I always feel rather dispirited whilst at the meat counter of a shop listening to a parent scrabbling around for an answer to their child’s question of where the meat came from. The natural assumption at this point is the child is aged ten and parent circa forty. Not always the case, on more than one occasion the child has been circa forty.

Can you blame the consumer for being uneducated as to where on an animal their meat comes from, how it’s processed or produced? That’s assuming they’ve narrowed it down to the correct animal – not always the case! In my three years working in a butchers shop on more than one occasion I walked out of the fridge with an entire pig on my shoulder….

“What’s that?” “It looks like a lamb dear, the man’s going to cut it up.”

Man *Groans*

In response to my earlier question: can you blame people for not knowing where their meat comes from? No I don’t think you can.

I spent fourteen years going to school and not once can I remember going to a home economics class or a digression during biology that would shed any light on meat, its source and which cut is from where. What’s about to follow is a very unscientific poll; if I didn’t get taught it at school did anyone else? I doubt it.

There are some butchers, meat suppliers and supermarkets that have boards showing where the various cuts come from or packaging explaining the product.  However in my opinion this information is far too scarce. The general public in many cases understands touch screen technology and Wi-Fi more than the food they eat. It’s a worrying thought and worries me that it’s only going to get worse.

The title to this blog was “A Public Service Announcement” and as yet I haven’t touched on what that service is. If you’ve read this far, you might have already guessed.

I’m going to start a section of my blog that will shed light on our food, answer some questions and hopefully help you, my dear readers, to understand and enjoy it a little bit more.  I’ve been lucky enough to work in the entire meat supply chain and I want to share what I’ve found out with all of you.

So check back here twice a week to see what’s on the menu!

Happy dining, GB

P.s if you want me to look at/write about, or if you have a question on a particular topic then comment below.


Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. Retweeted 🙂 Well, when you get down the food chain a bit … I’d quite like you to distinguish between actual vegetable box schemes, where the veg are actually grown by local farmers and growers in the interests of fresh, LOCAL and often organic veg, community regeneration, and a working countryside – and wholesalers who put imported veg into ‘boxes’ and ride the bandwagon. As I’m fighting the incoming tide (of flood water) to restart my own small scale local veg business this year – it’s frustrating to see a distribution centre run from a ‘farm’ down the road, flogging cheap imports in boxes.
    But I shall bookmark with interest to see what else you touch on.

    • Hi Jackie – many thanks for your comment. Firstly I hope you’re not suffering too much with the flooding, we’ve been lucky here but I appreciate not everyone has. I think you’ve highlighted a really important point – the different words used to describe food and its source are often confused or misused and some clarity would be great for everyone, myself included.

  2. Some details of how long meat should be hung before purchase would be good, is 21 day beef ok or would 42 day beef be better, this is what we need to know , also suppliers of good aged meats, especially in east Yorkshire

  3. I think this is a fantastic idea Gareth, I completely agree that more people ought to know where their food comes from! Why it isn’t taught in more depth in schools is beyond me!


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