meat indicates that traceability is rubbish.
 Why has any imported meat been used at all? The UK and Ireland are two of the biggest beef producing and exporting countries in the EU. Spent dairy cattle can and are used in cheaper cuts of beef, mince and burgers are two such products.
Why was imported meat used, one can only assume it is on price, so where does the blame lay with that? This brings us back to supermarkets, they want to keep their shareholders happy, to hell with the farmers, as long as a product can be produced cheap enough and not kill anyone, what the hell does it matter where the raw ingredients come from?
If this raw meat came into the country improperly labelled why are heads rolling in the factory's with management being removed and replaced , or did they really know all along what was coming in to the plants?
Why is it made so hard for small producers to sell their goods? A small producer takes a pride in what they produce, most would be personally known to their customers, they don't take short cuts, they want their customers to be happy and come back for more, yet our government makes it nearly impossible to sell any artisan production without huge expenditure to the producer and way over the top health regulations. Yet these products are truly traceable, ask any small producer about their product and they will tell you, chapter and verse.
More marmalade, we know where the fruit comes from and the sugar.

Years ago we used to make Christmas puddings for a couple of small supermarkets, we also used to make jam and supply them with Organic veg, blackcurrants, herbs, and bags of mixed leaf salads, (long before this became a mainstream product) as well as our Organic eggs, at this time the only thing we required a licence for were the eggs.
 Now it would be impossible to sell any of these things without complying with masses of red tape. You can't even sell washed veg in a farmers market here without first having your water supply analysed. But the big company's produce what is basically rubbish but are allowed to sell it as long as the paper work appears to be right. Paper does not refuse ink, and had it not been for a random DNA test the burger saga would never have come to light unless somebody had become ill.
Frosty scene.

Ireland has the least amount of trees in the whole of the EU, yet the IMF has now demanded the trees from our National Forests as part of our bailout from the IMF, so much for planting trees to help with global warming. Fortunately there is a charity here in Ireland that will supply trees free of charge as part of their 'Plant One Million Trees' in a Day project. Over two thousand land owners have signed up for this scheme including ourselves. planting day is scheduled for the end of March. As Tesco liked to say, every little helps.           

A few days ago we awoke to glimmering frost,it looked so pretty, but very cold. The holly is not a variegated type, just the ice crystals that had formed around the edges.

The little quail are all growing well, they have lost the bumble bee look and now at a week old are looking like their parents.
So sweet.



  1. I think any new politician that comes along who seriously proposes re-inventing individual and small business regulation has a real future. But with no kickbacks on offer, it may take a while.

    I have to ask around for Seville oranges, your marmalade looks marvelous.

  2. Ahhhh. Bless the little quail. Very cute.