Monday, 6 April 2015

Tuesday food blog - Rip offs!

It being the holiday weekend I decided to treat myself to bacon for breakfast. I usually have cooked breakfast when away on holiday but thoughts of freshly cooked bacon tempted me. I made the mistake of buying the bacon from the supermarket, you'll see why below.

Raw bacon

This was a rasher of Morrison's bacon before cooking. It wasn't particularly expensive, unsmoked and just their usual ordinary own product which I felt was fine for a breakfast sandwich. Now look at the same bacon cooked.

Cooked bacon

I fried the bacon in olive oil and it is half the rasher I originally purchased. It's not the fact that the bacon has shrunk but also the white deposit that is left in the pan, which I believe is brine.

It is topical in a week where there has been a TV programme about the importance of natural fat in our diet. Yes too much fat is bad for you but I was educated at a time when two conditions prevailed, one was that there was little in the way of processed food, and secondly, we were told in school that a balanced diet consisted of three parts carbohydrate to one part protein to one part fat. It may seem that the same amount of protein as fat seems unbalanced but in fact the fat was found on the outside of meat, in the butter in your mashed potato and so on. So you could have the required amount without seemingly having any on the plate. I am not about to go into why it works that way but suffice it to say that you need the good fat not the bad. The bad comes from fats in foods such as spreads intended to replace butter. Yes natural butter is good for you!

Image result for natural butter

That segue's nicely into the way we used to buy our food. My mum worked in a corner shop in the late 1950s early 60s and you could buy your butter in half pounds and pounds. These were cut from a large round of butter, weighed out and individually wrapped. The same went for lard, cheese, and even sugar was delivered to the shop and weighed out. There were similar systems in the cooperative store which at the time was the equivalent to the supermarket. The point is that there were fewer stages between the beast producing the food and the shop where you bought it and that also meant fewer opportunities for so called entrepreneurs to create profit opportunities and therefore put the price up for the consumer. There has a wealth of common sense been lost to the god profit.

Image result for butter mountains and wine lakes
Butter mountain

Yet again my segue skills are working well because that leads into the announcement over the weekend that the caps on the amount of milk produced in the EU are being removed. This comes at a time when farmers are suffering because of the low price of milk which could take us back to the days of butter mountains, milk and wine lakes and so on.
At that time my father used to complain bitterly that these mountains went to waste whereas they should have been sent out to countries in food poverty. Will the same happen again - probably.

A greedy and grasping person destroys community; those who refuse to exploit live and let live.
Proverbs 15:27

This is one of many translations of the saying but the bottom line is that the entrepreneurs, middle men, corporate fat cats, whatever you want to call them are wringing the life out of countries and societies so that they can make even more money.

Image result for miser counts his cash

FYI Proverbs is the second book of the third section of the Hebrew Bible. Many of the sayings are part of a framework for life that endured for a thousand years.

I know I've wandered from the subject of food somewhat but what is written does link and allows me to soapbox jump. If you return to the subject of the bacon you will understand where I'm coming from. Consider why salt and water is added to bacon - to make it heavier - and therefore your getting less meat for your price. 

So you may get 10 rashers for £2 but if an average rasher weighs for the sake of argument 50g and costs 20p but then you can replace 5g with salt and water then for every ten rashers you have saved one and therefore increased your profit by 20p. 
(These figures are illustrative and not accurate.)
Sadly, it isn't just bacon that is 'doctored' so that greater profit can be made.

God Bless