A stewards enquiry is due on the horse meat scandal
With new unsavoury revelations cropping up every day, it's unlikely the horse meat scandal will be put out to grass any time soon.
But while we all shake our heads in disbelief as the food suppliers and supermarkets continue to trot out their flimsy excuses for allowing horse meat to enter the food chain, perhaps the more honest among us might actually admit that much of the blame for the scandal lies with us, the public.
Yes, you and me. For it was the shoppers of Britain who created the demand for cheap food. The supermarket giants merely pandered to those demands.
Let's face it, how many of us ever stopped to wonder how it's possible to pay as little as 99p for six burgers? Did we really think those ghastly, gristly meat patties contained choice beef tenderloin from the finest Aberdeen Angus herds in Scotland?
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
If so, then we really need to grasp this simple, stark truth: low prices and decent quality, safe-to-eat food are, frankly, incompatible.
So is it fair to assume we may all have eaten horse at some time or other? I'm pretty sure I have. When my oven went on the blink recently I lived for a whole week on microwaveable food from my local store's ready meal aisle – or, as I now call it, the public bridleway. During that time I noticed that whenever I left the house I had to fight a sudden urge to jump over my neighbour's fence.
So yes, the supermarkets must carry some of the blame. It's now emerged that about a year ago the EU banned the process of scrubbing the flesh off left-over bones in slaughterhouses, forcing suppliers and retailers to look overseas for new sources of meat. Could this ruling have opened up opportunities for dodgy dealers to add horse meat to the food supply chain?
Critics suggest a ruthless determination by the supermarkets to keep prices low has led, inevitably, to such a thing happening. So when will they grasp the reality – that driving down prices leads to poorer quality food?
Actually, one supermarket boss may have finally cottoned on to this unpalatable truth. Last Friday the chief executive of Waitrose boldly declared that if families want to trust that the food they're buying is safe and genuine, they can no longer regard it as a "cheap commodity".
So what is he saying? That cheap means unsafe? That those 99p burgers must therefore be classified as unfit for eating? It's a pity he didn't take that "honesty" a step further and admit to something else that many consumers already know – which is that many processed meals are so cheap the most nourishing part is often the cardboard sleeve.
It's bad enough that food manufacturers and retailers continue to get away with the rather questionable practice of bulking up the weight of foods like ham, bacon and chicken by injecting them with water. But beefing up profits with horse meat is one cheap trick too far.
It's depressing to read that Britain's national debt is now an astonishing £1 trillion. Worse, this figure is set to rise by 50 per cent within five years.
Personally, I blame Chancellor George Osborne. He should never have borrowed £50 from that payday loan company.
There's little point pretending otherwise. Anyone who has lived in Midsomer Norton for a certain number of years, or who has spent a reasonable amount of time socialising there after dark, will be aware of the underlying drug culture that exists, as it does in most towns. So it's refreshing to see that the new police beat manager has announced the introduction of sniffer dogs to help combat the problem. The only question is: why has it taken so long?