Friday, 8 February 2013
Horse lasagne anyone?
The horsemeat scandal has forced the government, the media and the chattering classes to once again peer into the dark corners of the food industry. Of course there is nothing wrong with horsemeat as such but it is just nice to be able to choose to eat it. The reasons for the state of the food industry are many and complex but certainly globalisation and the cold hand of the market have much to answer for. Food is shipped backwards and forwards around the world "adding value" and "increasing margins" as it travels from one pool of cheap labour to another. Fancy a nice Findus lasagne ready meal? Pound for pound the horse will probably work out more expensive than last years Derby winner because apart from not knowing what's in it or how it was manufactured, processed food is really bad value. At the moment Domino's Pizza are running a big advertising campaign and all over town huge posters urge us to take advantage of their latest offer. "Feed 4 for £5 each" the posters shout. "All this for £19.99". All this? A couple of medium pizzas, garlic bread, a slack handfull of potato wedges and (this is the best bit) a 1.25 litre bottle of Coke. That's terrible food value and even worse value for money. For twenty quid four people could sit down to a roast chicken and a mountain of fresh veg. You could even throw in a bottle of cheap plonk. Of one thing you can be sure - the CEO and Board Of Directors of any of the big food companies will not be tucking into the crap they produce, either for lunch today or any other day soon.