Since the horse meat scandal I am hoping that there has been a shift in how the consumer thinks about the food they eat. I have no issue with the sale or consumption of horse meat so long as it’s properly labelled and is coming from decent, inspected sources. I am definitely a carnivore at heart. I do have a real issue with animal cruelty, battery farms and now meat coming from God knows where, in who knows what state. This is what I am eating and more importantly it’s what I’m feeding my children.
I’m hoping that the choices I make mean that my family won’t have been too exposed to the meat in question. I am the epitome of the low income family with two young children BUT this does not mean that I fall into the trap of buying what is essentially crap because it’s cheap. If you buy six burgers for a pound you must have an idea that there is either not much meat inside, or, meat of a very low quality. I don’t buy jars of sauce or ready meals, call me old fashioned but I actually cook things.
The things which do worry me are the typical kiddie foods, nuggets and sausages primarily. I do on occasion make my chicken nuggets but they never go down as well as ones from the freezer department for some reason and sausages are just a bone of contention as they are fundamentally known to be hiding all the bits and pieces of unknown (hopefully) pig.
The last few weeks have seen a change in our house, goodbye processed meat and hello vegetarian options. I was dubious at first but after perusing the aisle (which is much bigger than when I actually was vegetarian) I felt a little happier. Some vegetarian goujons and Linda McCartney sausages found their way into my basket as well as some tofu (the less said about that the better!) The goujons were a success because let’s face it most processed chicken nuggets are all about the coating anyway. The sausages were interesting and once I had readjusted my own mind set and stopped comparing them to pork I quite enjoyed them. They have more of a falafel consistency without the earthy flavour falafel has which I prefer.
Meat always used to be a luxury and now I’m thinking that if I can’t afford the good stuff then I don’t want it at all. I know the regulation of eggs and won’t buy them from battery farms as A) it’s cruel and B) unhealthy chicken cannot be producing healthy eggs. If I knew what the chickens in the nuggets looked like or the ‘beef’ in those burger I’m 100% sure I wouldn’t be eating them.
Never fear, if I want a treat or I’m going to a fancy restaurant, I’m having my steak with a pulse this is not a vegetarian in the making (been there got the T-shirt and the matching vegan hat.) It is 50% moral and 50% health concern, so I need vegetarian recipes…..and no tofu please.