Ready meals? What they? OK, I can remember buying some of these: last time I moved house, which was by definition some years ago, the contents of the freezer were run down and for a couple of evenings it was a case of either getting a takeaway or buying ready meals. And that was that: no way does that kind of stuff get through the door otherwise.
But, it seems, much of the population loves them. Yet more people love other meat products, like burgers, even the cheapest (and nastiest) ones. Because they’re cheap. And nobody stops to think that, as they say in God’s Own County, you don’t get owt for nowt. You pay less, the quality of what is inside the burger or ready-for-microwave meal will be lower.
Add to that the acquisition of firms like Findus by the private equity gang, and you have a recipe (as it were) for cheap ingredients of whatever kind happens to be available to get into the food chain. Season with cuts to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and subject the whole thing to the oven of profit taking, and the result has turned out to be a dinner not fit for a dog.
So now the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate is in uproar. The Super Soaraway Currant Bun is incensed. Horse! It’s in school dinners! And hospital food! And meals on wheels! Whatever – blame the public sector. Who happen to get the dodgy stuff from the private one. Oh, hang on, here comes the Express, and it’s blaming the EU. And the dastardly French. And maybe some crims.
But don’t worry, the comedy turn has just rolled up, and it’s from the Daily Star. “Fears of Horse Cover-Up” is the headline. And how exactly does one cover up said horse? Ah, I see, some folks may have been eating horse meat for six months. Well, more fool them, and it says something about the amount of stuff in there to camouflage the taste of the meat. After all, nobody complained.
Alone among the red-tops, the Mirror has said what should have been screamingly obvious at the start: the buck stops with the retailers. They should know what is in the stuff they put in the freezer cabinet. And they are the ones hammering supplier prices down. Never mind blaming the Government, any other part of the public sector, or the EU. It’s the supermarkets who need to own up.
And some punters need to get a bit more adventurous, kick the ready meals and get a life. Why is it so difficult to make lasagne or spag bol from meat, pasta and other straightforward ingredients?
Tonight I shall be mainly eating something vegetarian, and then tomorrow it’s fish. As in one with a head and tail still on it. Get the hint.