I’m shocked! Whatever happened to Britain’s agricultural heritage? Examining sandwiches in a big supermarket one busy lunchtime, I looked, as usual, for a clue to their origins. As you can imagine, a weekly shop can take hours.
I get especially fussy about chicken, other meat and eggs; I always search out the free range and organic. Yes, I know that’s not foolproof but it ought to be better than battery this and fast-bred that.
At one-time I was a non meat-eater and now I really do try to check that animals have had a good life and a humane (if you can say that about non humans) death. Yes, it costs a bit more, so you cut back elsewhere.
Now to the sandwiches.
A massive and appealing variety of fillings in different types of bread where chicken featured big time – a healthy option, yes?
But closer examination revealed that the meat was from Thailand. And this was the same information on every single chicken-filled sandwich, which doesn’t necessarily make it unhealthy, but does pose a few pertinent questions.
And so I was shocked.
We are a farming nation, London is nearly 6,000 miles from Bangkok and we consumers are not in a position to monitor, or maybe even know, about conditions of life and death for animals and birds.
But from what we do know, I’d imagine their life and death is pretty grim. And I wonder what the poor things are fed on?
Because would UK wholesaler buy from Thailand if it wasn’t the cheapest option? There is a big dilemma here when our shopkeepers try to help hard-up families feed themselves as economically as possible.
But I’m far from convinced that the blanket purchase of dead chickens (well, I hope the poor things are dead for the journey) helps change anything when it comes to the importance we give to our food, its origins, the treatment of animals and the lack of encouragement for national production.
Anyway, with such sobering matters in mind, I abandoned the sandwiches and bought a little packet of rice crackers instead. And guess what – when I looked later, they were produced in Thailand and packed in the Netherlands.