Something to Beef About ..

Last Friday’s news of horse meat being processed in Tipperary and labelled as beef saw Ireland further immersed in the ‘Shergar Burger’ crisis. The realisation that divorce from the source of our food can and does lead to abuse in the food chain, has crashed upon us like a tsunami. Lack of honesty is what is being pedalled here, rather than pride in produce. That has dawned in the last few weeks on the collective conscience of Europe. It appears that the links of the chain in industrial food supply cannot be trusted. This last sentence is not designed to criticise all. It only takes one weak link to undermine a chain. Large meat factories operate like assembly lines, or perhaps disassembly lines might be more accurate.Christopher Cook, author of Diet for a Dead Planet, explains it better than space allows here. Recommended reading for anyone with even a passing interest in food production. So where does all this leave us? In a world of hurry and speed, we have to stop and ask ourselves ‘what am I eating?’Since the horsemeat scandal broke, butchers in the UK have seen trade increase substantially. Some Irish butchers we’ve spoken to are also commenting on renewed interest in the whats and wherefores of the provenance of their meat. Hip Hooray for that. Good Food Ireland butchers are committed to sourcing beef locally – some even have their own farms and abattoirs.Their mince is made from trimmings from strip loin, ribeye and other cuts, dry aged and butchered by them. It’s even minced while you wait in some cases. The result is a tender batch of fresh Irish beef mince, ready for homemade burgers, cottage pies, chilli con carne, lasagne and all the other dishes we’ve heard have been affected by horse DNA. High time to visit your butcher then. Check out GFI approved provider butchers in our list of shops and see what’s on offer in your area.  Lets use this platform to spring into a better and healthier way of doing things. Time to reconnect with the land and the people who make an honest living from it – and to appreciate the skills of Ireland’s Master Craftsmen whose Irish meats are their pride.