And yes, there is ‘trouble’ with labels.
There are the ‘labels’ we attach to certain people, and there are the labels on our food. Here comes my rant about the food labels.
Do you read your food labels?
There are so many terms that are abused here in Ireland. What’s it like where you are?
We use the word ‘artisan’ for so many things, and I’m sure most people have never even looked the word up in a dictionary. Here’s the definition from the Oxford dictionary : Artisan (n) – skilled manual worker or craftsman. So can a large factory-type set up, employing 100 people plus, running production lines, be producing an ‘artisan’ food product? I guess you could say that the machines are being run by skilled workers, but is it not an abuse of the word?
Then there is ‘organic’. Now this is much clearer – or is it?
I’ve often asked people what their perception of ‘organic’ is, and often times they are just so wrong. While there are strict guidelines with regard to feeding and caring of the animals…. organic does not necessarily mean ‘free-range’. Depending on the breed of animal, they can be raised indoors, but must spend some part of their life outdoors. However, not necessarily all of their lives.
Some will say, that in winter it is better for the animal to be indoors. Let me tell you, in the case of pigs, they are damned clever, and will not go outside if it is freezing, wet and cold. Would you? Especially if you’ve got a silly human who will bring you food!
Anyone who has read my post about the process and procedures we had to go through to receive the QMark for our free-range pork will be aware of the hoops that were jumped. You will also be aware that we are completely and utterly anti-gmo’s in this house.
And here’s a very scary fact ….. if you go to the co-op to buy your animal feed, it is labelled as containing gmo. However, although that feed has been fed to an animal whose meat will end up in the food chain, there is no legislative requirement to label the human food as containing gmo.
After months of negotiations for the Q Mark, here’s what was agreed as the free-range definition:
Free range farmed: a type of animal husbandry where pigs have free access to fields/woodland with defined boundaries for all or most of their natural life. They receive their nutritional needs from prepared natural feed or from pasture or forage depending on the season.
And, again, while there are producers out there that are termed ‘free-range’ and then spoil it all by feeding gmo contaminated feed. You need to check what they are feeding their animals. Well, if you care you will.
Another thing, some producers say their animals are free-range. They perhaps allow some of their animals access to the outdoors – just to portray the right picture. However, the majority are locked up in sheds.
And the biggest offender of all????
The word ‘natural‘. You’ve got to watch this video…. it may be a little exaggerated, but then again maybe it is not.
So my warning to you all folks? If you really care what you feed yourself and your family, check what the animals are being fed.
Do you know how your Christmas turkey has been raised?
Do you know what the pig that died to provide you with that Christmas ham was fed?
Do you care about how these animals lived their lives?
Ask the questions, folks. Ask can you come see where they live, what they are fed?
Go shake the hand of the farmer and find the answers to the questions.