January 17, 2014

Bye-bye Billy Bear

I can’t lie, this stuff freaks me out. For two reasons.

Firstly: have you seen that face? It’s the thing of childhood nightmares! An image rapidly etched onto your retinas, there is no escape from the horror. Not even when you close your eyes…

Secondly it causes me a degree of concern. Let me explain.

“Billy Bear”, referring to name its marketing friends developed (we’ll use BB for short) isn’t titled as ham, beef or chicken because it doesn’t contain only
one type of meat. Instead it’s an amalgamation of pork, turkey and pork liver. As they say in the butchery trade – a mixture of meats.

As it so happens none of the seventeen ingredients are deadly and the amount of pea by-products making an appearance probably means ‘ol BB can be one of your five a day. However should meat be rebranded with seventeen ingredients to make it appealing to children? I assume at this point not many adults eat BB meat. I might be wrong?

As children we are at the most easily influenced stage of our lives. We’re shaped by our environments and the likes or dislikes developed during formative years often stay long after those years are nearly forgotten.  So if we raise generations of kids on “meat” far removed from how meat should actually look and taste, what will be the effect over the coming years?

Surely a lack of understanding regarding food: a less informed consumer who doesn’t know or appreciate what they’re eating – image will be more important. Think turkey twizzlers. Farmers and food supply companies will be faced with a battle to try and re-educate customers about the realities of food.

Take ox tail for example, it isn’t as pretty as beef fillet but I know which I’d rather make soup from – if image takes over from taste or understanding how much food knowledge will be lost?

How about the effect on diet? Think again of turkey twizzlers, Jamie’s school meals crusade, one billion obese people etc… etc…. Moving further and further away from natural products, hiding them within a swamp of additives and flavourings is fast tracking us to the issues surrounding high salt and fat diets.

It’s time to say goodbye

So if you hadn’t guessed I’m not a fan of: Turkey (32%), Pork (29%), Water, Potato Starch, Pork Fat, Pork Liver, Salt, Pea Protein, Carrot Fibre, Pea Fibre, Pea Starch, Potassium Chloride, Stabiliser (Disodium Diphosphate), Spices, Anti-oxidant (Sodium Ascorbate), Yeast Extract, Preservative (Sodium Nitrite). “Billy Bear” for short.

In fact I’d like to declare an open hunting season for Billy Bear Meat. Now before anyone gets upset with my use of terminology I’m not proposing anyone goes hunting, I’m not proposing we do anything.

That’s the point. Don’t do anything to Billy Bear. Buy something else.


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Interesting.. on this side of the pond I just tried to make an 18th century recipe from Mrs. McLintock’s book of “Receipts.” A Ragou of Veal or Lamb. Can’t be done. Not if you’re depending on our local supermarket meat counter for the veal or lamb cuts required. http://www.outlanderadventures.com/make-ragou-veal-lamb/


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