Archive for February, 2013

Sausages

The BBC has learned that European meat suppliers are using a loophole in the law to sell a banned low quality material to UK sausage makers.

E-mails indicate that suppliers are selling a form of mechanically recovered residue under different names so that it can be legally termed meat in Britain. One of the UK’s biggest sausage suppliers admitted that some of this meat is in their products but where used it is always declared.

Another manufacturer told the BBC he believes the product is being widely used in Britain.

In April 2012 the European Union told the British government that a type of mechanically separated meat (MSM) used across the UK could no longer count towards the meat content of a product.

Called desinewed meat (DSM), it had been introduced into the UK in the 1990s and supporters argued that it was a higher form of recovered meat, retrieved from animal bones using low pressure water. Visually it is said to be similar to a fine mince, and closer to meat than the more liquid MSM “slurry”.

The EU said DSM could still be used in UK meat products but could not be considered part of the meat content. This ban should also apply to desinewed meat across every member state. But the BBC has learned that across Europe many suppliers continue to produce desinewed meat using different names including “Baader meat” and “3mm mince”.

Baader meat is made using a machine from the Baader company in Germany and according to a spokesman, the device removes the membrane and the sinew and in the end “it is meat!” Suppliers that use the Baader system in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Spain all stated they believed their desinewed products are outside the EU ban and can count towards the meat content of sausages and other foods. In e-mails seen by the BBC, some of these companies say they are very keen to supply it to the UK. “My information is that you only have to declare MSM, and Baader no.” said one German based supplier. “I know it is very strange but I didn’t invent these laws,” he writes. A supplier of chicken meat made a similar point in another email; “Declarable MSM is derived from chickens with all the meat and skin in its original format and minced via the Baader machine, all the bones are separated mechanically.”

 EU regulations on what can and can’t be termed meat are causing confusion. Other people close to the food processing industry in the UK suggest that the use of Baader meat is widespread.

Kevin McWhinney is a sausage maker in Northern Ireland who has been campaigning against the use of these types of meat residues for years.

“The UK should not be using this Baader meat but as far as I am aware it is coming into the country and is being used,” he said.

This perspective is supported by Matt Starling, a lawyer with the firm Geldards who specialises in regulatory issues.

“We know that there are significant (EU) exports of Baader meat, and it is fair to assume, and that’s the government’s view, that it is being used to replace DSM,” he told BBC News.

“And that view of the government was strongly made by the minister last year and is shared, as I understand, by the FSA.”

Meaty definitions

  • MSM or mechanically separated meat is a red paste produced by forcing fragments of meat from animal bones using high pressure water
  • DSM or desinewed meat is produced from the same source but using low pressure. The meat product is said to be more visually akin to a fine mince
  • Baader meat is another type of desinewed meat, produced on a low pressure extraction machine made by German company, Baader

He said there was a legal inconsistency between the UK and the EU because the Commission hadn’t specifically banned the Baader meat process.

“The matter hasn’t been tested, but as things stand there appears to be no clear legal redress if a company does export Baader and it is used to replace the products that we were producing ourselves until they were banned last year.”

When contacted by the BBC, a spokesman for the EU said that as far as the Union is concerned Baader meat is MSM.

Sausage maker Kevin McWhinney’s family have been in the business for five generations – he agrees wholeheartedly with the position taken by the EU. Whether the process is called Baader meat or DSM or 3mm mince, to him it was all the same.

“The powers that be would have you think its different because it uses a low pressure – but it is the same bones, same scraps off the bones, the same machines, just with different pressure. Someone’s just trying to invent a new product,” he said.

Many people connected to the meat industry in Britain say the EU has “used a sledgehammer” against the UK on this issue, while letting other European countries effectively get away with continuing to sell similar products without restrictions.

Dr Duncan Campbell is one of Britain’s most senior food inspectors and head of West Yorkshire Analytical Services.

“What is clear is that there is a lack of uniformity of enforcement of EU regulation – and that is the loophole that is allowing material to be counted as meat in another European member state – the same product would not be considered meat in the UK,” he said. But there is also the sense that the intense downward pressure on prices driven by supermarkets is pushing manufacturers to find the cheapest ingredients. One EU based meat supplier pointed out that a half kilo of sausages was selling in one supermarket for less than a euro. It was impossible, he said, to produce meat at that price without cutting corners.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21530861

Sausages

As I said in a previous post folks…if you want to know what goes into your food, buy the raw product, and make it yourself. Most mincer machines have sausage making attachment….

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A Delicious New Arrival!

Granny and Grandad are pleased to announce the safe arrival of their 8th grandchild, a little girl on Feb 21st.

We now have a 7 a- side girls football team! and one grandson as referee!

Not edible

 But perfectly delicious!

Ruby Olive 4

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Barcodes: Where Does Food Come From?

ALWAYS READ THE LABELS ON THE FOODS YOU BUY– NO MATTER WHAT THE FRONT OF THE BOX OR PACKAGE

SAYS, TURN IT OVER AND READ THE BACK—CAREFULLY!

With all the food and pet products now coming from China , it is best to make sure you read the label  especially at Tesco / Asda and other supermarkets when buying food products.

Many products no longer show where they were made, only give where the distributor is located.

It is important to read the bar code to track it’s origin.

This may be useful to know when grocery shopping, if it’s a concern to you.

GREAT WAY TO “BUY BRITISH “ [or wherever you come from]AND NOT FROM elsewhere [if you don’t want or intend to].

Can you differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China ?  If the first 3 digits of the barcode are 690 691 or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA. 471 is Made in Taiwan .
This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore, we have to educate ourselves.
Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products “MADE IN CHINA “, so they don’t show from which country it is made.


However, you may now refer to the barcode – remember if the first 3 digits are:


690-692 Then it is MADE IN CHINA

00 – 09 USA & CANADA

30 – 37 … FRANCE

40 – 44 … GERMANY

471 …. Taiwan

49 JAPAN

50 UK

The illustration below shows a Taiwan barcode

Barcodes

Post Script: Since posting this I have been going around the kitchen checking the barcodes out and am pleased to say [because I live in Britain] that most everything on my shelves, except my honey strangely… has a 50 barcode! So thats good. I shall definitely be looking when I go shopping from now on though…

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Wonderful post here as to how to make cheese. Lovely website too, lots of goodies to find!

Creative Campbell

Cheese

Making homemade cheese is ridiculously simple. It only takes about 15 minutes of cooking time, a little cleanup and you let the cheese do the rest of the work. If it’s that simple, why don’t more people make their own?

I originally started this project by researching goat cheese, one of my favorites. After a little investigation, I decided to expand my findings to mozzarella and ricotta cheese. These are three types of cheeses that are easy to make without preservatives. Sounds like fun to me!

Goat Cheese – you need a quart of goat’s milk, lemon juice and a cheesecloth.

$4.00 one quart of goat’s milk

$0.50-$1.00 fresh lemon juice

$5.00 2 sq. yards of cheesecloth

Approximately $4.50-$5.00 for five ounces of fresh goat cheese not including the cheesecloth.

Store bought is $3.50-$5.00.

When you buy the store bought option, you don’t have any clean up, simmering or hassle…

View original post 436 more words

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Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

This one is delicious, I am making some as we speak. Strangely, when cooked, it tastes just like tomato? Hey ho! I always cook my soups in the slow cooker on low, mainly because it is so easy, takes up so little space and can just bubble away. I use the large oval slow cooker, and just fill with mixture of peeled and chopped sweet potato, unpeeled and chopped carrot and a little peeled and chopped onion. I then add black pepper, a little salt and 3 pints of vegetable stock to fill to brim. I  cook this soup on low for around 6-8 hours, check that all veg are tender…then leave to cool and then liquidise. And there you have it. I make all my soups using the same principle, so made celery, potato and onion a couple of days ago, and will be making parsnip, celery and onion in a couple of days time. If you have a vegetable that does not thicken itself add potato to the ingredients mix. I also add cream cheese at the liquidising stage for some soups, especially broccoli or celery or leek. And try adding a cheese like stilton to celery for a really special taste!

Soups are very cheap to make, and release their energy slowly so are good for us all keeping us “fuller” for longer as well as containing so many vitamins, minerals and trace elements which are vital for health. If one is on a strict tight budget,  [who is not these days!] porridge in the morning, soup at lunch and a main meal later can reduce costs hugely whilst still eating good nutritious foods. And talking of that budget, fish is a fast to prepare/cook protein packed food and is very much cheaper than meat, whilst again, containing so much that is good for us. I always say that fish is my fast food, as most of it does not take more than 10-15 minutes to cook.

I will put up some recipe ideas for fish shortly; and in the meantime do experiment with soups if you have not done so before…tasty!

Sweet Potato

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Becoming A Demitarian?

This article, from which I have included a short clip appeared in the Guardian newspaper today. We are urged again like I was saying, to rethink our meat consumption, this time from an environmental angle.

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Meat

People in the rich world should become “demitarians” –  eating half as much meat as usual, while stopping short of giving it up – in order to avoid severe environmental damage, scientists have urged, in the clearest picture yet of how farming practices are destroying the natural world.

They said the horsemeat scandal had uncovered the dark side of our lust for meat, which has fuelled a trade in undocumented livestock and mislabelled cheap ready meals. “There is a food chain risk,” said Prof Mark Sutton, who coined the term demitarian and is lead author of a UN Environment Programme (Unep) study published on Monday. “Now is a good time to talk to people about this.”

The quest for ever cheaper meat in the past few decades – most people even in rich countries ate significantly less meat one and two generations ago – has resulted in a massive expansion of intensively farmed livestock. This has diverted vast quantities of grain from human to animal consumption, requiring intensive use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides and, according to the Unep report, “caused a web of water and air pollution that is damaging human health”. The run-off from these chemicals is creating dead zones in the seas, causing toxic algal blooms and killing fish, while some are threatening bees, amphibians and sensitive ecosystems. “The attention this meat scare has drawn [highlights] poor quality meat. It shows society must think about livestock and food choices much more, for the environment and health,” said Sutton.

The answer, Sutton said, was more vegetables on the plate, and less animal protein. “Eat meat, but less often – make it special,” he urged.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/18/halve-meat-consumption-scientists

 

Some of you may like to have a look at this link which contains the publications by UNEP: which stands for United Nations Environment Programme.

http://www.unep.org/publications/

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I Am Speechless: Breaking News

Findus beef lasagne ready meals were up to 100 per cent made from horse meat, Government food officials revealed tonight.

Some of the popular frozen meals contained entirely horse and not beef, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) confirmed as it disclosed the latest flagrant breach of food rules. Shoppers who bought the products, made by the French food supplier Comigel on behalf of Findus, have been warned not to eat them.

While saying there was no evidence the unlabeled meat was unsafe, the FSA has ordered it be tested for traces of an equine drug which is harmful to humans, phenylbutazone, or ‘bute’. After a leak from the meat trade last month, the FSA admitted that meat from eight horses slaughtered in UK abattoirs last year had been found to contain ‘bute’. The FSA said Findus had tested 18 of its beef lasagne products and found 11 meals containing 60 to 100 per cent horse meat. Findus withdrew packs of its frozen beef lasagne on Wednesday after apparently receiving an alert from Comigel. Tonight it apologised to customers.

“We do not believe this to be a food safety issue,” said a Findus spokesman.

Tesco said it was withdrawing its Findus-made frozen spaghetti Bolognese as a “precaution.”

Findus had been advertising on its packs of beef lasagne: “Made with 3 layers of fresh pasta and beef bolognaise topped with béchamel sauce and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese”.

The beef lasagne was distributed to the main UK supermarkets and smaller convenience stores. The FSA advised anyone who purchased packs not to eat them and return them to the shop where they bought them.

News broke on Google 30 mins ago.

9.57pm GMT

 

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