Rossa responds to my statement: “I buy free range eggs but as for the chicken I eat – how can I know if it was cooped up chickens? And if it is – and it’s likely to be – then what can we eat?”
And how would you know if it was slaughtered under the Halal code with its throat slit open so it can bleed to death?
Short of “growing your own” whether veg or chickens there is no way to know the true provenance of the food we eat. I try to buy meat that is responsibly grown but the labelling system is very confusing and from what I know of it, labels can be applied to food that hasn’t complied with the rules in full. i.e. meat from abroad labelled as British if it has just been packaged over here.
Growing my own veg is more expensive than buying it. That isn’t why I do it. It is only so we know how it has been grown and the fact that no chemicals were used (as far as I know). I’d love to have the space for chickens, a couple of sheep and a pig or two but I’m not in a position to do so. I’ve looked into the schemes where you can pay a local farmer to “grow” a sheep or pig for you but the cost is prohibitive at the moment. Also i don’t have a freezer large enough to take all the butchered meat. I suppose one way would be to get a group of people together to share the cost, but then you’d have to decide who got which bits later.
There was an interesting segment on Jeremy Vine’s show yesterday with a debate on whether or not people should buy meat offered to them “under the counter” so to speak. Apparently you have to get a proper licensed professional to slaughter your animal and can only give it to others. You can’t sell it, as that is illegal. If you shoot game you can only sell to a butcher with a game licence.
The usual stuff was trotted out about disease and not killing something that might still have antibiotics in it’s flesh etc.Clearly there is a difference between wild meat/game and stolen farmed meat. I guess most people wouldn’t know the difference and could be easily conned. I haven’t bought any myself though I have been given a wild rabbit or two over the years.
This is all connected with the increase in sheep rustling. On Countryfile Sunday evening they did a piece on the increase in Turkeys and other birds being stolen. One farmer has lost £18,000 worth of birds in the last few years and is now having to give up. He can’t get insurance to cover it and the cost of security is prohibitive. He only had 67 Turkeys but somehow a gang got into the shed and stole the lot. At £100 a piece for a Norfolk Bronze it is a lucrative crime.